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Table of Contents
- What is mSpy?
- Compatibility Information
- Features and Pricing
- Customer Service
- Data Security
- Who uses mSpy?
- Is mSpy detectable?
- How to Install mSpy on an Android Phone
- Is mSpy a real Spy App — or is it just for Parental Control?
- Is mSpy effective for parental control?
- Is mSpy a reliable spy app?
- Does mSpy's iOS product really work?
- How to tell if mSpy is installed on my phone?
- How to uninstall mSpy from my phone?
- Why is FlexiSPY better than mSpy?
What is mSpy?
mSpy is a mobile monitoring app marketed as a parental control software to help keep your children safe. Once installed on a target device, mSpy records activity logs such as incoming and outgoing calls, SMS, emails, and more. This data is then transferred to your web-based portal at certain time intervals which you designate, with 5 minutes being the minimum.
Before we proceed, please note that mSPY's iCloud spy app does not work in most circumstances. And although mSPY offers an iPhone jailbreak package, it offers few features and little value for money. In fact, there is only one company that truly offers Reliable iPhone Monitoring.
Usefully, with mSpy you will also be able to restrict certain actions with features such as call blocking, website blocking, and app blocking on Android devices (not available for IOS).
Let’s begin by exploring what devices mSpy is compatible with.
Which Devices Are mSpy Compatible With?
- Compatible with Android 4.0 or higher
- Requires physical access to device
- Tracking Instant Messengers, Wi-Fi networks, Emails, and other advanced features will require rooting
iOS Devices (Non-jailbroken)
- Compatible with all iOS versions
- Requires iCloud login credentials
- Does not require physical access to device
iOS Devices (Jailbroken)
- Compatible with iOS 6-8.4 or 9.2
- Requires physical access to the device
mSpy is compatible with Android and to a certain extent, iOS devices. After extensive testing, we found mSpy’s iOS product to be lackluster when compared to their features available on Android. Also, mSPY is not compatible with devices that operate on iOS 10 and above which means it will not work on the latest iPhones.
Note that you can’t download mSpy from Google Play or App store. The official app is only available on the mSpy site.
Features & Pricing
Although offering the same or similar features to most phone monitoring apps, mSpy positions itself as the go-to product when it comes to parental control software.
They offer one package: Premium begins at $69.99 and gives you access to call logs, photos, videos, instant messenger logs, keylogger, as well as call, app, and website blocking.
Features Table: mSpy Basic and mSpy Premium for Android
mSpy Premium $69.99 gives you:
- Call logs
- SMS & MMS
- GPS Location
- Calendar, Contacts, and Notes
- Browser History
- Call blocking
- Website blocking
- Application blocking
- Messaging apps
- Wi-Fi networks
mSpy’s Standout Features for Parental Control:
- GPS Tracking
- Restricting inbound calls
- Blocking calls, websites, and apps
- Lacks features of a true spy app; mSpy does not record phone calls or IM calls
- Key parental control features such as key logging and app/website/call blocking unavailable in mSpy Basic
- No screenshots feature (app screenshots provide a backup that will allow you to see all user activities and are vital when other features are for example, getting tweaked or updated).
- Limited iOS product that has no advanced features and does not work on latest iPhones
- Question marks regarding overall viability of mSPY’s IOS product
Your choice of package will depend on your planned budget and specific needs.
Are you on a tight budget and only require minimal data into the user’s mobile activity? If so, mSpy Basic might be a decent choice. On the other hand, mSpy Premium can be useful if you want to have restrictive controls over the target device.
However, if are you looking for an advanced package which offers real and actionable insights with features such as call recording, live listening, ambient recording, and IM call recording – then there’s no choice but to go with the original spy app.
If you are looking to monitor a mobile device without the user’s knowledge, then discretion is of the utmost importance. For this purpose, mSpy does provide a camouflage for its app.
Once the installation process is completed you will be prompted to choose whether you’d like mSpy to be hidden or visible.
In this case, hidden does not mean mSpy is completely undetectable, but rather disguised as another application on the target device. Find out more below.
mSpy offers three levels of technical support:
- Free service for Basic and Premium Subscriptions – access to email support and live chat
- Support Priority Line for $12.99 –Access to phone support, installation walkthroughs. As stated on their website, this service is optional and non-refundable.
