The 5 Best Employee Monitoring Software of 2021

Employee monitoring software - the best vendors to choose from

What to monitor your employees? This list of the best employee monitoring software of 2021 will help you pick the optimal monitoring solution for your business.

With the details provided in this list you will find several viable options for managing productivity of remote employees, securing your company against insider threats, and ensuring that employee performance is optimized. 

Ready to start monitoring now?
Get started today with free trial CurrentWare

Table of Contents

What Is Employee Monitoring Software?

Remote Employee Monitoring Software - Productivity, Security, Analytics

Employee monitoring software is a software solution that business owners use to track employee computer activity. Employers use monitoring software for insider threat detection, to improve employee productivity, and to gain insights into how their employees work.

Employee monitoring software gives business owners, managers, and IT staff members insights into how employees use technology in the workplace. These insights can be used to evaluate employee performance, as a time tracking tool for remote employees, or to analyze employee activity for high-risk or anomalous behavior.

Learn more: What is Employee Monitoring Software?

Monitoring Features Found in the Best Employee Monitoring Software 

Internet Usage Monitoring

employee internet mangement - handle workplace internet abuse

One of the most common uses of employee monitoring software is website tracking. By monitoring employee internet use in a company can ensure that websites such as social media, pornography, and phishing sites are not being accessed on company devices.

Monitoring employee activity in this way improves employee productivity by providing business owners with evidence of excessive web browsing. Website tracking is also an important security feature as high-risk user behavior could help compromise the network.

Application Usage Tracking

Application Tracking - Save Money on Unused Software

Using employee monitoring software to track the computer applications used by employees helps measure software license utilization rates, identify the excessive use of unproductive software, and detect unauthorized programs.

Without this visibility, a business could fall victim to shadow IT related security vulnerabilities. While not all unauthorized programs are malicious it’s critical that monitoring tools are in place to detect any software that needs to be managed by the IT department.

Active Time vs Total Time Tracking

Idle Time Tracking - How active are your employees? CurrentWare

Time tracking with employee monitoring software can provide incredibly valuable insights, but only if the reports are truly accurate.

Employee monitoring software that tracks active time will track how long applications and websites are actively used by the users, whereas  employee monitoring software that only tracks total time report a list of applications and websites that were open on the computer without properly contextualizing whether the employee was actually using them or if they were simply opened and left running in the background.

The best employee monitoring software will have the ability to report what employees are truly doing. The reporting of active time allows IT administrators and managers to trust and understand the reports generated, giving them the opportunity to generate actionable outcomes from the employee activity data.

Custom Data Retention Settings

Organizations that have a legal requirement to use employee monitoring software need to ensure that the data is accessible for review. 

Employee monitoring software with configurable data retention settings makes auditing, compliance, and storage less of a hassle for large-scale deployments. The ideal employee monitoring software will allow the organization to store the data indefinitely to ensure that records are maintained as long as needed.

Automated purging saves organizations considerable costs on storage and administration as they will not need to manually purge the data, purchase new storage hardware, or upgrade to a greater storage volume with their cloud storage provider.

This automated culling is especially important for any business that is subject to data privacy legislation. These regulations typically require that employee information is only kept for as long as it is relevant and necessary for the company. 

Remote Workforce Management

remote workforce management - Essential Tools for managing a remote team

The modern workforce is no longer exclusively in-house and 9-5 – they are a mix of traditional and non-traditional staff such as remote workers, transient workers, hybrid workers, contractors, and temporary workers. 

The rising demand for flexible work options means that employee monitoring software solutions need to have the flexibility and features to support the unique needs of a blended workforce.

To monitor out-of-office employees, the software must support one of the following:

  • Local caching to allow for the temporary local collection of user behavior data until they are re-connected to the company’s internal network
  • Port forwarding to allow for live monitoring of out-of-office workers
  • The ability to deploy the employee monitoring software to a cloud server

Tracking of Both Users & Devices

A group of employees reviewing reports

Device monitoring will track all activity on a specific device whereas user monitoring will track the individual user regardless of the device they use. 

In a workplace setting where the employer wants to understand the browsing habits of individual employees, device-level insights may not provide sufficient details as their employees may not have a designated workstation (in the case of hot desking) or they may share devices with their coworkers.

When selecting an employee monitoring software vendor, organizations should ensure that both device-level and user-level monitoring is available to provide them with the best flexibility for their needs. Having access to both features is excellent for tailoring the insights reported based on the unique needs of managers, human resources, and IT administrators.

Administrative Permissions & Groupings

User grouping features such as Organizational Units (OUs) within Active Directory allow administrators to efficiently implement and adjust bespoke settings based on department, location, user, the types of information handled, and other important considerations. 

