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mSpy Review: Is it Still the Best Parental Control App in the Market?

Despite its reputation, the mSpy parental monitoring Android and iOS utility is undeniable and is used by parents worldwide. The monitoring application has been deployed for a variety of parental reasons and continues to be one of the leading tools for the job. However, does it fit the bill in our review? Let us find out in this mSpy review.

MSPY parental control app
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mSpy Strengths & Weaknesses

Parental control and child monitoring applications come in all shapes and sizes today. Some of them have a strong emphasis on app blocking and content monitoring while others take the conventional tracking route.

mSpy falls into the latter category with tools designed to provide parents complete access to their children’s phones remotely. The mSpy parental control app has obvious advantages for parents, but its suite of features can come across as ethically problematic for others.




mSpy works in stealth mode and displays no notification on the target device of its existence and operation.



The spying app is packed to the brim with a selection of features to use in multiple situations.



The app is simple, available on a multitude of devices, and easy to use.


Customer Support

The company has great customer service staff that aims to help customers with every complaint and query.




The mSpy app costs an arm and a leg. There’s no getting around this fact and can be a hurdle for many people.


Poor Plan Format

Users are expected to purchase multiple plans for each device they wish to monitor, racking up the already high costs considerably.


No Real-Time Updates

Uploading data and displaying it to the user can take some time.


Requires Root/Jailbreak

For the full suite of features, mSpy requires rooting or jailbreaking of devices.

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What is mSpy?

Kickstarting the mSpy software review, we need to understand what exactly the app is and how it functions. The mSpy parental control Android and iOS app is a remote device monitoring tool that is designed specifically to track all incoming and outgoing data from phones and tablets.


Although mSpy and its alternatives have the reputation of being "spying apps,” they can do much more than just monitoring device activities and data. Parents typically use these apps to block adult, harmful, and dangerous content on their children’s phones, prevent unnecessary calls and monitor the device’s physical location.

If you have children, it is imperative to look after their safety and wellbeing at all times. mSpy helps do just that!

mSpy Features

Mobile tracking apps have typically one main feature: monitor devices. The depth in which these apps choose to pick data differs between each version. Most mSpy alternatives offer a similar feature-set with a few key aspects missing here and there. Let’s go over the specific features mSpy brings to the table:


Social Media

Social media tracking is a massive part of mobile tracking. All great mobile spying apps provide users access to most social media apps and websites. mSpy is no different.

It lets users spy on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, covering the basics of present social media monitoring. Since these are the most-used apps, mSpy has devoted its spying capabilities to them. It should be mentioned that Twitter spying is not supported by the app.


Instant Messenger

Instant messengers are the most popular method of communication today. Almost all of the world’s smartphone users use some kind of instant messenger to keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues.

Among many mSpy features is the spy app’s ability to track instant messenger chats and data. The spying app provides users access to a plethora of instant messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, LINE, Viber, Kik, and WhatsApp.



Location tracking is an important aspect of device monitoring applications. With this feature, people can easily locate lost devices and find out where the device currently is operating from.

mSpy provides real-time GPS navigation capabilities. The app uses the device’s built-in GPS to report the exact coordinates to the mSpy control panel. Geo-fencing is also supported by the app.


App Blocking

Applications are the biggest utility on any smartphone today. However, app stores are filled to the brim with dangerous, inappropriate, and malicious software that is ripe for downloading. Any unsuspecting phone could house multiple apps that can harm personal data as well as the device itself.

mSpy can block any app installed on the phone, effectively neutralizing its use. It makes it one of the best options for parents and employers to have if they want to control what apps are on particular devices.


Texts and Calls

Some of the mSpy premium features include the ability to track all incoming and existing text messages. Regardless of the device or operating system, mSpy can efficiently track all text messages on the device.

The same is true for calls, where the mSpy parental control app can not only view existing call logs on the phone but monitor live calls as they happen.