- mAssistance $53.99 – rooting/jailbreak assistance,installation through Team Viewer, detailed help setting up features, 24/7 technical assistance over the phone.
mSpy allows their customers to pay extra for additional support. As advertised on their website and in their portal, the higher the tier of customer service level on your subscription, the higher the priority you will be given.
Having learnt from previous mistakes, mSpy now have implemented security protocols such as data encryption and 2FA. According to mSpy, there is no reason to worry that your account info and child’s data being involuntarily disclosed or available elsewhere.
Who uses mSpy?
mSpy let’s parents monitor child’s activities such as websites visited, calls, text messages, and GPS locations.
Keep tabs on employees and their location while on the clock. Monitor their websites, work schedules, and time spent on company mobile devices.
mSpy disguises itself as a ‘Update Service’ app on a target device, this can help you track your spouse’s movement and monitor all phone activity.
Is mSpy detectable?
When it comes to spy apps, to get real value and insight it’s important that the software always remains hidden.
And although mSpy is not a ‘true’ spy app and claims to be for parental control only - having children know they are being monitored can be counterproductive to keeping them safe as they can easily find ways to get around surveillance.
For example, once informed that they are being tracked, what stops the child or teenager from simply manipulating the data their parents are privy to? Thankfully, mSpy provides the user with the option to either hide the app or make it visible.
Initially, after you download mSpy on the target device you will be asked if you want to hide or keep the mSpy icon. If you choose to hide, an icon titled “Update Service” will appear in the phone’s menu, this is in fact the mSpy app.
For Android 9 OS and below, this icon will not appear in the app home page nor the phone’s menu. However, note that ‘Update Service’ icon will appear and remain in the applications list under Settings. Meanwhile, mSpy’s development team is currently working on a way to hide the app icon on Android 10 devices.
It’s safe to say that regardless of the device model you are looking to monitor, traces of mSpy and its installation are not necessarily concealed, but rather disguised.
Furthermore, mSpy’s restrictive features (call blocking, app blocking, website blocking, Wi-Fi blocking) mean that the target device owner will always be aware that they are being monitored. This may not be significant if you are looking to monitor your children openly and have total control and access to the target device. Still, if you are looking for more discrete surveillance, mSpy will prove problematic as these features mean the app is never truly hidden.
How to Install mSpy on an Android Phone
Here's an overview of how to install mSpy on an Android phone.
- Take the target phone, make sure that it is unlocked, charged and that there is an Internet connection available.
- Since mspy is a parental control app and not a spy app there should be no need for secrecy. And it would probably be wise to involve your child in the installation process from the get-go to keep things as transparent as possible.
- Go to Play Store > Menu button > Play Protect > Settings (cogwheel) > Disable Scan device for security threats
- Download mSpy (here you select between Android and iOS)
- Open the target device's browser (use Google Chrome), tap on the address bar, enter the link on the screen (http://b55y.net/a) and press GO button. Enter the verification captcha (draw the shape or enter letters) and once successful click Download.
- Click Open once the download is finished to start the installation
- After opening the bt.apk file,you will need to follow the sequence: Next → Install → Open
- Install mSpy
- Finish Download
- Select to make mSpy hidden or visible
- To make sure that mSpy runs smoothly on your target (child) device, add it to Un monitored apps:
- Go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Unmonitored apps > Add apps > Update Service > Done
If you experience any difficulties during installation, mSpy’s customer service is advertised to be on-hand 24/7 to help you with any inquiries. If their ‘free’ customer service proves unhelpful you may want to consider upgrading to mSpy’s ‘paid’ (Support Priority Line) or ‘uber-paid’ (mAssistance) customer service tiers.
In our opinion, the best spy apps will provide you with quality technical support free-of-charge as well as a worry-free installation service where for your convenience, a technician will remotely install the software for you. All you’ll have to do is connect the target device to a PC or MAC.
Is mSpy a real Spy App - or is it just for Parental Control?
As seen from their marketing focus, mSpy frame themselves as being a parental control app, rather than a true spy app. They have a number of restriction-based features such as app, call, and website blocking — but lack features you'd expect to find in a serious spy app — features such as call recording, IM call recording, live-listening, ambient recording, and so on.
