A software package that is used to track the activities of a smartphone is known as a cell phone spy. It essentially turns a cell phone into a device that “spies” on the person using it.
There are many vendors out there when it comes to this type of software and at first you might feel inundated by the sheer number of them. Furthermore, they all appear to offer about the same set of features. Thus, you need to dig deeper.
Here is a cell phone spy buyer’s guide that can help you make your decision as to the right vendor and product to choose.
Deciding Which Product to Buy
Deciding which product to buy encompasses four areas to research. These are:
- Compatibility with your smartphone
- Features provided
- Level of support
- Guarantees offered
These four areas are explained in the sections that follow. Use them to guide you through the maze of cell phone spy software providers.
1. Smartphone Compatibility
Cell phone spy software typically runs on the big 5 smartphone operating systems: Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad), BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.
The first step is to determine what operating system your smartphone uses and the version. Then, when you go to the vendor’s website, find your operating system and version on the list of compatible smartphones they support.
Some providers even provide images of all the smartphones they support to make it even easier.
You can even go one step further and send a question to the provider’s technical support just to be sure your particular phone is supported.
Also keep in mind that the cellular service provider is a factor to consider in the compatibility area. There may be known problems with the particular brand of cell phone spy software when used with a specific cellular service. This is another question you can ask the provider’s customer support.
2. The Features They Offer
Before looking at the features that a spy software vendor offers, it is important to have a list of what you need. For example if monitoring WhatsApp chats is critical then you want to make sure that the vendor supports that.
You also want to make sure that a particular feature offered is compatible with your cellular service plan. For example, Verizon’s CDMA network won’t allow you to record calls from the smartphone even though a particular vendor may provide this feature.
Study the features that a vendor has to offer closely. Some features may only apply to certain operating systems. An example of this would be a cell phone spy software vendor that supports key logging but only on Android and iOS even though the other features are supported by all 5 operating systems.
3. How is Their Support?
One way to judge the level of support provided by a particular vendor is to see what self-help they offer on their website. Some vendors provide a searchable knowledgebase, list of frequently-asked questions, and product documentation accessible for the support page on their website.
Then there are the times when you need to speak or do an online chat with a person. You can still find out the vendor’s level of support by asking a couple of questions about the product and see how responsive they are.
4. Any Guarantees?
Although the concept behind cell phone spy technology is simple, the workings under the surface are complex. This means that there might be smartphone tracker products that don’t function quite right with your particular smartphone and cellular service.
It is for this reason that you need to see if the spy software vendor offers a money-back guarantee. This prevents you from getting locked in to a 12-month subscription with software you cannot use.
Other things to point out
There are other considerations that you need to make when searching for a cell phone spy to buy and these are:
- Need access to the smartphone to be monitored – Cell phone spy software is always installed via a download link that must be accessed from the smartphone that will be monitored. There is no way to do it remotely thus you will have to physically get your hands on the device for installation.
- iPhones must be jailbroken – Jailbreaking is required for iPhones because the cell phone spy product that you purchase is not something that is available on Apple’s App Store. The software also needs to access parts of the iPhone that other apps typically don’t. Think of it like needing system-level access to the iPhone’s iOS operating system.
EDIT: mSpy has released a new monitoring solution called “mSpy without Jailbreak” that enables you to spy on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) without Jailbreaking. So if you don’t wish to jailbreak your phone, mSpy is a good choice.
- Need an internet connection – These products need a reliable internet connection for not only downloading and installing but for the features to function as well. The internet is one of the main components of the cell phone spy system. Also keep in mind that your cellular service must have a data plan as part of the package so that you can access the internet from the smartphone to be monitored.
What to Look Out For
Unfortunately there are vendors out there that are not totally honest about their product. They boast of features that seem too good to be true which should be your first indication that their product might be a scam.
Some features to beware of are claims that the cell phone spy will work through Bluetooth or that it can be installed remotely.
By now you probably see that choosing and purchasing the right cell phone spy software is not a task to be taken lightly. You want to do all of your homework to make sure that the product that you buy suits you perfectly. Reading product reviews also helps to give you insight as to the right decision to make.
Don’t get lured into a cell phone spy software plan that does not meet your needs exactly. Use this guide when making the decision as to which product to buy and enjoy the full benefits of the features provided by this type of software.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you’ve learned something from this buying guide. If you have any questions just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to respond. :).