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mSpy Review: What Makes This the Best Parental Control App?
Last Updated: September 6, 2023 by Vikram
Monitoring your child’s online activities has become ever so crucial in today’s day and age. With unlimited access to the internet, social media apps, and more, children are now accessing information that might not be appropriate for them. Using a parental control app like mSpy to monitor their activities on their smartphone is a great option. In this detailed mSpy review, we tell you if the app is really as good as everyone says it is.
We also tell you what features it offers, how much it costs, and what devices it’s compatible with. We aim to answer all these questions and show you whether or not this app is truly worth your money.
What is mSpy?
mSpy is a comprehensive parental monitoring app that you can use to monitor all your child’s activities on their smartphone. It’s compatible with both Android phones and iOS devices, thus giving you a wide range of compatibility.
It stealthily monitors everything from text messages, phone calls, GPS locations, keystrokes, browsing history, media files, and a whole lot more. All of this comes at a rather affordable price point, making this a great option overall.
As mentioned earlier, mSpy is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, so you can monitor your child’s phone regardless of which operating system it runs on. The basic software requirements for the app to work on both platforms are mentioned below –
- iOS – iOS 7 and up
- Android – Android version 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich)
How Does mSpy Work?
The mSpy app is a comprehensive monitoring software that you can use to keep track of all the activities on a target device. Once you download and install mSpy on the device, you will get access to all the data stored on it via the mSpy control panel. The mSpy app can track the following –
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- GPS locations in real-time
- Keystrokes and specific keywords
- Media files
- Social media apps
- Web browsing history, and more.
All this information is quickly and accurately uploaded on the dashboard for you to view at any point.
In this section of our mSpy review, we take you through all the key features that mSpy has to offer. These features are common to both Android and iPhone devices. Further, while you can access most of the app’s features without rooting or jailbreaking the target device, doing so will give you access to some advanced features.
The very first feature you’ll come across on the app’s dashboard is the device’s contact list. Once you click on the Contact List option, you’ll see a list of all the contacts saved on the device. When you click on each contact, you’ll also get to see additional information such as their email ID or address, if the target has added this information to the contact card on their device.
This way, you can keep track of who your child has on their contact list, and who they potentially talk to.
Monitoring Text Messages
The next feature you’ll see is that of Text Messages. This gives you access to all your child’s text messages, both sent and received. The best part about this app, unlike a lot of other parental control apps, is that it shows each chat in a conversation view, making it easier to read as a whole.
Here’s all the information the app will show you –
- The name or phone number of each contact
- The messages sent or received in a conversation view
- Any media or MMS files that have been exchanged
- Dates and timestamps for each message
What’s more, mSpy also gives you the option to filter messages over the past 7, 14, 30, or 60 days, or even add custom dates. However, it doesn’t allow you to filter messages by contacts, so you’ll have to manually scroll through the list if you want to find a message from someone specific.
Unfortunately, unlike uMobix or SpyBubble, mSpy doesn’t show you deleted messages, so you won’t see any chats that your child has deliberately erased from their phone.
Monitoring Call Logs
Another key feature that mSpy offers is the ability to monitor all incoming and outgoing phone calls made to and from the target device. This will give you a complete overview of who your child talks to, when, and for how long. Here’s all the information you’ll get to see on the mSpy dashboard –
- The phone number
- The contact’s name
- The duration of the call
- Dates and timestamps for each call
- Whether it was declined, answered, or missed.
Once again, you get a feature to filter call logs over a certain number of days in the past, while also being able to filter via custom dates.
Keylogging and Keystroke Tracking
mSpy’s keylogger is among the best ones available on the market today, as it always provides quick and accurate results while offering you the ability to receive alerts for specific custom keywords. The app offers plenty of information, including –
- The app the keystroke was recorded on, such as Chrome, Instagram, and so on.
- The text recorded
- The date and time it was recorded.
The keyword tracker available with the keylogger works wonders and is a boon for every parent. It allows you to specify which keyword you want to receive alerts for, which app you’d like the app to track the keyword on, and whether or not you want to receive keyword alerts every time the target words are entered.
GPS Location Tracking
mSpy’s GPS location tracking is a crucial feature that every parent relies on to know their child is safe at all times. This is also one of mSpy’s best and most accurate features, and it also comes with geofencing, a feature that some other spy apps miss out on. Some of the key details that you get to see include –
- The latitude and longitude of each location
- The accuracy in meters
- The full address of each location
- The date and time it was tracked at
- A link to view each location on Google Maps
The geofencing feature comes in handy as it allows parents to mark certain safe or unsafe areas on the map, so the app can alert them when their child enters these designated zones.
Social Media Monitoring
With children spending several hours a day on social media apps, it becomes ever so important for parents to monitor what they do online. Be it on apps like Instagram and Snapchat, or even checking whether your child is on a dating app like Tinder, mSpy does it all very well. Some of the key apps that mSpy can monitor social media accounts on include –
- Facebook Messenger
- Instagram, and more.
