Editors' reviewThough Parent Tools for AIM boasts several monitoring features, the trial proves useless. The program offers users 10 days to give its features a go. Its cluttered interface is designed to monitor all screen names for instant-messenger and chat conversations and block selected names and chat rooms altogether. The program also features online time schedules, but during tests we weren't able to monitor, restrict, or schedule anything. We were able to get the program to run in stealth mode and to reappear with its hot-key combination, although it only hides for 15 minutes during the trial, and with the other features falling flat it's pointless anyway. Given this program's lack of functionality, plus the fact that most parents will want a monitor for more than just AOL Instant Messenger, most users will need to continue searching.
Parent Tools is a powerful tool for monitoring, controlling, and limiting access to AOL Instant Messenger. With this software, you can silently save all conversations, block features, and limit online time. The online time limits limit online time to a certain number of hours per day, and the online schedule feature lets you set times per day the user can access AIM. Parent Tools for AIM can block all IMs, IMs from select screen names, all chat rooms, or chat rooms with select titles.
The software will also optionally disable access to features that can be used to send objectionable material (Direct Connect IMs, Talk feature, chat invites). The monitoring options allow the user to either monitor all screen names, or select screen names. When monitoring select screen names, the individual settings, time limits and blocked features can be set for each different screen name in the list. The optional stealth mode feature will hide the program from users.