Bespoke settings ensure that the solution does not cause a bottleneck in productivity. Inflexible employee monitoring software will cause less at-risk users to have the same policy restrictions and monitoring policies as users that perform tasks with sensitive information such as personal health information (PHI).

For large enterprises and other expanding organizations, the ability to group users and devices based on location, department or role is crucial to limit the time investment required in managing the monitoring solution. 

Best-in-class employee monitoring software solutions allow for granular control of the product’s features including who can run reports, who has access to a given group’s reports, and who will receive automated email reports based on the activity of the designated groups.

Real-Time Alerts & Notifications

Real-time alerts and other notifications are a critical component of insider threat management as they can be configured to alert administrators to insider threats engaging in suspicious or risky behavior. 

Real time alerts can include: 

  • File Operations Alerts: Alerts when an attempt is made to copy files to an unauthorized external storage, when sensitive file types are being accessed, or other suspicious file operations. This is especially useful for preventing breaches caused by malicious insider threats.
  • Inappropriate Website Use: An employee attempts to access websites that are considered not safe for work (NSFW) in the organization.
  • Browsing/Bandwidth Limit Reached: An alert can be sent to users when they have exceeded their allotted browsing time or bandwidth usage for the day.

The Top Employee Monitoring Software

Now that we’ve covered what employee monitoring software is and the most important features, here are the top employee monitoring software vendors for you to evaluate. 

Each  employee monitoring software in this list has their own unique strengths and weaknesses such as monitoring features, on-premises and cloud based deployment options, the ability to track work hours, employee privacy settings, or real time user behavior analytics.

1) CurrentWare: The Best Employee Monitoring & Security Software Suite

CurrentWare is a software suite that includes employee monitoring software, device control software, web filtering software, and remote PC power management software. Each solution operates from the same central CurrentWare console; they can be purchased separately for the most flexibility or as a full suite for the best value.

CurrentWare is hosted on-premises with deployment options that support the monitoring and managing of remote workers. It can be installed transparently or in stealth mode, with the monitored employee oblivious to the software’s activities. Due to the lack of a mobile app or cross-platform support it is best used in Windows-based environments.

With CurrentWare you can monitor employee web browsing and software usage, prevent the use of unauthorized USB devices, and block access to certain apps and websites that are against your company’s standards.

When monitoring internet use, CurrentWare’s employee monitoring software BrowseReporter differentiates between active time and idle time to indicate if the employee was actually using their computer and whether or not they were actively browsing a given website.

Automated email alerts can be configured to notify managers, HR, and security personnel when unwanted activities occur such as visiting inappropriate websites or transferring files to USB storage devices.

Overview of Each Module

BrowseReporter

BrowseReporter is an employee monitoring software for tracking employee computer activity. It is the ideal tool for enforcing acceptable use policies and protecting your network against unwanted computer activities. 

BrowseReporter captures the websites your employees visit and the applications they use. It includes a reporting utility for generating tabular and graphical user activity reports.

BrowseReporter includes an employee productivity report that compares the time that employees spend on websites that are productive vs those that are not. These classifications are pre-determined to start and can be customized to better fit what is considered productive for your organization.

AccessPatrol

AccessPatrol is a device control software that provides a proactive solution for protecting company data against data theft.

AccessPatrol includes device control features for a variety of peripheral devices including USBs, CD/DVDs, BlueTooth, WiFi, FireWire, iPods, and MP3s. Granular device control policies can be customized for each user, department, or organizational unit.

Company-authorized peripheral devices can be added to an allow list and temporary access codes can be generated by administrators to bypass restrictions in special circumstances. This provides companies with the means to monitor and restrict USB device use without affecting productivity and collaboration.

File operations alerts can be configured to notify IT administrators of suspicious USB activities, making it a valuable data loss prevention and security compliance tool. 

BrowseControl

BrowseControl web filtering software blocks websites based on URLs and content categories. Granular internet restriction policies can be customized for each user, department, or organizational unit. It includes other device restriction features such as an app blocker, port filter, and internet restriction scheduler.

enPowerManager
enPowerManager Logo, remote computer power management software

enPowerManager is an effective solution for remotely managing PC power policies. The central console allows businesses to configure advanced power policies and establish automatic startup and shutdown times to conserve energy and reduce costs.

enPowerManager includes reports on computer power states such as logon/logoff times and reports with timestamped startup/shutdown/hibernate events. These reports help technicians identify the uptime of remote endpoints and allows managers to verify that offsite employees are logging in and out during expected timeframes.

