About

Pros: ActivTrak employee monitoring solution is very easy to set up and use. Its main advantage is that it has a fairly decent free version for one to three employees, which you can use without purchasing a license. To purchase a license may be way too above the budget for a small business, for instance.

Cons: Expensive paid version of This software. The data export is cut in the free version which means you will not able to download reports. Moreover, as we got a bit spoiled by the two previous impressive products, I’d like to note that ActivTrak Employee Monitoring Software cannot record video of user computer activity. It just makes screenshots of the desktop.

Our opinion: The third place in our rating is not bad at all! Don’t get upset, ActivTrak! To make up for it, your free version is great!

Our review
User reviews (1)
ActivTrak interface

Are you sure your employees are being productive with their time? Are they using apps effectively? Is it even possible to stop them from getting distracted on the Internet? Can you prevent them from surfing the web, scrolling social media sites and wasting their time in general?

Yes, in the past monitoring your employees’ work patterns may have been simply a security measure a few companies used. But today it is becoming a necessity. According to The Boston Globe, the monitoring industry that’s worth $200 million today is expected to grow to $500 million in the next four years.

Monitoring your employees’ activity also allows you to protect your company from security breaches. It helps you secure important data and prevent malware attacks.

So, you’ve made the decision to know who’s doing what on their computers in your company. An easy solution for that is getting an Employee Monitoring Software. And there are many options available in the market now.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the programs that can help you with that – ActivTrak.

Single Day Report

ActivTrak is a cloud-based monitoring tool that lets you track the apps your employees are using and websites they are visiting. Basically, all you need to do is download and install an ActivTrak tracking agent – monitoring software – on the computer you want to monitor. Then the software immediately starts gathering and sending all the data to your dashboard. ActivTrak collects data on URLs and title bars of websites the employee is visiting. It also makes screenshots of what’s being done on the computer. You can also find out how long the computer was in idle mode.

Your employee won’t know that they’re being monitored, since the software is invisible to the user. It’s not listed in the programs list; there are no startup or desktop icons. The program isn’t recognizable from the task manager. However, it could make sense to let your team know that their computers are being monitored, since trust is an important factor in the employer-employee relationship.

It should be noted that ActivTrak offers Data Leak Prevention (DLP) as part of their paid accounts. Basically, it retracts sensitive information from screenshots. This option helps protect employees’ personal information, which is definitely important.

Another nice thing is that ActivTrak allows real-time monitoring, so at any point you can check what’s happening on the devices you monitor.

You can easily modify the settings to block certain websites and applications or get notifications when someone is using the flagged website or app.

ActivTrak also shows you the amount of time users are spending on different sites and apps. The software allows you to preset what websites and apps would count as productive work and what would be unproductive. But if you want to mark resources as productive or unproductive, each website has to be selected individually, and it can get a bit tedious.

You can also send a pop-up message on the screen of an employee who has decided to waste his time on an unproductive site.

Another thing to point out is the option of scheduled monitoring. This allows you to track workstations only during working hours of your employees. It’s an essential feature for companies where employees take their laptops home. It can also be helpful for the companies that employ freelance workers that have a specific set of working hours. This feature not only protects employee privacy but also makes reading reports much easier, as not all data is relevant.

Real Time Screenshots

All reports can be easily accessible from the dashboard. ActivTrak provides 7 types of reports:

  • productivity report;
  • top categories;
  • top users;
  • top websites;
  • top applications;
  • activity log;
  • alarm log.

The data is segregated into pie charts and bar graphs, which is quite convenient. All that data helps you understand your team better by measuring their key metrics. This can come in hand when you want to improve your team’s performance.

It’s also important to mention that there is no trial period in ActivTrak. Yes, most of the features are available in the free plan. It monitors up to three workstations and gives you 3GB of storage space. However, the option of multiple screenshots of websites or apps is only available under paid plan. You also have to pay for remote installation of the tracking software. That option allows network administrators to install the tracking agent on any computer inside their network by simply pointing to the necessary IP address. However, the agent has auto-update capabilities, so once it’s installed on a device, you don’t need to run any maintenance apps.

ActivTrak is great, but it does miss a few features that could add a lot of value. For example, Productivity Report shows summaries rather than trends over time or data for separate periods of time. This means that if you decide to view someone’s daily productivity for the past 30 days, you’ll need to run the report 30 times.

Top Users report shows only summaries as well. If you want to know how many hours someone worked each day over the past week, you’ll also need to run the report 7 times.

Here’s another thing. Let’s assume you want to take screenshots every 3 minutes throughout the day. You’ll have to keep in mind that there are no fixed screenshot intervals, so there’s no way to make that happen. ActivTrak has complex rules for when screenshots are taken, such as “after 20 seconds on a new website”.  This method does have its benefits, but it can also result in too many or too few screenshots.

The program also lacks keyboard and mouse activity reports, which can be a useful indicator of employees’ productivity and show what your personnel is doing at work.

Okay, so you’ve read our article and decided to choose the program. Now an important question is how much will it cost you. Like we’ve written above, there is a free-of-charge option. If you choose it, you’ll be able to monitor up to 3 computers. Your free account will allow for 3GB of storage space, which will be used for screenshots and logs. You’ll be able to delete old data if you run out of storage space.

Paid account starts at $69 a month. It will allow you to monitor up to 10 employees. Larger companies will have to pay $249 a month. That will give them the option to monitor up to 50 workstations. The program also has yearly and paid once-every-three-years plans.

The last thing we want to emphasize is that it’s probably better to inform your employees that you’re using monitoring software. Yes, there’s a risk your employees will resent the “big brother” aspect of the process, but you should keep in mind that employees may actually work more efficiently if they know they’re being monitored.

Keep in mind that informing your employees they’re being monitored is fair to them.

Timothy Ward, Transport 19.04.2019

ActivTrak is very easy to use and quite intuitive

Pros: The interface is very easy and user-friendly. It’s also quite easy to code applications and website as productive or unproductive. The program gives amazing, comprehensive picture of your employees’ productivity. The option of screenshots is helpful. We don’t use it to spy on our employees; it helps us determine errors when one of our programs is having trouble. Every interaction with the provider has been excellent, and the developers are always eager to help and take suggestions to improve their already great product. So once you purchase and install the software, you are not alone – there is always someone from the ActivTrak’s support service that can help you. I love that the program can be accessed remotely.

Cons: It’s difficult to find fault with this system.