[Updated December 30, 2010]
BSecure’s recently redesigned software has a lot to like: quality filtering; a strong set of features – including “Whole Home” filtering; a really intuitive management console with cross tabs; and good reporting. The security was very good, though BSecure can only block proxies it knows about.
Price: $49.99 for 3 PCs
Setting up BSecure was a snap, and BSecure’s unified management console with crosstabs is among the easiest and most intuitive we saw. BSecure offers an “Accountability” option for adults that cannot be undone – a nice feature for adults who are struggling with online addiction issues that none of the competitors offered. BSecure has solid web history reporting with lots of nice graphical reporting options.
BSecure performed very well in blocking — 97 percent of the pornography sites and 77 percent of the violent sites, while overblocking just 3 percent of the sexual health sites. Not perfect, but pretty good, and near the top of the competition. BSecure had the best search engine filtering we saw with a double layer of protection: BSecure locks safe search settings for Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and then has its own search engine filtering on top of that. When we were able to trip up Google’s safe search, BSecure’s search engine filtering kicked in and blocked it.
On our first test of BSecure, we found some ways to circumvent the filtering, which the company was in the process of correcting. We re-tested two months later, and confirmed that these loopholes had been closed by the company, making BSecure among the most secure filters. BSecure thwarted the downloading and execution of circumvention clients, and BSecure was very good at blocking proxies. But when we finally found a proxy that wasn’t on its list, we were able to get through. BSecure further recommends that parents not run Windows PCs in administrator mode, to block the installation of circumvention software such as Tor.
BSecure has a rich set of features. Unlike most every product for home computers, Bsecure offers “Whole Home Filtering” – which will filter any device connecting to a wireless network. Bsecure also offers filtering by rating for media, which is a nice feature. BSecure also features automatic alerts of visits to inappropriate sites and suspicious social networking activity, which can be set up for both e-mail and text messages. Once alerted, parents can click on Bsecure’s social networking tab to automatically log in to their kids’ accounts and see the full context of what’s going on. Bsecure also offers iPad and iPhone filtering integrated to the management console.