10 Best Phone Monitoring Apps for Parents in 2021

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As a parent, there’s so much you worry about when it comes to the welfare of your kids. It is part of responsible parenting to worry about what they’re doing online, who they’re talking to, and whether they’re leaving enough time to study and socialize.

The solution to that is a good cell phone monitoring app that lets you manage what takes place through their phones or computers. Here are the 10 best monitoring apps for iPhone and Android to help get you on the path to peace of mind.

NEXSPY

NEXSPY is the market leader in terms of advanced features. It is a fully-fledged monitoring and parental control app that you can install on both Android and IOS devices. 

It is one of the few phone tracker apps without permission that allow you to track social media usage, media, and key logs all the while remaining discreet. This makes it the best teen phone monitoring app.

nexspy

Features

  • Location tracking with geofencing.
  • Monitoring of SMS communication.
  • Call logs and records.
  • Access to browsing history, emails, and downloads.
  • Available for both rooted and non-rooted android devices.

Pros 

  • Advanced features like VoIP call recording and social networks monitoring.
  • Easy installation and use.
  • Yearly plans are more affordable.
  • A 3-day free trial is available to everyone who wants to see what it offers.
  • You don’t need to root your android phone to use it.

Cons 

  • IOS devices need to be jailbroken.
  • It doesn’t support Blackberry and Nokia phones with the Symbian OS.

FamiSafe

Famisafe is a cell phone tracker app designed to allow parents and guardians to control what their children are doing with their devices. However, it lacks the advanced features of full monitoring features of apps like NEXSPY. 

FamiSafe is completely legal and can be installed without jailbreaking or rooting the target phone. That is because instead of being discreet like phone spy apps, it operates under full disclosure. It is one of the best apps to monitor a child’s iPhone.

FamiSafe

Features 

  • Location tracking with geo-fencing.
  • Monitor app usage. You can set time limits for each app.
  • Monitoring web content. Block unhealthy or suspicious sites.
  • Controlling screen time.
  • Compatible with IOS 9.0 and above, as well as Android 4.0 and above.

Pros

  • Best rated parental control apps for remote monitoring and control.
  • It does not require you to root or jailbreak the target device.
  • Easy to download and install. Available from the Playstore.
  • A free 3-day trial is available.
  • Accurate location tracking with geofencing is highly popular.

Cons

  • Lacks advanced features like social media monitoring.

Qustodio 

Qustodio is a premium monitoring software for Android, IOS, or computers. It is very advanced for a cell phone monitoring app and is the most intuitive software around. You can set time limits for specific apps, block websites, and view usage reports as often as you would like.

Qustodio

Features 

  • Available for Windows, Android, OSX, IOS, and Kindle.
  • Internet control and filtering capabilities.
  • Location tracking for mobile platforms.
  • Monitoring Facebook.
  • App control and monitoring.
  • You can set time limits for the whole device.
  • It comes with a panic button.

Pros

  • Most intuitive and user-friendly monitoring software.
  • Wide range of parental control options like app monitoring and internet filtering.
  • Available on most platforms.
  • It has the option of hiding it so that it is undetectable by the user.
  • The panic button is an innovative feature.

Cons 

  • Expensive 
  • Lacks social media monitoring ability for WhatsApp, SnapChat, etc.

FamilyTime

As its name suggests, FamilyTime is a cell phone monitoring app for parents that works for the whole family. It allows you to track the movements of every family member who has it installed on their phones. It works great for separated partners who are co-parenting or people who want to keep an eye on elderly loved ones.

The app is completely legal and can be downloaded directly from the Google Playstore or the Apple Store. You can choose to use the basic version for free, but most of the useful features will be inaccessible. For full access, make sure to subscribe to the premium license.

Unlike conventional iPhone or Android spy apps, FamilyTime does not hide from the user. It also does not require jailbreaking or rooting and can be installed on any compatible mobile device. One limitation is that there is no FamilyTime software for computers.