And while mSpy make the case for being the choice for parents who want to protect their children, there is a valid argument that says that restriction-features are counterproductive as it's obvious to the child that there's a monitoring app on their phone and so the child simply deletes or disables the app.
If you are looking an app with serious features and depth, FlexiSPY is designed to remain hidden and offers over 74 features compared to mSpy’s 42. Many of which, including GPS Tracking, SMS and IM Chat Monitoring, also work well as parental control mechanisms.
Is mSpy an Effective Parental Control app?
mSpy is a good app for giving you the big picture of your child’s mobile and online activities. However, it does not offer real-time protection with the biggest drawback being the delays in data uploads.
In the portal, you can set data to be uploaded every 5, 10, 15, 30, 60 minutes and so on. However, after extensive testing we found that most features took at least half an hour to upload despite being on the 5-minute data upload interval setting – while other features such as photo and video capture took several hours to upload.
If your child was setting up a meeting up with a stranger via an instant messenger app, the data you receive is not immediate. Meaning that you as a parent really won’t have adequate time to react or prevent any wrongdoing. You will however have the evidence you need to discipline your child, to hand over to law enforcement, or to take any other remedial action required.
On the other hand, mSpy’s iOS product offers minimal features (with no advanced features such as call, app, or website blocking), and what little data it does track is only updated once every 24 hours. This is certainly not ideal for preventing or correcting your children’s misbehavior in a timely manner, nor does it help with any imminent threats to their safety.
Is mSpy a Reliable Spy App?
When you pay a premium for a spy app you should be able to expect:
1. Features to work as advertised
On paper, mSpy offers an impressive depth of features, however the app is reliable only to the extent that the user merely requires a broad overview of mobile activities over a flexible time-frame.
At the time of testing, mSpy’s social media tracking, email tracking, and call blocking were nonfunctional. Upon inquiry, their customer service promised an update which would fix all issues within a few weeks.
When it comes to your child safety you should be looking for consistency. Unfortunately, many of mSpy’s most important features will often not work due to error, network provider or phone provider security measures (see mSpy’s iOS product).
When this happens, mSpy’s customer service will inform you that the only option is to wait for their team to fix the problem. Often, if they are unable to help you will be offered a complimentary 1-2-week extension to your subscription as a compromise.
As a general rule, if you are ever told by a spy app’s customer service that features will work at a later date with an offer to freeze your account until they do, we recommend you request an immediate refund, get a credit card charge-back, or look at trade-in programs for more reliable solutions.
2. An Honest and Reliable Refund Policy
mSpy advertises a 10-Day Money-Back Guarantee. However, many people find out almost immediately that partial or full refunds are incredibly hard to get, despite what it says in their marketing material.
Read mSpy’s fine print and you’ll see why their airtight refund policy is misleading at best, and downright factitious at worst.
Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of the comments customers are making on one of mSPY’s top affiliate sites, https://www.mspyreview.net/
Some of the complaints listed on Better Business Bureau also provide revealing insight to mSPY’s refund and other customer service practices.
Common refund issues highlighted range from being charged a full amount during a free trial through to being unable to obtain a refund within minutes of purchase (despite strictly adhering to terms of service).
Does mSpy’s iOS Product Really Work?
Apple’s new security policies have meant that most spy apps no longer offer a viable product for iOS devices that are not jailbroken.
For mSpy’s iOS product to track and upload any data the user will be required to deactivate 2FA on the target device. Unfortunately, towards the end of 2019 Apple no longer allows this action, having quietly removed the option in its iOS 10 release.
mSpy's customer service informed us that they are currently working on a solution get around Apple’s 2FA policy. And as this would be a gargantuan undertaking, we won’t be holding our breath as we wait for an update to fix this issue.
For now, mSpy does offer an alternative solution, the viability of which we leave up to the reader.
Create a new iCloud ID
The alternative solution offered by mSpy is to simply to create a new iCloud ID for the target device. Apple policy stipulates that within the first two weeks the owner of a newly created iCloud account will still have the choice to activate or deactivate 2FA.
