Spy apps put to the test: the best providers in comparison

The best spy apps tested - do they keep their promises? Nowadays, the smartphone is our constant companion and knows more about us than our life partner or closest friends. Spy apps allow deep insight into someone else's life. There are plenty of reasons for using spy apps, the potential infidelity of the partner or the fear for one's own children. We test the best spy apps and explain what is allowed and what is illegal.


     The best spy app on the market: 
    mspy logo
    • Comprehensive functions: GPS, browsing history & social apps
    • All-round security: Always know where your child is
    • Control regardless of the operating system: Seamlessly monitor iOs and Android
    • Compatibility: Works on almost all devices

    Smartphone spy app - how does it work?

    How mspy worksThe principle behind all spy apps is the same. The spy app is installed and activated on the target phone within a few minutes. As soon as the monitoring app is set up, it collects hidden and invisible personal data and sends it to a server. This server can then be called up via the web interface in order to receive all possible information, such as GPS data or SMS.

    The smartphone or tablet owners themselves usually have no way of recognizing that the app is installed on the mobile phone, since the spy apps themselves do not have a visible icon.

    What can spy apps monitor?

    Spy apps can monitor a wide variety of data.

    • social media appsE-mails
    • SMS and WhatsApp messages
    • Pictures
    • Skype and phone calls (call logs)
    • GPS data
    • Cell phone camera
    • Calendar entries
    • Website history

    Can every smartphone be monitored?

    In principle, it is possible to install a spy app on any cell phone. In most cases, however, this is much easier on Android phones. Until recently, it was actually only possible to install spy apps on the iPhone or iPad if you previously performed a jailbreak. Meanwhile, however, there is also for that iPhone spy apps that work without jailbreaking. We clarify which ones are capable of doing this in our spy app test.

    How do I install a spy app?

    Handy iPhone usageFor Android, you need access to the target device. You then have to log into the website of your spy app provider with your login data and download and install the app there. If you only want to use the basic functions of spy apps, that's enough for Android. For certain premium functions, however, you still have to root the device. On an iPhone or iPad you don't even have to install modern spy apps. All you have to do is log into the spy app website with the credentials of the iCloud account of the owner of the target device in order to successfully spy on the target device. A jailbreak may be necessary for older spy apps.

    Why do you need a smartphone spy app?

    There are many reasons to use a spy app. The three most common users of a spy app are:

    • Parents who want to monitor their children
    • Employers who want to control their employees
    • Partners who suspect their significant other of infidelity

    A spy app can be very helpful, for example, to monitor the internet behavior of your own children and serve as an opportunity to protect them from danger. For employers, on the other hand, it can be useful to ensure that employees actually work during working hours or that they do not use their cell phones for private purposes.

    Spy apps don't have to run permanently

    Worrying about one's children is perfectly reasonable. However, too much control is usually not the best solution. Spy apps can help make sure your child is safe and should not be abused to follow up every step.

    In certain cases it can also be advisable to inform the child that an emergency assistant is installed on the mobile phone. It can give some children a feeling of security that their parents are able to help in an emergency.

    Locker spy apps legal?

    legally illegalBefore installing a spy app, you should be aware that this is only allowed if you have the consent of the cell phone owner beforehand. Secretly spying on partners or employees is therefore illegal in Germany and is punished with up to two years in prison. The only exception to this rule applies to parents who want to monitor their children who are not yet legally competent. The use of smartphone spy apps to supervise children is also legal without their knowledge.

    In fact, in our research on spy apps, we came across the following frightening statistics: Only every 10th victim of cyber bullying confides in their parents. Cyber-bullying and bullying in general lead to a higher risk of suicide for children, which means that a properly used spy app can even save lives.

    The right choice of the espionage app

    Since spy apps often have access to all important functions of a cell phone, it is important to protect yourself against fake applications. Scammers and free spy apps promise a lot, but in the end they only try one thing: steal your money. In the worst case, they even install dangerous ones Malware on the target device. We looked at all providers and in the end we filtered out the best ones for you. For your own safety, we therefore advise you to choose a provider from our spy app test.


    The winners in our espionage app test

    In our spy app test, we considered a few factors that make a good spy app. Some of them are compatibility, i.e. whether the app runs smoothly on Android and iOS. Whether all basic functions such as monitoring of WhatsApp messages and website history are included and how good the price-performance ratio is.

    1st place: MSpy - winner in the espionage app test

    mspy logoThe cell phone spy app mSpy offers an innovative solution for all users. It allows reliable monitoring for Android and iPhone and that even without jailbreak! In addition, mSpy has a really good customer service that helps around the clock with any problems. The information about the spied mobile phone can be viewed by you at any time and from any browser. An overview of the most important functions of the mSpy spy app:

    All incoming and outgoing calls are recorded with time stamp, duration and caller information

    All SMS and MMS sent, received and even deleted are displayed with time stamp and contact information.

    The location, routes and places visited are shown on a map.

    browser history
    MSpy records all web browser histories with a time stamp.

    Messaging apps
    You get access to all WhatsApp, Snapchat, iMessage, Skype, Telegram, Viber, Hangout and Line messages.

    Social networks
    Get full visibility on Facebook, Instagram and Tinder.

