Using Computer Monitoring Software in Home Networks

We often see computer monitoring software used in office networks, where the boss watches over the activity of all his or her employees through the usage data relayed by their computers. The efficiency of such application lies in the fact that this social setting is made directly for productivity.

So, anything that would indirectly increase productivity could in fact be applied fairly efficiently. For example, we could consider it a job well done if the computer monitoring software was capable of imbuing a special sense of motivation to employees.

Now, could we efficiently use computer monitoring software in an environment where productivity is NOT necessarily the primary objective? For instance, could we get the same benefits when we use it on our very own home network?

The Setup Variables

The very first thing that we have to keep in mind regarding the computer monitoring software setup is the fact that home networks are significantly smaller than an office network. There are fewer interconnected units, and the connection is often done in a simple star network topology. Ironically though, you’ll have to deal with this while accepting another fact that the variety of the connected devices may vary highly (unlike standard office workstations).

In addition to these facts about the “uniqueness” of home networks, we also have to take note of these other setup considerations:

  • How would you access and monitor the computers within the network? Would you use a stationary desktop unit, or would you use a more secure, more personal and more portable notebook or net book computer?
  • Would the network only include a specific number of devices? For example, is the “monitoring network” limited to general, family-use machines, or would it exclude your computers and only include the units of other members of the household?

Take time in considering the setup options, before you consider the benefits that you could get from the monitoring software.

The Benefits

The actual, or practical benefit of home-based computer monitoring software, as you might have realized already, does not actually lie in increased productivity. It instead focuses on the overall safety and integrity of the system and its users.

  • If malware was accidentally installed on a unit, you can easily track down and find who accessed the computer at the time when the virus broke out, without resorting to check the very computer that was infected.
  • You could also try to passively collect usage data around the house using the computer monitoring software, to see what others would usually do with a computer at a given period of time. This could be used as a good reference when planning for group activities or when decreeing new “house laws”.
  • “Intruder” detection can also be conducted fairly easily using a computer monitoring software, since you have the default data on how that computer is normally accessed. It would only take a little comparison data to know if the younger brother suddenly decides to snoop into the laptop of mom.

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