PROS / The live control panel lets you view a large variety of activity in real time, letting you stay up to date on how your kids use their devices.
CONS / It does not have an option to limit your children's phone usage time.
VERDICT / This is the best parental control software we reviewed, with powerful live reporting for all kinds of activity, giving you extensive control over your child's online safety from the remote comfort of your computer.
Mobile Spy is the most powerful cell phone parental control software available. It offers the most thorough tracking and reporting, even revealing deleted content and keystrokes. You can set custom alerts and restrictions with it, helping you not just monitor your kids, but ensure they don't access dangerous or inappropriate content. Because of its outstanding performance, device compatibility and helpful customer service, this software heartily earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
The cell phone spyware is fairly flexible in the term lengths it offers you. Though it doesn't offer a simple one-month term, you can still choose a quarterly, semiannual or yearlong plan, letting you use whichever one best suits your needs. The software automatically enrolls you in a recurring subscription plan when you purchase it, which can be handy if you intend to monitor indefinitely, letting you select the longest plan and work it into your budget. Mobile Spy is also compatible with BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices, though not Windows Phones.
You can view your child's basic communication activity, such as phone calls and text messages, and the software shows you contact information, time stamps and what the message said. It lets you see the device's browser history, showing you specific browser names, time stamps and URLs, including those of YouTube videos your child viewed. From the monitoring website, you can see the device's current location and history. It also shows you existing contacts, photos, stored calendar events and installed applications.
In our testing, we were also impressed to see that the software can log deleted content. It shows you deleted texts, photos, and browser searches and history, even those your child viewed in incognito mode, which otherwise cannot be tracked. It also tracks keystrokes, revealing the text typed in any app or online.
If you root your device, which we do not recommend due to the variety of risks associated with doing so, the software also has the capacity to track all your child's emails and conversations from popular chat clients, including WhatsApp, Skype, Hangouts, Viber, Kik and Line. It can even reveal their social media activity on popular websites like Twitter and Facebook if your kids use them.
Along with an assortment of tablet or smartphone activity, you can view what's going on with your child in a variety of ways. As you'd expect from the best cell phone spyware on the market, Mobile Spy lets you leisurely view recent activity from any computer with an internet connection, even as it happens. You can click through over 30 different categories of activity to see in-depth data or general information from the software's beautiful dashboard, which shows you recent text messages, the device's last known location, and graphs showing at-a-glance activity for calls, texts, websites and emails. You can export collected data to an XLS, PDF or CSV file, or print it for later viewing.
Limits & Alerts
Your children having smart devices means they have access to anything on the internet, including applications they can download and use. While apps are a great way to have fun or learn something new, they are also a way to come into contact with inappropriate content, such as pornography, drugs or gambling. Mobile Spy lets you not only monitor what your kids do on their cell phones, but also restrict what kinds of apps they can access. With the click of a button, you can block specific apps. One thing you can't restrict through the software, though, is your child's phone usage time; some other software options allow you to set up specific time blocks during which they may not use the phone.
The software also lets you create keyword alerts, which notify you if your child uses inappropriate language in text messages or searches for offensive topics online. Another alert tells you if your child tries to tamper with the software. The software also has geofencing technology, which alerts you if your child enters or leaves a specific geographical area that you determine. This helps you know exactly where your child is for their safety, or where their phone is if they lose it.
It is extremely easy to install this software on the target device and to log in on the monitoring website, letting you start surveillance almost instantly. The website is designed well, offering a visually appealing and intuitive interface that makes monitoring a cinch. It's divided into two sections: logged information and alerts, which are found on the vertical navigation bar on the left side of the screen, and the administrative controls, located on the horizontal bar atop the screen. From here, you can choose what tracked activity you want to view or which settings you want to adjust.
One of the most impressive and powerful features of Mobile Spy is its live control panel, which lets you view most activity as it happens, so you aren't left waiting for updates. The software also has a few remote functions, which give you some control over the device itself wherever you are. For instance, you can remotely lock your child's phone if you want them to stop using it but are not with them.
Help & Support
Mobile Spy's developer, Retina-X Studios, has several resources at hand for you to use if you have a question about the software or want to learn more about how it works. You can check out the live demo, user guide and knowledgebase on the website, or, for direct service, you can contact the company via live chat or email. We found that its customer service representatives respond quickly and are helpful.
Mobile Spy is great parental control software for your kid's cell phone that tracks and shows you reports of their activity. Its powerful and thorough tracking leaves no stone unturned, and it lets you create alerts and set restrictions on your child's activity. Since it's compatible with a wide variety of devices and carriers, your child can most likely keep using their current device, and you can even choose a plan length that fits your needs. The software is backed by amazing customer service, and it can help you keep an eye on your kids in this modern, technological society and help them develop safe online habits.