NetSupport DNA

by: Mark Kelly
NetSupport DNA is a network and IT management tool for schools which enables  ICT technicians to better manage their network and also support users – knowing what devices they’ve got, what’s stored on those devices, and how those devices are being used – all from one central point. Its features include: inventory and licensing tools, web and application metering, alerting and endpoint security (supporting GDPR compliance), power management, user management, remote control, safeguarding tools and much more.

The product’s safeguarding tools help monitor what users type or copy to a clipboard and what they search on the internet, by means of a low level hook-in to the operating system. It compares it with algorithms  linked to a database containing key words. In addition to English, the database also features Welsh and many European languages, enabling the use of suspicious words to be picked up immediately no matter which language they’re in. This doesn’t just work with Windows, it also works with IOS, Android, Chrome and Mac: any operating system that you would see in a school. The safeguarding toolkit also includes the ability for students to report their concerns in confidence to a trusted member of staff, and access online support resources amongst other options.

NetSupport DNA also has a cost saving function. Its licence management and hardware inventory can monitor what hardware and software is being bought (or being underutilised), ensuring that schools don’t purchase unnecessary items. Its power management tool helps  ensure that machines are shut down at the end of the school day. Not only that, it can pinpoint where unused machines are left switched on during the day. It can be configured to automatically shut down machines after they have been left unused for a given period of time.

In many ways NetSupport DNA is a background product, but the functions it performs are essential. It is commendably flexible in that it can be used with a wide variety of operating systems and can also be installed easily. This is a most impressive product that performs a wide range of functions with the minimum of fuss, and is thus highly recommended.