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 BeeBole
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$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
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 onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
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

The best remote desktop software solutions come in all types of packages, from free to open source to one-off payments and subscription-based models.

If you are considering implementing one in your company, you might be able to use an open source time tracking software depending on the size of your team and your requirements. Though we have to add the caveat that for larger teams with more nuanced needs, a premium option is likely best.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into 13 free and open source employee monitoring software and employee time tracking solutions. We’ll explore features and the pros and cons of using each. 

Here's our list of 13 free computer monitoring software options:

  • Homebase
  • ActivTrak
  • RescueTime
  • DeskTime
  • Paymo
  • TMetric
  • TimeCamp
  • Kickidler
  • Veyon
  • Screenshot Monitor
  • TrackingTime
  • SXR Software
  • PC Screen Watcher

Homebase

Homebase review

Source: joinhomebase.com

Homebase is one of the few free time tracking tool solutions that can support an unlimited number of employees. It does have some paid packages, but we are here to talk about free and open source computer monitoring and time tracking tools.

With Homebase’s free package, you can track time as much as you want, with an unlimited number of users, projects, and reports. Additionally, it has scheduling, payroll, and even job posting and hiring features. 

Best for: HR payroll calculation

ActivTrak

activtrak review

Source: activtrak.com

ActivTrak, like Homebase, offers a freemium option of their software. However, it is only for up to 3 users, so if you’re a freelancer or have a small team, this is a great solution.

The Freemium version offers real-time reporting, website blocking, and scheduled monitoring, among other things. However, data exports and screenshots are limited. Additionally, the storage space for logs and screenshots is limited to 3 GB.

Best for: Identifying disengagement or burnout

RescueTime

rescuetime review

Source: capterra.com/rescuetime

RescueTime offers a free RescueTime Lite version which helps you track the time spent on websites and apps, and set targets. It sends weekly email reports, but the report history is only available for the previous three months.

This app can help individual employees stay focused on the task at hand, minimizing the risk of losing productivity through distractions.

Best for: Staying focused 

DeskTime

desktime screenshot

Source: Capterra.com/desktime

DeskTime has a Lite version, however only for one user. With it, you can track time, app usage, and it also has a mobile app to help you track your phone activity.

DeskTime allows you to analyze work habits through the collection of time data so you can adjust and adapt to maximize individual productivity.

Best for: Analyzing work habits

Paymo

paymo time tracking review

Source: Paymo

Paymo is a tool with many options, including time and task tracking, invoicing, reporting, and scheduling. Its free version is an ideal solution for freelancers and it includes simple to-do lists, kanban boards, time tracking, desktop and mobile apps tracking, reporting, up to 3 invoices, and storage.

Some of the more advanced features they have are more suitable for teams, and they include advanced reporting, file sharing, Gantt charts, etc.

Best for: Freelancer time tracking

TMetric

tmetric review

Source: capterra.com/tmetric

TMetric’s free plan is limited to 5 users, it has options for time tracking, web app integration, and reporting. It also includes an unlimited number of projects and clients. If you have a team of up to 5 people, or you’re freelancing, you can probably get a lot out of an app like TMetric.

Besides a desktop app, the tool also has a web-based application and a browser extension which simplifies the whole process of time tracking.

Best for: Data reports

TimeCamp

timecamp review

Source: timecamp.com

If you need to track time exclusively, and only for yourself - go with TimeCamp. Their free version only does that - tracks time for one user. You can also integrate it with Trello (among other apps), for better task time management.‍

Acting as a virtual clock-in system, TimeCamp can help you inform your manager when you show up for work and when you clock out for the day.

Best for: Manual time entry

Kickidler

kickidler review

Source: youtube.com/kickidler, screenshot

Kickidler offers many paid options, but most notably it offers a Freemium version of the product which is free forever if you’re only looking to track 6 employees.

This free computer monitoring software doesn't include video recording and playback options, but you can still track keys, work time, and monitor the computers in real-time.

One thing it also lacks is remote control of computers, but most tools don’t even have it in their paid version.

Best for: Tracking keystrokes 

Veyon

veyon review

Source: veyon.io

Veyon is free web monitoring software. Its main use is for classroom management, but it can easily be used in a work environment as well.

It allows you to take control over paired computers, so you can lock them, reboot, or shut them down. It doesn’t have more traditional features like time tracking, website and app usage, etc. But it does offer almost full remote control, and screenshots.

Additionally, you can share your own screen with everyone in a matter of seconds.

Best for: Computer remote control 

Screenshot Monitor

screenshot monitor review

Source: screenshotmonitor.com

Limited to 3 users, the free version of Screenshot Monitor offers time tracking, screenshot monitoring (3 screenshots per hour), and it can store those screenshots for 2 weeks only.

There’s no way to track activity, so if you’re looking for something more than time tracking and screenshots, you can take a look at some other tools which offer more in their free packages.

Best for: Monitoring activity with screenshots

TrackingTime

trackingtime

Source: trackingtime.co

Simple project tracking software to manage everything in one place. Stay on top of your team's work, keep up with deadlines, and ace all your projects. 

