Vultures Row: Net nanny 5 and Net nanny Chat Monitor: A Review

Net nanny 5 and Net nanny Chat Monitor: A Review

DO NOT BUY Net Nanny 5 and Net Nanny Chat Monitor.

We have three little vultures living with us, so, being an average computer user I decided to buy a commercial parental control software package. I went to Fry’s Electronics to peruse the programs available. I settled on Net Nanny 5 and Net Nanny Chat Monitor. I have heard of Net Nanny before and had even been to their website. I picked it because the chat monitor advertised that it could monitor Yahoo, AOL IM, MSN Messenger as well as ICQ, all of which my kid use.

Net Nanny’s site states that it can stop porn, limit time spent online, protect personal info and stop illegal file sharing all for the low price of $39.99. Net Nanny also states that their Chat Monitor ($29.99) can record both sides of an IM conversations, send activity logs to a specified e-mail address, replaces offensive words with ***** and will send an alert if key phrases like “what are you wearing?” are used as well as being able to schedule open times for chat and disable it for others (no 3 am chats, gotta like that.)

I have been using computers for 20 years now and consider myself an above average user in skill. I popped in the disc and followed the on screen instructions. It failed to install, due to my firewall and security software. Net Nanny actually recommends that you disable it to use their product. So I disconnected the machine from the internet and re-installed NN. It then asked for a connection to update. I did then shut the machine down to reconnect the internet connection. Once that was done I restarted the machine it contacted NN and installed an update and crashed the system. It repeated this pattern three times. The only way I could boot the machine was to uninstall Net Nanny altogether. Being as frustrated as I was I installed Net Nanny Chat Monitor with the intention of going back later to Net Nanny it’s self. I installed NNCM fairly easy. During the installation it asked for my e-mail address so it could send alerts. I popped in my information, including my smtp server name and password, so it could sent the e-mail. The program attempts to verify the address but hangs when it does this. After two installation attempts I skipped this step and it installed fine. I logged on to the little vulture #3’s yahoo chat and then fired up the old laptop (that pull start needs to be changed out…) and logged on to my yahoo chat. I sent several lines back and forth and then went to his machine to check the chat log. It was only recording his half of the conversation. The ad clearly says both sides. So I go to Net Nanny’s site and check out the FAQ. The solution, according to the official Net Nanny site, for everything is to uninstall and reinstall the software. No matter the problem, that is the solution. So I did. No it records nothing at all.

Frustrated I went to the net to seek out reviews on the net. C-net has not reviewed it, no consumer reviews. PC World gives it a an editors review of 4 out of 5, but the user review is 1.5 out of 5. The most telling was Amazon’s users comments on it. Every single review was bad. They all had some if not all of the problems I had.
Recommendation: DO NOT BUY. This product is a total waste of $70.00. You would better spend the money on software that actually works.


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