CurrentWare Pricing

The full CurrentWare Suite starts at $6.50 USD per license per month for companies that purchase less than 100 licenses. 

When purchased individually, BrowseReporter, AccessPatrol, and BrowseControl start at $2.99 USD per license per month for companies that purchase less than 100 licenses. enPowerManger starts at $1.50 USD per license per month.

There are discounts available for large volumes of licenses, educational organizations, non-profits, managed services providers, and businesses that pre-purchase multiple year plans.

CurrentWare offers a 14 day free trial for up to 10 team members.

CurrentWare Suite Reviews

"When we first saw the employee tracking reports we were totally surprised by some of the behaviors that had gone under the radar" - Kevin Porsche, IT Admin, Shady Maple

”As a ‘novice’ I was able to set up with help from support in about an hour. Previous software took forever and didn’t work as advertised; this software worked right out of the box. It allows my workers to use the internet and make money for the practice without distraction/temptation to use personal websites/email/shopping.”
Gerard B., Office Manager

”The team and product have been nothing but a great experience. I’m glad I found this product because I was able to fill a hole in our security footprint quite easily. The team at Currentware reaches out quite frequently to check-in and even have me demo future deployments for feedback.”
Nicholas S., IT Service Desk Supervisor

”We are able to make sure employees are not spending work time on the internet, and if there is an issue we have the documentation to prove it.”
Ken W., IT Manager

”I have found the Real-time monitoring in conjunction with the Active vs Total Browsing time reports to be extremely helpful in getting the full picture of how efficient our workforce really is.”
Scott S., Sr Systems Engineer

CurrentWare Pros

Easy to Use

CurrentWare’s employee monitoring solutions are designed to be intuitive to use, making the solution an excellent choice for teams with mixed levels of technical expertise. Once deployed, applying policies and running employee activity reports is as easy as a few clicks.

This is true even for the initial deployment and ongoing support; CurrentWare’s technical support team is available by phone, email, and live chat to answer any questions that their future and current customers may have.

  1. ”I love that once you set up the product, which only takes maybe 30 minutes, you can really set and forget it. You can utilize automation functions to make your life easier as an admin and have no worries.” – Nicholas S., IT Service Desk Supervisor
  2. ”BrowseReporter provides comprehensive reports that help me keep track of my employees web browsing activities. It’s easy to use and setup.”- Stanley K., IT Director
  3. ”Very simple to set up, and it is very easy to install on the client’s computer. Also, the ongoing administration of the devices is easy to maintain.” – Jude M., CEO
  4. “This software was easy to install and customize to our needs. Within minutes we had it up and running with a clear understanding of all the basic tools.” – Scott S. Sr Systems Engineer
Attractively Priced

At $2.99 USD per license per month for each solution, CurrentWare is the best-valued employee and computer monitoring software on the market for the capabilities it provides.

  1. “We looked at other products but BrowseReporter offered better value for the money spent” – Richard A., P. Eng., FEC
  1. “BrowseReporter was a good value for the price and seemed much more straight-forward to implement.” – Daniel L., Security Analyst
  1. “It’s easy to deploy and manage, super low-profile and a very good value per user.” – Nathan C., IT Consultant
Flexibility

Many security software companies force you to purchase an entire suite of software, even if all you truly need is a portion of the capabilities offered. 

CurrentWare’s à la carte sales model allows you to purchase the exact solution you need for the most flexibility while offering the option to purchase the full suite for the best value.

For example, if you only need to monitor employee internet and application usage you can purchase BrowseReporter without purchasing the other solutions.

Many of CurrentWare’s monitoring features can even be enabled or disabled based on the needs of the organization. For example, in BrowseReporter you can selectively choose whether or not URL tracking, Windows title tracking, category tracking, bandwidth tracking, application tracking, screenshot monitoring, IP location tracking, and idle time tracking are active. 

  1. “With the ability to add several products to the CurrentWare Agent, this was a no-brainer for us.” – Evan S., Vessel IT Team Lead
  1. “Other products gave me what I needed, but I would have had to purchase a whole suite of products. They allowed me to purchase exactly what I needed, so that is great from a cost perspective.” – Nicholas S., IT Service Desk Supervisor
On-Premises

Companies with stringent data security and privacy compliance requirements want to have full control over their data. Fortunately, CurrentWare cannot access your data as all of its software is deployed and managed by your company. 

Note: CurrenntWare’s on-premises employee monitoring software can monitor remote workers.

Customer Support

A great product means nothing if customer support is lacking, especially with employee and computer monitoring software.  

Operating systems and web browsers are constantly evolving so the product development team needs to regularly update their software—and they need an attentive customer support team to match.

