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Teramind Review

Best Employee Monitoring Software Overall

A Business News Daily Review

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After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend Teramind as our overall best pick for employee monitoring software. To understand how we selected this and our other best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of employee monitoring software on our best picks page.

Employee monitoring software is an increasingly important tool for employers everywhere. As more employees require internet connections and as more workers operate remotely, keeping tabs on employee activity becomes more critical. Not only does employee monitoring software help you ensure your team remains on task and productive, it also helps to bolster your security against inside threats, whether its risky behavior or the theft of company data. To effectively monitor every device on your network, you'll need an employee monitoring software package that covers all the bases.

Teramind is our pick for the best employee monitoring software solution because it goes beyond the core features we looked for to provide a truly comprehensive solution that is easy to learn and use. Whether you need to track employee web browsing, messaging, software usage, file transfers or productivity, Teramind has got you covered and then some. It is on the more expensive end of the price range for employee monitoring software, but it's well worth the cost.

With Teramind, you get what you pay for. The rate per user per month is higher than many of the other monitoring solutions we reviewed, but the system's comprehensiveness and usability make the expense worthwhile – if you have the room in your budget.

Teramind requires a minimum of five users at a rate of $12 per user per month. Considering the minimum-user threshold, this means Teramind starts at $60 per month. There are, however, opportunities for discounted rates if you purchase licenses for several users.

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.

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With Teramind, there are three types of plans, each of which can be implemented as a cloud-based solution or an on-premises solution. Price varies somewhat across each plan type, and each type offers a slightly different set of features.

  • Teramind Starter: The Teramind starter package includes access to the core employee monitoring features you'll need to ensure your employees are behaving as they should. These include website monitoring and application tracking, as well as admin remote control capabilities. You'll also have limited access to some behavioral analytics and policy management tools at the starter level. For the cloud-based version, Teramind requires a minimum of five users for a total of $60 per month. For the on-premises version, Teramind requires 10 endpoints at $60 per month, plus the option to add a server for an additional $180 per month.
  • Teramind UAM: Teramind UAM offers the same great employee monitoring software as the starter plan and adds activity monitoring tools such as file transfer monitoring, keystroke logging, print monitoring and optical character recognition (OCR), which can read the text on a user's screen and flag suspicious or prohibited behavior. For the cloud-based version, Teramind requires a minimum of five users for a total of $125 per month. For the on-premises version, Teramind requires a minimum of 10 endpoints for $125 per month, with the option to add a terminal server for an additional $375 per month.
  • Teramind DLP: Teramind's data loss prevention package includes all the employee monitoring features of the starter and UAM packages, as well as tools to prevent the loss or theft of sensitive company data due to negligence or malicious internal activity. Teramind DLP also includes compliance tools to ensure your company meets the legal standards set out by laws like HIPAA and GDPR. For the cloud-based version, Teramind DLP requires a minimum of five users for a total of $150 per month. For the on-premise version, Teramind DLP requires a minimum of 10 endpoints at $150 per month, plus the option to add a terminal server for an additional $450 per month.

Teramind's pricing is listed on the company's website, which shows exactly what your subscription cost would be based on the number of users you plan to monitor. To a base monthly estimate for obtaining a license for multiple users, use Teramind's pricing tool.

Teramind offers a long list of effective features for monitoring employee actions and responding to (or preventing) violations of company policy. Like most leading employee monitoring software solutions, Teramind has both a stealth mode and a freelancer mode.

Depending on your specific needs, Teramind can run silently so your employees are unaware the agent has been installed on their device, or it can run out in the open either as a deterrent to misbehavior or as a tool for part-time and freelance workers who use their personal devices.

Teramind's huge slate of activity monitoring tools keep administrators fully apprised of employee activity. The software can also flag anomalous behavior or high-risk activity when the administrator is not actively searching for it.

