Advertisement Safe Eyes review

Simon Handby
30 Oct 2010
Safe Eyes
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Although not the worst parental control software, Safe Eyes is comparatively expensive and isn't foolproof.


Safe Eyes is a parental control package that we haven't seen before. Its installer is very similar McAfee Family Protection's and, it must be activated before use. When reinstalling both packages we managed to forget our passwords and needed to re-request them. In both cases, the password was simply emailed to us in plain view, which is far from ideal.

A single internet account is created for all users who must log on to it (or another account you subsequently create) before they can access the web. Fortunately, Safe Eyes' similarity to the McAfee software ends at the administration interface. Instead of Family Protection's confusing and extensive layout, there's a less cluttered screen that's easier to follow. Users are assigned levels of protection for several key categories such as web sites, instant messaging, games and social networking. If you want to keep things simple you just choose the setting you want for each; typically a choice of low, medium or high.

The default web setting is medium, producing results that weren't ideal. Several self-harm and drug sites were missed while obscene searches weren't blocked. Using ‘high’ blocked several sites that were missed before but also prevented access to legitimate sites such as It also still allowed obscene searches, despite the Enable Safe Search option being checked. Investigation revealed that this feature did block searches on, but not identical ones on – quite an omission for UK customers. Fortunately, the filters don't allow users to visit unsuitable sites contained in the results.

While Safe Eyes can block a child's access to online games, it doesn't have the more sophisticated support for age rating seen in Net Nanny. There are other odd limitations, too. While it's easy to create a schedule for internet access, you can't do the same for other features such as program blocking. Oddly, while our test PC was correctly configured for Greenwich Mean Time, Safe Eyes was working on the USA and Canada's Eastern Time.

This is one of the most expensive parental control packages we’ve seen, but it feels a little rough around the edges. While it's better than McAfee Family Protection it can't compete with Net Nanny, which is cheaper.



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