SentryPC for Business Review
In this review, we will go over the features and options of SentryPC that will help you understand how your employees are spending their time on their office computer and help you identify “problem employees” that will need additional training and/or reprimand. One huge benefit of SentryPC Business is that it takes data management worries out of your hands and allows you to focus on what is most important, managing your employees.
SentryPC Biz ProsSentryPC is very easy to roll out to a network, especially if they have an antivirus solution with global rules and exclusions capabilities. Simply install the software on each workstation and manage / configure from a central location.
SentryPC Biz ConsFor those that want full control of the data collected by a security product, SentryPC may not be the right solution since all data is collected and sent to and viewed from the cloud.
Centralized Management in the Cloud
SentryPC is a cloud-managed employee monitoring software in that all data collected is viewed and managed via SentryPC’s servers. All of the configuration of what is monitored and recorded and the actual log viewing is done via your single login. This means, there’s no additional “viewer software” to install and no worrying about managing a local server.
Finally, you will be in full control of your employees and be able to see what is happening while you are looking away. Additionally, besides seeing what has happened, you will be to able to view what is happening right now with SentryPC’s Real Time Viewer which will show you real time events, files accessed, keystrokes typed and screenshots…. all readily available to you via a single click of the mouse.
SentryPC includes content filtering options that allow you to block and prevent the use of certain applications, chats, websites and will even watch for specific typed keywords / terms. Whether you configure these options on a per-user basis or based on the entire network of computers, you’ll then have access to crucial alerts that will let you know when something is happening that you asked to watch for.
On the right, you’ll see the notifications that you can be prompted for. By selecting Yes or No depending on your needs, you will see alerts that can be configured on a per-user basis or system-wide. This allows the administrator to setup filters to watch for on a company-wide basis and also allows the administrator the possibility to add additional alters based on specific users being monitored, say, after being reprimanded or being caught wasting company time.
Too many alerts? Not a problem. Since this is a centralized system and can make configuration changes on a live environment, simply go in and click Activity Alerts > Notification Settings where you can limit the email rate along with what is being notified by all users in the system.
Content Filtering Options
We touched on content filtering in the alerts section above, but what exactly can you filter? All filtering options below are available on a per-user basis or available on the entire network if needed.
- Applications: You can click the Filtering Rules tab and specific applications that you’d like to restrict access to. You can do a search to find an application to setup filtering rules for or you can find applications in a list of 10-250 rows per page. You’ll be able to block applications entirely or limit their use based on time scheduling if preferred.
- Chats: You will be able to notify users when a chat software is blocked and will be able to block / limit access to AIM, AOL, Excite, gTalk, ICQ, mIRC, MySpace IM, Odigo, Skype, Trillian, Xfire and Yahoo.
- Keywords: Limit keywords or phrases to be used on your network.
- Websites (category): Limit access to certain websites by category including dating, drugs, file sharing, shopping and social media. In total, you can limit access to 14 categories of websites.
- Websites (specific): If you’d rather have full control, you can specify specific websites that should be blocked.
You will have access to applications uses, chat conversions, events timeline, file activity logging, keystrokes typed, location logging, print job logging, screenshot capturing, session logging, website usage logging and window usage logging.
With the screenshots feature, the default pricing includes access to 500 screenshots saved at any one time. After 500 screenshots, the older screenshots will begin to be deleted and new ones saved. Of course, if you’d like to have more screenshots available to be saved, you can opt to pay a one time fee of $19.95 to allow for another 500 screenshots.
All features can be enabled or disabled on your network including the ability to disable a certain monitoring feature on a per-PC basis if needed.
SentryPC is licensed on an annual basis and includes access to free updates for the length of your subscription. You will also have access to 24/7 lifetime technical support, full documentation and guides at no additional charge. As for the actual volume licensing, here’s the rates:
- 50 Licenses: $995.00/year. Works out to $19.90 per license.
- 100 Licenses: $1,595.00/year. Works out to $15.95 per license.
- 250 Licenses: $2,995.00/year. Works out to $11.98 per license.
- 500 Licenses: $3,995.00/year. Works out to $7.99 per license.
- 1,000 Licenses: $4,995.00/year. Works out to $4.99 per license.
The actual license covers the use of SentryPC on one PC with no restrictions on the amount of users on that PC.
If you run a smaller business that needs monitoring on 10 computers, you can opt for the “user-defined licenses” option which bills at $59.95/year for the first PC and $19.95/year for each additional PC. For your convenience, here’s how the pricing breaks down:
- 5 Licenses: $139.75/year. Works out to $27.95 per license.
- 10 Licenses: $239.50/year. Works out to $23.95 per license.
- 25 Licenses: $538.75/year. Works out to $21.55 per license.
Summary of SentryPC for Business
We found SentryPC to be a perfect fit for business users who don’t want to deal with managing their own data collection servers and that just want a solution that works. The pricing is extremely fair and allows the business to stay updated with the latest changes to SentryPC including operating system compatibility updates, bug fixes and more.
This software will allow the business owner complete control to block access to things known to hurt productivity. If you need to block access to social media, news sites, stock sites or sites that suck the time away like Reddit, you can do it with SentryPC active on the network.
Want to block games, Windows features (like the control panel), or chat software? That’s an easy task as well.
The only downfall we found with SentryPC is the requirement that all data be stored off-site. That trade-off can be a deal killer for some, but for others that don’t want to deal with the maintenance and configuration of their own server to keep data internal, SentryPC can be a breath of fresh air that allows owners to focus on what is most important, managing their employees and increasing productivity.