OwnSpy Review: Is This Parental Monitoring App Worth It?

March 26, 2024

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In today’s digital age, smartphones and tablets have become fixtures in most kids’ lives. These devices open up worlds of connectivity, entertainment, and education. However, they also expose children to potential online dangers like cyberbullying, explicit content, and predators.

This has led to a rise in parental monitoring apps that allow parents to keep tabs on their kids’ phone and tablet activities. One such app is OwnSpy.

In this comprehensive review, we will take an in-depth look at OwnSpy to help parents decide if it’s the right parental control software for their needs.

What is OwnSpy?


OwnSpy is a phone monitoring and tracking app designed for parents to monitor their children’s activities on smartphones and tablets. It is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

The app offers a robust set of monitoring features including:

  • Call and text message logging
  • Social media monitoring
  • Web history and bookmark tracking
  • GPS location tracking
  • Geo-fencing
  • Screen monitoring
  • Screenshot alerts
  • Remote control commands

With these features, parents can track their kids’ communications, online activities, whereabouts, app usage, and more. The app runs in stealth mode on devices so kids won’t detect it.

Is OwnSpy Easy to Setup and Use?

One appeal of OwnSpy is that it is designed to be easy to set up and use, even for parents who aren’t tech-savvy.

Here is an overview of the setup process:

  1. Sign up for an OwnSpy account online
  2. Choose a subscription plan
  3. Download and install the app on your child’s device
  4. Complete the activation process
  5. Log into your online dashboard to access monitoring features

For iOS devices, you’ll need to jailbreak the iPhone or iPad before installing OwnSpy. Android devices need to be rooted.

The app interface and online dashboard are user-friendly with intuitive navigation and clear monitoring options. First-time users can benefit from OwnSpy’s helpful setup guides.

Once setup, parents can:

  • Quickly check monitoring data from the online dashboard
  • Receive push notifications for alerts
  • Access advanced features like live screen monitoring
  • Export reports

With its simplicity and range of monitoring options, OwnSpy aims to provide comprehensive parental oversight without a big learning curve.

What Can You Monitor with OwnSpy?

OwnSpy offers monitoring capabilities across several categories. Here are some of the key features:

Call Monitoring

  • Log all incoming/outgoing calls
  • Listen to live phone calls
  • View call history with numbers and timestamps
  • Identify frequently contacted numbers

Text Message Monitoring

  • Read the content of SMS messages sent and received
  • View message history from all messaging apps on the device
  • Monitor messages even if they are deleted

Location Tracking

  • Track real-time location of the device via GPS
  • View location history and routes travelled
  • Create virtual boundaries and get alerts when they are crossed

Web Monitoring

  • View browsing history and bookmarked websites
  • Get alerts for inappropriate websites
  • Block specific websites

Social Media Monitoring

  • Track WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media activity
  • Read messages and view shared media files
  • Monitor use of dating apps like Tinder

Screen Monitoring

  • View device screen in real-time
  • Capture screenshots at regular intervals
  • Monitor use of apps and games

Remote Control

  • Remotely lock or unlock the target device
  • Secretly enable microphone to listen to surroundings
  • Wipe device data remotely

With robust SMS, location tracking, and remote control features, OwnSpy provides detailed monitoring across both online and offline activities.

How Does OwnSpy Work?


OwnSpy uses cutting-edge monitoring technology to extract data from a target device and present it via an online dashboard.

Once installed on a child’s phone or tablet, the app works silently in the background to record activities including:

  • Capturing screenshots
  • Logging keystrokes
  • Recording phone calls
  • Activating microphone
  • Accessing text messages, emails, and chat logs
  • Tracking web browsing and GPS location

All this data is encrypted and transmitted to OwnSpy’s servers. Parents can access it by logging into their secure online dashboard from any internet-connected device like a phone, tablet, or computer.

The dashboard offers convenient access to monitoring features. Timeline views, graphs, and sorting options allow parents to analyze data effectively. Alerts and push notifications keep parents updated on their kids’ real-time activities without having to log in.

OwnSpy aims to provide comprehensive, around-the-clock monitoring with minimal impact on a child’s device usage experience.

What Makes OwnSpy Stand Out?

Here are some key advantages that make OwnSpy a leading parental monitoring solution:

  • Robust features – It offers detailed monitoring across calls, messages, social media, web activity, location, apps, and more.
  • Cross-platform support – OwnSpy works on both iOS and Android devices so parents can monitor kids’ iPhones, iPads, and Android phones or tablets.
  • Stealth mode – Kids won’t detect the app so parents can monitor discreetly.
  • Remote access – Parents can log in and check the dashboard from any device.
  • Alerts – Get notified when keywords, sites, or app usage thresholds are triggered.
  • Media files – View photos, videos, and audio files stored on the device or shared online.
  • Live tools – Features like real-time screen monitoring and microphone listening enable active oversight.
  • Advanced analytics – Charts and graphs provide insights into usage patterns and trends.
  • Excellent support – OwnSpy is responsive to customer queries and provides remote assistance.

