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IamBigBrother - Not There When You Need Support

written by: •edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/4/2011
2

IamBigBrother monitors everything that goes on at your computer, when it feels like it. IamBigBrother has great potential, but it needs improvements to catch up to its competitors. The price tag on the software may look attractive, but you really get what you pay for when it comes to IamBigBrother.

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    Introduction

    IamBigBrother is supposed to help you keep your kids from exploring and navigating the dangerous realms of the Internet. Teenagers; no matter what you say to them, they think they know how the universe runs. You can educate them, lecture them, or take some other creative approach to teaching them the importance of Internet safety, but you can’t always get through to them. As the saying goes, “Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.”

    IamBigBrother is a basic monitoring application. It provides you with features such as monitoring and recording keystrokes, programs run, visited websites, chat rooms, instant messaging, emails, and it will even capture passwords. It’s invisible to the Task Manager and so its presence should not be noticed by the “victim.” Additionally, it can capture screenshots when user-specified words are typed. IamBigBrother also offers, for an additional fee, a web-based component, which can be useful when your teenagers are spending a majority of their waking hours (which probably exceeds your waking hours) on the computer.

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    Price to Value

    Rating Average

    What's Hot:

    At $29.99, IamBigBrother is one of the cheapest monitoring applications on the market.

    What's Not:

    You can only install At $29.99, IamBigBrother on one computer. If you want to monitor more than one computer, you’ll need to purchase an additional copy of the application.

    If the web-based component , an add-on that enables you to access the information logged by IamBigBrother from a computer other than the one on which is installed, is important to you, you’re looking at an additional $9.99/month, or just shy of $120/year. That’s for each computer and on top of the initial cost of IamBigBrother.

    There is other monitoring software out there that provides you with web-based components and the option of installing on multiple computers included as standard features at no additional charge. Therefore, while IamBigBrother’s price may initially seem appealing, you really need to decide what options you are going to need before you make the decision to purchase.

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    Installation & Setup

    Rating Average

    What's Hot:

    IamBigBrother installation was quite speedy and didn’t appear to cause any problems. I downloaded my registered copy of IamBigBrother 9.2 using a link they provided. Once downloaded, I ran the setup file and found it extremely easy to follow the install prompts and restarted Windows.

    What's Not:

    I installed IamBigBrother on a computer running Windows Vista. As already mentioned, setup is fairly simple.

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    User Interface

    Rating Average

    What's Hot:

    It’s simple to navigate around IamBigBrother and the icons are easy on the eyes. There’s a calendar which allows you to view the activity for a particular day chosen.

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    Product Features

    Rating Average

    What's Hot:

    IamBigBrother has some great features if you want to get the low-down on what your kids are up to. It records both ends of a conversation in popular instant messengers such as MSN, ICQ, and Yahoo. It also has the ability to capture screenshots at set intervals (every 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 minutes) or when a user-specified “watch word” is typed.

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    Help & Support

    Rating Average

    What's Not:

    I began to wonder if maybe IamBigBrother wasn’t Vista-compatible, due to the lack of consistency and reliability with capturing and logging information. Unfortunately, there appears to be no mention on their website as to which operating systems are supported. I emailed them several times via the webform available on their website which appears to be the only way to contact IamBigBrother. I didn't receive any replies before submitting this review, even though they had seven business days to reply to my inquiries.

    IamBigBrother’s support really stinks. They only offer a basic FAQ section on their website and technical support via webform. They don't have telephone support, so if you have issues or questions and want answers as soon as possible, you may find yourself left out in the cold. IamBigBrother’s webform states that they will answer questions within 24-48 hours but 216 hours after I submitted my request, I still have yet to receive a reply.

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    Images

    SetupMainScreenshotPrograms RunWebsites VisitedKeystrokes LoggedKeyword SetupScreen Capture SetupSupport
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    Suggested Features

    I can think of quite a lot to improve this product, but at the top of my list would be improved reliability and better support. I’d like the assurance of knowing that the features I paid for were actually working up to par and not just capturing and recording on a hit or miss basis. It would also be nice to get a reply from their “technical support team” in that 24-48 hour window as they claim they will do.

    IamBigBrother could also improve its product by adding a search option when viewing the logged files to make your reviewing easier. Additionally, viewing would be much easier if the logs were better spaced.

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    Conclusion

    IamBigBrother is far more limited than some of its competitors. IamBigBrothe is buggy and technical support appears to be non-existent. IamBigBrother is a cheap product, and in this case, you certainly get what you pay for.

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    Related Products

    Golden Eye, SpyAgent, Net Nanny