    Photos and videos
    Get full access to all media (photos and videos) received, downloaded or saved on your phone.

    and much more…
    In addition to many other functions, mSpy allows you to monitor contacts, calendars, e-mails and installed apps.

    Of course, a premium provider like mSpy unfortunately also has a corresponding price. There are different tariffs that can be bought for 1, 3 or 12 months. The 12-month variant offers the best price-performance ratio. The prices range between 20 and 50 euros per month.

    Conclusion: mSpy offers everything you could want from a spy app. It is reliable, has all the important features and comes with excellent customer service. Unfortunately this has its price.

    2nd place: FlexiSpy - The most powerful surveillance software

    flexispy logoThe second place in our espionage app test goes to FlexiSpy. FlexiSpy offers all-round surveillance for smartphones, tablets and even computers. FlexiSpy positions itself as a professional solution for all espionage needs. In addition to the option of ordering a cell phone with FlexiSpy software preinstalled, you can buy all kinds of espionage gadgets such as hidden cameras, GPS trackers and recording devices via the FlexiSpy website. The best features of FlexiSpy:

    Listening to calls
    As a special function, FlexiSpy offers listening to live calls on iPhone and normal recording of calls on Android phones.

    PC & Mac
    In addition to a mobile phone app for Android and iOS, FlexiSpy also offers its software for PC and Mac.

    The location, routes and places visited are shown on a map.

    browser history
    The software records all web browser histories with a time stamp.

    Messaging apps
    FlexiSpy supports spying on all common messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, iMessage, Skype and Telegram.

    Remote controlled microphone
    Turn on the phone's microphone and record the surroundings.

    Photos and videos
    Spy on all photos and videos on the target phone and activate the phone camera to take photos or videos remotely.

    and much more…
    You get access to contacts, calendar, e-mails and install apps.

    FlexiSpys offers three different tariffs: Lite, Premium and Extreme. Functions such as recording phone calls are withheld from the Extreme Version. The different tariffs can be booked between 1 month and 12 months. The cheapest lite version costs 29,95 euros per month and the premium version between 66 and 29 euros per month, depending on the duration of the tariff.

    FlexiSpy costs


    Conclusion: FlexiSpy is also a really good spy app provider that offers highly qualified premium solutions for all espionage needs. Unfortunately, the lite version is far too expensive for the features it contains.

    3rd place: XNSYP - The cheapest provider in the espionage app test

    xnspy logoThe cheapest provider of spy apps for cell phones that we tested is XNSPY. The app allows advanced espionage and surveillance functions with a variety of extra features. XNSYP is the only provider that combines quality and affordability well. In addition, XNSPY offers a live demo version to convince yourself of the quality of the spy app. Particularly convincing: Even premium features such as displaying deleted text messages are possible. An overview of the other features:

    Listening to calls
    As a special function, FlexiSpy offers listening to live calls on iPhone and normal recording of calls on Android phones.

    No jailbreak +
    Log calls and read text messages on the iPhone without jailbreaking.

    See the phone's location history

    Internet surveillance
    Browser history and bookmarks are fully visible

    Monitor all keystrokes on the target device (Android only)

    Remote deletion
    You can remotely erase data on the device and even lock the device if you want

    Photos and videos
    Monitor all photos and videos using XNSPY


    Conclusion: XNSPY offers significantly fewer features than that Competitor! Although the most important basic functions are offered, competitors such as Mspy offer significantly better functions. 



    Spy apps can be helpful assistants and even lifesavers. But they can also quickly be misused for illegal purposes. It is therefore important to consider whether the end justifies the means. If you decide to use a spy app, you should only do so from trustworthy providers such as mSpy, FlexiSpy and XNSPY. In our espionage app test it was possible mSpy convince the most. If you have the financial means, mSpy is without question the best choice.

    Frequently asked questions about spy apps

    Which spy app is the best?

    MSpy was the most convincing in our spy app test. The app scores in terms of reliability, functions and support. Further recommended spy app providers are FlexiSpy and XNSPY.

    How much does a spy app cost?

    The price of spy apps differs greatly depending on the provider. In addition, most providers offer different tariffs. The cheapest spy apps start at around 10 euros a month and only offer very rudimentary functions. Premium providers sometimes charge more than 60 euros per month for their best tariff.

    How do I find out whether a spy app is installed on my mobile phone?

    If you suspect that someone has installed a spy app without your knowledge, you can check this relatively easily. Google the name of the most famous spy app providers (FlexiSpy, mSpy, PhoneSherrif, XNSPY, etc.) and check whether an application with this name is running on your phone. There are a few helpful apps in the app store to check this. Anti-virus software or an anti-espionage app can also help. You can also find this in the app store.

    Are Spy Apps Legal?

    Spy apps are only legal if they are not installed secretly, but if you inform the user of the cell phone that you want to install a spy app. The only exception is for parents who want to install a spy app on their children's phone. Important: There is a risk of up to 2 years imprisonment for illegal, secret installation of a spy app.

    How can I read someone else's WhatsApp messages?

    This function is offered by most of the popular spy apps. The best spy apps that can all read someone else's WhatsApp messages are: mSpy, FlexiSpy and XNSPY.

    About Kevin Benckendorf

    Kevin Benckendorf grew up in Germany, but at home all over the world. His passion is the latest technology. Whether hardware or software. He is always up to date and tests the best new releases for you.