How to Buy the Best Cell Phone Spy Software

So you are thinking about buying some sort of cell phone spy software? A quick search online and you will find loads of different products that apparently can solve all your problems. You start to look at a few and pretty soon you are confused and can’t decide if any of these products are legit or safe to use. Welcome to the minefield that is … phone spy software.

Now you can dive right into some research and spend hours pouring over all the “reviews”, product guides and the marketing spiel – what are the different features, the pricing plans, what phones are compatible? You could easily spend a day on phone spy research and then of course you could buy a product that is totally wrong for your specific needs – wasted time and money – I’ve been there! I think I can help you, help you save time and in the end save your money.

My Guide to Cell Phone Monitoring Software – 2021

mobile spy
Who’s watching Who?

Why listen to me, what’s my angle? A lot of what you read online is just rehashed company sales information.

Have you noticed how most sites about using spy phone software are using the same banners and pictures – supplied by the phone spyware company?

Sure you can find some legitimate reviews if you know where to look and spend time digging around the forums but can you be bothered?

I can and I have. Any of the products that I recommend have actually been tested by me and if not I will say so. You can’t always trust what you read – so try it yourself.

With my research and after having tried several spy software apps and systems I have chosen a few suppliers to recommend. I have written detailed reviews on each one and have tried to cover the main features and give you some insight as to how to decide which monitoring application is best for your needs. Check out my comparison review for an easy way to choose the right software. You can click on the names to go to their individual reviews on this site:

mSpy Reliable Software



Mobile Spy – No longer recommended – it is not hidden!

There is quite a bit I want to cover here so if time is short use these links below to read the sections that interest you most – or better still just read the lot!

What is Cell Phone Spy Software?
How Does It Work?
A Note about Compatible Mobile Phones
Is This Spy Phone Software Legal?
So Just Who is Using Spy Software for Cell Phones?
How to Decide Which Monitoring Software Package You Need
Consider the Software Company Carefully
Now It’s Up to You!
Links and Resources

What is Cell Phone Spy Software?

Technically – any phone software application which allows you to monitor the use of a cell or mobile phone, covertly. In reality the spy or covert aspect is misleading. Legally there are restrictions – see the legal section below.

The major phone spy apps have varied features, some overlap whilst others are unique to the individual programs.

  • You can get detailed phone data logs with dates, times, numbers called and websites visited.
  • With some you can actually listen to conversations or get up to date tracking information – where the phone is at any given time.
  • The most advanced can turn a cell phone into a covert listening device – a remotely controlled bug! The list of features can be very extensive for some programs.

Most people are quite shocked when they realize the power of some of this software, thinking this sort of surveillance equipment is only available to government agencies. Today anyone can have easy access to very powerful spy software apps.

How Does It Work?

The main software companies have different ways to access and use the information but they all rely on the same basic procedure – the software is installed on the target phone, the data is gathered and sent to the company’s server, you then get access to the information online, usually by logging on to their secure website with a username and password. For this to work there are certain requirements:

Back to top

  • The software program must be installed on a compatible cell phone – the important thing to note is that you need to have physical access to the phone it cannot be done remotely – any remote install cell spy programs are scams!
  • The make and model of the phone to be monitored needs to be compatible – the best products have extensive lists and photos of the various makes and models which are suitable.
  • The target phone’s operating system must also be compatible. The company websites have lists of all the operating systems which will work. The software downloads you buy will be tailored to suit the specific phone type and operating system, any mistakes here and the monitoring software will not work. Double check all compatibility issues before you buy – ring their support if necessary.
  • The phone must be internet connected – any data plan with most carriers worldwide, but it must have an internet connection. It can be used if the phone can connect to Wi-Fi.

A Note about Compatible Mobile Phones

Each company differs in the selection of phones their spy software supports but the best ones have a very wide range covering all the major types of cell phone.

iPhone Spy is a little different and has two ways to monitor – one using iCloud backups and one with traditional software – check the article for full details.

Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile or Symbian OS based Smartphones are all covered including the different makes such as Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC and many more as long as they have an internet connection.

A good software choice will be continually adding to their list of supported cell phones. If the phone you need to track is not compatible you could consider changing it to one that is – easy enough these days.

Another thing to be aware of – for using any non Apple software with an iPhone, the phone needs to be what is called Jailbroken. Read my article about Jailbreaking an iPhone for more information.

Is This Spy Phone Software Legal?

Short answer – yes, but with provisions. Forget all the advertizing and marketing talk of covert monitoring, spying or worse still – spy on your spouse!

Some of the people selling this software give you all that sort of hype but if you read their smaller print you get to the nitty gritty of the legalities. You can only install this cell phone spy software on a phone that you own or have administrative power over. You must also tell the user of the cell phone that they are being monitored.

Illegally spying on people can have very serious legal consequences – including jail! You really do need to be careful – but of course many people will ignore this fact and take the risk. You can’t just spy on someone’s cell phone at random! This subject is very important and I have written a more detailed article about the legal side of using spy software – Is Spy Phone Monitoring Software Legal? and a new one here! – just to make sure you are listening.

