Optenet is a good overall product, with aggressive filtering and a good selection of features. While Optenet’s heuristic filtering is prone to some overblocking and it isn’t as secure as some competitors, Optenet provides solid parental controls.
Installation of Optenet was straightforward, but we found the interface not as smooth as some of the best parental controls. We were able to quickly create user profiles and add categories and sites to block or unblock. Optenet has work to do to catch up with competitors in Internet activity reporting, as Optenet only provides a list of URLs that aren’t parsed down to domain name.
Optenet’s porn blocking was very accurate at 99%, but like many programs that rely heavily on heuristics, this comes at a price. Optenet blocked 23 percent of the sexual health sites, high enough to likely cause some noticeable interference with normal surfing. Optenet did well with the violent sites, blocking 87 percent.
Like most parental controls, Optenet blocks proxies one at a time, and Optenet blocked most of the proxies we found, but several proxies we found weren’t in Optenet’s database. Optenet also failed to block Google cache and translation sites, allowing me to use these sites to access blocked content.
Optenet has a good set of features, including time management, the ability to block applications such as, Instant Messaging, e-mail and games. Missing are automatic alerts to warn parents of inappropriate activity, and more detailed reporting.