Get accurate timesheets, export them into invoices and reports, and share them with your clients. And create a timeline to plan your projects, displaying milestone tasks and assigning them to your team to promote ownership while keeping track of progress.

Avoid bottlenecks and see how everything falls into place with no extra effort. TrackingTime makes it easy to collaborate with your team.‍

Best for: Timesheet reporting

SXR Software

SXR is a free computer monitoring software that has many different versions. They include versions for startups, processes, internet, activity, and mouse logging. Additionally, it also includes monitoring for files, USBs, screenshots, etc.

It seems interesting, but it’s not really practical to download 10 different apps in order to track 10 different things.

Best for: Focusing on one form of tracking

PC Screen Watcher

PC Screen Watcher is advertised as a child control tool, but this isn’t its only use. It can limit app usage based on custom settings, and send keyloggers and active windows stats to a set email address.

Furthermore, it can automatically shut down if the computer is idle, and run back once the computer is started. It captures screenshots, and it is very easy to configure the restriction rules on it.

Best for: Tracking idle time

How to Evaluate Your Options

Knowing what employee monitoring tools are available in 2023 can help you reach a decision if you’re looking for a free solution, but if you want to settle on the right tool, you’ll need a robust decision-making process.

Here are several factors to bear in mind as you consider each tool:

Team profile - The size and experience level of your team should be a factor whenever you’re looking to add a new software solution to your tech stack. With all the tools in the list, you’re limited to small teams of around 1-5 team members, so plan accordingly. Consider ease of use too, as this will determine how quickly employees can get to grips with the software.

Manual vs automatic - With time tracking tools, you’ll face the choice between manual and automatic time tracking. There are pros and cons to each method, so decide in advance which would best suit your team.

Most useful features - It may sound obvious but think about the one or two features that will be most useful to you and your team. Base your decision on this, rather than the four or five features that could be useful in the right circumstances.

Selecting the Right Tool

Now that you’ve seen a handful of free and open source employee monitoring solutions, it could be that you’re ready to move forward with one or several and put them through their paces. 

Since they are free to use, you can spend as much time as you need getting to grips with them and trying them on a small scale.

However, if you’re interested in more advanced features and functionality, you’ll likely have to look elsewhere. While free and open source options can help you track time and activities effectively, they might not scale as well as their premium counterparts.

If you’re curious about other options - both free and premium -  you can check out our review of the best 26 employee monitoring tools.

Updated on June 12th 2023

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Employee Monitoring

13 Free and Open Source Time Tracking and Employee Monitoring Software

Written by
Bojana Djordjevic
Published on
June 11, 2019

The best remote desktop software solutions come in all types of packages, from free to open source to one-off payments and subscription-based models.

If you are considering implementing one in your company, you might be able to use an open source time tracking software depending on the size of your team and your requirements. Though we have to add the caveat that for larger teams with more nuanced needs, a premium option is likely best.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into 13 free and open source employee monitoring software and employee time tracking solutions. We’ll explore features and the pros and cons of using each. 

Here's our list of 13 free computer monitoring software options:

  • Homebase
  • ActivTrak
  • RescueTime
  • DeskTime
  • Paymo
  • TMetric
  • TimeCamp
  • Kickidler
  • Veyon
  • Screenshot Monitor
  • TrackingTime
  • SXR Software
  • PC Screen Watcher

Homebase

Homebase review

Source: joinhomebase.com

Homebase is one of the few free time tracking tool solutions that can support an unlimited number of employees. It does have some paid packages, but we are here to talk about free and open source computer monitoring and time tracking tools.

With Homebase’s free package, you can track time as much as you want, with an unlimited number of users, projects, and reports. Additionally, it has scheduling, payroll, and even job posting and hiring features. 

Best for: HR payroll calculation

ActivTrak

activtrak review

Source: activtrak.com

ActivTrak, like Homebase, offers a freemium option of their software. However, it is only for up to 3 users, so if you’re a freelancer or have a small team, this is a great solution.

The Freemium version offers real-time reporting, website blocking, and scheduled monitoring, among other things. However, data exports and screenshots are limited. Additionally, the storage space for logs and screenshots is limited to 3 GB.

Best for: Identifying disengagement or burnout

RescueTime

rescuetime review

Source: capterra.com/rescuetime

RescueTime offers a free RescueTime Lite version which helps you track the time spent on websites and apps, and set targets. It sends weekly email reports, but the report history is only available for the previous three months.

This app can help individual employees stay focused on the task at hand, minimizing the risk of losing productivity through distractions.

Best for: Staying focused 

DeskTime

desktime screenshot

Source: Capterra.com/desktime

DeskTime has a Lite version, however only for one user. With it, you can track time, app usage, and it also has a mobile app to help you track your phone activity.

DeskTime allows you to analyze work habits through the collection of time data so you can adjust and adapt to maximize individual productivity.