Other Features

mSpy has plenty of other features too which make it one of the most premium phone tracking tools available today. This includes the likes of:

  • Keylogging
  • Screen Recording
  • Multimedia Browsing
  • Keyword Alerts
  • Website History
  • Email Tracking
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How Does mSpy Work?

mSpy bypasses traditional security obstacles to gather and report on-device information.
The method of operation differs from Android to iOS.


The mSpy Android app is a downloadable file that is then installed on the target device. Once set up, the app starts gathering all user and device data and sends it over an internet connection to its servers. This information is then populated on the mSpy control panel.


mSpy has two variations for its iOS version. If the user has a jailbroken iOS device, they can install the app using a third-party app store and set it up similarly to the Android counterpart. For non-jailbroken iOS devices, mSpy connects to the device’s iCloud account and gathers information backed up in the Apple cloud storage.

mSpy Pricing

The mSpy app has one plan. Where once you had to decide between mSpy Basic vs. Premium, users can now effectively
get all the features in one plan. The mSpy price can be found in the table below.

1 Month



3 Months



12 Months



The set of mSpy features that you can use depends on which subscription you purchase. The app offers Premium packages for 1–12 months. Note that the longer your subscription is valid, the cheaper it costs.

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mSpy Compatibility

Any device that has access to the Internet is good for monitoring. Once you install mSpy on your kid’s phone, you will be able to see the information from that phone using your phone or computer as long as it is connected to the Internet.

mSpy iOS Compatibility

  • Compatible with iOS 11–14.8.1

mSpy iCloud Compatibility

  • Compatible with all iOS versions
  • Physical access is required if the iCloud backup isn't activated on the monitored device or two-factor/two-step verification is enabled.

mSpy Android Compatibility

  • The target device must be a fully operational Android 4+
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How to Install mSpy on a Phone?

mSpy makes installation easy. With these three steps, you’re on your way to using mSpy on any smartphone or tablet.


Purchase mSpy Subscription

Once you select the device and plan you want, complete the purchase on the mSpy website.


Download and Install

For Android and jailbroken iOS devices, download the mSpy app and install it on the target device. Complete the setup process.


Setting up iCloud Devices

For non-jailbroken iOS devices, users are required to pair their mSpy dashboard with the iCloud account associated with the target device.


Start Monitoring

Once the setup process is complete, log in to the mSpy dashboard and all device data will be populated there.

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Xnspy vs mSpy: Which is the Better Spy App for You?

In the world of remote monitoring apps, the two battling it out for the top spot are mSpy and Xnspy. These two tracking apps have long been in the industry and on paper, are quite similar. However, the differences lie in the details.

Here’s a comparison table to show which one comes out on top for features.




Call Recording

Call Logs

Text Messages

Instant Messenger

Social Media


Location Tracking



Surround Recording

Remote Controls

Screen Recorder

Email Tracking


Comprehensive Reports

Xnspy has a few more features than mSpy and takes the lead here. In terms of device compatibility, the two are neck and neck.

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Another segment where Xnspy has mSpy beaten is the price.
Here are the Xnspy plans:

1 Month



3 Months



12 Months



Xnspy also has a wider support base and the internet is awash with tutorials and helpful guides––something that mSpy is still missing. mSpy customer reviews are generally favorable too but most people seem to prefer Xnspy over it in our findings.

The mSpy parental control reviews cited a lack of support and laggy interface as two of the biggest reasons for customer dissatisfaction. Xnspy, on the other hand, is a crowd favorite with many willing to part with some of the issues the app represents due to its cheaper asking price.

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Final Verdict

While mSpy is a great option for many, there are strong cases to be made against its use. One of the biggest pitfalls of the app is its price-to-feature offering. As we saw above, Xnspy offers a few more features at a significantly lower cost.

In our opinion, Xnspy makes for a more complete package for first-time and seasoned users. You’ll find many Xnspy and mSpy pros and cons on the internet, but if the decision is between the two, we’d recommend Xnspy in a heartbeat.