With its robust feature set and flexibility across platforms, OwnSpy aims to be an all-in-one monitoring solution for parents.

What Are the Benefits of OwnSpy for Parents?

Parents who use OwnSpy can enjoy several benefits:

  • Peace of mind – Comprehensive monitoring features allow parents to oversee their kids’ phone activities with confidence.
  • Early alerts – Notifications inform parents about worrisome behaviors so they can intervene promptly.
  • Limit inappropriate use – Identifying problematic apps or sites allows parents to set ground rules for their child.
  • Ensure safety – Location tracking helps parents keep tabs on kids’ whereabouts and detect suspicious behaviors.
  • Aid communication – Seeing their child’s interests and conversations helps parents connect better.
  • Prevent addiction – Monitoring helps curb excessive device or internet use.
  • Gain insights – Usage analytics reveal patterns that can guide conversations around responsible use.
  • Discourage risky behaviors – Knowing their activities are visible deters kids from inappropriate actions.
  • Improve trust – Children feel accountable knowing their parents can view their device activities.

Overall, OwnSpy empowers parents with oversight to keep kids safe from digital dangers while nurturing open communication and trust.

What Are the Limitations of OwnSpy?

While OwnSpy is designed to offer robust monitoring capabilities, it has some limitations that parents should be aware of:

  • Jailbreaking/rooting required – iOS devices must be jailbroken and Android devices rooted before installing OwnSpy. This can void warranties.
  • Physical access needed – Parents have to get physical access to the device to download and install the app.
  • Short battery life – Constant background monitoring can drain the device’s battery faster.
  • No computer monitoring – It cannot track activities on computers or laptops kids use.
  • No website or app blocking – Parents can only view inappropriate sites/apps, not automatically block them.
  • SMS monitoring issues – Logging of SMS messages can sometimes be incomplete or laggy.
  • Trial limitations – The free trial only offers basic functionality for testing.
  • Detection risks – Tech-savvy kids may detect the app, especially if not in stealth mode.

While not dealbreakers, parents should factor in these limitations before choosing OwnSpy as their parental monitoring tool.

How Much Does OwnSpy Cost?

OwnSpy offers different subscription plans based on the desired features. Plans start from $21.99 per month for the basic package.

Here is an overview of OwnSpy’s pricing options:

Plan1 Month3 Months12 Months

The Basic plan includes:

  • Call logging
  • Text monitoring
  • Browser history and bookmarks
  • Basic location tracking
  • Alerts

The Premium plan adds on:

  • Social media monitoring
  • Media files monitoring
  • Advanced analytics
  • Keylogger

The Gold plan offers full-featured monitoring including:

  • Screen monitoring
  • Remote control features
  • Live tools like microphone listening
  • Wider range of analytics
  • Premium support

OwnSpy does not offer any family plans or bundles. Each target device requires a separate subscription. Parents of multiple children would need multiple subscriptions to monitor all devices.

OwnSpy offers a 7-day free trial with full access to test the app’s capabilities before subscribing.

Compared to competitors, OwnSpy is competitively priced, especially for the robust monitoring abilities of its premium plans. The free trial lets parents experience those premium features before committing.

How Does OwnSpy Compare to Other Parental Monitoring Apps?

OwnSpy faces competition from other parental control apps like mSpy, FlexiSpy, Spyzie, and more. Here is how OwnSpy stacks up against the competition:


  • OwnSpy matches up well with top competitors in terms of robust monitoring features like GPS tracking, remote control capabilities, social media and text monitoring, etc.


  • OwnSpy’s pricing is competitive, offering cost-effective plans compared to other premium offerings in the space.

Cross-platform support

  • OwnSpy works across both Android and iOS devices which is a capability matched by most competitors.

Ease of use

  • OwnSpy and competitors like mSpy and Spyzie all offer user-friendly setup processes and dashboard interfaces tailored for parents.

Customer support

  • OwnSpy provides responsive customer assistance. However, some competitors like FlexiSpy have more support options and resources.

Stealth functionality

  • OwnSpy’s stealth mode matches the hidden operations modes of other top parental apps.

Overall, while competitive, OwnSpy holds its own against rivals with robust features, competitive pricing, and strong customer support. For parents, it provides a compelling package and value.

OwnSpy Pros and Cons

OwnSpy Pros:

  • Installs in stealth mode without detection
  • Monitors wide range of communications and activities
  • Works on both iOS and Android devices
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Affordable plans compared to competitors
  • Responsive customer support

OwnSpy Cons:

  • No blocking capabilities for sites or apps
  • Physical access to device needed for install
  • iOS devices require jailbreak
  • Shorter battery life due to constant monitoring
  • Fewer support resources compared to rivals
  • Cannot monitor laptops or computers

Is OwnSpy Right for You?

OwnSpy is a robust parental monitoring tool to consider if:

  • You have kids with smartphones/tablets and want to monitor their activities
  • Your kids have had issues with inappropriate app usage, communications, browsing, etc in the past
  • You want location tracking capabilities to keep tabs on kids’ whereabouts
  • You need active monitoring tools like screen viewing and listening capabilities
  • You have both Android and iOS devices in your family to monitor
  • You want comprehensive oversight of your kids’ digital behaviors and smartphone use

However, OwnSpy may not be the ideal choice if:

  • You want to monitor kids’ computer or laptop use (only phones/tablets)
  • Your child is very tech-savvy and could detect hidden apps
  • You absolutely require blocking of sites or apps (no blocking features)
  • You need detailed technical data like network traffic logs
  • You want social media monitoring without jailbreaking iOS devices

Carefully matching your needs and priorities to OwnSpy’s offerings will determine if it is the right parental control app for your family.

How to Get Started with OwnSpy

Ready to give OwnSpy a try as your parental monitoring solution? Here are the steps to get started:

1. Pick your plan

Browse OwnSpy’s pricing plans and choose the one with features matching your needs – Basic, Premium or Gold.

2. Create account

Go to the OwnSpy website and sign up for a new account using your email address.

3. Download app

From your account dashboard, download the OwnSpy app for either Android or iOS.

4. Install on device

On your child’s device, install the OwnSpy app you downloaded. Remember, iOS devices need jailbreaking first. Follow prompts to enable permissions.

5. Activate monitoring

Return to your online account dashboard and complete the activation process to link the device.

6. Start monitoring!

OwnSpy will now begin recording activities on your child’s device which you can review by logging into your online dashboard via any web browser.

And that’s it! With those six simple steps, you can start comprehensively monitoring your kids’ digital behaviors and smartphone activities using OwnSpy controls.

Frequently Asked Questions About OwnSpy

Q: Will OwnSpy work on my child’s iPhone or Android phone?

OwnSpy is fully compatible with both iOS and Android. iPhones require jailbreaking before installing the app while Android phones need rooting. As long as you complete these steps, OwnSpy will work across platforms.

Q: Can I try OwnSpy for free before paying?

Yes, OwnSpy offers a 7-day free trial that gives full access to test all monitoring features before paying for a plan.

Q: How do I install OwnSpy without my child knowing?

OwnSpy has a stealth mode that prevents the app icon from appearing on the device home screen. As long as your child does not review installed app lists, they will not detect it. Jailbreaking or rooting does not affect the stealth mode.

Q: Will OwnSpy drain my child’s battery life faster?

There is often some increase in battery drain from continuous background monitoring. You can disable certain power-intensive features like screen recording to minimize battery impact. Proper device optimization helps counter battery drain as well.

Q: Can I monitor TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp and other apps?

The Premium and Gold plans offer social media monitoring capabilities that cover popular apps like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and more to capture messages, images, videos, and activities.

Q: How long does it take to install OwnSpy?

Once you complete the initial account signup, the OwnSpy app itself only takes a few minutes to download and install onto your child’s device. The overall setup process is meant to be quick and simple.

Q: Can I block apps and sites with OwnSpy?

Currently, OwnSpy does not offer automated blocking capabilities. You can only monitor and view inappropriate apps and sites used. Blocking features may be added in future updates.

Q: Does OwnSpy work outside the US?

Yes, OwnSpy works globally as long as you have an internet connection for the monitored device and your own device to access the dashboard. Language localizations accommodate use worldwide.

The Bottom Line

OwnSpy offers parents a sophisticated set of tools to monitor their kids’ activities on smartphones and tablets. Its range of tracking features provides deep oversight of communications, browsing, location history, app usage, and more.

Unlike competitors, OwnSpy supports both Android and iOS devices with a budget-friendly price point. While limitations exist like lack of computer monitoring, overall it gives parents compelling capabilities that make it easy to keep tabs on their kids’ digital behaviors and identify problems.

Before using any monitoring software, be sure to carefully consider your child’s privacy, treat data ethically, and maintain open conversations around digital safety and responsibility.

Key Takeaways:

  • OwnSpy allows parents to comprehensively monitor their kids’ phone calls, texts, locations, apps, web browsing, and social media use.
  • It installs in stealth mode and runs in the background on both iPhones and Android phones.
  • Features like screen monitoring, listening tools, and alerts provide active oversight capabilities.
  • While powerful, OwnSpy does have some limitations like no blocking of sites/apps.
  • OwnSpy is competitively priced and offers a free trial to test the system.
  • When used responsibly, it can give parents peace of mind and help protect kids from digital dangers.

So if you need robust parental controls for smartphones, OwnSpy is a compelling choice, especially with its iOS and Android cross-platform support. Take advantage of the free trial to evaluate if its the right fit for monitoring your kids’ mobile activities.