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SentryPC Review

By
Adam C. Uzialko
,
business.com writer
| Updated
Jun 24, 2019
Home
> Technology
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For the small business on a budget, SentryPC offers a user-friendly solution without the bells, whistles and learning curve that accompany many platforms. It is an affordable option that doesn't skimp on the core employee monitoring features we looked for in our review. It is cloud-based, making it easy to implement and maintain. It displays all employee activity in one central location, and its simple search features prevent an overwhelming flood of unstructured data.

SentryPC

SentryPC

The Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2019

The Verdict

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

See all of our reviews and recommendations for employee monitoring software on our best picks page.

SentryPC is somewhat limited in scope compared to the more comprehensive platforms in our review, but it includes all the features a small business needs to ensure its employees are on-task and productive. It also includes some tools to prevent data loss or theft. Best of all, it is an inexpensive and easily implemented solution. For these reasons, SentryPC is our best pick for employee monitoring software for small businesses.

Pricing

SentryPC uses a per-device licensing system that is billed annually. Each device you need to monitor requires a license for installing a SentryPC agent. Each license provides access to the full functionality of the software for that specific device. Each plan offers access to all SentryPC's features and tools, although higher tiers offer more screenshots. Still, even businesses that subscribe to the basic plan will have access to the full employee monitoring software.

  • Basic plan: One license, up to 500 screenshots. $59.95 per year and $19.95 per year for each additional license.
  • Business 50: 50 licenses, up to 500 screenshots. $995 per year and $19.90 per year for each additional license.
  • Business 100: 100 licenses, up to 1,000 screenshots. $1,595 per year and $15.95 per year for each additional license.
  • Business 250: 250 licenses, up to 1,000 screenshots. $2,995 per year and $11.98 per year for each additional license.
  • Business 500: 500 licenses, up to 2,000 screenshots. $3,995 per year and $7.99 per year for each additional license.
  • Business 1,000: 1,000 licenses, up to 2,000 screenshots. $4,995 per year and $4.99 per year for each additional license.

Features

Activity Monitoring

One of the most crucial parts of SentryPC's activity monitoring is the real-time activity alerts. If a user attempts to access a blocked activity or violates policies outlined in the administrative settings, the software flags the action, logs it in the central admin dashboard and alerts admins by email. Alert logs can be downloaded, viewed and sorted by user, device, type, activity or timestamp.

The activity monitoring screen resembles a typical email inbox and lists all relevant activity by all users, clearly displaying the username and computer, as well as the type of activity and a timestamp. The details displayed vary by tool. These tools include the following:

  • Applications: This tab shows which applications a user launched and at what time. It allows you to monitor which software the employee uses frequently and determine whether it has to do with work.
  • Chats: This tool shows you any chats the user has engaged in, along with a timestamp, the sender, the messenger applications used and a transcript of the conversation.
  • Clipboards: This allows you to see any text a user copies to the Windows clipboard, along with a timestamp.
  • Events: The events tool tracks a user's specific actions and compiles them into a simple overview. Data captured by other tools appears here in what is essentially a timeline of user activity.
  • Files: SentryPC grants administrators full visibility into the files stored on any monitored device. It also tracks events such as downloads, uploads, newly created files, opened files and edited files.
  • Keystrokes: A keystroke logger is useful for tracking everything a user does on their keyboard. For example, if a user enters the search query "new dress shoes" in Google, admins can see this not only in the web activity tracker, but also in the keystroke logger, which identifies the date, time and location where the user typed the query.
  • Locations (IP): SentryPC tracks each device's IP address and determines the geographic location from which a user connects to the internet, so you'll always know exactly where your employees are and when.
  • Portable drives: SentryPC tracks and timestamps any time a portable drive is inserted into a monitored device.
  • Print jobs: SentryPC can also track and timestamp print jobs. When a user sends a file to print, SentryPC logs the complete pathway.
  • Screenshots: SentryPC supports the storage of up to 500 screenshots of user activity, which are taken at random intervals during an employee's work time. Each screenshot includes the date and time and is searchable by user or device.
  • Sessions: Admins can see a breakdown of active and inactive time for every session, making it clear which users are engaged and productive. Every session breakdown is timestamped and dated.
  • Websites: SentryPC tracks all webpage activity by a user on a monitored device, recording the websites visited, how long they were open, the amount of time a user was engaged with each website, and the date and time they were accessed.
  • Windows: The Windows activity monitoring tool shows any new windows a user opens. This data is sortable by user, device, timestamp and window title.

Content Filtering

Content-filtering tools allow administrators to limit which applications and websites employees can access and when. With SentryPC, content filtering takes just a few clicks and can be set by hours and days. So, if employees are free to use their devices for non-work purposes outside of work, but you want to ensure they don't do so during work hours, you can easily tailor the users’ parameters accordingly.

You can also monitor keywords or phrases and tailor the system to alert the user when a blocked keyword or phrase has been entered. Or you can merely instruct SentryPC to log it in the activity monitoring module. Website filtering works in much the same way and allows administrators to filter websites by broad categories as well as by specific URLs.

Reporting and Management

The reporting tools are a strong suit for SentryPC, offering admins several ways to view all the data captured by the activity monitoring tools. Reports include the most frequent alerts triggered by users, so you can see which violations are most common amongst your employees. Other reports include the top used applications or chat tools. Admins also have the option to review device status reports, which show the current status of every monitored device so you can quickly identify any significant changes or threats. Finally, the chart creator allows you to create visualizations of the data each tool logged.

Management features include a time-management tool that allows admins to set maximum work hours on a daily and weekly basis, alerting users when they're approaching their maximum time. You can also set an alert period: For example, you can create an automatic alert for 15 minutes before an employee hits their time cap. You can configure each user differently, which is especially useful for managing freelancer budgets.

Confirmation Mode vs. Silent Mode

When you install SentryPC, you can keep it in confirmation mode, which shows users they're being monitored. This transparent mode is a good choice if you have contractors or freelancers who will only be tracked or monitored while they work on your projects. For in-house employees, you can run the program on silent mode.

SentryPC Customer Support

SentryPC offers customer support for technical issues through a ticket system. Unfortunately, there is no phone line or live chat channel for technical support. Luckily, SentryPC has an integrated support section built into the software. This support tool includes documentation that helps you install the program, troubleshoot any issues and engage in self-guided learning about the finer points of the software. Overall, customer support is limited with SentryPC, but it is available in the event you encounter serious problems.

Limitations

SentryPC's major limitation is its tech support. While the company provides a great deal of documentation and plenty of how-to guides, your company is mostly on its own to figure out the finer points. If tech support is urgently needed, it can be difficult to contact the company and get an immediate response.

Editor's Note: Looking for an employee monitoring solution that will help you ensure your employees are on task and productive? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you with more information.

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SentryPC

SentryPC

The Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2019

The Verdict

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

Adam C. Uzialko
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.