The smartphone app market is saturated with various applications that let a person control and monitor a target phone’s mobile activity. Most of the phone tracking solutions offer the same basic capabilities and we understand that it can get frustrating trying to compare them to find the best one for your needs. The last thing anyone wants is to spend money and time on a mobile security app that does not work. However, mSpy is widely regarded as the leading spy app for tracking your phone as evidenced by its high ratings.
In the following mSpy review, we will be discussing what makes mSpy so highly rated, its benefits, and its downsides. So, read on to find out if mSpy would make a perfect choice.
Introduction: What is mSpy?
mSpy is a mobile monitoring solution that can be installed on your target phone to let you monitor their mobile activities remotely. The app gives information such as phone calls, social media activity, instant messengers tracking, locations, and much more. A great thing about it is that the app runs in the background in complete incognito mode so that the target won’t know they’re being tracked.
Since its establishment in 2010, mSpy has quickly grown to be one of the most popular and well known mobile monitoring apps in the world. Not only is it reliable, easy to set up, and available for both iOS and Android cell phones, the app provides users with clear analysis into their smartphone activity.
All data collected from the app is uploaded into the company’s cloud server where you will have access to through the web-based dashboard. You can get into the dashboard from either a computer or a mobile. mSpy is a great application that offers a variety of uses. Some use it as parental control to keep tabs on their children’s mobile activity while others may install it to ensure their employees use their company smartphones for business-related matters only.
How Does This Spy App Work?
Once mSpy is installed on the mobile phone, the app will run in the background and be completely hidden to not alert the target of any such monitoring activities. Regardless of whether the app is hidden or not, there are no settings available for the app to be manipulated on the target phone.
Upon installation, the app will have almost everything on the phone or tablet, such as incoming/outgoing calls, social media conversations, instant messages, location tracking, etc. mSpy then collects all these data and sends them to your online dashboard for you to view at your convenience.
One thing to note is that the app utilizes an internet connection (either Wi-Fi or 3G/4G) to upload the information to your dashboard. This means that the target device must be connected to the internet for you to receive information. However, mSpy is not location dependent and it can work anywhere in the world as long as it has access to internet connection.
The Unique mSpy Features
The functionality built into this highly-rated phone monitoring app is quite comprehensive. So, let’s take a quick look at each functionality to give you a better idea of what mSpy can and cannot do.
The first thing you can see from your dashboard is plenty of information about your target information. Here are some of the basic stats that you’ll be able to see:
- mSpy software version
- Battery life
- Operating systems
- Memory space available
- Cellular service provider
- Phone model
- The last time it was synced
- And here are some of the key functions that you can perform remotely through your mSpy dashboard:
- Wiping data
- Disable the app
- Restart the mSpy app on the target device
- Unpair the current target device
- Clear all logs
- Export logs in PDF, XLS, or CSV format
- Reboot target device
- Lock target device
Target Device Settings
The dashboard’s control panel lets you set the default behavior for the device you want. The company understands that uploading all of this information frequently can be taxing to both your phone’s battery status and internet usage, the app lets you decide which types of information to be sent over specific connections.
For example, larger files such as videos can be set to upload once the phone is connected to Wi-Fi rather than a cellular connection. This will prevent the spy phone app from eating up a significant portion of your data plan.
Other than that, users can also set the update interval for data and location information. It is best to strike a balance where you get updated information without draining the battery too quickly. In most cases, we would suggest updating the data every 30 minutes and location information every 2 minutes.
One of the most popular and widely used features offered by mSpy is website monitoring and blocking feature. Not only does this let you see which websites were visited, but it also lets you know which web pages have been bookmarked and will even send you a notification when specific keywords are typed into the browser.
This is a fantastic parental control feature for parents who want to keep a close eye on what content their kids are viewing from the internet. Since you can’t always be there to keep a watchful eye to make sure your kids aren’t getting into trouble, the mSpy control app does a great job of monitoring to free up your time for other stuff.
Additionally, the monitoring app even lets you block specific sites. However, it is somewhat browser dependent. mSpy can block websites on Chrome, Safari, or native Android browser, but it has no control over third-party browsers such as Opera.