Best for: Analyzing work habits

Paymo

paymo time tracking review

Source: Paymo

Paymo is a tool with many options, including time and task tracking, invoicing, reporting, and scheduling. Its free version is an ideal solution for freelancers and it includes simple to-do lists, kanban boards, time tracking, desktop and mobile apps tracking, reporting, up to 3 invoices, and storage.

Some of the more advanced features they have are more suitable for teams, and they include advanced reporting, file sharing, Gantt charts, etc.

Best for: Freelancer time tracking

TMetric

tmetric review

Source: capterra.com/tmetric

TMetric’s free plan is limited to 5 users, it has options for time tracking, web app integration, and reporting. It also includes an unlimited number of projects and clients. If you have a team of up to 5 people, or you’re freelancing, you can probably get a lot out of an app like TMetric.

Besides a desktop app, the tool also has a web-based application and a browser extension which simplifies the whole process of time tracking.

Best for: Data reports

TimeCamp

timecamp review

Source: timecamp.com

If you need to track time exclusively, and only for yourself - go with TimeCamp. Their free version only does that - tracks time for one user. You can also integrate it with Trello (among other apps), for better task time management.‍

Acting as a virtual clock-in system, TimeCamp can help you inform your manager when you show up for work and when you clock out for the day.

Best for: Manual time entry

Kickidler

kickidler review

Source: youtube.com/kickidler, screenshot

Kickidler offers many paid options, but most notably it offers a Freemium version of the product which is free forever if you’re only looking to track 6 employees.

This free computer monitoring software doesn't include video recording and playback options, but you can still track keys, work time, and monitor the computers in real-time.

One thing it also lacks is remote control of computers, but most tools don’t even have it in their paid version.

Best for: Tracking keystrokes 

Veyon

veyon review

Source: veyon.io

Veyon is free web monitoring software. Its main use is for classroom management, but it can easily be used in a work environment as well.

It allows you to take control over paired computers, so you can lock them, reboot, or shut them down. It doesn’t have more traditional features like time tracking, website and app usage, etc. But it does offer almost full remote control, and screenshots.

Additionally, you can share your own screen with everyone in a matter of seconds.

Best for: Computer remote control 

Screenshot Monitor

screenshot monitor review

Source: screenshotmonitor.com

Limited to 3 users, the free version of Screenshot Monitor offers time tracking, screenshot monitoring (3 screenshots per hour), and it can store those screenshots for 2 weeks only.

There’s no way to track activity, so if you’re looking for something more than time tracking and screenshots, you can take a look at some other tools which offer more in their free packages.

Best for: Monitoring activity with screenshots

TrackingTime

trackingtime

Source: trackingtime.co

Simple project tracking software to manage everything in one place. Stay on top of your team's work, keep up with deadlines, and ace all your projects. 

Get accurate timesheets, export them into invoices and reports, and share them with your clients. And create a timeline to plan your projects, displaying milestone tasks and assigning them to your team to promote ownership while keeping track of progress.

Avoid bottlenecks and see how everything falls into place with no extra effort. TrackingTime makes it easy to collaborate with your team.‍

Best for: Timesheet reporting

SXR Software

SXR is a free computer monitoring software that has many different versions. They include versions for startups, processes, internet, activity, and mouse logging. Additionally, it also includes monitoring for files, USBs, screenshots, etc.

It seems interesting, but it’s not really practical to download 10 different apps in order to track 10 different things.

Best for: Focusing on one form of tracking

PC Screen Watcher

PC Screen Watcher is advertised as a child control tool, but this isn’t its only use. It can limit app usage based on custom settings, and send keyloggers and active windows stats to a set email address.

Furthermore, it can automatically shut down if the computer is idle, and run back once the computer is started. It captures screenshots, and it is very easy to configure the restriction rules on it.

Best for: Tracking idle time

How to Evaluate Your Options

Knowing what employee monitoring tools are available in 2023 can help you reach a decision if you’re looking for a free solution, but if you want to settle on the right tool, you’ll need a robust decision-making process.

Here are several factors to bear in mind as you consider each tool:

Team profile - The size and experience level of your team should be a factor whenever you’re looking to add a new software solution to your tech stack. With all the tools in the list, you’re limited to small teams of around 1-5 team members, so plan accordingly. Consider ease of use too, as this will determine how quickly employees can get to grips with the software.

Manual vs automatic - With time tracking tools, you’ll face the choice between manual and automatic time tracking. There are pros and cons to each method, so decide in advance which would best suit your team.

Most useful features - It may sound obvious but think about the one or two features that will be most useful to you and your team. Base your decision on this, rather than the four or five features that could be useful in the right circumstances.

Selecting the Right Tool

Now that you’ve seen a handful of free and open source employee monitoring solutions, it could be that you’re ready to move forward with one or several and put them through their paces. 

Since they are free to use, you can spend as much time as you need getting to grips with them and trying them on a small scale.

However, if you’re interested in more advanced features and functionality, you’ll likely have to look elsewhere. While free and open source options can help you track time and activities effectively, they might not scale as well as their premium counterparts.

If you’re curious about other options - both free and premium -  you can check out our review of the best 26 employee monitoring tools.

Updated on June 12th 2023


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