There’s nothing more frustrating than hopelessly waiting for unanswered tickets to be resolved by inattentive support agents. Or worse—being bounced around to multiple agents that give you the exact same canned response and a link to a knowledge base article that you’ve already tried.

Fortunately, CurrentWare is well known for directly integrating customer feedback into their development cycle. Their technical support team is responsive to their customers and they are available via phone, email, and live chat. 

  1. “CurrentWare takes user feedback and actually reacts to it. We have definitely enjoyed making use of their propensity to involve feature requests from customers as part of the roadmap for future updates.” – Kevin Porsche, IT Admin, Shady Maple
  2. “The support team is pretty responsive and they are helpful in times of need; install, updates, etc.“ – Jay Y., Sr Systems Admin
  3. “Support is first class if assistance is ever needed.“ – Khiem N., IT Director
  4. “Very good experience and the support is very quick.“ – James B., IT Manager
  5. “Of the few issues that came up in the install, tech support was beyond outstanding.“ – Robert L.,Teacher

CurrentWare Cons

Windows Exclusive & No Mobile App

“For now, BrowseReporter is only compatible with Windows computers. In the future, they should work with other devices.“ – Stanley K., IT Director

While this may not be a deal-breaker for predominantly Windows environments, it’s worth noting. CurrentWare’s software is exclusively offered for Windows servers, laptops, and desktops; there is no Linux or Mac offering or an Android/iOS app.

Note: CurrentWare can also be used to monitor employees in a Citrix environment when it’s used to deploy Windows-based virtual machines.

The Server Does Not Work On Windows Home

While the CurrentWare Clients that are installed on the employee’s computer are compatible with Windows 10 Home, the CurrentWare Server is not. The server uses Windows Internet Information Services (IIS), which is not available on Windows 10 Home.

Anyone looking to use computer monitoring and web filtering software to manage their family’s internet usage will need to seek out a different company. 

See CurrentWare’s system requirements for more information.

No Month-to-Month Payment Option

While CurrentWare is charged per user per month (PUPM), their plans are billed annually with a 12-month minimum. While there is a 14-day free trial available for testing, some companies may prefer to use employee monitoring software for a few months before committing to a full year.

No API or Integrations

Though CurrentWare allows you to export reports to .csv files, they do not offer a public-facing API. 

If you would like to further analyze employee activity data with Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, or Google Data Studio you will need to manually export .csv files or connect CurrentWare’s SQL database to your BI tools.

In addition, CurrentWare does not offer integrations to project management tools such as Asana and Trello.

Subscription Pricing

CurrentWare’s software is delivered on a subscription basis. Their plans require an annual renewal to continue using the software, which may be cost-prohibitive for small businesses that prefer to purchase software once and invest in updates on an as-needed basis.

Cloud Offering is Self-Managed

CurrentWare does not offer managed hosting with their solution. CurrentWare is exclusively hosted and managed by your company, either on-premises or on a self-managed cloud server.

While this is ideal from a data privacy perspective, some companies may not be interested in configuring their own cloud server on AWS, GCP, or Azure.

2) The Best Employee Monitoring Software For Insider Threat Management

Insider threats - how to protect your data. CurrentWare

Teramind is the best employee monitoring software for insider threat management.

With Teramind’s user activity monitoring features, you can capture just about everything your employees do on their computers: keystroke recording, productivity monitoring, real-time instant message reading, auditing on-screen contents, and more. 

This detailed level of activity monitoring makes Teramind the best employee monitoring software for insider threat detection. Due to its high price and extreme level of detail, Teramind’s features are likely far more robust than what is needed for managing productivity and efficiency. Features like basic internet activity monitoring are more than sufficient to improve employee productivity.

While this intense level of detail may feel overly invasive for productivity management and enforcing acceptable use policies, it is useful for military personnel and other highly regulated environments where insiders need to be carefully monitored for indicators of compromise.

Teramind includes rules-based alerts with regular expression support. This allows administrators to define granular parameters for when they are alerted of user activity.

Teramind Pricing

CloudOn-Premises
Starter$10 USD$5 USD
UAM$20.83 USD$10.42 USD
DLP$25 USD$12.50 USD

Teramind has 3 different pricing tiers – Teramind Starter, Teramind UAM, and Teramind DLP. Each tier adds additional functionality; starter offers basic monitoring, UAM offers more granular monitoring, and DLP adds content discovery and data fingerprinting features.

The cost of each tier depends on whether you opt to store data on Teramind’s cloud servers or host the solution on-premises.

The cloud offering is priced per user per month; the on-premises offering is priced per endpoint per month.

Teramind offers a 14 day free trial for the on-premises version of their employee monitoring software or a 7-day free trial for the cloud version.