Phone Calls and Call Blocking
Another thing you can access from your control panel is all the incoming and outgoing calls from the target phone. You even get to see call times, call duration, details stored in their contacts, as well as the total number of calls. An interesting feature is that mSpy allows you to still check the phone call history after the target deletes their call log.
On top of that, mSpy even provides customers with two additional functions:
- You can block specific numbers or contacts from making incoming calls.
- You can block all calls within a specific curfew window.
All incoming and outgoing text (SMS) messages from the target device will be tracked and monitored by mSpy as well. Information such as phone number, time, and a text message will be sent to your online dashboard for you to view anytime.
Just like the call log, the phone tracking app is still able to send the text messages to you after the owner has deleted them from their phone.
Users have access to all sent and received email messages from their dashboard. From there, you get to see who is the sender/recipient, the email’s time stamp, and the content of the email itself. Similarly, you’ll still be able to see all the data from your dashboard even after the phone user deletes the emails.
Calendar & Contact Information
You get access to the target phone’s contact details such as contact names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc from your dashboard. On top of that, you also get to know their calendar events and schedule. This way, you are aware of any scheduled meetings or tasks and their associated details.
Another popular feature of the m Spy app is its GPS tracking capability. The tracking software uses the target device’s built-in GPS tracker system to instantly track phone locations accurately. Furthermore, the app even draws out the route history into a map of their location over a specified amount of time to let you see where and when they’ve been to exactly.
On top of GPS tracking, mSpy also utilizes GPS fencing capabilities to let you set up an unlimited number of restricted zones for the target device. Once the app detects that your target phone has wandered off to a restricted zone, the app will instantly send you an email notification to let you know. mSpy will even automatically log the time and visit frequency of each zone.
Geo-Fencing is an extremely powerful feature, especially for parents as it allows them to set up a safe zone around your home, school, or other areas they normally visit. If the child leaves any one of these safe zones, parents can trust that they will be notified instantly.
Instant Messaging Apps
Aside from phone calls and text messaging (SMS) spying capabilities, mSpy is even able to check messages sent through social media apps and messaging applications. This includes:
- Skype – all messages
- WhatsApp – all instant messaging
- iMessage – all messages
- Viber – all call logs, messages, and photos
- Snapchat – all videos, photos, drawings, date, and time
- Line – profile name, all messages (including hidden chats)
- Telegram – all contacts and messages (including hidden chats)
- Tinder – target’s profile, matches, superlikes, and messages
- Google Hangouts – photos, maps, contacts, emojis, and stickers
- However, this feature is only available on rooted Android device and jailbroken iOS devices.
You also get to see all of the installed applications on the target phone from your mSpy dashboard. From here, you can also choose to block or unblock specific phone apps. This functionality will help you ensure that your targets are not accessing any apps that could be harmful to them or the device/business.
Similar to Copy 9, mSpy replaces the default target keyboard to a mSpy keyboard that has the ability to track all keystrokes. You can even force mSpy to load its keyboard in the target device every time by selecting the “Force Keyboard” button in your control panel.
This is a helpful feature for monitoring certain language usage or to get login credentials, making it fantastic for those who want to hack an iPhone or Android device. However, this feature is only available for Android OS version 4 and above.
The monitoring software even notifies users whenever a certain word or phrase is used on the target phone. You get to set up any word of your choosing, like drugs, sex, porn, alcohol, etc. Simply enter all the keywords you want to be tracked and the app will instantly notify you once it detects any such words used in texts, chats, emails, etc.
Users can also view all media files including photos and videos taken with the target phone from the mSpy dashboard. Not only that, but you can also see the date and timestamp for each image/video. The great part about this is that users can view the images in thumbnail or watch the videos in full.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of mSpy
- Lots of features
- Simple setup and easy to install mSpy
- Excellent and reliable customer support
- Fast and responsive app function
- User-friendly dashboard
- Good parental feature
- Difficult usage and updating
- GPS location monitoring may sometimes be inaccurate
Before purchasing the monitoring software, it is important to first know if your intended target device is compatible. In any case, you ought to keep in mind that the software requires you to root or jailbreak the device to get the most functionality out of it.
