When it comes to features, all three products provide the core functions of Web filtering (with editable filter lists), chat monitoring, IM (instant messaging) port blocking, and email blocking. Net Nanny and CYBERsitter also provide newsgroup blocking, which MaxProtect does not.
MaxProtect has a number of additional features that Net Nanny does not include though. With MaxProtect you can also get pop-up blocking, predator blocking, and personal information blocking. CYBERsitter offers the most comprehensive feature set though. In addition to the features of both Net Nanny and MaxProtect, CYBERsitter also monitors or filters FTP transfers and provides the ability to block custom TCP ports.
Another unique facet of MaxProtect is the way it captures screen shots and shuts down offending applications. If a policy is violated, such as using inappropriate language in a chat session or searching for objectionable material in a web browser, MaxProtect will save the screen image of the violation, providing visual proof of the incident so parents can gauge what went on, and then it will automatically shut down the program to ensure the activity is stopped.
Net Nanny stands out in both a negative and a positive way. On the negative side, it is the only product of the three that does not include the functionality to install or run the software in stealth mode. Some parents may wish to run the software without their children knowing about it, which would require keeping the files and processes hidden. Net Nanny can be configured to not display an icon in the Systray, but it does not offer the ability to run completely hidden.
On the positive side, Net Nanny has the most comprehensive reporting features of the three products. Net Nanny provides the ability for parents to view the reports remotely, and is the only product of the three to offer graphical reports which can help parents to understand the data easier.
Arguably the best feature of all though is Net Nanny’s override capabilities. While the other two products filter and block web sites, Net Nanny provides the ability to override the block and visit the site anyway. Users can be granted the ability to override site blocks themselves, or the ability to send an override request to the Administrator (or parents as the case may be). ##br#