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Norton Family Unfit For Purpose
1. As noted by others, the NF Chrome Extension is absolutely necessary for the proper running of the service. Yet there are ZERO ways to prevent any user from simply turning off (!) the extension or killing the process in Task Manager. In my case, this immediately negates all time limits, undoes safe search limitations, and also allows every single site that I manually added to my block list. This is unacceptable.
How can a filtering service to protect children have a clear-as-day staring-you-in-the-face obvious loophole!? Indeed calling it a loophole is erroneous, because turning off the extension means the extension is a meaningless protection.
Why can't Norton entirely detach the NF functionality from needing to have an extension, and just have everything blocked regardless. They successfully overcame the Incognito Mode's limits and rendered that mode indistinguishable for filtering purposes. They must do it here as well or else they're selling a worthless product.
TL:DR - Chrome Extension can be turned off. Useless.
2. The Categories for Blocking have some major flaws.
i) I blocked all "News", yet I was shocked to find that "The Guardian", among the top 10 biggest news websites in the world, remained unblocked by default. Also the Financial Times, which is a top 5 world-leading financial paper, remained unblocked. Ditto RT. Ditto Daily Mail.
I would understand if the occasional obscure newsblog or Russian local media somehow slipped past the net, but how can NF be serious about blocking content categories on command when the most important websites remain unblocked?
ii) Even more egregious is the deficiencies in blocking Pornography. How is it that 'Chaturbate', probably the most popular live-streaming sex and pornography website in the world, is somehow not considered "pornography"???
Unbelievable that I have to manually add the above to the blocked list when NEWS and PORNOGRAPHY were already blocked. And even more depressing that when the Extension is simply deactivated, all the above instantly become obtainable, although the general categories of porn and news remain blocked and filtered.
TL:DR - Blocking categories still lets through major porn or news sites
3. Time limits -Hazily enforced. Even with a midnight limit, for example, in certain restart/wake up scenarios browsing simply continues as normal. Even when limits start, they may only kick in around 12:08 for example, and even then its not total shutdown, browsing is still allowed just a popup keeps attempting to close the window. Why? Why not total block and from the start time?
TL-DR - Time limits not fully working on desktop
4. Customer Service - 0/10
I called the service centre (located in Phillipines fyi). A young woman consistently misunderstood what I was writing and saying in the clearest possible English, then remotely accessed my desktop to fix the problems, for over 1.5 hours. Achieved nothing. What is worse, they consistently misunderstood what I was saying.
I could go on and on. One more thing I will note, even when Pornography is supposedly blocked, a google or bing image or video search will bring up the most explicit images possible. Unless one enables search engine safe search in NF. Why isnt this blocked as straight pornography.?
If anyone can help and give me renewed faith in this failing product I would be grateful. Thanks