With that being said, here’s a list of devices and their respective requirements:
Jailbroken iOS Devices (iPad or iPhone):
- iOS 6 – 8.4 or iOS 9.2
- Connected to the internet
- Must have physical access to device
Non-Jailbroken iOS Devices (iPad or iPhone):
- All version of iOS
- Connected to the internet
- No physical access if you have iCloud’s username and password
- Physical access may be required if iCloud backups are not enabled
- Android 4.0 or higher
- Connected to the internet
- Must have physical access to the device
- Require rooting to track IMs, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, Gmail, etc.
- MacOS 10.7 Lion, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, OS X 1.11 El Capitan
- Must have physical access to the computer
- Windows XPx32, Windows Vista x32, x64, Windows7 x32, or Windows8, 8.1
- Must have physical access to the computer
Pricing and Payment Plans
Although the monitoring software offers a diverse set of features, it is relatively cheaper than many other phone spy apps. mSpy comes in three packages: Basic Package, Premium Package, and Mobile Family Kit.
Basic Subscription Plan
1 month – $29.99
3 months – $59.99
6 months – $69.99
12 months – $99.99
Monitoring features include
- Text messages
- Chat history and contact list
- Website browsing history and bookmarks
- Calendar Entries
- Installed applications
- GPS locations
- Outgoing and incoming cellphone calls
- Keyword alerts
- Device info
Premium Subscription Plan
1 month – $69.99
3 months – $119.99
6 months – $149.99
12 months – $199.99
Monitoring features include everything offered in Basic package plus:
- Block unwanted applications and websites
- Monitor chats through IM applications
- Tracks connected Wi-Fi networks
- Restrict incoming calls
- Keylogger Feature
This package allows you to monitor more than one device simultaneously. To find out more about their package, it is best to contact their tech support team directly via chat, email, or phone.
If you’re still on the fence about whether you should subscribe to mSpy, the company even offers customers a 7-day free trial for you to test it out before making the final decision. Their website even has a demo version to let you figure out how the cell phone tracker operates.
Getting Started with mSpy
Here’s how to get started on monitoring and tracking a target phone remotely using the mSpy:
Step 1: Purchase a subscription. Once you’ve completed the purchase process, mSpy will email you your mSpy login name and password within a few minutes.
Step 2: Open the confirmation email from your computer and click on the link provided. This will take you to your control panel dashboard. After you’ve logged in, follow the on-screen installation instructions to install mSpy software onto your target device.
Step 3: Once the software is downloaded, mSpy will start monitoring the device immediately. Simply log into your account to access all monitored data.
Installing mSpy on Android Devices
Before you begin the software installation process, you’ll need to first turn off Google Play Store protection. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Settings on your cell phone
- Open Google tab and choose Security
- Choose Google Play Protect
- Disable Scan Device for Security Threats
To install the app, follow the steps below:
- Open browser and select Incognito Mode
- Copy and paste the link received by mSpy’s email
- Draw the shape provided in the box and download the file
- Go to File Manager in your target device and open Downloads
- Find the apk file and click on it to start the installation
Setting up the m Spy app:
- Read and accept the License Agreement
- Tap on Prevent Uninstall button
- Allow Keylogger Tracking. If you’re redirected to Accessibility, scroll down to Framework Update Service and turn it on.
- Allow collecting data. If you’re redirected to Usage Data Access, scroll down to Update Service and turn it on.
- Decide whether you want to hide or keep the mSpy icon or app icon on your target device
To complete the step, open your Control Panel from your computer or mobile device, fill in your target’s info, and choose the target OS. The app will then send you a Registration Code which you’ll need to key in to activate mSpy. After you press the Finish button, go to mSpy and use your username and password to login your account. You can now start monitoring your device remotely!
Installing mSpy without Jailbreak
The mSpy app installation (no jailbreak) is much easier on an iOS device compared to an Android phone. This is mainly because you don’t have to install mSpy manually onto your target device. Instead, you only need to know the target device’s iCloud credentials or Apple ID.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Log into your mSpy control panel and choose the installation option that matches your target device.
- Make sure that the target iPhone backup is enabled. To enable it, go to Settings menu and make sure that iCloud Backup is set to on. Then go to Backup and click Backup Now button to synchronize all the phone’s data with your mSpy control panel.
Installing on iPhone with Jailbreak
Before jailbreaking your phone, you need to first check whether your device can be jailbroken or not as many newer models do not have the jailbreak option available yet.
