Windows Live Family Safety - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Windows Live Family Safety

CNET Editors' review

Windows Live Family Safety provides a simple set of tools for keeping children away from questionable material online. With a professional layout and a great deal of flexibility, this is a great tool for cleaning up your home Internet access.

The program's interface is agreeable, with a look and feel similar to all Windows products, and it feels instantly intuitive. The only catch is that you must fill out an online registration, but it's free. From there you can click a single button to choose between three levels of filtering, ranging from nothing to strict. The program smartly includes a list of kid-friendly Web sites it allows. However, you can also customize the filters by adding specific Web sites to block or to allow. When we attempted to view a questionable or blocked site, we were prevented from doing so completely. Try as we might, we couldn't find any gaps in the security. The program's strongest feature may be its ability to apply various filters to different Windows users, so when children log in, their browsing is restricted, but adults logging in have the full and free range of the Internet. Windows Live Family Safety was smooth and effective in all the ways we'd expect a professionally designed Windows program to be.

Windows Live Family Safety is freeware. It provides a sense of ease and security with its ability to block and unblock sites and users, and we recommend it.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.4 stars

    out of 22 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 4
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 11
  • Current version:

    2.4 stars

    out of 16 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 8
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 16

  • 1.0 stars

    "Doesn't Actually Block Websites"

    February 22, 2014  |   By AmberLB

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Easy to use

    Cons

    Doesn't actually block websites

    Summary

    I have tried to block social networking sites both by setting the browsing age to child and by adding them individually to the block list, but am still able to access them most of the time by simply typing the address in the address bar. It doesn't work reliably so I can't trust that my children are safe online. I am still looking for an alternative that actually works..........disappointed in Windows.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Absolutely awful"

    December 25, 2013  |   By Carthan

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Blocks adult websites

    Cons

    It blocks any and all programs (even the windows programs)
    Causes User account instability
    time restrictions work half the time
    Often web reports come up as blank

    Summary

    Really, This product looks good and is made to look good, but it doesn't work.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Horrible product."

    December 23, 2013  |   By SparkyyHD

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Blocks adult websites.

    Cons

    Does not block things that I think are appropriate.
    Blocks dumb things
    Does not do a good job of blocking games - blocked minecraft but can still play it.

    Summary

    A horrible product. Does not do a good job and would be better if it was efficient.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great software"

    March 12, 2013  |   By evnmove

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Very easy to use, integrates excellently with Windows 8

    Cons

    Sometimes doesn't start-up

    Summary

    This beats most software I've tried

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  • 5.0 stars

    "excellent program"

    February 16, 2013  |   By ChoiceVoice

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    -works well on variety of sites
    -blocks sites
    -blocks images in google images or anywhere
    -doesn't seem to slow down browser
    -

    Cons

    -always had pop up window appear that i would have to shut at startup
    -would like a program to run on demand and not startup. so it would start as i start my browser. that way i could keep my startup lean.

    Summary

    excellent program, does what it has too.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Things I wish for"

    February 15, 2013  |   By Tearose841

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Most of the time is does really well

    Cons

    I wish I could add my own list of just words I would want to block. Words such as a celebrity name so that whenever they try to access a website that has that celebrity, they couldn't. I have also noticed it does not tell me when they go onto facebook or twitter. And they can receive porn images in their hotmail account.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Free MS software to protect my kids"

    September 11, 2012  |   By ICTspul

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    - easy to install
    - easy to configure
    - online info available to get you started
    - it's free

    Cons

    Haven't found one yet.
    Be sure to have a Live ID ready before you start installing/configuring.

    Summary

    Installed Family Safety 2012 on all systems
    Enabled parental control on the Windows accounts the kids use (are the same on all systems)
    Enabled additional parental controls through provider Windows Live Family Safety
    Setup webfiltering, timelimits, activityreporting, etc.
    Now I receive a weekly report what my kids do on all the systems

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Frequently stops working"

    June 3, 2012  |   By Silykim

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    If it worked it is nice to be able to control time limits for my kids from my computer and have their netbooks respond.

    Cons

    It used to work well but lately it has become very buggy and randomly stops blocking or enacting the time limits I've set.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "The software just doesn't work"

    May 25, 2012  |   By steve98664

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Superficially, it appears to have a wide variety of functions and features.

    Cons

    The software 'sticks' on certain settings. Especially application control. If something is not allowed, it is nearly impossible and for me, impossible to get it to 'allow' use by the childs profile. I know it takes a logon to activite, but that doesn't do it in most cases.

    Summary

    I would give this software 5 stars if it worked. I have spent countless hours trying to configure it and in the end, I believe I will buy some working software. Microsoft amazes me putting out software that looks great feature wise but does not actually work when you try to use it. Very poor and they could not have user tested this software.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "AVG Internet Security says it's got spyware!"

    November 16, 2011  |   By CHeimsoth

    Version: Windows Live Family Safety 14.0.8118.0427

    Pros

    Unable to install software.

    Cons

    My computer won't let me install the software because AVG Internet Security says there is spyware or malware embedded; AVG whisks the installation file and all related files to the Virus Vault.

    Summary

    A malware-free version of the software might be worth downloading.

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Results 1-10 of 16

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