SkyDog vs. iBoss: Battle of the Internet Filters – This is all moot point, since SkyDog is gone, and iBoss is really bad…

by admin on Feb 10th in Hardware Recommendations

Edit: Unfortunately, the makers of SkyDog has been acquired by Comcast, and at this point has no intention of continuing the SkyDog service (beyond the three year subscription).  Another very sad example of  wonderful technology getting gobbled up by large conglomerates whose sole purpose is to  steal off the technology/patents and let the actual product line die… 🙁

 

One of the aspects of our business is to help schools, businesses, and families find ways to better control the use of the Internet.  While the Internet in and of itself isn’t evil, there is plenty of content that is WAY past appropriate for anyone…yes, I’m not tolerant of pornography, hate mongering, and the like.  Yet in addition to the need to filter content, there is also the problem of the Internet being a time sucker…you sit down to do just one thing, and next thing you know, you’ve wasted four hours mindlessly surfing…

In my review of the iBoss, I expand on the various ways to filter Internet content, so I won’t delve into that here.  In my desire to be recommending the best, I’m always on the look out for new products.  A few months ago, a new product hit the market that is phenomenal.  It is called ‘SkyDog’, and it is a wonderful addition to the arsenal of Internet control/filters.

Unlike iBoss, SkyDog is cloud based in its management…meaning that you can edit/change/adjust your settings from ANY computer connected to the Internet.  It is very powerful in its feature set in regards to scheduling and tracking.

Here are the aspects of the SkyDog that I think puts it over the iBoss:

  • cloud based management (available on the iBoss, but much more convoluted to get it functioning)
  • dual band N router – this device has both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz radios
  • stronger wireless signal
  • $30/year subscription (vs. $60 for iBoss)
  • Can ‘register’ up to 50 specific devices (iBoss only allows 15, which when it came out 5 years ago, seemed like a lot!)
  • Each ‘user’ has their own filtering and scheduling criteria…you then assign registered devices to a user.  iBoss only allowed for 3 different sets of criteria
  • The watchlist allows you to be notified (or just track) how much time is spent on a specific website…and emails or texts you and the user (if you want)
  • Nearly fool proof installation.  The iBoss is a bit of a challenge if you have a uVerse router, or the Xfinity all in one router…but the SkyDog ‘just works’…

 

Some areas that I feel iBoss still wins at (but not enough to go back to it)

  • the ability to lock in Safe Search – this is a key element for Google and YouTube searches
  • Granular filtering of content – keywords (not available on SkyDog – yet)
  • Emailed reports – while SkyDog has MUCH nicer reports, graphs, and charts, the feature of getting an emailed report ever Monday morning is a great feature.

Over all, I have found SkyDog to be a more robust AND flexible Internet filter and scheduler than iBoss.  If you are in the market for one, definitely go with SkyDog.  If you already have iBoss, stick with it until your next renewal cycle and then consider making the switch.

I’ve had the SkyDog installed for over a month, and have found it easy and powerful…I’ll keep you posted if my view changes…

5 Comments

  1. Chih

    13th August 2015

    thanks for the blog, it is very informative. By any chance do you have any Skydog which I could purchase ? Thank you.

  2. Ali

    1st May 2015

    @Trent -> I’ve been researching many parental controls software and found that “K9 Web Protection” is best for PCs, laptops and Tablets. For smartphones, after trying several apps out, I use “MMGuardian” for my kids smartphones, because it includes an anti safe-mode tamper protection. These days many tech savvy teenagers bypass parental control apps by rebooting into Safe Mode and disabling/uninstalling parental control. MMGuardian also includes features to only use their browser, and prevents any other browser like UltraSurf from running by locking then out.

    With regards to Skydog router demise, it looks like the next best parental control router is “NetGenie” and then “iBoss”. You can see a demo of NetGenie on their website.

    Hope this helps

  3. Ben

    10th November 2014

    I loved this blog entry. Bummed that skydog is not available any longer. Do you happen to know of any other options? I’ve heard that using Tomato is a good option. Any insight? Many thanks!

  4. admin

    5th May 2014

    Trent…I’ve love to talk to you about this, as that is what I do (give presentations to parents/teachers). Email me your number and I’ll give you a call.

  5. Trent Watford

    2nd May 2014

    I am working on a internet safety presentation for parents. I have looked at Skydog and iBoss. Ddo you know if either of them would prevent a person from using Ultrasurf to get past the filtering?

    It sounds like you have a lot of experience in these areas. Would it be possible to talk by phone. The presentation is on May 14. If so please send me an email.

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