Parental Lock Guard - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Parental Lock Guard

CNET Editors' review

This tool for controlling your child's PC usage offers some nice tools for a free product but isn't quite perfect. Before you can use Parental Lock Guard, you'll have to restart your machine; since the program lacks help files, it took us a while to figure this out. The application lets parents specify the amount of time the PC can be used per day but won't let you configure usage rules for more than one day at a time. You can have the program display a timer showing the user how much time she or he has left, but this isn't mandatory. If your child tries to restart the machine after Parental Lock Guard has turned it off, she or he will need to enter the correct password within 10 seconds or the PC will again shut down. The concise interface features well-labeled icons for easy configuration, and the utility operates stealthily behind the scenes; not only must you call it out of hiding with a hot-key combination, but you also can obscure the Task Manager so young computer geniuses can't use it to disable the program. In addition, Parental Lock Guard can restrict access to certain files and folders. You will find a tool for monitoring Web sites visited and for blocking specified URLs, but this feature appears to work only with Internet Explorer. Parents who are short on cash and don't need a full-blown monitoring suite are likely to find some value in this program.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    1.8 stars

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 4
    • 1 star: 4
  • Current version:

    1.8 stars

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 4
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-9 of 9

  • 2.0 stars

    "does not live up to what it claims"

    May 4, 2009  |   By alanhesketh

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    I did like the fact that you had a large list of words that the program looked for and that you could add to the list if needed

    Cons

    found that it did not block you from entering sites that were specified as blocked

    Summary

    I tried this program to see if it would block my children from sites that I felt were unsuitable for children but I felt that to go from my using it to my children using was to complicated

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Dangerous and Confusing"

    February 1, 2009  |   By apaggeot

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    Hides itself well. Locks users from modifying files and folders.

    Cons

    If you forget your password, you are screwed. Internet filters did not work. I added several blocked parameters and I still accesed the websites. Uninstaller said to use the Windows Add/Remove to uninstall. That did not fully uninstall the program.

    Summary

    I am sure there are other programs with better features. I do not recommend this program to anybody.

    Updated on Feb 1, 2009

    Try Crawler Parental Control - it seems to work great, lots of options, seperate user account settings. And it is FREE

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  • 1.0 stars

    "AVOID THIS USELESS PROGRAM"

    August 19, 2008  |   By darrenguiblin

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Cons

    click on p+L+G ro bring up main window and nothing happens got rid of it within 15 mins of downloading even rebooted as suggested but still nothing dont waste your time with this program

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Good but has problems"

    January 29, 2008  |   By thompson.matthew

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    It is good for prying on what your kids have been looking at

    Cons

    I don't get it when I press the secret buttonsto get into the interface I can only get into it once. when I close the interface I can't get back into it.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "NOT USER FRIENDLY WHATSOEVER"

    January 2, 2008  |   By keglined

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    Free

    Cons

    Like most parents, we have a separate User ID for our child - but this program only works for the USER ID under which you install it... or, wait. Maybe we can enable to toolbar... ah there it is! But now our kid can disable the tool bar - oh, wait, that's it -- if temporarily make the kid's USER ID an administrative ID, and THEN unlock the tool bar, and THEN switch to "child mode," and THEN switch the USER ID back to . ..

    By this point we figured the programmers were too narrow to consider multiple USER IDs, and agreed someone this obtuse probably didn't write all that spectacular program to start with.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Great if you like user-unfriendly programs!!"

    June 28, 2007  |   By irie k

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    If you like challenges, this is for you!

    Cons

    First - it has 3 different on/off switches: start/stop timer, main switch, and start/stop countdown. To figure out the working combination of on and offs you have to rely on trial and error, and even if you figure it out, you have to explain the complexities to other adults for them to be able to control. The lack of usefulness is baffling!

    Second - entering the password when prompted won't stop the timer from counting down! This is simply incredibly idiotic - if you enter the correct password, you are by definition not a person to be controlled, but a controller. For painfully appearent reasons, entering the correct password should stop the timer, but here you also have to manually switch the timer off. Then you have to remember to switch it on again...

    Third - if you have multiple user accounts on your computer, this application goes bananas outside the administrator's account and has to be shut down.

    Fourth - if your child is smart enough to know how to uninstall programs from the computer's control panel, this program is gone in a minute: it will happily uninstall without requiring a password.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Not bad for controlling a daily allotment of computer play time"

    May 14, 2007  |   By LaughItOut

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    The program does what it was programmed to do, controlling the number of hours your kid can play on the computer each day (clocking downward). There are also other features, but I haven't tried them.

    Cons

    1. The 10 second window to stop the timer can be nerve wrecking at times. Once you use up all your time and you fail to stop the timer, you will have to restart the computer for another try at the 10 second window.

    2. This program does not control the time of day your kid can use the computer, which means he/she can stay up late at night playing the computer.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Requires password entry within 10 seconds of each logon..."

    May 13, 2007  |   By AAW79

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    Difficult to uninstall (so if the child knows a bit about computers, they shouldn't be able to get round it too easily).

    Cons

    Everytime you logon, the program is loaded during startup. You are asked for your password and only have ten seconds to enter it. I got my machine into a state where if I didn't enter the correct password within the time limit, it would shut down automatically. This may have been due to an attempt to uninstall it. If you want to uninstall it, make sure you follow their instructions, as its not as simple as uninstalling most programs.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "It works, but not all that great."

    March 10, 2006  |   By g_wheeler2001

    Version: Parental Lock Guard 1.2

    Pros

    Contrary to the editor's review, help documentation IS included, and it does tell you to restart the machine after installation.

    Cons

    Doesn't allow you to set different time limits for each user. Optional countdown timer is formatted oddly (12:00 means time is up??) and can only appear at upper left corner of screen.

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Parental Lock Guard