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Frequently Asked Questions

question General Questions

  • The internet is filled to the brim with options. One of the best options as a mSpy alternative is the Xnspy parental control app. As mentioned earlier in our mSpy review, the Xnspy app makes for a better spying app due to its low asking price and the fact that it has more options.

  • mSpy is a remote monitoring application that is designed to live on mobile phones and tablets and collect data for users to view. mSpy can be used as parental control and employee monitoring app with its suite of features that enable mobile tracking. With options like location, social media, and instant messenger monitoring, mSpy is one of the most robust options available in the market.

  • mSpy has one plan for customers. Here is the breakdown of the costs:

    • 1 Month – $48.99/mo*
    • 3 Months – $27.99/mo*
    • 12 Months – $11.66/mo*
  • The mSpy remote control app works in stealth mode, similar to Xnspy. This means that the app functions and collects data without as much as an app icon to show. The app is also hidden in the Settings menu on phones and tablets which makes it nearly impossible to locate.

  • No, mSpy remains hidden and works in stealth mode at all times. You can enable the app to display the app icon or show a notification when in use, but users also have the option to disable such features. At present, mSpy and similar apps like it remain hidden from plain sight and can be very difficult to detect.

  • From our review, we conclude that mSpy is a solid option for many users. But due to its low cost, more accessible features, and regular updates, Xnspy takes the win. You can’t go wrong with either, but Xnspy affords users extra peace of mind and savings options.

  • In the case of jailbroken iOS devices and Android phones, mSpy has to be physically installed on the phone. This is because no smartphone or operating system allows remote installation at present. Users would need to download and install the app just as they do with any other application. Once the setup process is complete, mSpy is ready to use.

  • From our findings, mSpy is a contender for the top spot. It has a plethora of features and comes at a reasonable price. The app has also been in the market for quite some time and can be considered a true pioneer of the segment alongside Xnspy. But if the title for the best spy app is to be given, our bets are on Xnspy due to its versatility, inexpensive price, and more promising feature set compared to mSpy.

  • Yes, mSpy can be hidden from plain sight. You can enable the app to display the app icon or show a notification when in use, but users also have the option to disable such features. At present, mSpy and similar apps like it remain hidden from plain sight and can be very difficult to detect

  • The legality of spying apps is a tricky affair. State laws differ from place to place which can make it difficult to access if mSpy or Xnspy are legal in your area. Still, a few rules are set in stone for everyone to follow.

    Spying apps like mSpy and Xnspy are legal to use on children below the ages of 18, and only by their legal parents and guardians. They can also be legally used by employers on company-issued devices.

    Installing spying apps on anyone besides the aforementioned people and use cases can invite legal trouble. Do not use mSpy or Xnspy on friends, spouses, or other unsuspecting people. Always check local, state, and federal laws before downloading and installing mSpy on any phone or tablet.

  • mSpy creates backdoor access to the device to collect data. In the case of Android and jailbroken iOS phones, this is in the form of an app that resides on the device. This app collects all incoming data and has all the necessary permissions it needs to read on-device data too.

    In the case of the iCloud setup, mSpy can access all iMessage chats that are backed up and stored on the iCloud server. These two techniques enable mSpy to spy on text messages without the target phone notifying of the activity.

  • Unfortunately, most spying apps aren’t free. This is true for the mSpy parental control app as well. The app has been in circulation for nearly a decade and has some of the most impressive development capabilities. So while mSpy and other apps like it aren’t free, they don’t cost a premium either. mSpy plans begin from $11.66/month for their yearly package.

  • mSpy and all other spying apps are completely safe to use. Users do not have any trouble with installation and it does not harm the device in any way. mSpy is simply a reporting app that resides on the target phone and uploads the collected data to its servers.

    The company also takes great care to ensure that the servers containing all user data are safe and secure. MSpy itself cannot access user data if it wanted to. And unlike free monitoring apps, mSpy and others like it work too!


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