NetResident: Monitor & Record Your Computer’s Online Activity

Software / Open Source

NetResident is a fairly robust piece of software that monitors,
captures, stores, analyzes, and reconstructs network events; e-mails,
websites, downloads, instant messages, and even VoIP conversations. It
basically takes anything you’re doing online, saves it, reconstructs
it, and displays the content in an easy-to-understand format. It’s like
an automated personal journal of any computer’s online activity.

I downloaded it and played with it. Screenshot and my thoughts are as follows:

The installation was nice and painless with an easy to follow wizard for the initial configuration. You can decide (and change at any point) whether you want the program to run “On Windows Startup” or “On Application Startup.” Once you start browsing the Internet, checking your email, or doing anything online, it records it all.

It does provide quite a bit of information. The screenshot below doesn’t do it justice (minimized to fit within this post). Your really need a full screen to see all that’s going on. Much like Windows Explorer, you have a folder like view on the left with individual file-like entries on the right (basically each individual instance of online activity).


You have tons of info on each entry that can be sorted in any way you’d like (date, type, protocol, description, etc.). Selecting any entry gives you a preview of that website, email, or instant message in the bottom window.

The software’s site gives three basic uses for the product:

“NetResident is used by network administrators to enforce IT policy, by parents to monitor their children’s communication on the Internet, and by forensic experts to gain crucial information.”

While I’m not a big fan of content monitoring in general, I still can say NetResident seems to do a good job of it. My only complaint is the price and lack of description of what I’m actually buying. It costs $99 for NetResident Lite and $299 for NetResident Pro. And the FAQ (or anywhere else on the site) does not seem to offer any information on the difference.

The end consumer may not be interested in paying $99 for software with “lite” in the title without a decent description of what all is included. A product comparison chart might be a good idea comparing the lite and the pro versions along side some of the competition.

In any event, if you need content monitoring, you may want to check out the 30-day trial of NetResident. It’s definitely worth looking into.

Disclaimer: I will be compensated for reviewing this site via ReviewMe. I accept compensation for reviews only with the understanding that I will openly state any such agreement and be as candid as I please in any review.

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