Recognized as 2020s’ Best Employee Monitoring Software, ActivTrak really stands out from the crowd of competitors out there. What is it that makes ActivTrak so special, though? Is it because more than 100,000 people use its free version or because it offers ease and efficiency in employee monitoring? We did our research and went through hundreds of ActivTrak reviews to find the answer. Read on for the details.
As an employee monitoring software, ActivTrak takes on a less hostile approach and instead of simply ‘surveilling staff’ it aims to highlight untapped efficiency gains. ActivTrak’s cloud-based activity monitoring platform gathers and analyzes data to empower enterprises with the knowledge they need to change unproductive practices, enhance their workflow, and boost productivity.
Most ActivTrak reviews describe it as workforce productivity and analytics software which provides great feedback on employee activity. What makes ActivTrak so effective as an employee tracking tool is that it is invisible on monitored computers and does not even show up in the task manager. The aim of this review, however, is to determine whether the solutions ActivTrak offers truly improve productivity outcomes for both remote and in-house employees.
This is one of the core features as it emphasizes the tool’s very purpose — to serve as a time tracking agent. Our ActivTrak review reveals that it has the option to configure settings and designate certain URLs and apps as good or bad for business (“productive” and “unproductive”) which provides information about the amount of time your staffers are wasting. The Quick Stats section gives admins easy access to identifying staff who aren’t as productive and are using their computers for private purposes and take action.
One of the benefits of this feature, according to recent ActivTrak reviews, is that it functions as a stealthy time tracking software as it not only tracks productive time but also monitors employees without them being aware of it. The app is basically invisible in the user’s computer meaning the employee doesn’t realize they are being “spied on”. Some admins though report that the ActivTrak tracking extension for Chrome can be easily turned off by the staff, meaning it is not as low-profile as advertised.
According to ActivTrak reviews, users are impressed with this feature because it makes it possible for admins to watch real-time streaming of the active windows on all monitored devices. And although some would regard it as prison-like surveillance or espionage, this functionality is positively rated because it gives employers a sort of aerial viewpoint of team activity at any given moment.
For example, when an employee opens a new app or website it will be immediately visible in the feed along with the time. The upside to this solution is that admins get to immediately react and shut down a site or app in case they believe it to be problematic. The real-time monitoring feature, as our ActivTrak vs Teramind comparisons showed, is equally successful in both software.
The ActivTrak employee monitoring software intentionally doesn’t log keystrokes because in some instances antivirus programs classify it as malware which can be a major hassle. This is neatly compensated by the many options of the screenshot feature and the mouse, along with keyboard movement which can signal idle time.
The software’s productivity metrics, as most ActivTrak reviews conclude, are based on the applications users access most frequently, and the reports are all conveniently located on the dashboard where they appear in a pie chart. The Settings tab not only allows admins to sort apps and websites into productive and unproductive but also to group the activities by type (banking, games, social networking, sports, etc). And since URLs and apps can be added or deleted manually, and even blocked, many user reviews mention that this categorization is how the software goes a step further towards upgrading employee productivity. Our ActivTrak vs Hubstaff comparison, for example, reveals that the latter does not offer this option.
While many ActivTrak competitors boast screen capture functionality, this platform brings more convenience to the table. Depending on the settings in the Screenshot tab, you can see the latest screens by users or look at older ones in the History section. You can even filter them by date, user, and productivity categories.
Developers further confirm they are now working on a content analysis tool (similar to optical character recognition) so that screenshots can be scanned for specific keywords. ActivTrak vs Teramind evaluations, however, render the latter a bit more advanced as it runs both OCR and has the live video feed recording.
The research for our ActivTrak review showed that to provide more information to admins, developers have configured this real-time screenshot feature to be able to snap screens every five seconds (at a minimum) on a user-by-user basis with an option to take multiple screens at a time. Admins meanwhile can get alerts when users spend time on social media.
Naturally, the screens can also be used as photo evidence to track users engaged in prohibited or problematic activities. ActivTrak vs Hubstaff comparisons show the latter wins this game as it has the option to blur screenshots for privacy purposes though ActivTrak does offer the DLP add-on as an extra feature to ensure the privacy of sensitive data (emails addresses, credit card numbers, insurance information, etc.)
