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The Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2019

Adam C. Uzialko, Writer
June 17, 2019

Employee monitoring software offers a comprehensive window into employee activities on company devices. This type of software can monitor web browsing, track applications and generally keep tabs on what employees are doing on the clock. The best employee monitoring software includes features like remote viewing of employee sessions, screenshots and keystroke logging. Administrators are often given a great deal of latitude when setting rules and policies; when these are violated, the software will typically generate a notification and record the monitored violation for review.

In our digital world, more employees work on company devices or complete work remotely. Employee monitoring software grants you the transparency to ensure your workers are trustworthy and productive. Choosing the right monitoring software can be a difficult task though, so Business News Daily reviewed the industry's leading software solutions and selected best picks to make your buying journey easier.  

Best Picks

Best Employee Monitoring Software Overall

Teramind
Pricing: Starts at $60 per user, per month.

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Small Businesses

SentryPC
Pricing: Starts at $59.95 per year, plus $19.95 per year for each additional license.

Best Free Employee Monitoring Software

ActivTrak
Pricing: Limited free version; paid version starts at $7.20 per user, per month.

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Content Filtering

ContentProtect
Pricing: One-time licensure fee of $39.99 per license, with a five-license minimum.

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Internet Management

SoftActivity Monitor
Pricing: One-time licensure fee of $189.99 for three licenses.

Editor's note: Looking for an employee monitoring solution for your business? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

What to Expect in 2019

Employee monitoring is a sensitive subject, and there are varying rules and regulations from state to state. The activity you can monitor is often dependent on whether the device is company owned or employee-owned, whether employees work onsite or remotely, and what type of information you are trying to capture. Federal law is relatively lenient, but many states are implementing restrictions on exactly what type of data employers can collect. Keeping tabs on these in 2019 will continue to be an important factor in how companies craft employee monitoring policies.  

Some states, like Delaware and Connecticut, already require employers to notify employees when they are monitoring email or web activity. Others, including Colorado and Tennessee, maintain added protections for public employees. Some states also regulate what kinds of data companies collect; email communications might be okay, for example, but capturing biometric data requires the employee's knowledge and consent. Understanding your state laws, as well as whether any new legislation or legal proceedings are likely in 2019, is critical to ensuring your implementation of employee monitoring software doesn't backfire and trigger a lawsuit.  

Further complicating the issue is the increasing tendency for employees to bring their own devices to work. Federally, employers have a great deal of latitude to monitor their own devices operating on their own network. But what about when freelance or remote employees start using their own devices? This case is a little less clear, and experts recommend the cautious crafting of a policy that requires employees to consent to limited data capture and monitoring (with explicit mentions of which data would be captured and for what business purposes) prior to using their own device. Failure to consent to this policy should come with a requirement for that user to work on a company-owned device instead. 

Our Methodology

To help you find the best employee monitoring software, we researched and analyzed dozens of companies. Here is a roundup of our 2019 best picks and an explanation of how we chose them.

Locating the Best Services

We began our review of employee monitoring software by compiling a list of several dozen companies. This list consisted of companies on our current vendor list, those who had reached out to us asking to be reviewed plus other vendors we learned about.

Choosing the Best Services

With this initial list in hand, next, we combed through company websites, customer reviews and other online review publications before narrowing our list of candidates down to a dozen finalists.

Researching Each Service

After reviewing websites and reviews, we then compared companies against more detailed criteria to narrow the list further.  We downloaded free trial software and reviewed video tutorials and training materials to determine how the software performed and what features were available. Our criteria included evaluating the ease of use of the software, the pricing, the activity monitoring features available to business owners and technical support.

Our Best Picks

After reviewing all these factors, we selected five of the finalists as best picks: ActivTrak, ContentProtect, SentryPC, SoftActivity Monitor and Teramind.

Teramind

Best Employee Monitoring Software Overall

Summary

Teramind is comprehensive and intuitive employee monitoring software that includes all the essential features, like webpage and program tracking, keystroke monitoring, screenshots, and live chat monitoring. It is versatile and easy to use. Its price tag is on the high end among the software we reviewed, but the quality certainly justifies the price. If it's in your budget, Teramind will not only effectively keep tabs on your employees' behavior but make it easy for you to monitor it as well.
Read our full review of Teramind

SentryPC

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Small Businesses

Summary

SentryPC is our best pick for small businesses because it offers employee monitoring software at a competitive rate without cutting corners on features. It is easy to learn and use, and it includes the essential tools like email monitoring, inactivity alerts and data loss prevention measures. Its pricing model is unique in that it allows you to purchase one license on an annual basis and then additional licenses at a significantly discounted rate. Each license provides access to the full functionality of the software without restricting any features.
Read our full review of SentryPC

ActivTrak

Best Free Employee Monitoring Software

Summary

ActivTrak offers a free version of its software to monitor up to three users, making it a great option for very small businesses that want the capabilities of an employee monitoring software without paying for more than they need. ActivTrak is an intuitive program with a modern user interface and the most important features we looked for in our review. The paid version is inexpensive at $7.20 per user, per month. The paid version unlocks advanced features as well, including USB device detection, a security audit feature and a remote agent installer, all useful for administrators managing the platform. However, the free version has more than enough features for a small office to get started monitoring their employees and ultimately determine whether paying for an employee monitoring solution is worth the investment.
Read our full review of ActivTrak

