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This all speaks to a more fundamental question: Is your business investing in an employee monitoring tool primarily to improve productivity and efficiency? Or do you truly want or need full oversight into everything employees are doing and saying on company time and machines, to a meticulous degree of detail? Depending on your organizational needs and what value you're looking to gain from implementing this kind of solution, your choice of employee monitoring tool could be vastly different.

The range of software we tested varied from basic time trackers that offer some added employee monitoring to full-blown, data-driven digital surveillance systems. For example, Hubstaff, Time Doctor, and VeriClock are pure-play time tracking tools that offer some deeper employee monitoring features. These products give you great core time-tracking features plus features such as mobile GPS tracking for workers in the field. They also give you attached notes and photos, screenshots, or basic monitoring of apps used and URLs visited.


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These kinds of tools place an emphasis on measuring employee effectiveness, activity levels, and productivity. In these tools, you'll find app and website monitoring features plus screenshots, alerts, keystroke and file tracking, and broad admin customization. However, these capabilities are all positioned within the context of productivity. All of the data is funneled into reports and dashboards that focus monitoring on aggregating productivity metrics and insights-driven business reporting.

This is the "GA for your office" tier. Finally, there are the platforms that feel almost omniscient in the depth of monitoring, automation, and comprehensive data they provide. These tools are the closest to Big Brother-like internal surveillance systems, depending on how deeply an admin wants to customize what data and monitoring vectors are being tracked for each employee, or how much automation and alerting to layer on top.

On top of their far-reaching and scarily precise monitoring capabilities, this tier of tools also provide what is essentially full-blown business intelligence BI reporting and data analytics on the back end to process and analyze all of the employee data being collected. Pricing varies for all of these tools. But most employee monitoring tools set their price by the number of users or endpoints, meaning the number of employees for which agents are installed on their machines.

Costs tend to scale based on user capacity and volume discounts kick in for larger organizations. However, tools such as InterGuard and Veriato also offer additional add-on modules for premium functionality. If you're looking for software you can buy outright rather than via a monthly or annual subscription, then both StaffCop Enterprise and Work Examiner offer perpetual licenses per user, though this involves on-premises versus cloud-based installation.

Ultimately, the Editors' Choice awards for the products tested in this roundup went to Teramind for enterprise-level monitoring and to ActivTrak for productivity-focused monitoring that's better suited to small to midsize businesses SMBs. While InterGuard and Veriato have comparably vast feature sets and monitoring capabilities, Teramind stands alone in the level of automation admins can configure when it comes to user-specific rules and alerts, and additional advanced functionality such as live OCR, historic playback mode, remote desktop control, and audio support for microphone and headphone monitoring in call centers.

StaffCop Enterprise packs a selection of monitoring tools and automation features to match Teramind, but their value is lessened by a painstaking on-premises setup and virtual machine VM provisioning process as opposed to Teramind's seamless installation. Teramind also provides a more intuitive, cloud-based management user interface UI and user experience UX than either InterGuard or Veriato Teramind was also one of the easiest tools we tested to install agents, configure the admin dashboard, and get up and running fast without much hassle. ActivTrak, on the other hand, is an ideal option for SMBs or even enterprises that don't need the full-blown Big Brother oversight of Teramind and want an easy-to-use platform for tracking employee productivity and efficiency metrics.

It's a "Google Analytics for your office" and the best of the productivity-focused tier of monitoring products we reviewed. It is also worth noting that for the time tracking products reviewed in this roundup, we did not change the existing ratings or awards. So, while VeriClock is rated as a 4. In the future, we'll update our reviews as new features become available for each individual product.

So, as a living and breathing document, some of the tools listed today in this roundup may not be listed in a year, as scores may change and new products may be added to the roundup. As you try solutions, be sure to check in with us to see if any new software has been added to this roundup. Regardless of why your business needs this kind of software, employee monitoring tools should be handled with the utmost respect for privacy.

For admins, the power that accompanies this kind of software should necessarily surface concerns when it comes to handling confidential or personal data, overseeing managerial access rights over whom they can monitor, and maintaining a level of transparency as to what constitutes "work hours" and whether employees are aware they're being monitored. The vast majority of the tools in this roundup include strict access controls that allow managers and supervisors viewing admin dashboards to see only the employee profiles and monitoring data of workers they are directly managing and authorized to see.

When choosing an employee monitoring tool, another factor to consider is whether the software lets your business decide if the monitoring agents installed on company machines will be visible to employees, disguised under different app or process names or completely incognito. Some platforms let you turn agent visibility on and off and customize program names. However, in other platforms, a completely stealth agent is the default option. This is also a key factor depending on compliance laws.