FamilyTime

Features

  • You can add as many family members as you like. However, you will need to pay a separate subscription fee for every profile.
  • It works on both IOS and Android. Not compatible with other mobile OS platforms.
  • Monitoring phone calls, text messages, and contacts.
  • Monitor and control installed apps.
  • PickMeUp button for location tracking.
  • Panic button in case of danger.
  • Filter access to movies, TV shows, books, and any other harmful use of the device.

Pros 

  • It is easy to use.
  • Legal and safe to use, and can be easily downloaded from the Playstore or Apple Store.
  • It allows multiple family members to have their monitoring done from the same platform.
  • For those who are co=parenting, every added parent is free. This way, you only pay for one subscription.
  • It has location tracking services with Geofencing. 
  • It comes with a panic button feature.

Cons

  • It is expensive, even though it is not available for PC platforms.
  • It lacks web activity filtering.

Net Nanny

Net Nanny works like a chaperone on your kid’s devices. It allows you to block apps, websites, maintain an alert for keywords, among other monitoring features. It is unique in that pricing is dependent upon the number of devices involved as opposed to the features unlocked.

One particularly great feature is its real-time web filtering. Unlike other phone monitoring apps that evaluate your child’s internet activity from their history, Net Nanny does that in real-time. It also continuously updates its logs to remain current on what every website is about. Net Nanny is a great option for teen phone monitoring.

NetNanny

Features

  • Accurate location tracking.
  • Content filtering for the web – blocks offensive or mature websites depending on your settings.
  • Available for most modern mobile devices, Windows, and Macs.
  • Screen time monitoring and control.
  • Scheduling options. You can plan when and for how long you want the device to be accessible.
  • Available on the Playstore.

Pros

  • Easy to install if you do it from the Playstore.
  • The location tracking is handy and very accurate.
  • Real-time web blocking allows you to evaluate suspicious websites.
  • It can be set up on as many as 20 devices to make whole family monitoring easier.
  • It issues alerts when your child is trying to access blocked content. 

Cons

  • It takes a bit of a learning curve to use due to unique jargon.
  • It does not have features for social media monitoring.
  • Internet filters are weak and can cause a lot of inconveniences.

mSpy 

mSpy offers the best value for your money due to its amazing blend of features and user-friendliness. It is the best phone monitoring app when you’re looking for a balance of cost and functionality.

You can install mSpy on any mobile device if it is Android or IOS. You do not have to root or jailbreak it, which is one great advantage it gives you. However, you should know that the most advanced features such as social media app monitoring will not be available until you root or jailbreak the target device.

mSpy is among the best apps to monitor your child’s text messages on iPhone. It can hide in the target device to avoid detection, all the while giving you full access to what is being done in the target device.

mspy

Features 

  • Supports all modern versions of IOS and Android without having to jailbreak or root.
  • Monitoring and blocking websites being visited.
  • Tracking incoming and outgoing text messages and calls.
  • Location tracking with Geofencing.
  • For jailbroken or rooted devices, you can also monitor messaging apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat.
  • Control access to apps. 
  • Keylogging – get a record of all keys getting pressed.
  • Targeted keyword alerts that are delivered in real-time when triggered.

Pros

  • It is easy to use even for those who are not tech-savvy. It includes remote installation and set up options for an extra fee.
  • Features some of the most advanced personal spying features.
  • You can block suspicious websites or apps.
  • Keyword alerts help to give your timely warning when something out of the set boundaries is taking place.
  • Great customer service team.

Cons

  • When an unsaved number sends a text message, mSpy shows it as a bunch of zeros.
  • It is a single device monitoring software.

Spyier

Spyier is an advanced parental monitoring and iPhone spy app. It is among the best phone monitoring apps that offer premium levels of monitoring and control like call and SMS tracking, location tracking, app usage monitoring, among others.

One attractive feature you will love about Spyier is that some of its premium features are available without having to root or jailbreak the target device. Another great feature is the fact that once installed, Spyier is virtually undetectable. 

