ZooBuh is a web-based email service, designed to safeguard children.

When it comes to children and the internet, most parents focus on safe web browsing. That's understandable, since the web can sometimes seem like one big Red Light District. But the web isn't the only source of objectionable online material. Email can be just as bad. Enter ZooBuh.

That's why we're partial to ZooBuh.com, a web-based mail service designed with young users in mind.

ZooBuh is easy to set up, it offers more and better controls than AOL or Microsoft do, and it requires no extra software.

ZooBuh gives you total control over your children's email universe. By default they can receive mail only from users in the approved-contact list and can send mail only to those same approved users-but you can change either setting as you see fit.

You can have copies of incoming or outgoing messages sent to your email address, remove images or links from your child's received mail, and block some or all attachments. ZooBuh also has a bad-words filter, with a box for adding your own unwanted words.

Other kid-centric email services, such as AOL (kids.aol.com) and Microsoft Windows Live Family Safety (fss.live.com), offer controls more or less on a par with those, but what really sets ZooBuh apart is its interface: It's colourful, simplistic, and blissfully free of advertising.

ZooBuh even has an easy version for younger users that's even more colorful and simplistic. In short, this is what email for kids should look like.

As you might have guessed, ZooBuh isn't free, but it's admirably inexpensive. Following a 30-day trial (which doesn't require a credit card), the service charges just $1 per month for each account.

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ZooBuh: Specs

  • Internet connection
  • Windows, Linux, Unix, Apple operating system
  • Internet Explorer, FireFox, Opera, Safari - Firefox recommended
  • cookies and Javascript enabled
  • Internet connection
  • Windows, Linux, Unix, Apple operating system
  • Internet Explorer, FireFox, Opera, Safari - Firefox recommended
  • cookies and Javascript enabled

OUR VERDICT

ZooBuh charges a small price for safe, child-friendly email that takes only about five minutes to set up. If your kids have any manners, they will thank you for it.

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