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Q: Looking for Remote Surveillance Programs without Spyware ( Answered 2 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Looking for Remote Surveillance Programs without Spyware
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: elenafox-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 08 Aug 2005 00:27 PDT
Expires: 07 Sep 2005 00:27 PDT
Question ID: 552949
I have searched for reviews on remote surveillance spyware such as
RealTime Spy, NetVizor, Spybuddy, etc.  Most of the reviews on the web
seem to be biased and are written by the vendors.  Can someone
recommend a good surveillance program that simply does it's job
(logging computer activity) without containing additional
spyware/trojans/tracking devices, etc.
Subject: Re: Looking for Remote Surveillance Programs without Spyware
Answered By: landog-ga on 08 Aug 2005 01:35 PDT
Rated:2 out of 5 stars
The first step in finding a reliable activity monitoring software
review would be to find a reliable review website or online magazine.
I have noticed that some software vendors quote very dubious
quotations from reputable sites like ZDNET or PC Magazine - as if
these sites have actually reviewed the software.
Also, with some humor, the same person quoted as a pleased customer is
actually saying the exact things about 2 different named products. For
M. Jordan says the exact same things about Actom
( as he says about
iOpus STARR software:
The products may be identical but the quotations have been somewhat
'doctored'. Other sites with 'reviews' have ceased to exist and cannot
be resolved by DNS.

Another thing to look out for is software vendors quoting 'reviews'
from Download sites like Download.Com or ZDNET.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that anyone, including software vendors,
can post a stellar review of software on the various download sites.

One Program I have used myself and was very pleased with is PC
Activity Monitor Net v5.1. I found it performed as stated
and did not come with any malware/spyware etc.
I used it after reading a review on Geek.Com, a website that I fairly
trust for unbiased reviews:
"PC Activity Monitor Net is a great system administrator/power user
level application. Personally, I would not let regular consumer level
PC users try it initially, not without a lot of training and
explanation. It is an excellent way to monitor all PC activity on any
user machine.
This is good for the security-conscious admin at small through
enterprise level companies. It also works well for the parents who
wonder what Junior has been doing on the PC while Mom and Dad weren't

Another website that has a very high trustworthy reputation factor is
You can read 4 reviews on Activity Monitoring software (IamBigBrother,
Spector Pro, PC Tattletale and eBlaster):,1759,1619184,00.asp

Sites such as claim to : "
you make a better decision on your purchase of computer spy software,
internet spy software, key loggers, anti spyware and other PC
monitoring programs.
Our spy software experts individually review each spyware program and
rate them according to performance,
functionality, speed, stealth and overall performance. "
But further examination shows that they do not actually review the
various software, but tend to cut & paste each software's features and
then put them up in a quick comparison chart.


Request for Answer Clarification by elenafox-ga on 08 Aug 2005 14:31 PDT
Thank you for replying!

My question was for remote surveillance software and the one you
recommend, "PC Activity Monitor" does not seem to have the remote
feature and neither do several of the other programs mentioned in the
first two links. Do you know of any remote surveillance (must feature
remote install or it would not be remote) that is free of spyware and
cannot be traced from the receiving end?  I have read spysoftware
review you are right it seems very biased.

Also wondering if you might be able to answer my other question about

Clarification of Answer by landog-ga on 08 Aug 2005 23:30 PDT
Regarding the remote functionality - I was thinking more on the line
of reporting to a remote location via email etc.

You want to install the software from a remote location: What type of
connection do you have to the computer you want the software installed
upon? Does it have a firewall, anti-spyware or antiviris software
insalled? Is it via the internet or on your LAN? Does the computer
belong to a family member?

It may very well be illegal to remotely install such software on
someone elses PC in that method.

Request for Answer Clarification by elenafox-ga on 09 Aug 2005 01:19 PDT
The computers I wish to install it on have McFee antivirus and Windows
firewalls. Although they are not my computers they are under my
authority as I am responsible for communications involving several
subdivisions of the company I work for.  I could probably use VPN to
install but thought it might be easier to use the internet such as
emailing an attachment. Thank you!

Clarification of Answer by landog-ga on 09 Aug 2005 02:31 PDT
Hello Again,
I cannot recommend any software that has a built in remote
installation procedure similar to Trojan horse' type of code, that
would be activated by social engineering techniques or the likes
(which personally I deem unlawful):

If you have full administration rights to the PCs you want to install
monitoring software I would think you should be able to perform a
remote logon to these PCs and start the installation procedure. You
can use a network or shared drive that contains the installation file
or files.

Another issue you want to keep in mind is opening up your firewall
ports to enable the monitoring logs to be sent. The specific software
will tell you which ports to open. So keep in mind if you do not have
remote access to remotely configure the firewall ports - you are going
to have to physically access the PCs you want to monitor.

Let me know if I can help you clarify more.

Clarification of Answer by landog-ga on 10 Aug 2005 02:43 PDT
I think I did answer your initial question.

But I cannot and will not go into methods of how "to use the internet
such as emailing an attachment' to install monitoring software.
Especially when you claim that the "computers they are under my
authority as I am responsible for communications involving several
subdivisions of the company I work for"

elenafox-ga rated this answer:2 out of 5 stars
Good research but my intent or administrative rights are irrelevant to
the question at hand.  I was specifically seeking remote surveillance
software not containing any viruses and although the researcher has
been fast and friendly he is avoiding the main question.

Subject: Re: Looking for Remote Surveillance Programs without Spyware
From: pineyrules-ga on 15 Aug 2005 23:30 PDT
Actually, the researcher is "avoiding the main question" in order to
not help you possibly perform an illegal activity.

If the company you work for is large enough for subdivisions, surely
it has an IT person who can install such monitoring under the
direction of the owner?

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