Michael Dermody with Keeping Kids Safe Online blog recently wrote a review about Mobicip's safe browser. Thank you Mike! Here is a link to the original article: http://smartsafe.blogspot.com/2010/03/mobicip-safe-browser-review.html
Here is the article:
It's taken me a month or so to get to this but I finally got to spend some time with Mobicip. Last month one of my readers turned me on to Mobicip and asked me to review it. So here goes.
I try to start my reviews with a statement of my overall opinion. I like Mobicip, more than SafeEyes Mobile. Though I'm not going to rush out and get it for my kids because I've already purchased SafeEyes and Mobicip didn't outperform it enough for me to want to make the change. For those of you who don't know what Mobicip is, it's a web browser for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch. If you follow this blog, I have reviewed SafeEyes Mobile in the past. Mobicip does the same thing though it behaves a little differently.
The big difference between Mobicip and SafeEyes Mobile is that SafeEyes is a program and Mobicip is both a program and a portal. What does that mean? When you install SafeEyes onto your device, all of it's settings are contained within the program itself. It does not connect to any third party for updates or to get it's "instructions" for how and what to filter. Mobicip does connect to a third party service and this has definite advantages and a few drawbacks.
The advantage of Mobicip and it's third party connection is that is receives it's "orders" from a central location sponsored by the company that makes Mobicip. The settings it uses to filter objectionable content are a clone of the settings most schools use to protect students from bad stuff. Instead of you deciding which sites should be blocked, you can rely on the same expertise that makes those decisions for schools (though you still have to put some time in). It also gets updated whenever that master list gets updated so your filter list will always be current. This functionality alone is a huge plus.
The downside of connecting to a third party is that it affects browsing speed, though speed drops were seldom and the amount only slight. Before you get to any internet site you have to first travel through Mobicip's site for the filtering to work. The busier their site is, the longer it takes you to get through. But I have to be honest with you, I used it at various times of day and I never noticed much of a performance hit.
Another cool thing about Mobicip is that it looks exactly like Safari, the browser that comes on iPhones/iPods. SafeEyes has it's own browser that looks different. If your child is embarrassed by not having the same browser his/her friends have, then this should do the trick. Except for a splash screen that appears for about 2 seconds when the program is opened, there is no way to tell you aren't using Safari.
Mobicip's main features include:
* Real-time Internet content filtering
* Data encryption for added security over public WiFi
* Simple setup using predefined web filter configurations used in schools
* Easy, intuitive filtering administration
* Support for 3G, EDGE, Home WiFi, Public WiFi (including hotspots that require purchase or agreement)
* Safari-like User Interface, including pinch and zoom, bookmarks, tabs, landscape view, etc
* Operates with no load on the device and no noticeable delay.
The control panel for parents is pretty easy to use. After downloading Mobicip, the app immediately walks you through creating a Mobicip account and setting filtering settings at different levels. Ideally, the setup should be done by whoever will administrate the account so that the account will not be editable by your child. The account settings and control decisions are made by the administrator (you) at mobicip.com, which also has a very simple and easy to use website. You don't need not be an expert to set up and edit the account.
The best part about Mobicip is the price. $4.99 as opposed to $19.99 for SafeEyes.
All in all, Mobicip worked well, and is something I would definitely recommend to any concerned parent. But make sure that once Mobicip has been installed on your child’s iPhone, the Safari browser has been taken off via the restriction settings. Otherwise there really is no point to downloading it. If you need help disabling Safari, turn to Google and search on "disable Safari iPhone". That's how I figured it out.