The Best Cell Phone Spy and Tracking Software 2017

It sounds so enticing right?

Being able to spy on phone conversations and text messages in just a few clicks.

Or even track cell phone location without someone knowing.

Some may think it is immoral or even illegal to do that, but there are some instances when it’s useful.

For example, you could be a parent with concerns about safety of your children. Sometimes, companies need to track employees and to know their whereabouts. Whatever the case, there are several dozen solutions, some better than the others. We narrowed the search for you to top five mobile spy apps.

mSpy – The best overall?

Among all our cell spy reviews, one application that stands out, in particular, is mSpy. Once installed, this monitoring software offers its users many useful tracking features. It is also undetectable on a target device because it doesn’t leave any traces.

mSpy review

Features


There is a basic and premium version of mSpy app available. Both options include automatic updates, but the premium package has a few unique features.

The following functions are only included in the premium package:

  • Keylogger
  • Social media message spying (iMessage, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook,…)
  • Web site and application blocking
  • Wi-Fi network control
  • Blocking of calls
  • Remote lock and data wipe

Like with other software of this kind, you will be able to use an online control panel with mSpy. This panel makes it much easier to sort through all the gathered information but offers a few added functions like alarms and data export.

Compatibility 


Apple

This hidden phone tracker works with and without JailBreak on Apple device with iOS 6-8.4 and 9-9.1. If you don’t have access to a target device, you can use it with without installing it. This approach requires a target’s Apple ID and password, but iCloud sync and back should also be running.

Android

mSpy works with Android telephones and tablets version 4 and newer, while instant message spying works only with rooting.

This tracker is not the best when it comes to compatibility when compared to other software reviewed in our top 5. It only supports Apple and Android telephones, but it can monitor Windows and Mac computers.

mSpy compatibilityCustomer support, refunds and demo


As far as customer support goes, there are a few different options available. Some of these are free, like live chat and e-mail support, while phone support comes at an extra price of $12.99. For devices that need a Root or JailBreak, there’s mAssistance through Team Viewer for $43.99.

Judging by the policy terms, a refund seems hard to get, especially if you’ve installed or already used this program. Before you buy mSpy, you should read the terms carefully.

To check out what this phone spying program can do, you can go to the demo page and look through all the features to see how they work.

Positives
  • Quick, no hassle installation
  • Works with and without iPhone JailBreak
  • Online control panel has great features
  • Offers remote control features

Negatives
  • You cannot get a refund easily
  • Doesn’t support BlackBerry or Symbian devices

Highster Mobile – For those on a budget

Highster Mobile found itself among our top 5 thanks to its affordable price, but also for its features. This cell phone monitoring software is the cheapest one in our test. It supports lots of devices and works even without a Root or Jailbreak. Depending on your needs, this might be the best option for you.

highster mobile review

Features


Tracing any mobile device is very easy with Highster. There’s a one month license that provides you with all the functions of this application. Extras come in the form of a download warranty or premium support for easier installation.

Using this application you will be able to track SMS and MMS messages, photos and videos, calls, browsing, social network activity and more. For those that need mobile phone theft tracking, this app has remote control features to help lock or retrieve your device. There are also functions which give you access to contacts and monitoring over installed applications.

Whenever you want to check for activity and view logs, you can open the live control panel. There you will find tabs with all the features and a couple of great customization features.

Compatibility


Apple

This tracking application works with almost all iPhones and Ipads, with iOS versions up to 9.3.1. You can use it with and without JailBreak, but the latter option doesn’t offer all spying features. Installation isn’t necessary if you use iCloud with a target’s credentials.

Android

Highster Mobile app works on Android products with and without rooting. For installation, you will need physical access to a target telephone. Setup can take up to five minutes.

Keep in mind, that rooting or jailbreaking will open up all the available features. Moreover, only Android and Apple devices have support.

highster mobile appCustomer support and refunds 


For any questions and comments, there’s a customer support contact form. Other than that, you can upgrade to a premium support package for live telephone support during installation. Finally, some users mention not being satisfied with the quality of customer support they received.

This mobile spy app comes with a 30-day refund policy but under certain terms. If you active your license or use this software, you won’t be able to receive a refund.

Positives
  • No Root or Jailbreak necessary
  • Invisible once installed
  • Cheap but has lots of features
  • Straightforward user control panel

Negatives
  • Purchase comes with an open-ended subscription
  • Only supports Android and Apple devices

FlexiSPY – Professional’s Choice

For those that need everything a professional phone spying app has to offer, there is only one choice – FlexiSpy. The people behind software pulled out all the stops, and it shows in a long list of powerful features. Moreover, there’s support for Apple and Android devices as well as BlackBerry and Symbian.

flexispy-review

Features


By using this mobile spy program, you will be able to track all activity on a targeted telephone with great ease. Features include reading SMS and MMS messages, GPS spying, social media tracking, website, and application spying. Then there are remote control options and custom alert for calls and GPS tracking.