Spyier

Features

  • Monitor phone calls and SMS messages, both inbound and outbound.
  • Location tracking with mapping services. See where the phone has been all day.
  • Keylogger.
  • Internet usage monitoring.
  • Monitoring of messaging apps.
  • Alerts you whenever the SIM cards are changed.
  • Check installed apps.
  • View media stored in the target device.

Pros

  • Advanced features like social media monitoring.
  • A real-time alert function is available.
  • Keylogger keeps a record of all of them pressed in a period.
  • You don’t have to root or jailbreak the target device to access some premium features.
  • Discreet once installed.

Cons

  • Expensive. 

WebWatcher

WebWatcher is a parental monitoring software designed with a focus on monitoring online activities. It is available for IOS, Android, and various personal computers.

Apart from the web, WebWatcher also monitors social media activity and camera activity log, You will love the fact that it allows you to have keywords which trigger an automatic alert to your dashboard.

WebWatcher

Features 

  • Fast installation with no rooting or jailbreaking required.
  • Tracking of SMS messages, including deleted ones.
  • Ability to take screenshots.
  • Camera roll to take photos at any time.
  • GPS location tracking.
  • Monitoring of app usage.
  • Social apps monitoring for Facebook, Tinder, Whatsapp, Snapchat, etc.
  • Keyword alert.
  • Web filtering.

Pros

  • Robust keyword alert, where you can set watchwords for suicide prevention.
  • Strong internet monitoring features.
  • You can get records of texts and call logs even after they’re deleted.
  • It is discreet and tamper-proof.
  • You don’t need to jailbreak or root the target device.

Cons

  • It is expensive if you use it for more than one device.
  • It doesn’t let use block inappropriate websites.
  • Alerts are sent to the online portal or parent app, not as texts.

FamiGuard

FamiGuard from Wondershare is a more basic cell phone monitoring app for keeping track your child’s phone. Most parents who use it are mainly after its much cheaper costs compared to the more advanced apps.

Its best features include location tracking and internet monitoring. However, it has quite a lot of limitations on its functionality depending on the devices you use it on. It is the best phone monitoring app when you’re on a budget.

Famiguard

Features

  • Activity summary – collects data about app usage with dates and duration.
  • Screen time setting.
  • App blocker.
  • Web filter to keep out certain website categories.
  • Location tracking with geofencing.

Pros

  • No rooting or jailbreak required.
  • Cheaper than most other options.
  • Friendly user interface.
  • Fast reports on demand.

Cons

  • It’s not very powerful, and most of its features come with some limitations.
  • Location history takes time to update, and the geofence radius is fixed.

Norton Family Premier

Norton Family Premier is from the same company that brings you Norton Antivirus It is a full package cross-platform software for cell phone monitoring for parents. Its major wins include internet security and app blockage.

You can opt for a monitoring package only, or the full one with antivirus for just a few dollars more. If your child is cooperative, you should have them agree to do their internet browsing on the Norton App for maximum security.

Norton-family

Features

  • Internet content filtering for dangerous and offensive websites.
  • Activity record for web usage, with daily reports sent to your dashboard.
  • Alerts and notification for the activities you want to track.
  • Available on all the major platforms as an app, browser extension, or full Norton Family package.
  • On Android, it also allows monitoring text messages and phone call.
  • Age filters come preset, which you can then adjust as you like.

Pros

  • Robust internet filtering and protection.
  • Optional antivirus for only a few extra dollars.
  • Helps track videos on YouTube and Hulu.
  • No limit on the number of devices you can use it on.
  • Location tracking with mobile devices.

Cons 

  • Not compatible with Mac, with limited IOS compatibility.
  • Weak social media tracking.

Conclusion: Cell phone monitoring apps for parents

In this age of pedophiles and cyberbullying, it is more important than ever to monitor what your child does with their mobile devices or computers. It helps you to keep them safe and avoid future problems. 

Among these more popular parental monitoring apps, NEXSPY is the best phone monitoring app to help you keep your kids safe both online and offline.