We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Utilities software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Spector Pro 5.0

$100 inc VAT (about £59)

Manufacturer: SpectorSoft

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Although it bills itself as an internet monitor, under other circumstances you'd probably call Spector Pro 5.0 spyware. Get ready to swallow those scruples.

This is some spooky software. Although it politely bills itself as an internet-monitoring product, under other circumstances you'd probably call Spector Pro 5.0 spyware. Get ready to swallow those scruples.

Spector comprises a suite of seven tools that record virtually everything happening on a PC, whether web surfing, instant messaging, programs being launched, email or keystokes. It can now also perform Snapshot Recording, which takes greyscale screenshots of the screen at set intervals that can be played back as a sort of a time-lapse CCTV image of what was on screen at that particular moment.

Spector records all keystrokes, but you can tell it to watch out for keywords and alert you when they're typed. And if that sounds dodgy to you, be reassured by the condition of installation that insists that the user of the PC being monitored is notified of that fact.

The results of the program's eavesdropping can be observed by another PC on the network, although making this feature work takes a bit of effort. You have to share the Spector Pro data folder on the PC being monitored – each time it uses a different (subtle) folder name. For reasons of reliability this data has to be stored locally. Having installed the viewer on the monitoring PC, you then have to browse to that network and save that location as a 'favourite'.

For obvious reasons, Spector Pro doesn't broadcast what it is doing, so the user can't even tell that the software has been installed – it doesn't appear in the process listing, host Registry or as visible files.

Spector Pro 5.0 Expert Verdict »
200MHz Pentium processor
Windows 98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP
32MB RAM
approximately 10-20MB hard disk space for a typical day of recording
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 7 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

If covert surveillance is your game, Spector Pro 5.0 will suit you down to the ground, combining a powerful, comprehensive suite of monitoring tools with good reporting functionality. What's more, it enables you to control access to the internet with some finesse.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • SpectorSoft eBlaster 6.0 parental control software

    SpectorSoft eBlaster 6.0 parental control software

    The SpectorSoft eBlaster 6.0 parental-control software offers practical tools for monitoring computer usage.

  • Lapse It Pro review

    Lapse It Pro

    Time-lapse photography allows you to watch objects and scenes change over time. Lapse It Pro for Android lets you use your phone's built-in camera to create your very own time-lapsed scenes.

  • GoPro HD Hero 2 review

    GoPro HD Hero 2

    We put the GoPro HD Hero 2 through its paces to find out if this is the best wearable action video camera around.

  • SearchHelp Sentry Remote parental-control software

    SearchHelp Sentry Remote parental-control software

    The SearchHelp Sentry Remote parental-control software offers practical tools for monitoring computer usage - but it can be aggressive.

  • Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 review

    Corel VideoStudio Pro X4

    Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 is video editing software that tries to speed things up. It's one of the first applications - not to mention video editing applications - to take specific advantage of Intel's new Sandy Bridge CPUs and AMD's Fusion CPUs.


IDG UK Sites

5 reasons not to wait for the Apple Watch: Why you shouldn't buy the iWatch

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How Emotional Debt is damaging digital design

IDG UK Sites

iPhone buying advice: Should I buy an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, or iPhone 5c, or wait for7......