Teramind Reviews

  1. “With the extensive customization, alert options, and security features, I would recommend Teramind to employers looking to better control how their employees interact with company resources/technology.” – Timothy O., Desktop Support Technician
  1. “We use lots of monitoring systems such as email motoring and IP monitoring however, since we’ve started using Teramind we have no need to switch between different systems, Teramind monitors everything from emails to websites and keystrokes.“ – Anonymous Reviewer

  2. “They can monitor everything, and by everything I mean just that. Live screens, recorded sessions, web, app’s, email (personal as well), keystrokes, file transfers, printed documents…“ – Johanna S., Managing Partner

Teramind Pros

You Can Monitor Just About Anything

If you need to monitor everything and anything your employees do, Teramind’s DLP and user activity monitoring features can capture it. You can even capture live audio and video recordings.

“Teramind is an amazing software and it has so much features that I can’t even remember all of them.” – Andrigo F., Support Analyst

“Overall, Teramind is far more advanced than the other competitors.” – Ricky H., Government Administration

Data Loss Prevention

Alongside the monitoring features Teramind also provides a policy and rule engine that allows you to create your own rules with a visual policy and rule editor. These rules allow you to customize the exact parameters that need to happen before an administrator is notified.

Teramind DLP also includes content discovery and data classification features that help businesses identify structured and unstructured sensitive information that is on their network.

Monitor & Control

In addition to user activity monitoring, Teramind allows you to configure rules that notify, block, redirect, log out, or even lock-out a user based on what they do on their computers. These rules can be used to block websites and external storage devices.

Multi-Platform Support

Teramind supports Windows 7+, Citrix XenApp & XenDesk, Windows Server 2012+, VMware Horizon, and Mac OSX. This makes it a viable option for environments with both Windows and Mac computers that need to be monitored and controlled.

Teramind Cons

Cost Prohibitive Pricing

“It is an expensive software. Even choosing the on-premise version (which should be the cheaper option), it costs a lot. I think they could lower the price…” – Andrigo F., Support Analyst

Teramind is by far the most expensive of the solutions featured in this article. At the absolute minimum Teramind costs $5 USD per endpoint per month for the on-premises starter tier, going up to $25 USD per user per month for the hosted DLP tier.

Complicated to Manage

“It can be a bit daunting if you are new to tools of the sort, and monitoring in general. The massive customization, especially with alerts, requires a decent amount of system knowledge, both Teramind & OS.” – Timothy O., Desktop Support Technician

“It needed to be set up by an experienced IT Department. I tried to do it for my team and nothing was working.” – Paul R., Marketing

The robust features of Teramind also makes it an intimidating piece of software to manage. Organizations without a dedicated and experienced IT department to manage the deployment should consider implementing another solution.

Teramind admins will need to dedicate time to thoroughly understand how to make use out of all of the features offered. They’ll also benefit from familiarizing themselves with regular expressions and how to discern false positives against actual threats. 

Mixed Reviews on Support

“Buyer beware. The platform is very advanced from the looks of it but since I have signed up 2 weeks ago, the system hasn’t tracked time or tasks properly and after spending hours on remote sessions, chat and email support, the system is still not working and when I request additional support they have nor record of all of the tickets, meetings, etc. As a new customer, this experience has been horrible. Again the platform may be advanced but all that technology doesn’t do any good if you can’t use it and support can’t support you.” – William S., Founder (2020)

“Problems seem to happen a lot, which we understand about software, but every time we bring to the attention of support, we get “we’re aware of this and working on it”… Well, why aren’t we getting notified about the issues when they happen, and why do they take so long to fix?” – Chris F., CTO (2018)

“A bit expensive for a mid size company. Tech support is outside N. America and the only way to reach them is via email, a phone support 24/7 would have been better.” – Raj K., Consultant (2018)

“The support is also a bit lacking – chat/email only and can be slow or needing multiple prompts for communication. I also don’t like how if there is an outage of reporting it doesn’t seem to be possible to get logs from the software that would indicate the reason why. I have asked and received no response from their support staff, which was irritating.” – Ben M., IT Technician (2017)

Teramind’s Capterra reviews showcase mixed opinions about their support team. While Teramind does offer a self-serve knowledge base, email, and live chat, many reviewers have found themselves being ignored by their support staff. Teramind support is also notably not available by phone call; the number on their site is only for their sales team.

