PG Key - a Review

In this day and age, parents really can't afford to be without parental controls for their kids. Even the best of children can stumble onto sites that you'd rather they didn't; it's just the nature of the Internet. I've used a couple of different products and recently had the opportunity to review PG Key.

PG Key looks like a red USB flash drive. You just pop the PG Key into an available USB slot and follow the instructions to install and activate the program. Some of the things you can do with PG Key:

  • control the amount of time spent on the computer
  • provide a safe, filtered search page
  • block undesirable words, phrases, and sites
  • receive activity notifications
  • see both sides of chat and email conversations
  • keep track of user names and passwords
  • update your settings any time from another computer
  • review all of your child's activity

While many of these features and typical fare for a filtering program, I really like the Activity Tracking. With this, you can quickly and easily review all of your child's recent Internet activity. In the settings, you determine how often you want PG Key to take a screenshot. This is recorded like a stop-motion video. You'll be able to see every page your child has visited.

Your child will only have access to the computer when PG Key is plugged in. If your child isn't allowed on the computer for a certain period of time, you can remove PG Key and he or she will be unable to get on. On our desktop, my husband and I have password-protected accounts and our boys have non-password accounts. If I take out the PG Key, neither of them can access anything on the computer. I made it very clear that they are not allowed to remove the PG Key or take it anywhere to prevent each other from having computer access.

The controls were a little confusing at first, as some are accessed by clicking on the PG Key in your system tray, while others are available when you log in online. I wouldn't say that it's hard, I just had to look around a little bit to find some settings.

I was also disappointed that the only time controls limit the total amount of time per day for each user. With the program I was using prior to this review, you could set the time of day for each day of the week, which is a much better option for our family. Hopefully that's a change they can make in future versions.

There is no annual or monthly fee to use PG Key. You just need one for each computer. But you can monitor multiple users on a single computer. So once you've made your initial purchase ($49.95 retail), you're set. You can buy PG Key online or check their store locator for a local retail store. They'll also let you try the product out with their free trial.

You can also go here to check out other reviews of PG Key.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I was provided a free PG Key to review. The opinions stated here are my own.

1 comment:

The dB family said...

This sounds great! We've been mulling what to do with four kids who love to be on the computer. We're going to have to look in to this some more. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion!


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