SentryPC 3.12

Reviewed by Gary Oldwood

"Monitoring and Control Software"

Overview

Do you want to have full control over your computer when you’re not around? If yes, then SentryPC is what you need. It will allow you to control your computer by restricting access to specific programs and websites completely or by setting a usage time limit for them. SentryPC can also log keystrokes, website visits, chats and any virtually any user activity. And if you go for the Plus version, then you’ll have an online control panel from which you can remotely view user activities.

Installation

At some point throughout the installation procedure you will be prompted to choose installation type (Full or Minimum); it’s recommended that you select Full, since it includes all program features, shortcuts and Help files without taking much space in the disk (it needs about 2MB of free space). Before the main installation process starts a message will appear and ask you if you want to include an uninstaller; if you decide to include an uninstaller then the program will be listed in the Add/Remove Programs control panel normally, but if you don’t then to remove the software you’ll have to delete it manually from its installation directory.

Some antivirus programs might tell you that SentryPC is malicious, however this is due to its ability to log keystrokes, chats and monitor user/internet activity. So you can safely proceed to install it without hesitations.

Supported operating systems are Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8 (32/64-bit versions).

Interface

Before you start using SentryPC you have to set a master password for accessing its admin control panel and other restricted features. After doing so, a Quick User Configuration window will open and ask you to make a few basic settings (user to monitor, total weekly usage allowed, monitoring level and some others).

The program’s features can be accessed from the main application, and that’s from where you can view the Admin Control Panel, perform admin commands, exit the program and view the help documentation.

The Admin CP has the following features: Configure Time Management, Configure Security Settings, Configure Program Access Restrictions, Configure Additional Filtering Settings, Configure Website Access Restrictions and Configure and View Activity Logs. From there you can also change settings for a user or the program.

Pros

With SentryPC you can define daily and weekly usage time allowed for each (or every user) user. Additionally, you can restrict access to specific programs too; and you can select whether you want to always block them or block them only at specific times.

You can enable chat filtering for any of the supported chat clients, so that whenever the user tries to access them they will be closed instantly (supported chat clients: AIM/AIM Express, Yahoo! Messenger, Trillian, mIRC, ICQ Messenger, Skype, Xfire, GoogleTalk and others). A keyword filter exists as well; when a filtered word is typed by the user, the active window will be closed (filtered words are defined by the user).

Websites can be filtered too. Just add the URLs you want to restrict access to (or only allow access to) in the Website Filters box and every time a user tries to visit them he will be redirected to the homepage (there’s the option of closing the browser instead of redirecting). If you are a SentryNet subscriber then you have the option to automatically block blacklisted Adult websites, and websites with racist and profanity content.

You can further restrict computer access by disabling the desktop, the start menu button, mouse functionality, control panel, taskbar, task manager, network settings and many other Windows functions.

Separate logs are kept for keystrokes, applications, websites, events, screenshots, etc.

SentryPC Plus users can into their online Administration Control Panel and remotely view and control user activity.

Cons

The interface is a bit outdated, and all SentryPC windows are always on top.

Alternatives

HomeGuard Activity Monitor (paid) is a software designed to automatically block inappropriate content in your computer as well as monitor user activity, including logging of websites visited and time spent on them, keystrokes recording, chat/email filtering and many other features. K9 Web Protection (paid) is another solution but has fewer features and is only used for online monitoring.

Conclusion

If you are a worried parent, an employer, a teacher or anyone who wants to make sure that his computer is used only for the purposes you specified, then SentryPC is probably one of the best choices for you.

Requirements: 1MB hard disk space

What's new in this version: Various enhancements to improve overall operation and functionality.

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Antivirus information

Download3K has downloaded and tested SentryPC on 22 Dec 2015 with some of Today's best antivirus engines and you can find below, for your convenience, the scan results:
  • Avast:

    Clean
  • Avira:

    Clean
  • Kaspersky:

    Clean
  • NOD32:

    Clean
SentryPC Antivirus Report
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