Here's a look at some of the tools Teramind uses to keep tabs on employees around the clock:

  • Webpages and applications: This tool reports on the software applications that are launched or webpages a user accesses during their session. Each component on the list is filterable and includes a video segment of the user accessing the program or webpage. A helpful bar graph displays the most frequently accessed applications and websites among active users. Preset classifications allow Teramind to determine whether a user is being productive or unproductive with their use of a particular application or webpage.
  • Emails: The email monitoring tool shows all incoming and outgoing emails, including content and attachments. Each instance is timestamped.
  • File transfers: All file transfers in or out are tracked, including local files, web files or those transferred with a removable device such as a USB drive. Again, each instance is timestamped and tagged with a video of the user's screen during the transfer.
  • Instant messaging: Similar to the email tool, the instant messaging tool monitors live chats across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and Slack. Admins can review the content of all chats as well as the participants and the date and time at which the chat occurred.
  • Keystrokes: The keystroke logger tracks everything a user types and notes where that activity occurred. For example, if a user Googles "cute cat pics," an admin can view the search along with the timestamp and a video clip.
  • Searches: The searches tool shows all online or offline searches conducted by users.
  • Printing: The printing tool shows all prints a user initiates on any printer they can connect to. A scanned copy of the printed document is saved for admin review.
  • Snapshots: Snapshots are taken in 10-minute increments and help admins review when an employee has been productive (or not). These screenshots are archived in an employee profile, and each can be reviewed as a complete 10-minute video file.

Teramind allows administrators to set various rules and policies that automate the employee monitoring process. These rules can flag or block any prohibited behavior and deliver warnings to users who might be running afoul of company policy. There are dozens of templates within the system for these settings, but if none appeal to your specific needs, you can build your own policies.

Behavioral alerts can be set for any of the activity monitoring tools, ensuring that no violation goes unnoticed, even if no admin is monitoring the system when the violation occurs. In addition to the alert, archiving measures let admins review the incident. Teramind is always on and always watching, even if you're not.

The behavioral rules and company policies can also be configured to automatically block certain activities. For example, if you don't want users sending personal emails or live chats during work hours, you can tailor the system to block access to the related platforms. You can also block certain webpages by setting filters to cover both general categories as well as specific sites. You can also restrict users' ability to use removable devices.

Teramind's reporting keeps administrators fully in the know, allowing them to review individual employees, groups and the organization as a whole from different angles. The software uses color-coded graphs and charts that are easy to understand at a glance.

Reports can be tailored to present the data in virtually any way that is useful to the admin. For example, one set of reports breaks down violations by department, showing where the most frequent or egregious offenses occur. Other reports show employee activity/inactivity time, illuminating which users are most productive.

Teramind includes a built-in risk analysis tool that can determine your organization's risk level based on the behavioral rules and policies you've set. This tool is especially useful for businesses operating in highly sensitive or regulated industries, such as the healthcare space, which is subject to federal HIPAA privacy laws. If employees' behavior is putting your business at risk, Teramind will alert you and help you tighten up user activity to prevent a potential disaster.

Teramind wraps its comprehensive features into a user-friendly and intuitive. With a modern interface and clean, organized layout, it doesn't take long to become familiar with the software.

To start, admins select the devices they want to monitor and install what is known as a Teramind "agent." The agent can be run in stealth or freelance mode; stealth mode keeps the software undetected in the background, while freelance mode notifies employees they are being monitored. If your employees are working on company devices and you want to secretly monitor their behavior, you would select stealth mode. However, if you work with freelancers or employees who use their own personal devices for work, freelance mode can allow you to monitor their on-the-clock behavior without intruding on their off-the-clock privacy. Once agents are installed, Teramind begins collecting data on every computer being monitored.

An overview of all the captured data flows through the central dashboard, which can be customized with a variety of widgets to prominently display whatever information is most important to your administrators. The default dashboard shows security metrics, productivity metrics and users that are currently online. Each widget can be viewed in more detail by clicking on the data displayed.

Available tools are displayed in a series of tabs on the left side of the screen. The tabs on this menu include monitoring, risk, productivity, behavior, employees, computers, configure and system, and you may see more or fewer depending on the Teramind package you selected. Most of the core employee monitoring features appear under the monitoring and productivity tabs, but it's relatively simple to find other tools with just a few clicks.  

In addition to FAQs and other resources on Teramind's website, the support team can be reached via phone, email and live chat. The company does not list available hours for the support, but a quick request through the website's live chat provided us with the answer. The tech support team is available 24/7/365, accessibility that's especially important for such a wide-ranging employee monitoring software solution.

Teramind's major limitation is its price, which might make it cost prohibitive to some smaller businesses. While the software easily justifies the price tag, businesses on a budget might not be able to absorb the cost, especially if they're monitoring several employees.

Also keep in mind that Teramind can't monitor employees' mobile devices. That means if your company issues smartphones or tablets to workers, Teramind won't be much help monitoring their activity on the go. Admins can, however, use mobile devices to access the tools to monitor employee activity.

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.

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

Adam C. Uzialko

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.