In Europe, for instance, employers are required to notify employees if they are being monitored this isn't required in the US. So, while employee monitoring agents are intended in many cases to run as stealthy, blended-into-the-background processes, don't discount the ability to configure visibility and privacy settings when you're researching which product to buy.

Consider the case of remote or telecommuting workers. While an employer may say there is no expectation of privacy on company machines, how do you handle the monitoring of a remote worker who's off the clock but still using their company laptop? Teramind, for example, allows remote employees who have a revealed but not incognito agent to press Start and Stop so that monitoring only happens while the employee is on the clock. However, privacy features in these platforms should and do go beyond that. For example, DeskTime Pro and Time Doctor let admins choose whether to take regular or blurred screenshots to maintain more privacy.

StaffCop Enterprise and Teramind let you build monitoring policies, either for specific users or company-wide, that designate websites or apps you don't want to monitor. So, if an employee logs into their Chase account to check their bank balances, then the agent can suspend monitoring and keystroke logging so as not to record sensitive financial data.

The technology at work in employee monitoring tools can provide tremendous benefits to businesses through comprehensive oversight, data gathering, data reporting, and automation. When choosing the tool that's right for your organization, it's worth keeping Google's old slogan in mind while evaluating the monitoring features, customization, and powerful data gathering capabilities at your company's disposal: don't be evil. Smooth user experience. Full automation layer, including anomaly detection. Tracks keystrokes. Provides OCR on-screen recordings.

Privacy compliance and access control. Option to switch from stealth to revealed mode. Multiple deployment options including cloud and hosted environments. Cons: In-depth monitoring features can be complicated. Pros: Intuitive admin interface. Active Directory integration. Application monitoring. Two-factor authentication. Automated alerts. Google sign-in. Offer iOS app. Productivity tracking. Sensitive data redaction. User privacy features. Screenshot capability. Cons: Incapable of OCR for keyword search within screenshots.

Lacks keystroke logging.

It's a lot like Google Analytics with its analytics dashboard and a good fit for business operators and employees, and that's why we recommend ActivTrak as our Editors' Choice. Pros: Easy to understand and use. Affordable compared with the competition. Robust monitoring functionality. Tons of settings for administrators. Cons: Cannot schedule future time. Bare-bones user interface. Supports just 1 GB of storage space. Stopwatch doesn't show seconds. It's highly configurable and affordable and, although it had a few minor feature misses, it should still be a top contender for your short list.

Pros: Wide selection of add-on modules and features. Custom dashboards. Keyword alerts. File tracking. Chat app and social media monitoring. Keystroke logging. Powerful notification and report wizards. Extensive data sources. Audit logs. Mobile app. Cons: Compatibility issues and manual settings can make agent installation a hassle. Dated user interface.

Data takes some time to sync. Still, this is a muscled monitoring tool that's well worth a look. Pros: Robust employee monitoring functionality. Ability to create invoices from within the app. Ample integrations with services like Asana. Cons: Outdated user interface UI. Stopwatch feature needs desktop application or Chrome extension to work. Pros: Offers screenshot and keystroke monitoring.

Easy to add time to time sheets prior to shifts. Easy to schedule shifts for employees. Cons: No advanced tracking. Stopwatch requires a second app on the desktop. No IP address restrictions. Very basic reporting. Pros: Audio and video recording. Automated policies and triggers. Full OCR on documents and screenshots. Good reporting and data visualizations. Keyword tracking. Remote desktop control.

User vocabularies. Cons: On-premises server setup was maddeningly difficult. Requires virtual machine provisioning to access web dashboard. No cloud-based admin interface. Bottom Line: Once you get StaffCop Enterprise set up, it's among the most powerful employee monitoring software solutions available, packing a full range of data gathering, user tracking, and reporting tools. If not for its on-premises setup process, it would rival Teramind as a best-in-class tool. Pros: Full control over data collection. Screen capture with playback. Customized alerts and reports. Easy-to-use admin interface.

Automated behavior grouping, anomaly detection, and incident response. Productivity monitoring. Active Directory sync. Cons: All on-premises; currently no cloud-based option. It even shows you their recent locations along with the timestamps.

Now you have the power to record EVERYTHING they do!

Further, you can even set location boundaries on the map known as Geo Fence. You will be alerted when the user crosses these boundaries. There are several other features. However, it would be impractical for me to list all of them here. It always works to be hidden and undetectable. Here is how:. Spyic is undeniably the best phone monitoring solution I have found on the internet.