For those that need a few more advanced features and don’t mind spending extra money, there’s an “Extreme” package available. With this option, you get a password cracker, spoofing tools, and the choice to listen in on and record calls. Finally, you can take control of a target’s microphone or camera.

FlexiSpy app comes with a web dashboard or control panel. This is where all the gathered information ends up. When you find everything you need, there’s an option to export data in various formats like PDF and CSV.

Compatibility


Since this software offers incredible compatibility, it can be used for Blackberry devices, among others. It also supports some Symbian systems and almost all Android and iPhone products.

Apple

Support is available for everything up to iOS 9.1, but installation demands psychical access and Jailbreak.

Android

You can run this software on Android devices that have OS 4.0.4 – 6.0.1. Installation is necessary, and rooting unlocks full features.

Symbian and BlackBerry

FlexiSpy has support for BlackBerry telephones from version 5.0 to 7.1. There’s also support for Nokia telephones that run Symbian Belle and Anna.

flexispy softwareCustomer support and refunds


If you aren’t capable of installing FlexiSPY or performing a Root or JailBreak, you can pay extra for full customer support. This process involves booking an appointment and letting their technician use remote access software. There’s also a customer support line that offers help with setup.

There are a few ways to qualify for a refund, and it doesn’t seem hard to get one if you’re having trouble using this software.

Positives
  • Comes with the best features, the Extreme version especially
  • Runs undetected and hides setup and traces of activity
  • License is transferable
  • Supports the most devices

Negatives
  • Access to target device is necessary for setup
  • One of the most expensive trackers for cell phones

iKeyMonitor – Good Middle Ground Choice

iKeyMonitor is somewhere in the middle both feature and pricing wise. It is mainly a key logger with a few added functions, but nothing too advanced.

ikeymonitor-reviewed

Features


This app is a good choice for those that want to track loved ones, children as well as employees. Key logging is at the core of this program. That way you can track everything that’s typed on a target phone. This includes passwords, websites, emails, social media messages, notes, etc. Also available are options for app control, screen time limit and web-control.

iKeyMonitor app operates undetected. It also hides Root and JailBreak tracks on smartphones. Depending on the option you choose to buy, you can have access to remote configuration and an online control panel. If target devices aren’t rooted of jailbroken, some features might not be available. To check what will work with a target cell-phone and OS, you can visit the official website.

iKeyMonitor compatibility


When it comes to compatibility, it’s not the best one, but it covers many Apple iOS and Android devices.

Apple

This application is available for every all jailbroken iOS devices. This includes the iPod touch (except 1st generation) iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad.

Android

This phone spy program supports Android products with OS version 2.3.x – 5.x. For full features, a smartphone or tablet needs to be rooted.

iKeyMonitor softwareCustomer support, refunds, and demo


For anyone that has trouble using this software, there are a few support options available. These is free email ticket support system and online chat. Other than that, there is a detailed user guide available which takes you through each step of setup.

Refunds are available up to 30 days after purchase, but only if a customer support fails to get iKeyMonitor working. That’s why the best option is to try their free 3-day trial before spending any money.

Positives
  • Affordable, with many options and some discounts
  • Official website contains installation guide
  • Supports ten languages, including Chinese and Japanese
  • There’s a free 3-day trial available

Negatives
  • Online control panel comes only with more expensive options
  • Needs Rooting and Jailbreak for all features to work

PhoneSheriff – Best for Parents

No one knows the dangers of unrestricted Internet use better than parents. While PhoneSheriff offers many great features for the price, it cannot run undetected on a target telephone. Despite that, we found it to be a powerful tool.

phonesheriff review

Features


This app’s features fall into two groups – filtering and logging. With the options available, PhoneSheriff is a powerful tool if you want to spy on kids cell phone.

With filtering, you can block apps, websites, contacts and receive profanity alerts. There is also a Geofencing alarm, time restrictions, and remote locking in case of theft.

When it comes to logging, there’s access to Internet history, all text messages, and photos. Then there’s Real time GPS tracking, a list of installed apps and contacts.

Unfortunately, this app cannot run undetected. The icon can be out of view, but a few prompts will pop up from time to time.

Compatibility


One of the things we like about PhoneSheriff is the compatibility it offers. You can use it for iPhones, as well as Android and BlackBerry products.

Apple

All Apple products must be jailbroken for this software to work. iOS versions supported are 3.1.3 up to 9.0.2, but you should always check whether your device is on the list.

Android

For PhoneSheriff to work on Android products, you need to have an OS version of at least 2.2 and up to 6.0.1. It currently works with most devices.

