AceSpy Mac is a mac keylogger with a standard set of features. Its interface is thought-out and the keylogger itself is easy to use. Can be used for monitoring of your home computer.
- Good security
- Available in English only
- Only basic screenshot-making options
- Not enough interception in messengers
Installation"AceSpy Mac User Guide" strongly recommends us opening Preferences → Universal Access and marking "Enable access for assistive devices" box before the installation. We will talk about this requirement a bit later. Right now we do what we are asked for and launch the installer.
In order to install AceSpy Mac we need to pass through the following set of windows: Introduction → Destination Select → Installation Type → Installation → Summary. Nothing special, we only would like to mention that the installer asks for administrator password in "Installation Type" screen. On the same screen it lets us know it will reboot the computer once the installation is finished.
Once we are logged back to the system we press the hotkey combination and put in the password (both are usually sent in the email after a purchase is made) and see the interface of AceSpy Mac.
InterfaceThe interfaces of AceSpy Mac Preferences and Log Viewer windows look almost the same, so we will describe only the log viewer. Depending on the type of intercepted information the log viewer window may have from 3 to 4 elements, however the general principle is the following. All the intercepted information is grouped into categories. Switching between the categories is made by clicking one of the corresponding buttons located in the top of the window. Below this line we see the element related to the log's date.
As it was mentioned, depending on the type of intercepted information we see either one or two sections showing the intercepted information. In case of two sections, one of them shows the information itself (e.g. shows the visited website), the other one — its details (e.g. time, window title, etc.). If only one section is present (e.g. in the logs showing the started applications) only the details of the information are be shown. In general, the interface leaves an impression of a very thought-out and easy-to-use one.
The official website of AceSpy Mac states that the keylogger supports OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard only. During our tests AceSpy Mac also worked on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and didn't on 10.7 Lion. Please remember that running a keylogger on a system that is not supported officially may result in the absence of its technical support by the developers.
As for the security of AceSpy Mac, it is on a high level. The keylogger's folder is greatly hidden, the keylogger itself can be accessed by pressing a hotkey combination and it is password-protected. It also can be configured to show the computer's user a warning message, informing them about the fact they are under monitoring.
Unfortunately, like many of other mac keyloggers, AceSpy Mac can't be accessed by typing a keyword and can't be configured to be uninstalled on a pre-specified date.
Unfortunately, such things as system log on/off and inactivity time, logon password, file activities, mouse clicks, sounds and printed documents are things you will not find in its logs.
As for the screenshots, the situation is similar, the users of AceSpy Mac can adjust period of screenshots' making and the quality of screenshots only. Unfortunately, the keylogger will not allow setting it to make screenshots of an active window only and making of them every time a mouse button is clicked.
Website LogsThe situation is not perfect in "Online Monitoring" section also.
Despite the website of developers of AceSpy Mac claims (on the moment of review's writing) that the keylogger logs URLs visited in Safari and Firefox, results of our tests are different. During them the keylogger really logged URLs visited in two browsers, and one of them really was Safari. However, the second was Opera, not Firefox. As for Firefox the log contained either "false" or "true" instead of URLs visited. As for Chrome, the corresponding log file showed no URLs visited, as expected.
Now let's talk about two-side interception of chats in messengers. Developers' website states (on the moment of review's writing) AceSpy Mac logs conversations in Yahoo! Instant Messenger, AIM, iChat and Skype. We test mac keyloggers with these messengers, plus with Microsoft Messenger. In our tests the log file contained both sides of chat conversations made in Skype and Yahoo! Instant Messenger, leaving the incoming side of chats made in the rest of already mentioned messengers unlogged.
What we should add in this section is that AceSpy Mac doesn't log incoming and outgoing emails and can't be configured to make a screenshot every time a new website is opened. No information about these features in AceSpy Mac was found on the developers' website on the moment of review's writing, yet they can hardly be called unnecessary.
Email SettingsAs for the reports, AceSpy Mac can deliver them by email, but can't use any other of the logs' delivery methods present in our testing. The keylogger allows its users to configure the logs' auto-clearance, but doesn't provide them with any tools for limiting their size.
AceSpy Mac shows the events' duration in the log of started applications, but seems not to have a feature allowing the user to specify an interval of dates for logs' viewing. We also didn't find any way to perform a search in logs and to create lists of users and applications we would like to monitor.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that AceSpy Mac can show in "Other" section.
It can't be configured to somehow react to keywords, can't work on schedule, can't block websites from visiting and applications from starting and is available in English only.
Summing up we can say that the standard set of features and thought-out interface of AceSpy Mac make it a mac keylogger that may come in handy for home monitoring.