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SentryPC Review

Lori Fairbanks
Lori Fairbanks

SentryPC is the best employee monitoring software for small businesses because it's affordable, with no user minimums and annual subscription rates that many small businesses may find manageable. It's also easy to use, with a strong feature set that includes content filtering, website and application monitoring that takes random screenshots of user screens, and keylogging, which captures everything your employees type, including chats and emails. 

SentryPC

SentryPC

The Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2020

The Verdict

SentryPC is our pick as the best monitoring solution for small businesses because it's affordable with no user minimums and has essential tools like inactivity alerts, content filtering, keystroke logging and random screen capture.

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To understand how we selected our best picks, visit our best picks page to find our methodology and a list of the 28 other employee monitoring software applications we considered. 

Pricing

Although many good employee monitoring software applications have seemingly affordable rates of about $10 per user, per month, plans often have minimum user requirements that drive up the total cost. For a small business with few employees, it can be difficult to find the right product. 

SentryPC solves that problem by eliminating user minimums; small businesses can purchase a single license for a flat annual rate. Each additional license is steeply discounted from the initial rate as well, making it a scalable solution that won't cut too deeply into a small business's budget. 

Here's what it costs. 

  • Basic Plan: $59.95 per year for one license and storage for up to 500 screenshots. Each additional license costs $19.95 per year.

  • Business 50: $995 per year for 50 licenses and storage for up to 500 screenshots. Each additional license costs $19.90 per year.

  • Business 100: $1,595 per year for 100 licenses and storage for up to 1,000 screenshots. Each additional license costs $15.95 per year.

  • Business 250: $2,995 per year for 250 licenses and storage for up to 1,000 screenshots. Each additional license drops down to $11.98 per year.

  • Business 500: $3,995 per year for 500 licenses and storage for up to 2,000 screenshots. Each additional license costs $7.99 per year.

  • Business 1,000: $4,995 per year for 1,000 licenses and storage for up to 2,000 screenshots. Each additional license costs $4.99 per year.

  • Additional screenshots: With any SentryPC plan, you can always add an extra 500 screenshots for a one-time cost of $19.95. 

Editor's note: Looking for information on employee monitoring software? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.

 

 

Activity Monitoring Features

SentryPC offers a host of tools and features for monitoring employee behavior and activity, such as recording an employee's internet browsing history and live chat sessions, tracking any transferred files, and noting the physical location of monitored devices. 

Here's more about  SentryPC's monitoring tools: 

  • Alerts: Real-time alerts notify admins of misbehavior. If the designated admin doesn't see the alert until well after it is triggered, SentryPC thoroughly documents the incident, using screenshots for easy review after the fact.

  • Applications: The applications tab shows which applications a user launched and at what time. This allows you to monitor which software is frequently used and determine if it is work related.

  • Chats: Admins can view any chats the user has engaged in, along with a time stamp, the sender, the messenger applications used and a transcript of the conversation.

  • Clipboards: Admins can see any material copied to the clipboard, along with a time stamp.

  • Content filtering: Admins can block applications, games, instant messaging apps, and websites by category and user-defined URLs.

  • Events: The events tool is essentially an overview of how a user operates the computer, disclosing user actions such as printing, opening new browser windows or navigating to a particular website as well as idle time.

  • Files: Admins can see when files are created, deleted, copied, printed or renamed, along with a corresponding time stamp.

  • Keystrokes: This tool logs and displays a user's keystrokes, noting the program, the time, and a transcript of what was written. For example, if a user writes down a phone number in a Word document, administrators see what keystrokes occurred in Microsoft Word at the given date and time.

  • Locations (IP): The IP-tracking tool follows your users' devices and logs their latitude and longitude, identifying the city they are in and giving you the option of viewing the location on a map. This helps you verify that your employees are where they're supposed to be during work hours and can also help you track down the computer if it's lost or stolen.

  • Portable drives: The software tracks when any portable drives, like thumb drives, are inserted into a monitored device.

  • Print jobs: When a user sends a file to print, SentryPC logs the complete pathway, including file name and time stamp.

  • Screenshots: Admins can access screenshots from any monitored device, storing up to 500 screenshots in the archive. Each screenshot is time stamped, and can sorted by both user and device.

  • Sessions: This tool tracks active and idle time, showing just how engaged a user was. Each session is logged with a time stamp.

  • Websites: Any websites a user visits on a monitored device are tracked by username and device. The software times the duration of website visits, and records the date and time that the site was accessed. 

SentryPC Pros 

SentryPC offers several useful reporting features, including a breakdown of all the top alerts that occur, which allows admins to review general user activity as well as more specific activity, such as the most frequently used applications or chat tools. Reports can be customized so you identify and analyze the usage data that's important to you. SentryPC provides device status reports that monitor the health of all the computers that are licensed and synced with the software. 

Time-management tools allow administrators to set maximum hours of work on a daily and weekly basis, making SentryPC a safeguard or backup to time and attendance tools to ensure employees don't work overtime. Admins can also set an alert period. For example, they can create an automatic alert a half-hour before an employee hits their time limit. Settings for each user can be configured differently, which is especially useful when managing freelancer budgets and remote workers in different time zones. 

SentryPC gives you the option of using the application secretively or transparently. If you are monitoring employees on company devices, enabling stealth mode allows you to run the SentryPC agent behind the scenes so users are unaware they are being monitored. 

However, if you allow employees to bring their personal computers to work, or if you frequently work with freelancers, you will likely need consent to monitor them when they're on the clock. Confirmation mode explicitly shows users when they are being tracked, and it tracks their time on the clock. In this mode, the program ceases to monitor activity on the user's device when the software is exited. Stealth mode, on the other hand, constantly runs in the background of the device, monitoring all activity in perpetuity. 

SentryPC is cloud-based, so you can access your account from any device with a browser. It has an attractive, intuitive dashboard with a menu bar along the left side of the screen that makes it easy to set up your monitoring parameters and view employee activity. 

You can manually install SentryPC on company computers, or you can install it remotely via email, or using LAN/network shares or logon scripts, which makes it a viable option for small businesses with remote employees. 

SentryPC Cons

For an inexpensive employee monitoring software, SentryPC delivers a high level of functionality. Its major limitation, however, is tech support. 

While the company provides a great deal of documentation and how-to guides, it leaves users to figure out the finer points of the software on their own. If tech support is needed, customers must use a ticket system. For urgent issues, customers could be left waiting some time for a response as support isn't available by phone or live chat. 

Customer Support

SentryPC hosts an integrated support section with documentation to assist you with installing the program, troubleshooting or learning more about how the software works. Of course, you can always contact the company directly, and the online ticket system is generally the best method to reach SentryPC's support team, but it could take some time to receive a response. Simple, immediate issues are best resolved by referring to the documentation provided within the software. 

Ready to choose an employee monitoring software solution? Check out the rest of our coverage:

 

Editor's note: Looking for information on employee monitoring software? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.

 

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
SentryPC

SentryPC

The Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2020

The Verdict

SentryPC is our pick as the best monitoring solution for small businesses because it's affordable with no user minimums and has essential tools like inactivity alerts, content filtering, keystroke logging and random screen capture.

Visit Site
Lori Fairbanks
Lori Fairbanks,
Business News Daily Writer
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Lori Fairbanks has years of experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she worked as a magazine editor and then as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and a medical university. She now writes about small business finance, including accounting software, credit card processing and point-of-sale systems for business.com and Business News Daily.