Choosing the right parental monitoring software is crucial for keeping your kids safe online. But with so many options to pick from, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is the best fit for your family.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare two of the top monitoring apps – WebWatcher and mSpy. We’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision, including features, compatibility, pricing, and more.
Overview of WebWatcher and mSpy
What is WebWatcher?
WebWatcher is a leading parental monitoring software launched in 2006. It allows parents to discreetly monitor their kids’ activities on devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Some key features of WebWatcher include:
- Monitoring texts, calls, emails, social media, web history, and more
- Taking automatic screenshots
- Tracking GPS location
- Keyword alerts for concerning phrases
- Available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Chromebook
- Web-based dashboard to access information from anywhere
Overall, WebWatcher aims to give parents insight into their children’s digital lives to promote online safety.
What is mSpy?
mSpy is another top monitoring app on the market, launched in 2010. It’s designed to help parents monitor their kids as well as employees on company-owned devices.
Some standout mSpy features include:
- Text message, call logs, GPS tracking
- Screenshot capturing at set intervals
- Social media and app monitoring
- Geo-fencing alerts
- Keylogger and ambient recording
- Remote control features like wiping data
- Available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
- Dashboard access from any web browser
With comprehensive monitoring capabilities, mSpy provides visibility into many aspects of digital activity.
Comparing Key Features
Now let’s dive into a detailed feature comparison between these two heavy hitters of parental monitoring.
WebWatcher: Works on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS, and Chromebook.
mSpy: Compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS devices.
Both WebWatcher and mSpy support all major device operating systems. One advantage WebWatcher has is also working on Chromebooks, which are popular for kids.
Text Message Monitoring
WebWatcher: Logs SMS content, contact names, date/time for messages sent and received.
mSpy: Similar SMS logging functionality and can also capture deleted messages.
For monitoring text messages, WebWatcher and mSpy are on par in terms of features offered. mSpy has a slight edge in capturing deleted messages too.
Social Media and Messaging App Monitoring
WebWatcher: Monitors popular apps like Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and more by logging messages, posts, images, videos and chats.
When it comes to social media monitoring, both apps cover the most popular apps kids use today. mSpy supports a few additional platforms but overall capabilities are very similar.
Web and App Activity Monitoring
WebWatcher: Records website URLs visited, bookmarks, web searches. Monitors time spent on websites and apps.
mSpy: Logs websites visited on Chrome, Safari, Firefox and more. Takes screenshots at set intervals to capture activity. Monitors apps installed and time spent.
For monitoring general web browsing and app activity, both mSpy and WebWatcher offer comparable functionality to see which sites kids visit and apps they use.
If you’re looking for alternatives, you may want to check out Webwatcher vs Bark. It offers similar features and may be a good fit depending on your needs.
WebWatcher: Uses GPS to pinpoint device location history. Location can be checked from the dashboard.
mSpy: Real-time GPS tracking at set intervals. Location history visible from dashboard. Geofencing available.
mSpy and WebWatcher both enable you to check the location of your kid’s device, with mSpy also offering geofencing to get alerts when they enter or leave specified areas.
Remote Access and Control Tools
WebWatcher: No remote admin features offered.
mSpy: Options to remotely lock device, wipe data, view screen in real-time, and more.
For parents who want to remotely control the device itself, mSpy has a clear advantage over WebWatcher in this regard.
Pricing and Plans
WebWatcher: Available plans are priced at $39.95/year for Chromebook, $59.95/3 months, and $129.95/year for phones, tablets, Mac, and Windows.
mSpy: Offered plans range from $89.99/3 months to $199.99/year. Family kit plans available starting at $199.99.
In terms of pricing, WebWatcher offers cheaper monitoring plans overall compared to mSpy.
If you want an alternative focused on iOS, check out KidsGuard Pro vs mSpy. It provides robust monitoring specifically for iPhone and iPad.
Ease of Use
WebWatcher: Straightforward to install and activate monitoring on kid’s device. Intuitive parent dashboard.
mSpy: Slightly more complex installation but offers greater device compatibility. Easy-to-use parent dashboard.
When it comes to ease of use, both WebWatcher and mSpy have user-friendly parent dashboard interfaces. WebWatcher has a bit simpler setup process.
Top Reasons to Choose WebWatcher
- Cheaper pricing overall
- Slightly easier setup process
- Works on Chromebooks
- Automated screenshot capturing
Top Reasons to Choose mSpy
- Wider range of compatible platforms
- More powerful remote access/control features
- Geofencing capabilities
- Social media and messaging app support
It’s very close, but mSpy pulls ahead as the winner if budget allows. The enhanced features like full remote control, geofencing, and wider platform support give it the edge. However, WebWatcher is still an excellent lower-cost option, especially if you have Chromebooks.
Ultimately, assess your family’s needs and weigh the pros and cons of each app. Both WebWatcher and mSpy can provide parents great peace of mind with comprehensive monitoring.
FAQs About WebWatcher and mSpy
Does WebWatcher work on an iPhone?
Yes, WebWatcher is fully compatible with iPhones. The app can be installed and will monitor activity on any iPhone model.
Can mSpy be detected?
No, mSpy runs undetectable in the background once installed on a device. As long as you follow the setup instructions properly, the app will not be visible.
How long does WebWatcher store data for?
WebWatcher stores up to 3 months of historical data on the monitored device. This data is accessible through your online account.
What happens if you uninstall mSpy?
If mSpy is uninstalled from a device, monitoring immediately stops. No usage data would be collected and the app cannot be reactivated without reinstalling.
Does WebWatcher drain the target device’s battery?
No, WebWatcher has minimal impact on battery life. The monitoring runs efficiently in the background. Phone functionality is not affected.
Can mSpy recover deleted texts?
With Android devices, mSpy can recover some deleted texts within a short time frame after they are deleted. This does not work for iOS devices due to system limitations.
Is WebWatcher legal to use?
Yes, WebWatcher is legal to use if you own the device or have consent from the user. Be sure to abide by relevant local laws when monitoring someone else’s device.
For another alternative focused on Android monitoring, you may want to look at mSpy vs Hoverwatch. It provides extensive tracking specifically for Android phones and tablets.
- WebWatcher and mSpy both offer robust parental monitoring with features like location tracking, web monitoring, social media app access and more.
- mSpy has more powerful capabilities when it comes to remote administration and control.
- WebWatcher is more affordable but has slightly fewer features than mSpy.
- For monitoring kids across all devices and maximum oversight, mSpy is likely the better choice if budget allows.
- However, WebWatcher still provides fantastic basic monitoring, especially for families on a tighter budget.
- Be sure to follow all applicable laws when using either app for consent-based monitoring.
The Bottom Line
Take some time to review all the capabilities and pricing to determine the best fit. And be sure to openly communicate with your child about why monitoring is necessary and what boundaries are in place.
With the right parental control app and some thoughtful rules, kids can safely learn, explore, and have fun online.