Users cite the website use disabling feature as an ideal method for businesses that wish to keep their employees in check by restricting access to specific sites. If we compare ActivTrak vs Workplus, while both platforms easily detect which websites distract employees, only ActivTrak gives admins the option to physically block domains. Plus, it can flag USB use, such as copying files to a flash drive (in case an employee tries to steal confidential information).
If, however, you are hoping for a software that will automatically block or trigger an alarm for potentially harmful websites or questionable activities, be warned that ActivTrak is not a network monitoring software. While this ActivTrak feature can prevent employees from visiting websites that could harm the company’s IT resources, its overall goal is to assist in keeping employees productive and not to protect the network.
Going through ActivTrak reviews, we also noticed complaints that users can still access blocked sites by clicking a direct link with a longer subdomain and that it is hard to manually block and unblock websites to let staff check their Facebook or emails outside office hours.
This employee behavior analytics software offers the option of integration with data warehouse infrastructures. The ActivTrak data stored in the warehouse is securely managed by the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) enabling users to give their employees and agents access to raw data at any given time. Reviews regard this type of integration helpful and convenient because it is how users connect to business intelligence tools like Jira, Trello, Salesforce, etc. to sync the data.
Setting up to use ActivTrak is simple, courtesy of the remote installer. Once installed, the tracker runs stealthily in the background and starts sending data to the admin’s dashboard. The ActivTrak analytics-oriented dashboard where all the data on employee and company performance is located is intuitive and easy-to-manage, as further confirmed by the ActivTrak reviews we found. The dashboard offers the maximum amount of space for viewing contents, tabs are logically organized, easy to navigate, and labeled accordingly.
Admins can also closely observe a specific employee and take real-time screenshots just by clicking the camera icon. The interface allows for some data to be presented differently but customization tools are mostly limited. For example, the screenshots can be seen in either tile or thumbnails but this is as far as the interface goes.
ActivTrak meanwhile can be programmed to take a screenshot any time a specific keyword is entered and admins can receive alerts and notifications if they deem this activity prohibited. The alerts can also be set to warn employees that what they are doing is not okayed by management (like Facetiming while on the clock). Our ActivTrak review, however, revealed that some knowledge and assistance is recommended when configuring the software to avoid burdening admins with unnecessary alerts.
ActivTrak’s official website states that their plans are designed to offer simplicity, flexibility, and scalability. Unlike some rivals, the vendor does not currently have a free trial period but upon request, offers the ActivTrak demo in addition to the following plans:
ActivTrak Freemium — free of charge for up to three users and includes 3GB storage, analytics dashboard, website blocking, real-time reporting, and scheduled monitoring.
ActivTrak Advanced — starts at $7.20/user/month (if paid annually), unlocks the more advanced features and allows admins to monitor more devices. There is also the option to get a monthly subscription but it generally costs much more per user and some features are not included.
The add-on features and the custom plan also deserve a mention. The add-ons like the video playback of user activity or the raw data access, are available with an annual contract, while a custom plan can be created based on the client’s needs. These options are offered by very few ActivTrak competitors and yet they are ideal for companies that know what they want or simply don’t want features they consider redundant.
We also looked at reviews discussing licensing deals offered by the vendor, covering 20 to 100+ users, which, if purchased, can reduce the cost to as low as $2/user/month. On a final note, our ActivTrak vs Veriato price comparison instantly pinpointed the former as the more affordable tracker.
The vendor has an outstanding support staff that tackles tech-related issues promptly. Depending on whether you are using the ActivTrak Freemium or Advanced Plan, customers have several channels at their disposal to get in touch with the platform’s support engineers. For the users of the Freemium plan, ActivTrak customer service is available via email or chat for which the reply time is typically under five minutes. ActivTrak reviews also praise the self-help resources and case studies available, backed up by pretty helpful how-to videos. Naturally, the Advanced Plan offers more options, such as the designated account manager whose role is to serve as a mediator between the client and the vendor. There is also a direct phone line to ActivTrak’s support teams.
For companies working with remote teams, controlling computer use is a gargantuan task because it comes with legal pitfalls. Thankfully, there are vendors that offer less aggressive tools, saving you from employee complaints. ActivTrak reviews conclusively show that despite the lack of some functionalities such as keystroke logging, partnering up with this vendor will equip your business with the right mechanisms so that everyone on the team works better together.