Brightfilter is a solid product with an excellent filtering database, a simple management interface, and reasonable security. However, Brightfilter is missing some important features, such as the ability to filter search engine results and reporting of web browsing history. Once Brightfilter adds these features, it will be comparable to products like Net Nanny and Safe Eyes.
Brightfilter installed quickly, and setup was straightforward, although it required launching multiple screens when most products only require one. Once Brightfilter was setup, management was simple and offered a good selection of profile option and categories, although Brightfilter is missing some options offered by other products.
Brightfilter’s blocked 97 percent of the pornography sites and 87 percent of the violent sites, among the best of the nine products tested. Brightfilter overblocked 7 percent of the sexual health sites, which likely would only pose a minor inconvenience for most families. Brightfilter doesn’t offer a way to block search engine results, a feature every other product tested had.
Brightfilter approaches proxies the same way most parental controls do, by blocking them one at a time. This approach works pretty well most of the time, but when Brightfilter encountered a proxy that wasn’t on its list, we were able to view blocked sites. Brightfilter blocks language translators and Internet archives as anonymizers, an effective approach but not as good as the some of the competition. We were able to use Windows Task Manager to halt Brightfilter, but like other programs this halted Internet access until we restarted the computer, providing an effective deterrent.
Brightfilter’s management console and database provide a solid foundation for a great parental control product, but Brightfilter is missing some key features offered by most parental control products. While Brightfilter offers multiple user profiles, time management, and the ability to add and delete individual sites, Brightfilter doesn’t offer important features like reporting, automatic e-mail alerts of inappropriate activities, and search engine filtering.