BlackBerry

For those that need a blackberry phone tracker, PhoneSheriff supports a few OS versions. These are 4.1.0, 5.0.0, 6.0.0, 7.0.0 and 7.1.0.

phonesheriff softwareCustomer support, refunds, and demo


The only two-way customer support that comes with this cell tracker is a ticket system. It can take 24 hours for an answer, but most often one comes within an hour or two. Other than that, there is a setup guide on the official website.

To get a refund, you will need proof that the software is not working as advertised. Besides that, only if a customer support issue doesn’t get resolved promptly.

To take a look at what the user control panel offers, you can try an online demo for free.

Positives
  • Full features available with both plans
  • Comes with intuitive online user control panel
  • One license covers up to three different devices
  • Detailed activity logs

Negatives
  • Is not invisible on target devices
  • Only has a 6 and 12-month plan

Things to Know Before You Buy

Any cell phone monitoring and tracking application turns any mobile device into a valuable source of information. If you want to use such software, there is no shortage of vendors, but you need consider which one will suit you. On the surface, they seem to offer similar features and functions, so you’ll want to go into details. To make this process easier for everyone interested, we’re going to be talking about what you need to know before you spend your money.

How to choose the best spy phone software


When deciding which application to use, you will want to research the following things:

  •  Smartphone compatibility
  •  Features and functions
  •  Customer support
  •  Available Guarantees


Smartphone compatibility 


It is imperative that it works with all the major operating systems. These include iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Android.

Before you do anything else, you should find out what operating system and version the device you will be using runs on. If you’re not sure whether your device is supported, you can always contact the software provider.

Features and functions


After checking for compatibility, you have to find out what features you will need. Make a list of all the activities you want to track and then check which gps phone tracker provides adequate features.

Most spying applications have dozens of features, each with particular requirements. Some features might not work with certain carriers, or operating systems, for example.

Customer support 


Another important consideration is what kind of customer support a company offers. Support can range from e-mail support, to live calls and remote assistance. Some options are free, some come with a package, and some are paid extras. Also check if a particular app has a detailed blog or other online resources like forums, and FAQs.

Available guarantees


They don’t tell you to read the fine print for no reason. Before you spend money, take a look at the terms of use and refund policy. You should also check for self-renewing subscriptions, so you don’t end up spending more money than intended.

Other things to look out for


You should be aware of a few other things when choosing the right tool for you.

Physical access to target device

Some mobile spyware tools do not need installation because it uses iCloud backup and sync options. But, most of the time, you will need to have the target device in your hands five or more minutes to install software.

iPhones need Jailbreaking

For an iPhone phone tracker to work, or if you want access to most of the features, you will need to jailbreak it. Most spying programs aren’t available on iTunes, and a Jailbreak allows you to install software from other sources.

Spying requires an internet connection

For you to collect information, the target device needs to have an internet connection, or at least be online from time to time.

FAQ


Can I spy on any cell phone?

The short answer is yes. Technically speaking, it is possible to spy on a mobile device if it meets requirements of the software you want to use. Morally, you have a right to know if your children or loved ones are safe, but check local laws to make sure.

Why not use a free mobile spy app?

The quality of free mobile spy programs is always questionable. What’s more, security is also a concern. Makers of such software don’t offer technical support or guarantee that features will work. Furthermore, you might end up with trojans, malware, and adware.

How Spy Phone App Works?

It works by collecting the data through an application installed on a target device. These applications need an Internet connection to send back information. The best programs have a control panel so that you can view activity in real time.

Can you install Phone Tracking app remotely?

For an app to work, you need to have psychical access to a targeted device for setup and to hide your tracks. If you have a user’s Apple ID and password, then spying is possible remotely when iCloud sync and backup are on.

Which is the best spy software for a Windows phone?

Not many apps support Windows phone but during our tests mSpy turned out to be among the best.

Final Words

No matter if you are a worried parent or a business owner you can use a phone monitoring software to track any mobile device remotely. Some people even like to use it as a preventive measure so that a situation doesn’t get out of hand. Another use for cell phone spying software is remote control in case of theft.

As you can see, there are many things software like this can be useful for. There is something for everyone among our top 5 choices. Despite differences in price and features, at least one of these applications can meet or exceed your needs. Any of these five products can provide you with valuable information and give you piece of mind.

For parents, we recommend the PhoneSheriff because you can track up to three smartphones with one license. For those that need all the best features and don’t care for the price-tag, there’s FlexiSpy. This is also an application that supports the most devices. If you want an unbeatable price, but without many compromises, there’s Highster Mobile. MSpy and iKeyMonitor are also in our top 5 here for a reason, and worthy of your consideration.

Need Information?

Read our in depth guides about each individual software

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