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  6. And it is not just me who thinks that. Spyic is already used by millions of users worldwide. Therefore, there must be something special about it. Well, actually, there are a lot of special things about Spyic. This is a golden advantage I have found in favour of Spyic. Rooting the phone compromises the security of the device. Therefore, I love that Spyic can operate without requiring root.

    Spyic can be used from any web browser from any device.

    All you need is an internet connection. Therefore, there is no more need of app installations on your systems just so you could view the results.

    Benefits of Using SpyAgent

    Spyic works through the Spyic dashboard which is extremely easy to use. All the features are just right there on the left of the dashboard. There is a dedicated tab given to each function. Hence, you no longer have to spend hours figuring out how to make it work.

    It operates within seconds. The installation process takes about five minutes to complete. Just how good is that? Spyic is the biggest phone spy brand present on the internet. Its huge user base and reputation in the market makes me want to trust it with my private data. Further, I have read about countless big names in the market talk good about Spyic. This clears any second doubts in the mind of the user. You could call them up at midnight and they would solve your query within minutes. Probably this is why no user just abandons it after using it once.

    Most users that use Spyic keep on ordering it. This is just a part of it. You can feel all the benefits when you use Spyic for yourself. Here is the free Spyic demo which you can try. If your mind has settled on Spyic already, you can get Spyic from here. Cocospy is another phone monitoring app that gives the closest competition to Spyic. Yet, if there is, Cocospy will surely seal the deal for you. Made by some of the most brilliant IT minds in the world, Cocospy is a very popular phone spy tool that is used by millions of users in over countries.

    It is so popular and awesome that many apps have even tried to copy its interface, but failed miserably.

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    Like Spyic, this app too works in stealth mode. The user will never find out that you are tracking them if you use Cocospy. The best part is that it can reach an extensive level of spying without needing to root the target device at all. Now, this is what I call perfection. For the rest of you who have already made up their mind, you can check this Cocospy review. SMS can often give vital clues about the person. Further, they can be helpful in getting OTPs that can be used to log into their social media accounts.

    The tradition of SMS is outdated. Especially when I can get Spyic which by the way also has a message monitor with a lot of additional features.

    5 Best Remote Cell Phone Spy Software Without Target Phone

    Further, if they are offering an authentic phone spy service, they should at least put more effort into their website. Onespy is an Android spy app aimed at providing phone monitoring solution for your kids or employees. It has a call record, WhatsApp spy, Location monitor, and few other helpful features. You also need to install their app on the target phone. You have to shell out so much if you want to use their app even once. This app requires you to root the target phone for some of its features to work.

    Surely a dealbreaker for me. Spybubble also known as The Spy Bubble is one of the best phone spy app specially targeted for people who doubt their spouse is cheating. It has a web based interface. You can use Spybubble no matter the type of target device iOS or Android. It can help you with Whatsapp monitoring, call monitoring, and a few other features. The installation is not that simple but they offer free online assistance during the installation. However, I would have preferred a simpler installation. While I can compromise with most other shortcomings, the major dealbreaker for me is that you have to root the target Android phone if you want Spybubble to work.

    With so many apps offering top-notch features without rooting, how far behind must this app be. Stealthgenie is a decent phone monitoring app. It can be used to keep an eye on your child or your spouse if you suspect them of cheating. It steals the data from the target phone and uploads it to the Stealthgenie servers. However, you have to install the Stealthgenie app on your phone or PC in order to monitor the results.

    Spytech SpyAgent Spy Software - Computer Monitoring Software for Parents and Employers

    It charges high and you have to subscribe to it at least for a whole year. Hellospy can be used to monitor text messages, calls, and social media chats of any user. It can work for both — Android and iOS. It functions in a similar manner to most Android tracking tools. Install the app on the target Android phone and you are good to spy on it. The major downside of this tool is its interface. I found it to be very dull and boring and stopped using it only after a few minutes. Had I used it any longer, I probably would have fallen asleep.

    Guestspy is a phone spy app that can be used to monitor the SMS or Internet activity of any user. It is available for Android as well as iPhones. It can capture instant messages, phone call logs, and social media messages of any user. It also has an ambient listening feature which can hear the surroundings of the device. There are a few other features as well. It is not that bad, considering the features and its design. However, the pricing plans are not really suited for every pocket. While the plans are divided into three sections, the two basic plans which are affordable miss out on most of its features.

    Therefore, if you want to make full use of it, you would have to spend heavily on its most expensive plan. Spyhuman is aimed at tracking the phone activities of your underage child. Therefore, all its features are focussed on that aspect. It is more of a restrictive app than a spying app. You can use it to restrict the access to certain websites and applications for your child which can also be accomplished by Spyic and Cocospy while giving out other features.

    The good thing is that it does not require root.