My search led me to a kid browser that I had reviewed several years ago when I first started this column - it is called ChiBrow. The name derives from the words children browser. In its years of existence, ChiBrow has grown and improved with great leaps and bounds.
It also has changed in the price arena as well. Back when I first encountered ChiBrow, the price was a very minimal amount, then it switched to free via ad-supported backing. Now, with the very latest version, ChiBrow 7.0, the cost stands at $29.95. And while one can download the software online, it can't be used until you purchase a license.
So, initially, I decided to keep looking for an alternative browser because my original plan was to find a free kid's browser. I found several different ones, but none seemed to fit the bill for our situation, so I went back to ChiBrow.
With a little research, I was able to find an earlier free version of ChiBrow, version 5.50b, that still was available to download online. It was exactly what I was looking for! Registration for this version is free and not too invading. It was a relatively small download at 6.9MB and is jam-packed with everything needed to give a child an enjoyable and safe online experience.
This version of ChiBrow received the highest rating of Tucows Tukids site of five cows. The browser is colorful, easy to use and includes a dropdown list of pre-selected sites devoted to kids.
For parents, it includes a password protected area so they can manage how the browser works with their computer's environment. Parents are able to make the browser the only program accessible to the child by hiding the taskbar and/or desktop icons. They also can make it possible for the child not to be able to exit out of ChiBrow. This prevents them from minimizing ChiBrow and launching a different browser without surf protection.
The settings also allow a parent to choose whether or not to allow the Internet Explorer or Netscape browsers to be used. Parents also can add sites they allow their children to visit if they aren't listed and add to the block list of those they don't approve for their child.
Once again, it proves that you don't have to have the very latest version to have a good solid program. Now I can breathe easier knowing the kids will be surfing safely.
Download a copy of the free 5.50b version of the browser by going here.
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