Again, if you are openly monitoring younger children this may not be an issue as you would be able to impose on them which account to use. However, if you are monitoring an employee or an older child, this can prove problematic.
The bottom line is:
If you are looking to monitor a non-jailbroken iOS device with mSpy you must not only have control over the user’s current Apple credentials, but also the authority to force them to create a new Apple email for any data to be tracked.
To find out more why iCloud Spy Apps are not a viable choice see here.
However, if you feel you've learnt enough about mSpy you may want to skip straight to the most reliable iPhone monitoring app on the market here.
mSpy Jailbreak VS. FlexiSPY Jailbreak
FlexiSPY and mSPY both offering iPhone jailbreak solutions – however, when compared closely — there’s a clear mismatch with regards to features, compatibility, and reliability.
First off, FlexiSPY’s iPhone Spy App has over 50 features, compared to mSpy's jailbroken that has only 8 true features.
Furthermore, FlexiSPY is the only solution that can spy on newer iPhones like the iPhone X, 8, 7, 6, 5, & SE. Most competitors, including mSPY, market an iCloud Spy App they refer to as “No-Jailbreak” solution that does not work as advertised.
On the other hand, FlexiSPY offers the most reliable iPhone spy app with the most features by far. Keep in mind that FlexiSPY for iPhone, requires you to jailbreak the device have access to reconfigure it as required.
With FlexiSPY for iPhone, you’ll get Advanced Features you can’t find anywhere else including IM Call Recording, Spy Call, RemCam, RemVid, Ambient Recording, and more.
Will my Child’s Data be Safe with mSpy?
Given the company’s track record when it comes to data security, the better question to ask is - will my child be more safe, or less safe with mSpy installed on their device?
Although mSpy has not been hacked since May of 2018, their history of data leaks should be a clear warning sign for any loving parent. Just imagine purchasing a parental control app with the goal of keeping your child safe, only to end up having their name or private photos leaked to god knows where.
Furthermore, mSpy’s track record for responding to breaches doesn’t inspire any confidence. For example, in a previous 2015 leak, hackers stole data from mSpy’s servers and posted it on the deep web. After initially denying the breach, mSpy promised to tighten security. Two weeks later, Krebs Security noted that they still had not removed links to screenshots of mobile devices running mSpy.
When it comes to your children, data security is vital. And for an app whose main platform is ‘parental control’ and keeping children safe, mSPY’s record of multiple leaks over the years is quite frankly, appalling.
Here is one former customer describing their mSpy experience on Better Business Bureau,
“If I can't trust a company whose practicing bad business, how can I trust them with private information from my cell phone”.
Find out more about spy app data leaks and consider all your options before making your decision.
How to tell if mSpy is installed on my phone?
To see if mSpy is installed on your phone, simply go to app list, and if you see an icon titled ‘Update Service’ then the device has mSpy installed. Also, for Android 10 Devices, the mSpy icon can be found in the app drawer under the same name, ‘Update Service’.
Next let’s look at uninstallation.
How to Uninstall mSpy from my phone?
To uninstall mSpy from your phone, Go to your app list and scroll down to ‘Update Service’ and select uninstall.
Then, in your mSpy portal go to the device management page and select unlink and uninstall. mSpy will be removed from the device completely.
Why is FlexiSPY Better?
FlexiSPY offers a product with unique features that are designed to work with Android, iOS, PC, & MAC devices.
Advanced features such as Call Recording, Call Intercept, Ambient Recording, REM CAM, and REM VID are only available with FlexiSPY and offer insights for serious detectives.
Also, FlexiSPY is the leading instant messaging monitoring application. When it comes to tracking IMs, no competitors come close to the depth and coverage provided by this original spy app.
- 30+ features more than any competitor
- Most advanced features of any monitoring app
- 3 Packages: LITE, PREMIUM, EXTREME to match any budget
- Features work as advertised on Android and IOS
- The only spy app that can be completely hidden on Android 10 Devices
- Unique free mobile app that provides up-to-date data on-the-go available for Android and iOS
- The most affordable and only reliable iPhone Monitoring app on the market
- Industry Leading Customer Support and After-Sales Services
- Trusted Data Security with a proven track record
- Trade-in Programs designed to help our competitor’s scammed or unsatisfied customers