Latest news: September 19th, 2016 - We have added new categories for monitoring products testing: Microphone and Webcam Recording etc...
One of the best surveillance programs we have tested, because of its reach functionality, flexibility and easy-to-understand interface. Can be used to monitor home PC, perform parental control and employee…
This keylogger is among the most powerful programs intended for remote computer monitoring. The purposes of employee monitoring and parental control can successfully be achieved with the help of this …
Very good product: greatly hidden, functional and easy to use. Available in 12 languages. Will come in handy for those interested in securing home computers, parental control and employee monitoring. Requires…
Very functional and easy to use keylogger. Will come in handy if you are interested in home surveillance or parental control. Can be also used for employee monitoring. Available in 12 languages.
Great software for corporate use. Its functionality is reach and perfect to monitor employees. Has nice and very thought-out interface that makes using StaffCop Standard easy. Can be used not only for…
Keylogger is a hardware device or a software program (or a module), capable of recording (logging) the keys pressed on a keyboard.
Software keylogger can also be called
Hardware keyloggers are often called "keystroke recording devices".
There are hardware and software keyloggers.
Software keyloggers belong to the group of software products which are used for control over PC use. Initially, software products of this type were designed solely for recording information about the keys pressed (including the system keys), into a dedicated log-file (link will open in a new tab), to be later analyzed by the person who installed the program. The log-file could be sent over the network to a network drive, to an FTP server in the Internet, by Email, etc. Currently, these software products that kept their "old-fashioned" name, perform many additional functions – they capture information from the windows, capture mouse clicks, intercept contents of the clipboard, make snapshots of the screen and active windows, record everything received and sent by Email, monitor file activity , monitor the registry, monitor the printer queue, intercept sound from the microphone and video images from the Web camera connected to the computer, etc., i.e. they actually belong to a totally different class of software – they actually are monitoring software products.
Hardware keyloggers are miniature devices that can be installed between the keyboard and the computer, or integrated into the keyboard itself. They record every keystroke made on the keyboard. The process of capturing is completely transparent for the end user. Hardware keyloggers do not require installation of any software in order to successfully capture all keystrokes. A hardware keylogger can be attached to a computer, no matter whether the computer is on or off. Its running time is not limited, as it does not require a power source for its operation. The volume of its internal non-volatile data allows to record up to 20 million of keystrokes, with Unicode support. These devices can be made in any shape, so that even an expert cannot sometimes identify their presence during information audit. Depending on the place of their installation hardware keyloggers are divided into external and internal ones.
As has been already mentioned, keyloggers, as a rule, store the information they collect in log-files, which can be located in such places as:
In addition, many keyloggers are able to remotely send log-files via:
Similarly to many software products, use of keyloggers can be authorized and unauthorized. Moreover, only the method of keyloggers application (including hardware and software products, which include a keylogger as a module) allows to see the distinction between security management and security violation. To learn more about the differences between authorized and unauthorized use of keyloggers, read our article "The difference between monitoring and spyware. Objectives of use and methods of protection" here.
Depending on whether a particular keylogger has been included into anti-virus signature databases, keyloggers are divided into the known and unknown.
Signatures of known keyloggers are already included into signature databases kept by major anti-spyware and/or anti-virus software vendors.
Signatures of unknown keyloggers are not included into signature databases kept by major anti-spyware and/or anti-virus software vendors. What is more, they probably will never be included into these databases for various reasons. Here are some examples of such keyloggers: