If you’ve been worried about what your kid is up to, you might have considered installing a secret spy app on their phone to track their activity. Spyware apps like FlexiSPY allow you to spy on another phone and:
- Read text messages
- Read messages sent on other apps like Whatsapp
- Track the phone’s location
- Listen to calls
- Track keystrokes
- Record ambient noise
- Record browsing history
- And more
Spyware allows you to make sure your child is safe at all times. Kids often hide things from their parents, but you can install spyware on their phones without their knowledge.
Apps like FlexiSPY aren’t just for monitoring children. Employers may feel the need to monitor employees to see whether they are sharing confidential information or simply to see what they are doing on company time.
However, FlexiSPY requires you to jailbreak the phone you are installing it on. Jailbreaking (on iPhones), or achieving root access (on Android), is a process that removes limitations imposed by the manufacturer and allows you to gain deeper access to the system.
That special access allows you to install FlexiSPY while keeping it hidden.
However, jailbreaking can be a bit complicated if you don’t have any technical skills. Also, it’s not without its drawbacks — it can make a phone more susceptible to malware, crash more often, and even void its warranty.
In addition, you must have uninterrupted access to the phone you are installing FlexiSPY on, which may be difficult depending on the situation. Some spyware apps don’t require this and allow you to set up spyware on a phone remotely.
FlexiSPY does offer a remote installation service — a technician will log onto the phone and jailbreak it for you. However, you still need physical access to the device; without it, there’s no way to install FlexiSPY.
Finally, FlexiSPY does not currently offer a free plan or free trial. It does plan on offering a 24 hour trial in the future, but it does not currently do so; click here to see updates regarding the proposed free trial.
Fortunately, there are many fantastic alternatives to FlexiSPY that don’t have these issues.
Of course, you do need to make sure you’re not breaking any laws. In the US, parents are allowed to monitor underage children, and employers are allowed to use spyware on work-issued devices, as they legally belong to the employer.
If you use spyware to track a friend or spouse, make sure you get their permission beforehand, and always look up laws in your country or state.
Needless to say, it is perfectly legal to install one of these apps on your own device. It might come in useful if your phone gets stolen or lost — you’ll be able to track its location and all activity on the phone.
With that being said, let’s get into the 12 best FlexiSPY alternatives.
mSpy is my #1 recommendation for those who need a FlexiSPY alternative. It’s been around for over a decade, and it is heavily marketed towards parents who want to make sure their children are not getting into trouble.
Unlike FlexiSPY, it does not require you to jailbreak the target phone.
However, that doesn’t mean that mSpy is inferior to FlexiSPY. A jailbreak option is available, and it will give you access to more data.
In addition, mSpy allows you to spy on iPhones without having physical access to the target device. You’ll still need your child’s iCloud credentials, and 2FA authentication must be turned off.
You will need physical access to the device when installing it on an Android, but you will not need root access.
Since it remains hidden, the user will not know that mSpy is installed on their device.
So, what exactly can you observe with mSpy? Here are some things you can monitor:
- See who your child has called
- Read texts and iMessages, including deleted texts
- Read messages on apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, LINE, Telegram, and any other popular messaging app
- See where your child is by tracking their location
- Set up alerts for when your child leaves a “safe zone” — set up those zones for places like school, your house, or a relative’s home
- See all the applications they downloaded to their phone
- Block unwanted applications
- Record their screen and see everything they did
- Review what your child has been browsing on the internet
- Block websites with harmful content
- See which sites your child has bookmarked
- Set up keyword alerts and be notified when your child is talking about or searching for topics like drugs, sex, etc.
- See who your child has saved as their contacts
- Read their emails
- See all files downloaded and saved on their device
- Review all images and videos on their device
Even if you use the no-jailbreak option, you can still track things like:
- Text messages
- Browsing history
- WhatsApp messages
- Call logs
- Installed apps
- And more!
You don’t need the iPhone in your physical possession to install mSpy; it works by tracking iCloud activity. Here is what you will need to install it:
- iCloud credentials
- 2FA turned off
- iCloud backup turned on
If you don’t have that, you can still install mSpy, but you will need physical access to the device.
Related: 15 Best mSpy Alternatives
Another useful substitute for FlexiSPY is Cocospy. Unlike FlexiSPY, no jailbreak or root access is required for either iPhones or Android devices.
Cocospy also provides iCloud spying, allowing you to set up monitoring for a target device without physical access to it, while FlexiSPY does not. You will need to enable iCloud backup and turn off two-factor authentication.
Using Cocospy, you can:
- See where your loved one is
- Create safe areas and get a notification when they leave that area
- See what they are searching for online
- Read their text messages
- Read messages on WhatsApp, Viber, etc.
As a parent, you may worry that your child will swap their sim card for a new one to evade detection. However, with Cocospy, you can receive an alert when the sim card changes; you can also see SIM data, such as the network carrier, at any time.
What if you don’t have any money to pay for a spy app? The harsh reality is that most spyware apps are not free and can cost quite a bit of money.
However, there are still some options for you. While FlexiSPY is not free, LetMeSpy is.
Despite being limited, it’s free forever, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out.
LetMeSpy only tracks three things:
- Call logs, including the date and time of each call and phone numbers
- Text messages
On the free plan, you will only get access to the last five of each. In other words, you’ll be able to see the last five text messages, the last five calls, and the last five places the person has been.
Premium prices vary and give you access to a longer tracking history. Despite still being limited when compared to FlexiSPY, LetMeSpy’s premium plans are much cheaper (check the pricing page for updated pricing data).
You can log into your online dashboard and view all tracked data from your browser at any time. So, if you check often enough, you’ll be able to see most call logs and text messages, even on the free plan.
LetMeSpy is only available for Android devices.
iKeyMonitor, contrary to FlexiSPY, offers a free trial demo version you can test before buying it. Some features are limited on the free version, but it still allows you to get a feel for the app and the online dashboard.
The application is available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Rooting and jailbreaking are not required, but access will differ for jailbroken and non-jailbroken devices.
For example, on an iPhone, only by jailbreaking can you get access to:
- GPS location data
- Photo and video screenshots
- Screenshots of chat apps
- SMS keystrokes
- Facebook Messenger chats
- Snapchat pictures
- Viber and LINE voice recordings
- The ability to block certain applications
On Android, the difference between rooted and non-rooted devices is not that large. Nevertheless, some restrictions remain for non-rooted devices; for example, Snapchat pictures are inaccessible.
There are also some restrictions when using the free trial demo. For example, you will be limited to 50 instances of screenshots and websites visited.
Other than that, however, most of the features of the free trial version are identical to those of the premium version.
Furthermore, with iKeyMonitor, you are not restricted to viewing call logs and other collected data on the web. You can choose between an online dashboard and a Panel Viewer app.
The Panel Viewer app is separate from the main app and serves only to show you data. You must install the main spyware app on the target device first before installing the Panel Viewer app on your phone.
iKeyMonitor also lets you host the data on your own server. Business pricing starts from $9.90/month per device, with a minimum of 20 devices.
It’s perfect for employers. Check the pricing page to see the updated individual, family, and business plans.
Not all spying software works on Mac computers, but Hoverwatch does. Unlike FlexiSPY, it offers a free trial, with both personal, family, and business plans available.
Using Hoverwatch on Android, you will be able to do the following:
- Track incoming and outgoing calls
- See SMS messages, including MMS images
- Track messages sent on WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook
- Monitor the location of the target device
- Record browsing history
- Get an alert when the SIM card is changed
- See your child’s to-do list
- Review who is saved as contacts on their phone
One of the unique features that Hoverwatch provides is the ability to automatically take a front camera picture every time the target user unlocks their device. With this feature, Hoverwatch matches FlexiSPY’s RemCam feature, which allows parents to manually unlock and control their kids’ cameras.
However, with Hoverwatch, the front camera pictures are taken automatically. Also, Hoverwatch can automatically take screenshots periodically, so you always know where your child is, who they are with, and what they are doing on their phone at random times of the day.
All the above is for Android devices. Hoverwatch does not have an iOS version, but you can use it to spy on Windows and Mac computers.
On those devices, Hoverwatch can do stuff like:
- Record browsing activity
- Act as a keyboard logger and record all typed words and websites
- Capture passwords
- Record Skype calls and conversations
- Take webcam pictures
- Take full-screen screenshots of the target device
- Read Facebook chats
- Log all visited websites
FlexiSPY recently introduced the ability to take automatic screenshots of a phone’s screen when a certain application is running. Hoverwatch matches that with its unique screenshot feature that can take full-screen screenshots on both phones and computers.
Depending on your plan, you can download its log viewer app to your own Android device, where you can store and later review data logs offline.
XNSPY is a FlexiSPY alternative that enables you to track 12 popular social media apps and take a screen recording when they are in use.
Other spying activities possible with XNSPY include:
- Monitor text messages and chats on WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social apps
- Record WhatsApp messages via keystroke monitoring without root access
- See your kid’s GPS location
- Set up keyword alerts and get notified when those keywords are used in emails or chats
- Set up keyword alerts for locations
- See scheduled appointments and events
- Review all multimedia on the device
- Check all WiFi networks your child connected to throughout the day
- And more
XNSPY even allows you to take complete control of the target device and take screenshots, start recording the environment, lock the device, reset it, block apps, and more.
I liked how XNSPY gives you quick reports, such as the top 10 visited websites and the top five callers. That way, you can quickly see if your son or daughter is simply chatting with their friends or if there is a predator contacting them, and you can see whether they are visiting illegal websites.
Apart from personal plans, XNSPY supplies solutions to schools and businesses. Employers can install it on multiple employer-issued devices, while schools can install it on school-issued devices to block websites and apps, block students from using the devices at certain times, and more.
Spyrix is a phone and computer tracking and keylogging app. It has characteristics such as continuous, non-stop screen recording and the ability to take screenshots remotely.
You can even watch the recording live and see what your employees are up to in real time. You can also monitor visited websites, removable hard drives, Skype calls, chat app activity, and more.
Spyrix offers a free trial, while FlexiSPY does not. On the other hand, there are some reports that it is easily detectable on Mac computers, so do consider that before downloading.
Although you need physical access to the target device to install Spyrix, you are able to uninstall it remotely.
Mobistealth is a FlexiSPY alternative that’s been around for a while, but it has introduced new features such as a computer spying option.
Using Mobistealth, you can track and record location data, keystrokes, browsing history, calls, messages, emails, downloaded apps, and more. The exact things you can do depends on which device you installed it on.
For example, you can track web browsing history on all devices (iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows). However, you can only see gallery photos on Android devices.
Two more features only available for Android devices include recording and playing back phone calls and recording the environment remotely.
On the flip side, Mobistealth only tracks some apps, like Kik and LINE, on iOS devices. While it can record WhatsApp on both Android and iOS phones, it only records Viber activity on Android.
Mobistealth also claims to work on Blackberry devices. While Blackberries are no longer as common as they once were, some people use them.
On Blackberry, you can use Mobistealth to track contact details, call details, messages, emails, and live and historical location data.
You can install Mobistealth even on non-rooted devices and record apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp.
10. Auto Forward
One of the challenges of using FlexiSPY and most other spyware apps is that you must have physical access to the target device to install them.
Some solutions exist for iPhones, as they track iCloud backup activity and data. However, you’ll still need the iCloud credentials of the target device, the ability to receive a 2FA text yourself or have 2FA turned off, and have iCloud backups turned on.
Sometimes, you just won’t have physical access to the target device. For example, you might want to start tracking your child right away, but you may be on a business trip in another state, unable to come home for a while.
That is where Auto Forward comes into the picture.
Auto Forward is a FlexiSPY alternative that does NOT require you to have the target device in your possession. Instead of taking the phone in your hand and manually installing an app, Auto Forward uses an OTA (over the air) text message to install the app.
Once the link in the text message is clicked on, the app can download itself to the target device and start tracking and monitoring location, call, and message activity.
However, Auto Forward has some serious downsides, which is why it’s not higher up on this list. First, it will appear in the list of downloaded apps, so it is not really a secret application.
In addition, it seems to have quite a few negative reviews, with many people saying that it only gave them access to their kids’ contact details and not phone or message history.
Therefore, I’d suggest using Auto Forward only if there is no way you can physically access the target device and your kid has an Android. Otherwise, use one of the other FlexiSPY alternatives on this page.
Spyine is a superb FlexiSPY alternative that lets you spy on phones, track calls and texts, monitor messaging app activity, see the target device’s location, and a lot more.
With advanced features such as geofencing (setting up safe zones to get alerts when the phone leaves one of those zones), Spyine measures up to FlexiSPY in many aspects.
You can not install Spyine remotely on Android devices, but there is an iCloud monitoring solution that allows you to track your loved one without installing any software on their device.
By default, the app will show up in the app list after installation on Android devices. However, you can hide it after the installation process; using a special code, you can bring it back later, so you can uninstall it.
Want to see how Spyine works without signing up? You can check out the demo, where you will see a preview of what your dashboard will look like.
You will immediately notice important data such as the top five most recent calling contacts, last known location, the top five people they recently texted with, and a breakdown of their phone activity.
As opposed to FlexiSPY, you do not need root access or a jailbroken iPhone to install Spyine.
12. Highster Mobile
One of the concerns many people have about FlexiSPY is that it can be pretty expensive. Highster Mobile, on the other hand, costs just a fraction of what FlexiSPY costs, making it affordable to almost everyone.
With plans starting at just $2.99/month, Highster Mobile is around 1/10 of the price of FlexiSPY. You’ll be billed for 10 months in advance, though.
Select your device here to see updated pricing.
Even with the basic Highster Mobile plan, you get to monitor calls, text messages, videos, photos, location data, and more (depending on the device operating system).
The best FlexiSPY alternative is mSpy.
mSpy gives you one of the widest range of tracking features at a great price, without requiring jailbreaking, root access, or even physical access to the device if you are installing it on an iPhone.
Ben Levin is a Hubspot certified content marketing professional and SEO expert with 6 years of experience and a strong passion for writing and blogging. His areas of specialty include personal finance, tech, and marketing. He loves exploring new topics and has also written about HVAC repair to dog food recommendations. Ben is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in computer science, and his hobbies include motorcycling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai.