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mSpy review: Have to Install? Is it Legit?

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Hof Ma
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2024-07-16

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mSpy is one of the top names among spy apps, particularly for parental control. The app is designed to monitor the activities of your family, including teenagers and young adults. mSpy app gives you insights into the daily life and online activities of your kids who avoid updating you about their whereabouts regularly. It removes the worry of wondering if your kids are safe, offering better protection through real-time updates.

However, parents often ask, “Is mSpy legit?” We understand their concern. Yes, the mSpy software is legit and is preferred by many worldwide. However, it has its pros and cons like any other app.

Thus, we’ve shared in-depth details in this mSpy review to help you decide if it is the right pick for your needs.

Document

Our Verdict

After using this app, I've come to the conclusion that mSpy is not the best parental control or spy app for iPhone users especially. The Android solution has many helpful features, but iOS users may not be able to access most of them until they buy the Ultimate plan and jailbreak the device.

At the same time, connecting the mSpy software to an Android device requires physical access to the phone, making it hard to use the app.

In all, there are better spy solutions at similar or even less than mSpy prices.

Pros

  • Free online demo.
  • Works in stealth mode.
  • Panic button for iPhone users.
  • Restricts apps and websites on Android devices.
  • Prompt customer service.

Cons

  • Complicated installation process.
  • Requires iPhone jailbreaking to use all features.
  • Costs higher than other spy apps.
  • Hard to get a refund.
  • No free trial or money-back guarantee.
mSpy
Starting price

$11.67/month per month (billed annually)

Free trial
No free trial; demo available
Standout features
SMS monitoring, calls tracking, WhatsApp tracking

Part 1. Deep Dive Review of mSpy's Android Monitoring Features

mSpy apk offers unique spy solutions for iPhone and Android, and the Android solution is more straightforward. It also provides numerous features to get insights into your child's phone and internet activity. Moreover, you can restrict applications and websites, making the internet comparatively safe for your children. But, how does mSpy work?

1.1. How does mSpy work on an Android

Using mSpy on an Android phone requires installing the APK on both phones to connect and monitor the target phone. Thus, you must have physical access to the target device to connect it to your mSpy account.

Connection SolutionStepsImplementation Conditions
APK

Step 1. Unlock the target device.

Step 2. Download and install the APK.

Step 3. Root the phone.

1. Disable Google Play Protection

2. You must have physical access to the target device to download the APK.

If an app suddenly appears on your phone for no apparent reason, it's bound to raise suspicions. To enhance its stealth, once successfully installed on the target device, the mSpy app automatically changes its name and logo to "Software Info." Even if the monitored individual opens this "Software Info," it will display information related to the phone's system, greatly reducing the likelihood of suspicion.


mSpy app appears on the target Android phone.

1.2. Specific monitoring features of mSpy for Android

With mSpy apk, you can monitor a wide range of activities and features on the target phone, including Keylogger, SMS, calls, GPS location, contacts, calendar, and keyword alerts. You can also block the target device's Wi-Fi, apps, and websites.

Connection MethodGeneral FeaturesSocial Media
APK

Keylogger

Early warning features

Blocking websites, apps, and Wi-Fi

Location tracking

Calls, messages, and email monitoring

WhatsApp

General features review:

  • Keylogger & Keyword alert

Keylogger is a specific spying feature by mSpy for Android that enables parents to monitor their children’s keystrokes. It is one of the most notable features of the mSpy phone tracker for Android phones.

Keyword alert lets you monitor your child’s activity based on specific words in text and social media messages. It helps you identify bullying, violence, and pornography on the target phone.


Keylogger and Keyword alert features.

 

  • Web filtering

mSpy’s web filtering feature is a unique feature for Android phones. While you cannot filter content by categories, you can restrict your child’s access to particular websites. Besides websites, you can block apps and Wi-Fi networks on Android phones using mSpy.


Web filtering features.

 

  • Email monitoring

The mSpy app allows you to view your child's emails, making it popular among families with Android phones. However, I've been waiting for almost an hour or so and the dashboard still shows no data.


Emails monitoring features.

 

  • Photos and Videos

During my testing, I noticed that there was no data displayed in the dashboard for either photos or videos. I patiently waited for over an hour, and I'm sure there are photos and videos on the Android phone I want to monitor.


Photos and videos monitoring features.

 

  • Location tracking

This app's real-time location tracking feature makes tracking your family's location incredibly easy to ensure their safety.


Location tracking features.

 

  • Call and SMS monitoring

With the mSpy log in, you can view SMS and calls on the target app. In addition to keyword-specific messages, you can also see other messages and incoming and outgoing calls on the target phone.


Calls and messages tracking features.

 

Social media monitoring feature review:

During my testing, I found that although the mSpy dashboard displayed numerous social media platforms, I could only remotely monitor WhatsApp on the target Android device. Data from other social media platforms did not show up. You can remotely monitor WhatsApp chat logs.


WhatsApp tracking features.
Social media tracking features.

Part 2. Deep Dive Review of mSpy's iPhone Monitoring Features

Parents can use the iOS mSpy phone app to monitor activities like Notes, Calendar, Files, Reminders, Contacts, Text messages, Events and Notes in different connection solutions explained below.

2.1. How does mSpy work on an iPhone

Compared to one solution for Android users, iPhone users can choose from multiple options for mSpy login. You can pick from iCloud, USB, and jailbreaking to link and track your child’s activity on their phone.

Connection SolutionStepsImplementation Conditions
iCloudSet up and connect the iPhone to your mSpy account by entering the iCloud account and password on the target phone.

1. Requires access to iCloud credentials.

2. You must pass the two-step verification.

USBUse a USB cable to connect the target iPhone to your computer.

1. Physical access to the phone needed.

2. You must be able to unlock the phone.

JailbreakInstall the mSpy app on the phone after jailbreaking it.

1. You must jailbreak the phone or buy the mAssistance package.

2. Jailbreaking may compromise your phone’s security.

2.2. Specific monitoring features of mSpy for iPhone

Connection MethodGeneral FeaturesSocial Media
iCloud

Notes

Calendar

Photos

Files

Reminders

(Contacts, Videos, Locations in the navigation but cannot see the data)

Can't monitor social media.
USB

Contacts

Text messages

Events

Notes

Wi-Fi networks

Installed apps

Browser history & bookmark

WhatsApp

Kik

LINE

Jailbreak

Keylogger

Calls

Photos

Videos

Files

Wi-Fi networks

Locations

Can't monitor social media.

General features review:

  • Photos and Videos

Like other spy app solutions, mSpy log in also details the target device's photo and video content. But this feature is available for connection via iCloud only.


Photos and videos tracking features on iPhone.

 

  • Files

If you want to see what your kids are downloading and saving on their phones, mSpy gives you insights into the file icon, date of creation, its name, and type.


Files monitoring features.

 

  • Location

Location is one of the most critical features of parental control apps, but you cannot check the target phone’s location when connected through USB. It is also not functional in the iCloud solution despite showing on the mSpy dashboard.


iPhone location tracking features.

 

Other features

Notes are available properly in all solutions. At the same time, you can access the events, Wi-Fi networks, installed apps, and browser history through the USB connection, and iCloud drive, reminder, and calendar is specific to the iCloud solution.


Tracking contact and events on iPhone.

Social media monitoring feature review:

Tracking social media activity on iPhones requires jailbreaking the phone, as you cannot access most apps through the iCloud solution. While the WhatsApp feature enables you to view your child’s messages on the app, this feature is quite limited in the USB connection mode. Also, you may not be able to see the media (images and videos) on the app.

If you want to monitor more social media applications, you must buy the Ultimate plan for iOS, as it is the only subscription option with access to social media other than iMessage and WhatsApp.

 

Part 3. mSpy Plans & Pricing

Now that you know all the features of mSpy phone tracker and parental control, you might want to know how much is mSpy. mSpy offers multiple subscription plans for iOS and Android users to choose from. The wide range of plans with varying features makes selecting the right one easier. Here’s the cost of mSpy software different plans:


mSpy price plan.

Part 4. mSpy Installation & Setup

When purchasing the mSpy app subscription, parents are often concerned, “Do you have to install mSpy on target phone?”

The answer depends on whether you want to monitor an Android or an iPhone. If you want to monitor an Android device, you will definitely need to install software on the target device. If you want to monitor an iPhone, you may not need to install software on the target device.

Next, I'll outline all the steps for monitoring Android and iPhone.

If you want to monitor an Android device, please follow the steps:

Step 1. Sign up for a free account.


Sign up for a free account.

Step 2. Select the "Android" option.


Select the

Step 3. Choose your price plan.


mSpy price plan.

Step 4. After successful payment, the page automatically redirects to the mSpy dashboard. Here, you need to reselect your target device. If you're sure you want to monitor an Android device, choose Android again.


Select the target device.

Step 5. Once you have access to the target Android device, follow the instructions to install the software and grant the necessary permissions.


Install mSpy app on Android.

Step 6. After completing all the above steps, you can remotely monitor someone's Android phone.


The Android dashboard of mSpy.

 

If your target device is an iPhone, please follow the steps:

Step 1. Sign up for a free account.


Sign up for a free account.

Step 2. Select the "iPhone" option.


Select the

Step 3. Choose your price plan.


mSpy price plan.

Step 4. Upon successful payment, the page will automatically redirect to the mSpy Dashboard. Here you will need to select your target device again. If you're sure you want to monitor an iPhone, select the iPhone again.