Regardless of which app you’re monitoring, mSpy will show you all the chats in a conversation view, making them easier to read through. Social media app monitoring is available on both Android and iOS devices, and it gives you lots of information across all the apps. Some of these details include –
- The name of the contact
- Their profile picture
- Media files such as photos or videos that have been exchanged
- The date and timestamp of each message
mSpy doesn’t just monitor messages on these apps like a lot of other parental control apps do. In fact, it takes this a step further, especially on WhatsApp – it shows you a list of all the incoming and outgoing calls made via WhatsApp, along with a list of all the contacts on the app.
The screen recorder feature that mSpy offers is a great tool that offers parents key insights into what their children are doing on their phones at any given point in time. The app routinely takes screenshots of all the activity on the screen and uploads these to its servers.
All these screenshots are provided with the date and time at which they were captured, along with the option to download these screenshots to your device to view them later. Additionally, mSpy will also show you which app these screenshots were captured from.
Web Browser Monitoring
Monitoring what kids do on their web browsers is extremely important to find out what kind of content they consume. This is where mSpy’s web browser monitoring feature comes in handy as it shows you all the details of what your child does on any web browser installed on their device. Some of the key details the app provides include –
- The website title
- The URL
- The date and time of the last visit
- The number of visits to each website
Additionally, the app also shows you a list of all the bookmarks saved on the web browser, along with when the bookmark was created and the URL of the site or web page.
How to Install mSpy
Installing mSpy on either an Android device or an iOS device is relatively easy. However, the one key difference between both processes is that the mSpy installation on an Android device requires physical access to the target device. On the other hand, you can install this app on an iOS target device remotely, provided two-factor authentication is disabled on the target phone. All you need is the target’s iCloud credentials, and you’re good to go.
The main steps to download and install mSpy are mentioned below –
Step 1 – Create an account on the mSpy website with your email ID and password of choice.
Step 2 – Log in to your mSpy account and then pay for a mSpy subscription of your choice. You can also try out the mSpy free trial if you don’t want to pay for a subscription just yet.
Step 3 – If you’re installing the app on an Android target phone, access the device and disable the options Scan apps with Play Protect and Improve harmful app detection in the Google Play Store.
Step 4 – Download the APK file on the target device and give the app all the permissions it needs to function appropriately on the device.
Step 5 – Verify the code sent to your email, and start monitoring the target user from the app’s control panel.
Step 6 – If you’re installing the app on an iOS target phone, log in to your mSpy account and enter the target’s iCloud credentials.
Step 7 – Verify the code sent to the target device (if 2FA is enabled) to complete the installation process and wait for the data to start streaming in.
Step 8 – Once all the data is updated, you can start monitoring the target’s phone usage remotely from the app’s control panel. Whether you want to monitor their messaging apps, location history, or the target device’s screen via the screen recorder, you can access all the features on the dashboard.
Given mSpy’s features and the excellent customer support it offers, the app is priced rather competitively. Its pricing for both Android and iOS devices is the same, and these are given in the image below.
What’s great about the mSpy app when compared to a lot of other spy apps is that it offers a 7-day free trial. This allows you to access most of its features to see how they work on the target phone.
Pros and Cons
- Offers plenty of monitoring options
- The interface is easy to use and navigate
- Offers remote installation for Android devices
- Completely undetectable on the target smartphone
- Accurate keylogger with keyword tracking
- Only monitors one device per account
- Some advanced features require rooting on Android devices
Is mSpy Safe?
Yes, mSpy is completely safe to install on a device and monitor it. This is one of the reasons that this spy app is widely loved among parental controls apps, aside from its customer support, and the other features it offers.
Can mSpy be Installed Remotely?
You can install mSpy remotely on an iOS device, provided two-factor authentication is disabled on the target phone. However, installing the mSpy software on an Android device will require physical access for about five minutes.
Is mSpy Legal?
Yes, mSpy is completely legal to use if you’re monitoring your child under the age of 18. However, using it to monitor an adult without their consent is illegal. Always make sure to check your local laws for more clarity on their privacy provisions.
Does mSpy offer a Free Trial?
Yes, mSpy offers an extremely useful 7-day free trial that gives you the ability to test the app’s features and see how they work in real time.
As you can see from our detailed mSpy review, we were thoroughly impressed with the various features this app had to offer, its accuracy and quick data uploads, and our experience with the mSpy customer support team. mSpy works equally well on both iOS and Android devices and offers features such as the ability to read incoming and outgoing messages, monitor the installed apps, use the keylogger and screen recorder, monitor social media platforms, and a whole lot more.
While Android devices don’t necessarily need to be rooted, doing so gives you access to some advanced features. These features also come bundled in when you purchase the Premium Plan of this spy app.
Overall, the app offers everything one could look for in a parental control app in an easy-to-use interface and competitive price point, making it a great option for parents who want to monitor their children’s smartphones.