On the other hand, other reviewers have spoken favorably about their support:

  • “Every time I had a question it was answered in minutes. Never had to wait. They make sure you are successful using it.” – Olga S., MGRM
  • “Their support team were helpful, unlike many other software companies.” – Kasey B., Adjunct Professor of Political Science

3) The Best Employee Monitoring Software for Workforce Analytics

Business Intelligence - How organizations use employee monitoring data - CurrentWare

Historically, even the best employee monitoring software has been thought of as a form of workplace surveillance. The widespread availability of monitoring softwares with stealth modes further emphasizes the desire for some workplaces to be discreet about their monitoring.

ActivTrak takes a different approach to employee monitoring by emphasizing “insight, not oversight”. To help with their focus on business intelligence and workforce analytics they offer a paid add-on called ActivConnect that allows integration between ActivTrak and BI software.

ActivTrak Pricing

ActivTrak offers a free plan for up to 3 users that includes 3GB of storage. Being one of the few employee monitoring software providers to offer a free plan makes them a suitable choice for small teams that want to track their internet and application usage.

Their advanced tier is $9 USD per user per month and includes unlimited storage along with extra functionality to reports, alarm-triggered screenshots, and USB device & file transfer detection.

Their $15 USD PUPM tier provides greater customer support and adds extra productivity analysis features such as goal setting/tracking, benchmarks, work efficiency tracking, inefficiency analysis, and a tech usage and adoption tracker.

ActivTrak offers a 14 day free trial of their employee monitoring software.

ActivTrak Reviews

  1. “ActivTrak is a great tool with many uses; not just “big brother” tracking, but assists the sales team [to] be aware of areas of improvement in their productivity.” – Cofi J., CEO
  1. ”Our employees know we monitor their workstations, so they behave and don’t misuse our IT resources. That’s one less reason to fire them.” – Jose P., Owner
  1. ”It’s not a cheaper solution but it is a better solution if you want more detail into what your employees are doing. It really made the owner cringe at the level of detail we can see what the employees do, he almost thought it was too invasive” – Anonymous Reviewer

ActivTrak Pros

Customer Support

“So many times, support disappears as soon as a sale is made. Not here. They follow through on every question and make sure things are done right.” – Wade M., IT

Many of ActivTrak’s Capterra reviews note that their customer support is responsive and knowledgeable, which is essential for any software product.

Ease of Use

“What I liked most about it is the ease of deployment and the stealth of the service, it is almost undetectable which makes it the perfect tool for the consulting services we offer as a company.” – Nestor S., Founder

Once the initial setup is complete, ActivTrak is easy to use for novice and advanced users alike. 

Integrations

For an extra $2 USD per user per month ActivTrak can be connected to business intelligence tools, Salesforce, Jira, Zapier, and other tools via the ActivConnect API. This integration can be valuable for larger organizations that want to further analyze aggregated data.

ActivTrak Cons

Pricing

“We are not exactly excited about it’s pricing structure.” – Wade M., IT

Though ActivTrak is notably less expensive than Teramind, their lowest-featured paid tier is still $9 USD per user per month. Getting access to their API adds an additional $2 USD per user per month.

This pricing structure can make ActivTrak cost prohibitive or less desirable for companies that want to monitor their employees with less of an investment. 

Licensing

“The software has a tendency to create multiple “users” (people you are tracking) for the same person. One record for the computer, another for their associated Windows/Chrome identity and sometimes others if they have multiple user accounts on the same computer. This can cause you to have 3 or more user records to track for a single person. You can group them together and use an alias, which is great, but the overall number of users reporting will affect your billing plan.” – Brandon S., President

In addition to the steep pricing, ActivTrak’s licensing model has caused some issues. 

Once the ActivTrak agent is installed, any user that logs into a computer where the agent is installed will automatically be tracked and counted against user licensing.  New user profiles on machines that are not domain connected will also count as a new user within ActivTrak.

As ActivTrak charges based on the perceived user count, this has led to unexpected charges on some customers’ statements.

No On-Premises Option

All ActivTrak deployments must be stored on ActivTrak’s cloud server. Companies that require or desire greater control over their employee’s data may prefer a solution that can be installed on their own self-managed servers.

4) The Best Employee Monitoring Software For Time Tracking

Time Theft In The Workplace

Time Doctor is the best employee time tracking software for freelancers and agencies that need to track billable hours on projects. Unlike traditional employee tracking software that emphasizes a top-down approach, Time Doctor is commonly used directly by employees.

Time Doctor integrates with project management software and includes features that are optimized for self-monitoring and manual time tracking. Higher tiers provide more traditional employee monitoring features such as application and website usage monitoring that are intended to help verify time tracking,

Time Doctor Pricing

Time Doctor comes in three tiers – Basic, Standard, and Premium. The Basic tier is $6 USD per user per month and includes 1 month of data storage, time tracking, project tracking, and activity tracking for 1 group.

