Spector 360 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the installation, configuration and general use of Spector 360.

System Requirements/Technical Questions

Will the Spector 360 Recorder (Client) work with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP computers?

Yes. The Spector 360 Recorder (Client) will work with ALL editions of Windows 8 (with limited support for Metro), Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP Professional. Windows XP Home is not currently supported.

Will the Spector 360 Recorder (Client) work with Mac OS X?

Yes. The Spector 360 Recorder (Client) will work with Mac OS X v10.8, 10.7, 10.6 and 10.5 on Intel processors. PowerPC processors are currently not supported.

Does Spector 360 work with Citrix® XenApp or Microsoft® Terminal Services?

Spector 360 will record all Windows users that log in to the server using Terminal Services or Citrix software. When reviewing the data, simply set the criteria to view the information by user, instead of by computer, and you will be able to review the information from each Terminal Services or Citrix user.

Can Spector 360 be used in a Windows Workgroup Environment?

Yes. This will work as long as each computer has one Administrator Account with the exact same username and password (case sensitivity rules apply). When you wish to administer the computers, you would need to logon to the Spector 360 Control Center computer using this account.

Will Spector 360 work in a Novell Environment?

Spector 360 will work in a TCP/IP Novell Environment provided the underlying Windows Network is configured properly.

Won’t Spector 360 fill up our hard drives with data?

It is important to note that Spector 360 will be configured so that the recordings are moved to the Data Vault and MS SQL Server Express Database (included components in all Spector 360 software), thus effectively taking almost no disk space on the local computer, because recordings are automatically transferred from the local computers to the Data Vault and SQL Database several times per hour. In those cases where the computer being recorded becomes disconnected from the network, such as a laptop traveling for business, Spector 360 continues to record and keeps the recordings on the local hard drive until the laptop reconnects to the network, and thus to the Data Vault and SQL Database, and automatically transfers all its saved recordings to the Data Vault and SQL Database at that point in time.

The amount of disk storage required per day for each computer being recorded will generally range from between 2 and 20 megabytes per day, depending upon the types of events being recorded. For example, if you choose not to record screen snapshots, the storage requirements go down substantially, perhaps to below one megabyte per computer per day.

With those computers writing to the Data Vault, won’t that be a lot of traffic on our network?

You would be surprised at how little traffic is generated. Plus, the traffic that is generated is managed to minimize bottlenecks. By default, every 4 minutes, each computer will automatically transfer recorded information to the Data Vault and SQL Database for no longer than 30 seconds. No information is recorded or sent across the network after a computer is idle for 3 minutes.

In eight hours, assuming a worst case scenario whereby the computer is constantly being used and interacted with for the full 8 hours, information is transferred approximately 120 times (every four minutes). Ten MB divided by 120 transmissions equals approximately 83 KB for each transmission.

Will I have to set up appropriate permissions for the folder where Spector 360 stores its screen snapshots and email attachments?

All screen snapshot and email attachment recordings are saved by the Data Vault which is a Windows Service running with Administrator privileges. You will need to change only the permissions for the Data Vault folder if you wish non-Administrators to access recorded screen snapshots and email attachments.

Can I install the software to many computers at the same time?

Yes, Spector 360 provides the ability to install and configure many computers simultaneously through the use of logical groups. Computers are assigned to the same group and then an installation or configuration change to a group creates an installation or configuration change to all computers in the group.

For instance, if you wish to install the same configuration to all computers in the Accounting Department, you can create a group titled “Accounting” and assign the appropriate computers to that group. Spector 360 will then allow you to push out an identical pre-configured installation to all of the computers in the “Accounting” group.

Will Spector 360 record laptops that are not always connected to the network?

When the Spector 360 Recorder is installed on a laptop, it records activity to the network Data Vault as does any computer. If the Client is disconnected from the network, as is the case when a laptop travels, recording will still continue on the Client and all events will be saved locally on the laptop. After the laptop re-connects to the network, it will recognize that it once again has access to the Data Vault and SQL Database and upload the previously stored recordings.

Can I re-configure the Spector 360 Recorder (Client) installation on several computers at the same time?

Yes. Spector 360 features a mass update tool which allows you to update the settings on several computers at the same time, even if the computers are turned off.

I would like to install the Spector 360 Recorder (Client) while users are logged off their machines. Is this possible?

