Employee monitoring software comes in many shapes and forms. There’s free program to monitor computer activity, as well as free time tracking software for windows (and for Mac too). There are also some cheap and expensive versions of the software, but there’s also open source.


In this article we’ll explain what open source means, and what are the benefits of using open source monitoring software. 


What is Open Source Software?

Open source software is a software in which you have access to the source code, and you’re able to inspect, modify, and improve it. It’s great because with a little knowledge, or if you have a development team, you can adapt the software to your needs. This kind of software is usually free, or pretty affordable, as it doesn’t cost much money to make it. 


And yes, there are monitoring and time management tools tools which are open source, and they have their benefits. If you’re not looking to spend much (or any) money on a tracking software, this is definitely the way to go, and here’s why it’s good:


It’s Available at (Almost) No Cost

The best free computer monitoring software usually doesn’t come at zero cost. Open source projects are generally available at no cost, but you still need people to customize the code to your needs. However, employee time tracking software with open source lowers the cost of production.


Look at it this way - if you wanted a custom employee tracking tool, you would need to pay thousands of dollars for someone to make it for you, or you would need to go with an uncustomizable option for less money. If you’re not willing to compromise on the customization, you can hire a development team who can modify the code to suit your needs. Even better, you might even have a dev team already! 


No Imposed Updates

Every work tracking software updates from time to time, even the free tracking software for PC does. And more often than not, you’re required to update the software. New update might or might not suit you, the manufacturer maybe ditched some options only a few people were using (and you were one of them), or added some completely unnecessary options which spoiled your experience completely. 


When you’re running on an open source software, you decide when the updates happen, as well as what those updates are, which is pretty neat!


Improved Security

When you purchase a software, you usually sign a licence agreement or agree to the terms and conditions, and when was the last time you read those? With these agreements, you could be giving the right to the manufacturer to scan your hard drive from time to time. Additionally, you can never be 100% sure that the person who made your software don’t have access to your data through it, especially if we’re talking about monitoring software.


When you’re using the open source time tracking app, you’re the only one who has access to it. In case there’s a security leak, you’re the one who’s going to fix it, so you’re certain the issue has been resolved.


Wrap Up

These reasons are certainly good reasons to use open source software instead of getting a corporate one. However, all these benefits come with certain liabilities, and they could be even more expensive if you’re not familiar with programming, or don’t have a team who can help you adapt the code.


All in all, everything has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to determine what it is that you really need, if you want to build your own product, or buy a ready-made solution like Workpuls.


Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

Ready to Take Full Control Of Your Workplace?

Try the simplest solution today…

Try Now For Free