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KidStarter is a parental control solution for Windows. The program has an attractive and safe environment that lets the younger members start using the computer while giving parents complete control over what kids can and can't do on their PC. KidsStarter's works as an independent desktop with the icons, shortcuts, and links to applications and websites you chose during the installation.
In the initial setup, you can decide how you want the application to start. The Enhanced mode creates one or more profiles for KidStarter in the Windows startup, ensuring that kids won't be able to access your Windows session (unless they know the password). This is the safest option to avoid possible 'accidents' and prevent kids from messing with important settings and data. This option shows KidStarter desktop in full screen mode, being the only program that kids will see while they're using the computer. You also have the possibility of running KidStarter as an ordinary application within your own session, but this option will grant kids access to all your programs and data.
The program interface looks simple and attractive enough with big buttons for links and shortcuts. From the uppermost part of the screen you will see a gear that takes you to the settings menu. Every change to the settings will require a password, the same one you entered during the setup. From there you will be able to manage the programs your kids can use: add new ones or remove the current programs from KidStarter's desktop. Similarly, 'Manage Websites' enables you to choose the sites you allow your kids to have access to, allow/block certain sites, and also provide a selection of recommended websites for kids.
From the settings you can also control and set limitations to the period of time you want your kids to spend in front of the computer, with a very useful option to specify the exact minutes or hours for each day of the week. Also, you can choose a theme for the app's interface; choices are limited to green and pink colors, probably a restriction of the trial version. The possibility to enable audio prompts for kids who haven't developed their reading skills will help them understand simple messages and operations.
All in all, it is a simple and easy-to-setup program that will help you control what your kids do and see on your computer, while letting them learn and play safely.
- Very easy to setup
- Two startup options
- Attractive interface
- Limited customization options