Yes. This is possible on Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP computers.

In addition, Spector Recorder (Client) installations can be scheduled for any time of the day allowing an administrator to schedule an installation on a Client computer, but the actual installation would not take place until the computer is not in use.

Is Technical Support available?

The first year of Premium Maintenance is included with the purchase of Spector 360.  Premium Maintenance provides you with both Technical Support and Product Updates. Technical Support is provided via email and telephone as well as through our online Knowledge Base.

Migrating from Spector CNE

How do I migrate to Spector 360 from Spector CNE?

Spector 360 is RB Webtel’s Flagship Employee Monitoring product and is not an upgrade to Spector CNE. The Spector 360 installation will remove your Spector CNE executables but retain your configuration files. There is also a Spector 360 SQL Import Utility provided to convert all of your previously recorded Spector CNE data to MS SQL Server Express. Spector 360 also requires new client recorders to be pushed to all computers being monitored. Please refer to the Spector 360 deployment guide for additional information.

Can Spector 360 be circumvented by our employees?

Spector 360 would be extremely difficult for an employee to circumvent for the following reasons:

  • The Spector 360 Recorder (Client) that resides on the computer records in the background and does not contain a user interface that an employee may stumble upon. Thus, there are no Hotkeys by default, desktop icons or System tray or Dock icons that might indicate the presence of the Spector 360 Recorder.
  • On Windows, Spector 360 does not show up in the Windows task list, and cannot be uninstalled using the Windows Add/Remove function.
  • On Mac, Spector 360 does not show up in the Applications Folder, Force Quit Applications menu, Menu Bar or “About This Computer” window
  • Spector 360 is designed to use very few system resources and does not slow down the desktop user.
  • The recordings reside on the desktop only for a short period of time before they are automatically and seamlessly uploaded to the Spector 360 Data Vault and SQL Database.
  • Even if an employee did find a way to circumvent the software, you would have the Spector 360 recordings archived that would provide proof of exactly what the employee did to undermine your decision to monitor.

Should we inform our employees that their computer and Internet activities are being monitored?

RB Webtel believes that in the majority of installations, it makes sense to inform your employees that monitoring software may be used. This is especially true if your primary goal is to reduce or eliminate productivity loss caused by inappropriate or frivolous surfing, or if you are trying to eliminate the use of company computers to propagate sexually or racially offensive emails and chats, or if you wish to eliminate company confidential information from getting into the hands of the wrong people, such as your competitors.

Informing your employees of the fact that you are monitoring, and demonstrating the comprehensive details recorded by the software, together serve as a strong deterrent for the kind of behavior you are trying to prevent.

However, RB Webtel does recognize that there may be some situations where it does not make sense to inform an employee in advance. Such an example might be if you suspect an employee of embezzling and you are looking for proof to substantiate or refute the suspicion. Another example might be if you suspect an employee of using company computers to conduct illegal acts that could pose liability for you if you don’t take action to stop it.

Reviewing Spector 360 Recordings

I have several individuals who want to review recorded data. Can I install several copies of the Spector 360 Dashboard for this purpose?

Yes. You can install as many copies of the Spector 360 Dashboard as you need. You can also set up administrative accounts, allowing you to restrict access to certain database functions and the views to certain computers or users.

Will it take a long time to review the recordings?

Spector 360 was designed to streamline the process for reviewing recordings putting the information you need at your fingertips. With intuitive charts and reports you can quickly access the information you desire. Many of             RB Webtel ‘s customers monitor their employees by:

  • Archival recording – When a problem occurs, you have already recorded it. It is similar to a bank whose surveillance cameras run all the time, but reviews the recordings only when there is a problem.
  • Random monitoring, such as a weekly review of computer use for a day. This is also useful when the person monitored comes up for review or has given notice of leaving.
  • When you notice unusual actions, such as users always switching screens when management is walking by.
  • For Cause – Formal investigations upon suspicion of serious violations of computer use.

License & Maintenance Pricing

What if I need to monitor more than 50 computers?

RB Webtel will be happy to provide a custom quote based on the number of computers you wish to monitor.

What is Premium Maintenance and what does it cost?

For One Year from the date of purchase, you will receive:

  • Product Version Upgrades at no additional charge
  • Product Updates at no additional charge
  • Unlimited Access to the Spector 360 Knowledge Base
  • Priority Product Support