To check your iOS version, you can go to Settings > General > About > Version
Once you’ve successfully jailbroken the Apple device, you can now go to your control panel and choose iPhone to continue the installation guide. The entire jailbreaking procedure and installing the monitoring software programs may take about 30 minutes or so.
However, the jailbreaking process may be complicated for some. So, if you’re not tech-savvy or comfortable handling the installation, you can always pay a small fee for mSpy to handle the entire process for you.
mSpy Customer Service
Another great thing about mSpy is its superior customer support. As a paying customer, you can contact their 24 hours email support or 24/7 live chat support staff. Their friendly technical support team will be able to help guide you through any issues that come up during the installation or use of the product.
From our tests, we were able to receive an email reply from customer service in less than 30 minutes while chat times are significantly less (obviously!). We never had to wait more than 2 minutes to have a mSpy support representative respond to our chat requests.
Our Final Verdict: Honest mSpy reviews
After going through numerous reviews on mspy, we think you know that mSpy monitoring app is considerably one of the best and most reliable spy apps many can count on. Whether you’re a concerned parent, an employer, or someone who just wants to make sure that their target devices are being used appropriately and safely, the mSpy app will definitely get the work done for you.
mSpy offers decent premium features such as the ability to read sent and received text messages, view call logs, check web browser history, and more to help you monitor the phone. All these data are then uploaded into the company’s server where you’re able to monitor and check from the user-friendly mSpy dashboard.
Another great thing about mSpy is that they come in three different packages at affordable pricing options to suit your requirements. There are also significant cost savings for paying either quarterly or annually.
Hopefully, this review of mSpy has provided you with better insights and ideas on how this monitoring software works.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is mSpy safe?
Yes, mSpy is completely safe. While different versions of the software may require different methods of installation, they will have no impact on the cell phone and can be completely removed once it’s no longer required.
Q: Which smart phones, tablets, and computers are compatible with mSpy?
mSpy is compatible with a variety of devices. For jailbreak versions, all iPhones from iOS 6 – 8.4 and 9 – iOS 9.1 are supported. Whereas all iOS versions are supported for the non-jailbreak version.
mSpy supports all android phones with the operating system of Android 4.0 and above.
For windows, the supported OS includes Windows XP x32, Windows Vista x32, x64, Windows 7 x32, x64, Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows 10.
For mac computers, the supported OS includes Mac OS 10.7 Lion, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
Q: Will mSpy work anywhere?
Yes, as mentioned in the mSpy review above, the spy app will work anywhere in the world as long as the target device is internet-able. The software will send all the data from the device back to your control panel automatically.
Q: Is using mSpy legal?
Yes, using mSpy is legal if you’re the owner of the phone. For employers who want to monitor a company phone, you’ll need to notify the employee that the device is being monitored. However, it is completely up to you whether you plan to tell your child if you’re monitoring their phone as a parental control measure. One grey area is installing mSpy to keep an eye on your spouse or partner as telling them would obviously reduce the chances of catching them in the act.
Q: Is mSpy detectable?
No, mSpy is not detectable. It will not appear on the app drawer list or even in the app manager. Depending on how frequently you set the app to upload info, the app also does not drain the battery in a way that could lead to suspicions.
Q: Can mSpy monitor multiple devices?
Yes, mSpy can monitor multiple devices with the Family Plan. All the devices being monitored simultaneously will be shown on your dashboard where you can quickly change from one to the next. This is great if you need to track a number of workers or multiple children at the same time.
Q: Will jailbreaking an iPhone void the device warranty?
No, jailbreaking will not void the device warranty since you can update the iOS or simply reset the phone to factory default to reverse the jailbreak.
Q: do I remove mSpy?
To uninstall mSpy on iOS devices, simply open the app and click uninstall. Go to iPhoneInternalService, click Modify, and click on the Remove option.
For android devices, go to Phone Settings > Security > Device Administrators > Update Service and click Deactivate. Then go back to Settings > Apps > Update Service and click on uninstall.
As a Master Degree graduate in the Internet Technology field, Stefan is highly dedicated towards improving the overall web security so internet users can browse freely without having to be afraid of technical loopholes. With over 15 years in the internet security industry, you should definitely take his advice seriously.