- Extensive monitoring
- Comprehensive blocking options
- Fully customizable
- AntiPredator function
- Lack of iOS support
- Limited social media coverage
Intego’s website asks us: “you wouldn’t let your children ride bikes on a freeway, would you?”; it’s a strange metaphor but the point is valid, nonetheless. No parent wants their child exposed to the dark and murky waters of the internet, especially not without a lifeboat. That’s exactly the kind of protection that Intego aims to provide with its ContentBarrier X9. Intego has been one of the go-to companies for Mac security since 1997, so it has plenty of experience to deliver some unique features. Its AntiPredator function shuts down a chat if it detects anything suspicious by using a database of customizable phrases that are filled with warning signs of predatory behavior. ContentBarrierX9 also has some extensive monitoring options to know exactly what your child is doing online. Intego offers a 30-day free trial of ContentBarrier X9 to allow you to experience all of its features.
ContentBarrier X9 contains a huge amount of content blocking options that mean you can shape your child’s online experience in whatever way you want to. Parents can filter websites by category (e.g. pornography, racism, violence…), block custom keywords, particular websites, or conversely, allow trusted websites.
If you have more than one child to look out for then you can set up profiles for each and adjust the settings accordingly, and ContentBarrier X9 provides you with three preset security settings – Monitored, Safe Web Surfing, or Restricted Internet. It’s not just websites you can restrict, you also have the choice to block connections to game servers, online streaming, or P2P sharing. One nice touch is that if a child finds something that is blocked that they feel shouldn’t be, they have the option to press a button to ask the parent for permission for it to be allowed through the filter.
There’s also a fantastic variety of monitoring options available for parents. Users can see a history of all the websites visited by each account, and if you don’t like the look of them then you can add them to the blocked website list. Additionally, ContentBarrier X9 can also record keystrokes, take screenshots, and then email all of this data to you in an activity report. Of course, like any good parental control software, it comes with time of day scheduling to allow you to prevent access to the internet at certain times of day or instead limit usage to a set amount of time.
ContentBarrier X9 doesn’t feature social media monitoring, chiefly due to it being focused on desktop use instead of mobile, but its AntiPredator function does get close to doing something similar. AntiPredator monitors all standard chat protocols to detect inappropriate content and if it detects anything suspicious it immediately blocks the chat and emails the parent. Its database of phrases is completely customizable and features five different languages. Users can also view the history of recorded chats and even see the ID of the chat partner. Still, we hope that Intego decides to include dedicated social media monitoring in any future editions.
Unfortunately, Intego is a company that specializes in working with Macs, so ContentBarrier X9 is only available for macOS. It would be nice to see Intego export ContentBarrier X9 to iOS one day in the future, like it has done with its own antivirus software in the past, but for now there is nothing on the horizon.
Going to the Intego website, you’ll find that the prices have been reduced from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which is odd since Intego is the manufacturer – but we’re not complaining! The overall pricing depends on how many computers you wish to cover and how long you want to subscribe for. The cheapest current package will cover one computer for one year at $39.99 which has been reduced down from $49.99. Although users could also save 12.5% by subscribing for two years and paying $69.99 up front which comes out to paying just $34.99 for a year.
If you wish to cover up to three computers, then the prices rise with it costing $79.99 for one year or $149.99 for two years. Regardless of how long you need it for or how many devices you want to cover, Intego gives you access to a 30-day free trial with absolutely no restrictions.
Intego doesn’t accept a vast amount of payment methods besides the usual credit cards and PayPal, however if you do wish to pay another way you can contact its sales department directly and they’ll try to arrange something for you.
Intego ContentBarrier X9 offers 24/7 support from either filling out the contact form or through live chat on the Intego website. Response times are fast, and the staff is very knowledgeable. Further support is available directly from the Intego Twitter page.
The Intego website also features some in-depth FAQs and user manuals for all of its software. It’s also worth checking out Intego’s Mac Security Blog which has a host of articles detailing Mac security, including some about parenting, and they also have a podcast available.
Intego’s ContentBarrier X9 has a lot of unique features to keep children safe from threats online. Its AntiPredator reporting system is a great reassurance for parents. The blocking is thorough, offers plenty of options, and the monitoring shows you all you need to see. The best part is that all these features are fully customizable so you have fluid software that can behave differently for each child’s needs.
Unfortunately, it’s only available for Mac computers with no iOS app, and it doesn’t yet have dedicated social media monitoring, so in that sense ContentBarrier X9 feels like it needs to catch up with its competitors. However, the pros certainly outweigh the cons, and you’ll be hard pressed to find better parental control software for macOS than Intego’s ContentBarrier X9.
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