ContentProtect Professional

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Content Filtering

Summary

ContentProtect Professional is our best pick for employee monitoring software specifically for filtering online content. Content filters warn users before they access questionable content or prohibit users from accessing specific content altogether. ContentProtect has a flexible and easy-to-use content filter that gives administrators a strong degree of control over the online content users can and cannot access. It also notifies administrators any time a user attempts to work their way around the filters to a blocked webpage.
Read our full review of ContentProtect Professional

SoftActivity Monitor

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Internet Management

Summary

SoftActivity Monitor is our best pick for employee monitoring software for internet management – not only for its useful activity monitoring and content filtering features, but also because of its productivity tools and useful reporting features. SoftActivity Monitor can monitor every facet of employees' online activities. It captures and logs web browsing, email, live chat and social media activity in an easy-to-review format. It also provides a real-time feed from a user's display to a central dashboard, allowing administrators to take a live look into employee behavior.
Read our full review of SoftActivity Monitor
Full List
Best Picks

Services

InterGuard

InterGuard's employee monitoring software aims to gauge productivity, as well as employee compliance with legal guidelines and company policy.

NetVizor

NetVizor focuses on keeping employees on task and productive. It monitors their web browsing, application usage, and social media platforms for distractions and time-wasting.

OsMonitor

OsMonitor offers admins insight into employees' screens in real time, as well as the ability to block specific content, such as unwanted websites or video games.

Pearl Echo.Suite

Pearl Echo.Suite is billed as web filtering and cybersecurity software that can run on desktops and mobile devices to monitor email, browsing, file transfers and more.

SafeSquid

SafeSquid is designed to monitor employee activity and protect networks against malicious software and preventable attacks. It is a scalable solution that can grow with your business.

Kickidler

Kickidler offers a real-time view into employee activity with a grid-style dashboard and a built-in time and attendance tool. The software also includes a data-centric reporting suite that provides an overview of the insights gathered by the software as it monitors each device. Admins can remotely take control of any monitored device directly from the dashboard. Kickidler offers a free trial and starts at $9.99 per user per month, with discounts available for longer-term subscriptions.

StaffCop

Internet and PC activity are both monitored using the features and tools provided by StaffCop. Additional security functions are also included.

VeriClock

Vericlock is a time-tracking software that primarily monitors employees' time on the clock and location. It employs GPS geotagging to monitor where your employees are clocking in and out from, which is useful for tracking mobile employees making deliveries or simply ensuring employees are where they claim to be. Vericlock also includes a snapshot system for verifying the employees are making continuous progress on whatever task they've been given.

Veriato Cerebral

Veriato Cerebral focuses on granting administrators visibility into employee activity, as well as control over what they can and cannot do online. It is a flexible system that allows you to tailor the parameters to your organization.

Websense Web Filter

Websense Web Filter by Forcepoint is focused on the online content filtering side of the employee monitoring equation, ensuring that employees do not access prohibited or time-wasting content while using company devices or during the workday.

Work Examiner

Work Examiner offers a 30-day free trial, one of the longest in our reviews. It includes surveillance and web usage controls, as well as time-tracking software for employee management.

WorkPuls

WorkPuls is time-tracking and employee monitoring software designed to be easy to learn and use. It keeps tabs on employee productivity and helps manage scheduling and workload.

CleverControl

CleverControl is cloud-based employee monitoring software with quick and easy installation and the essential tools for ensuring productivity and adherence to company policy.

CurrentWare

CurrentWare employee monitoring software is designed to control internet access and filter content, as well as monitor employee browsing and software usage.

Cyclope

Cyclope offers employee monitoring software and activity analysis, which helps admins contextualize the data the software captures.

Hubstaff

Hubstaff focuses heavily on time management and employee scheduling, as well as employee monitoring, providing a useful solution for multiple HR roles.
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ActivTrak

ActivTrak from Birch Grove Software is an affordable employee monitoring solution that includes a free version suitable for small businesses with just a few users. It is out best pick for free employee monitoring software.
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ContentProtect Professional

Employee monitoring software is often considered for its activity monitoring features – those aspects which allow administrators to watch and review user behavior and productivity on company time.
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SentryPC

SentryPC is our best pick for employee monitoring software for small businesses because it combines affordability with important features, such as email monitoring, inactivity alerts and tools to prevent data breaches.
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SoftActivity Monitor

SoftActivity Monitor is our best pick for employee monitoring software for internet management because of its effective features that track and restrict which websites your employees visit, as well as the content they download or upload.
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Teramind

Teramind is our pick for the best employee monitoring software overall because it has all the tools you need to engage in effective employee monitoring from a variety of angles. Teramind supports many devices and includes advanced features for data loss prevention.

iMonitor EAM

Designed to protect company data and ensure employee productivity and adherence to company policy, iMonitor EAM gives admins access to a central dashboard that oversees the entire staff ecosystem.

Editor's note: Looking for an employee monitoring solution for your business? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Adam C. Uzialko
Adam C. Uzialko, Writer

Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in political science and journalism and media studies. He reviews healthcare information technology, call centers, document management software and employee monitoring software. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and Business.com, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.