The Standard tier adds website and application usage monitoring, up to three groups, 6 months of data storage, payroll, and 24-hour email/chat support.

The Premium plan adds white glove support options, unlimited groups/storage, and the ability to provide clients with logins to the platform.

Time Doctor offers a 14 day free trial of their employee monitoring software. 

Time Doctor Reviews

  1. “Overall, Time Doctor is great for productivity, time tracking, and project management. It has the best Leave-Tracking features that send notifications if the person is still working on a task.” – Irfan K., Senior Transmission Engineer
  1. “Time Doctor has been a lifesaver for me. I am a one-person design company and I need to track the time I spend on many different projects all at once. My previous solution was to write down the time on sticky notes or note pads, but there was always the chance that I might misplace it or lose it. Nor could I generate my invoices from my home office if I’d left the billing hours info at my office. So this was a great all in one solution.” – Anonymous Reviewer
  2. “I am able to maintain transparency with my clients at all times. TimeDoctor helps me track my hours and provide documented proof of work and give my clients a better view of how I complete my work/tasks. It also helps me in managing my time better.” – Dianne Mae P., Business Manager & Marketing Strategist

Time Doctor Pros

Reliable Time Tracking

“Time Doctor allows me to make sure my employees are working and billing their time without me being a nag.” – Alicia D., CEO

Time Doctor is best known for their employee time tracking features. It shows the different tasks and how much time is spent per task. You can select total hours worked per day, week, or per month.

Time Doctor includes an optional idle time tracker that can alert an employee when they have been idle for too long. It will ask them if they would like to count their idle time as work time or if they would like to discard it, making accidentally forgetting to clock out an issue of that past.

Time Doctor also allows employees to review and manually adjust their time cards with a note to their manager, avoiding concerns that automatic time tracking will miss work time. 

Integrations

Of all the employee monitoring and time tracking solutions on this list, Time Doctor has the most robust integrations. Time Doctor can sync with leading project management and accounting tools including Jira, Asana, Trello, GitHub, Basecamp, Slack, Salesforce, Teamwork, QuickBooks, and more. 

Multiplatform

Time Doctor is available on a variety of platforms including a Google Chrome extension, and Android/iOS mobile app, Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. 

Note: The mobile apps allows remote and travelling employees to track their time while away from the computer. It is not a mobile device monitoring software.

Time Doctor Cons

No On Premises Option

Time Doctor does not offer an on-premises option for their employee time tracking software. Companies that require or desire greater control over their employee’s data may prefer a solution that can be installed on their own self-managed servers.

Employee Privacy Issues for BYOD

“The screenshots are taken randomly which is a breach of privacy if you were on a window that has a personal email open. Whoever is the administrator that sees your screenshots taken by the system will also be able to see your personal information. One has to be rather careful when using TimeDoctor that no personal window or task is open so as to not share that info in a random screenshot.” – Anonymous Reviewer

While Time Doctor is popular among freelancers, there are some features that are a privacy concern for those that use personal devices for work purposes. 

As noted by the Capterra review, it’s critical that the administrator does not enable the random screenshots features for personal devices as it may capture sensitive information. If random screenshots need to be captured, enabling the Blur Screenshots feature can help reduce this issue, though it may make the screenshots less useful.

Unfortunately, if personal information is captured deleting the screenshot isn’t necessarily the best option as doing so causes the associated work time to also be removed. 

Idle Time Inaccuracies

Time Doctor includes a feature that prompts employees to confirm that they are still working when they’ve been idle on their computers. If they do not answer the prompt, the Time Doctor will automatically stop tracking their time.

While this feature can be helpful, it has also caused inaccurate time keeping and stress for employees that perform work-adjacent tasks outside of their workstation. It may also unfairly dock time for employees that are taking bathroom breaks, watching training videos, attending meetings, and other tasks that don’t require keyboard and mouse movement.

5) The Best Employee Monitoring Software for Employee Privacy

Employee Monitoring - Privacy Tips for Employers - CurrentWare

Workpuls provides employee time tracking and activity monitoring features that are similar to Time Doctor’s. 

What makes Workpuls the best employee monitoring software for privacy-focused organizations is its ability to allow employees to enable or disable the monitoring as they see fit. 

This makes it a viable option for companies that allow employees to use company-provided devices for personal tasks, though it is less ideal for security-conscious organizations that need auditable records of employee computer activity.

Workpuls Pricing

Like many companies on this list, Workpuls offers multiple tiers for their product. Their tiers are: Employee Monitoring, Time Tracking, Automatic Time Mapping, and Enterprise.

