PC Pandora

Pandora Corporation is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, with offices in San Diego, Texas, and New York. They have considerable experience in the monitoring industry, having first released PC Pandora in 2005.
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Features

PC Pandora provides parental control on Windows computers. PC Pandora features include the following:

  • Monitors and records the following 15 aspects of your child’s activity:
    • Visible screen content
    • All keystrokes typed
    • Logins and password
    • Websites visited and time spent
    • Running applications
    • Emails and attachments
    • P2P/file-sharing activity
    • Chat and IM conversations
    • Webcam snapshots
    • Files created and deleted
    • HTTP requests
    • Web search queries
    • Printed documents
    • Bandwidth usage
  • Operates in silent mode, which causes the program not to be listed in the Start menu, task manager, or in the list of running processes
  • Allows you to view data and manage PC Pandora settings from a web browser
  • Sends a summary of activities to your email address
  • Allows you to filter website access by individual websites or entire categories of websites using either a whitelist or blacklist
  • Allows you to limit monitoring and recording to specific days of the week and hours of the day
  • Provides access through a password-protected local user interface
  • Allows password-protected access to restricted websites
  • Generates reports
  • Allows you to apply custom settings to individual users, and exclude specified users from monitoring

LIVE! Service, which is a separate product, allows you to access the data and review and adjust the PC Pandora settings remotely. PC Pandora also offers facebook-alert for free, which allows you to monitor your child’s Facebook activities.

Performance

Though PC Pandora allows you to monitor reports from an iPhone or Mac, it does not actually monitor Macs, smartphones, or tablets, which makes it much less suitable for parental control uses, since most children and teenagers do most of their work on these devices, not on Windows computers. PC Pandora is primarily spyware of the sort used by some companies to monitor employee behavior. Other than blocking websites, PC Pandora doesn’t offer much else. If your child or teenager has a smartphone, they can do whatever they want without your knowledge. PC Pandora monitors everything that happens on a PC, and generally does that well enough. But the level of surveillance may give one pause. There are reports that some features can be outsmarted by some creative teenagers. facebook-alert helps to fill the gap, providing the ability to monitor your child’s Facebook activity.

Pricing

PC Pandora comes in the following packages:

  • PC Pandora Pro is regularly $109.95, but is currently priced at $69.95.
  • PowerPack, which combines three software products on 1GB USB jump drive for, regularly priced at $149.95 and now available at $99.95:
    • Pandora Mobile Recovery, which allows recovery of deleted files and folders
    • Data Recycler, which permanently erased deleted files
    • PC Pandora with a registration key that can be used to monitor 4 different computers
  • LIVE! Service is free for the first 14 days and $29.97 per month thereafter.
  • facebook-alert is free.

Technical Support

PC Pandora provides an FAQ and email support.

Conclusion

PC Pandora only monitors Windows PCs, which limits its usefulness for most families, who likely need support for mobile devices and Macs. The PC Pandora is expensive, and prohibitively expensive for their LIVE! service, though this feature is probably unnecessary for most parents. There are features that are not particularly useful for families, such as collecting data on bandwidth usage by user. As with many programs in this space, this appears to be a program designed for workplaces that has been adapted for parental monitoring.

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