Select the target device.

Step 5. Now, you need to choose the connection method, iCloud or USB.


Select the connection method.

If you choose the first connection method, iCloud credentials, you need to enter the iCloud account and password of the iPhone you want to monitor.


Enter the iCloud account and password of the iPhone you want to monitor.

If you choose the second connection method, Local sync, you need to use a USB cable to connect a computer and the target iPhone.


Connect with the target iPhone via USB.

Step 6. If you finish the whole process, congratulations, you can start to remote monitor the data in other people's mobile phones.

Part 5. mSpy Customer Support & After-Sales Experience

You might not be very happy with mSpy customer service if you prefer guides and answers to general queries that are already available. However, it is fine for those who jump to live chat immediately to get answers to specific questions.

The mSpy website has a few basic FAQs and blogs, but they do not provide in-depth answers to most queries, and you have to resort to the YouTube channel. For me, YouTube is not always the first pick, as it takes more time to view videos to find the exact answer to my question.

Alternatively, mSpy offers a chatbot button in the bottom right corner of the page and mention that you want to talk to customer service agent. You can also email or call them to talk to a customer service representative about your problem by visiting the Contact Us page. Customer support agents are quick and try to help you maximum. They also try their best to engage you in one way or another so they do not have to provide refunds. However, some are more concerned about selling expensive plans than catering to your issue.

Many people consider customer support an integral element of their decision-making process. If you're one of them, it's best to try it before buying a subscription.


Customer service of mSpy.

Part 6. What Real Users Say about mSpy

You will see a varying range of user reviews from 1-star to 5-star, making it challenging to conclude the user reviews on average. While some praised the customer service, others mentioned that the representatives did not help them at all.

Here are some of the user reviews from Trustpilot:


mSpy's reviews from real users.

Part 7. Bonus: mSpy vs. Msafely - Which One is Better

mSpy and Msafely are among the most preferred apps for monitoring your children's mobile phone and social media activity. Despite offering numerous similar features, both have their pros and cons. Here's how mSpy and Msafely compare:

FeaturemSpyMsafely
CompatibilityiPhone and AndroidiPhone and Android
Basic Pricing Plan

1-month: $48.99/month

3-months: $28.00/month

12-months: $11.67/month

1-month: $39.99/ month

3-months: $23.33/ month

12-months: $8.33/ month

Free DemoYesYes
Free trialNoNo
Connection solutions for iPhoneThree (iCloud, USB, Jailbreak)One (iCloud)
App installation for AndroidRequiredNot required
Physical access to AndroidRequiredRequired
General features monitoring (SMS, locations, calls,ect.)
Social media on AndroidWhatsAppWhatsApp, LINE, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, Tiktok, Kik, Skype, YouTube, WeChat, Viber, Tinder, Teams, QQ

Part 8. Summary

Considering the price of mSpy software, I had high expectations. However, the app is not as seamless and feature-rich as I anticipated, especially for iPhone users. The mSpy app is one of the best solutions for monitoring an Android device, but the functions for iPhone users are quite limited, except for the Ultimate plan. Moreover, the Ultimate plan requires jailbreaking the phone which comes with security threats and nullifies the warranty of the phone.

While mSpy offers unique features like remote access to microphone and camera and the panic button for iOS systems, it also lacks numerous functions. For example, you cannot see the photos and videos on social media. At the same time, it does not allow filtering specific website categories or setting screen time limit.

Also, the unavailability of a free trial with such high prices requires parents to be sure when subscribing to one of the plans, as getting a refund is also quite nerve-wracking.

Part 9. FAQs about mSpy

Q1. Does mSpy really work?

mSPy is one of the most reliable and credible apps for staying in the loop with your children’s whereabouts and phone activity. You can easily install and operate the app on iOS and Android. In case of any issues, you can contact customer support for instant solutions to your problems.

Q2. Can someone see if you use mSpy?

According to the mSpy website, you can hide the icon on the home screen if you do not want the target user to know you're spying on them. When you hide the icon, the target user might be unable to detect the app on their phone.

Q3. Is mSpy free or paid?

While the mSpy demo is free, the mSpy app is paid. Android plans start from as low as $11.67/ month for one device. iOS and Android users can select from other packages depending on their needs and budget.

Q4. Can my partner track my phone without me knowing?

Monitoring and spy software make it easy for people to spy on other people's phones. Some require installation on the target phone, whereas others can be connected via cloud. Moreover, they can be hidden on the target device, making it hard to detect if someone is tracking your phone.

Q5. Can mSpy record video calls?

mSpy also offers screen and video recording features that allow you to record videos and phone calls. It lets you see what your kid is talking to their friends about.

No.1 Choice for Keeping Your Kids Safe-Msafely

Less worrying, more monitoring

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