The Workpuls Employee Monitoring tier is $4.80 USD PUPM. It includes basic activity reporting, productivity tracking, and timekeeping functionalities.

The Time Tracking tier is $6.40 USD PUPM. It builds on the Employee Monitoring tier with the addition of project management and task-specific time tracking features. It also provides the option to purchase add-ons that allow for payroll integration, budgeting, and client login.

The Automatic Time Mapping tier is $12 USD PUPM. It builds on the Time Tracking tier with the addition of automated time and attendance tracking. This tier also includes all of Workpuls’ add-ons such as raw data, payroll integration, manual screenshots, and alerts. 

The Enterprise tier pricing is specific to each customer. It includes all of the features of the previous tiers with the addition of on-premises deployment options, role-based access, audit logs, a dedicated account manager, 24/7 support, and a service-level agreement (SLA).

Workpuls offers a 7 day free trial of their employee monitoring software . 

Workpuls Reviews

“We have found Workpuls to be the most accurate time tracker with the ability to customize Idle time outs as per how your employees work.“ – Laura M., Director of Operations/Owner

“When we realized that we needed a time tracking solution we were not able to find the best fit for a long time because there is no other app that only focuses on work; all other solutions track the team’s private time as well. With this one we are able to filter and ignore anything that is not work related so our colleagues don’t need to worry about their privacy while we still have proof of their work and engagement.“ – Boris Z., Head of Operations

“In general, Workpuls is pretty intuitive for our management, allows team leaders to manage their own departments, and let employees fill in their own time spent on meetings and workshops“ – Andjelka D., CEO

Workpuls Pros

Cloud and On-Premises Installation Options

Though the on-premises version is exclusively for the Enterprise tier, having the flexibility to install the software on a privately managed server is a valuable option for many companies.

Privacy & Transparency

Unlike traditional top-down employee monitoring software providers, Workpuls provides a variety of features that allow employees to be directly involved in the monitoring process.

  1. Employees can get the installation files sent straight to their inbox, with an explanation of what the monitoring software is.
  2. Workpuls provides an application that employees can use to clock in and out, stopping and starting the monitoring process as they see fit.
Ease of Use

“Easy to use (no need of special training) – Easy to follow each employee and department and compare them” – Hugo C., CTO

“Extremely easy to use and you get a personal demo from them before you start the trial.” – Kashif R., CEO

WorkPuls’ UI is simple and easy to use. They also include an integrated interactive knowledge base/live chat function to help new admins learn their way around the console, making it a user friendly monitoring tool for admins that are less familiar with technology.

Workpuls Cons

Limited Features

“It lacks a few features but the price they advertise is the price you pay. It needs sortable reports which you can export.” – Kimberly H., Business Owner

Though Workpuls handles basic time and activity tracking, it is not as robust as many of its competitors. It lacks bandwidth usage tracking, email alerts, USB activity tracking, website content categorization, and automatic data culling based on custom retention periods.

Inflexible Email Reports

“The reports could still get more updated in the sense that when I select the details for the month, I should see the aggregate totals of each employee as a spread and not a daily tabular for each employee in one place. In this case, I have to extract the details and apply a PIVOT to come to the totals of each employee.” – Rohit T., Sales Manager

“I think the email reports could be improved. They are not that intuitive or flexible, and I’m still waiting for this to be improved.” – Anonymous Reviewers

“Email reports are fixed and not that intuitive, they promised that it will be improved in the next iteration, but it has been 45 days since…” – Boris Z., Head of Operations

The inflexibility and limitations of Workpuls’ email reports have been a notable frustration for its users. 

In addition to the notes from the Capterra reviews, the reports can only be sent at midnight at the end of the period selected in the report. The email reports can also only be sent to a limit of 3 email addresses.

On Premises Installation is Exclusive to Enterprise Plans

In order to store the data on your own servers, you must buy licenses for at least 100 employees. This is not ideal for smaller companies that need self-hosted employee monitoring software due to data security or privacy compliance requirements. 

Conclusion

What is considered the best employee monitoring software will depend on the needs of your company. Business owners have plenty of monitoring features to consider such as time tracking, insider threat detection, keystroke logging, stealth mode, GPS tracking, and internet tracking capabilities. 

With the details provided in this list you will find several viable options for managing productivity of remote employees, securing your company against insider threats, and ensuring that employee performance is optimized. 


Ready to start monitoring now? Get started today with free trial CurrentWare’s employee monitoring software.

Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland is a Marketing Coordinator for CurrentWare, a global provider of endpoint security and employee monitoring software. Dale’s diverse multimedia background allows him the opportunity to produce a variety of content for CurrentWare including blogs, infographics, videos, eBooks, and social media shareables.