Jump through hoops with little return

Presents hurdles to simple operation that make ID Computer Spy more trouble than it's worth.

No matter the promises, not every piece of software can operate with every system configuration. ID Computer Spy is one such application. Our testers had difficulty getting this monitoring software to work. Installation is promising, although the program doesn't allow users to direct it to a less obvious folder than Program Files. The configuration interface is clean and easy to comprehend. It just isn't an application made to install and forget until needed.

Testers complained that installation options to set Quick Launch and Start Menu items weren't followed. Neither did the application always load after install. That could easily confuse novice users. Separate applications start logging and set program configuration. The former noticeably slowed systems when loading and unloading, but most won't notice the slowness while the application logs activity.

The usual items are logged, with keyboard activity, screenshots, and Web sites saved. It also notes the access and printing of select document types, and saves limited e-mail activity, including subject and time sent. The print log merely lists the document title and time of time of printing. Keylogging displays typed text and the application used.

By scrolling through this program's interface, experienced users will find logged information easily by type, but novice users who aren't scared off by the installation difficulties may wish for a simple log playback feature. Even experienced users may find it difficult to like an application that presents hurdles to simple operation.

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