Example of a site disclaimer –

DISCLAIMER: Our software is designed for monitoring your children or employees on a Smartphone you own or have proper consent to monitor. You must notify users of the Smartphone that they are being monitored. Failure to do so may result in the breaking of federal and state laws. If you install software onto a device of which you do not own or have proper consent, we will cooperate with law officials to the fullest extent possible.
Back to top

So Just Who is Using Spy Software for Cell Phones?

The better question would be who is using it legally? Of course government security agencies have access to this type of software but they will not be buying it from the same places as you and I! If we believe what they tell us, their use of such equipment is strictly controlled by legal process. Recent headlines would suggest otherwise!

tracking a cell phone With such powerful equipment freely available to anyone with a credit card you can see where the abuse of this technology is headed.

Corporate espionage is big business; companies are using it to track and monitor employees and rivals both legally and illegally.

Of course for every illegal use of this monitoring software you will find good and practical legal ways to put it to work. You can monitor young children to help keep them safe – know who they are communicating with or even where they are with the tracking capabilities.

You can legally monitor and track company owned cell phones as long as the user knows the software is being used. This can be an effective way to track employees without the need for extra vehicle trackers for example. It also ensures you have knowledge of any unauthorized use of the company phones.

When used in legal ways this type of monitoring can be very effective and can save money and provide extra security for users. Do not fall foul of the law – if you are caught the penalties can be severe.

Back to top

How to Decide Which Spy Phone Software Package You Need

By now you know a little about how the software works, who’s using it and the legalities of using it. The different companies offer various packages based on the type of cell phone to be monitored and the detail of information you need to see. You need to pick a package that best matches your needs in the cheapest way. Be organized and consider a few things before you buy anything.

How long will you need the monitoring service to last?

For example, you may simply need access to the records for a short while to confirm suspicions about something – in which case a short term or monthly contract that can easily be cancelled will be good. Or perhaps you want ongoing surveillance of your child’s mobile phone for tracking their whereabouts and ensuring their safety.

What level of detail do you need in the reporting?

Do you simply need to spy on text messages or get call data such as numbers dialed, calls received and time logs. The more advanced spy packages have live monitoring in real time, up to date GPS tracking and location mapping and even call recording. If you need the works it will obviously cost more.

How many phones will you need to monitor?

Some packages can be used for up to three cell phones on a single license making them a great option if you need to cover more than one phone. Other packages serve only a single phone but allow you to remove the software from one phone and install it on another – for example if the target phone is being changed or upgraded.

Consider the Software Company Carefully

Unfortunately there are some shady companies out there, only after your money with no desire to give a reliable and honest service. One example of a particularly bad one is Spybubble. My Spybubble review shows some of the things to look out for.

mobile phone monitoring software
I don’t believe it!

Protect yourself and do your own research (if you don’t trust mine!) when you find a company that looks good. Here are a few things I consider when looking at a cell phone spy software provider:

Company Website – Professional?

Does it look legitimate, can you access it easily (try several times). Access is important because you will be logging on to view the reports; I have had one company where it was really difficult to log in to view the data – time out errors due to poor site setup and management.

Look for lots of information on the site. The best sites have support forums, knowledge base files, easy to look up charts for phone compatibility. If the website you are considering has only a few pages of limited information it may be a scam.

Payment Methods and Options

The top providers are competing with each other and offer similar types of package and payment structures. They should offer monthly and yearly options for different data reporting. It is usually wise to take out the monthly options to start with – to make sure you are happy with the service and everything is working. You can always upgrade if necessary when you are satisfied with the service.

Beware the ones who offer a one off lifetime payment. Even if they are legit, what level of service would you expect a year from now and what about upgrades? Make sure you can pay with a credit card or via PayPal for extra protection.

Cancellation and Guarantees

Look for information about cancelling your subscription – a good company will have clear policies regarding this; shady companies don’t mention it or hide it away in the site somewhere in small print.

As a software download the guarantees can vary a little from other physical products but you still have consumer rights. The company will put the onus on you to select the right product for your phone but if you make a mistake or have a problem with their software you will want to know that you can get a refund – read the small print!

Help and Support

Check out their help and support sections, look for online support and telephone numbers. Now, don’t just look at them – give them a try, ask a question in an email or give the numbers a ring. So many people never try this until they have a problem, then realize the number is dead or emails go unanswered.

These tips work for so many products you can buy online, especially if you have any doubts about the company or their products. Online fraud is huge so don’t be a victim, be smart!

Back to top

Now It’s Up to You!

I can’t tell you which spy phone software is the best for your needs. There are too many variables to consider. I can tell you which companies are reliable and provide good services. You need to decide what information you need to know, the type of phone you wish to monitor and then choose a service that suits. I can recommend some products that I have used and you can read my full reviews below.

mSpy App Review

Flexispy Review

Mobistealth Review

Mobile Spy Review

Other Articles I have written which may be of help:

Mobile Spy, Flexispy and mSpy – a Comparison of Spy Phone Software Apps

Free Cell Phone Spy Software Scammers – The Truth Behind the Headlines

Is Phone Spy Software Legal?

Have a good look around the site – it should cover most of your questions.