Best Apps to Spy on a Cell Phone

“Can I spy on a cell phone without having it or without installing software to the phone I need to spy on?” By far that is the NUMBER ONE question I get around here. The answer is simple. Yes, you can! And it’s not nearly as hard as you may think.

Hello, My name is Pat Sanderson and welcome to Safeguarde. I created this site around 8 years ago to help people like you solve the same problems I had. I suspected my wife of being unfaithful and I needed answers. There was a time that I would stop at nothing to put my mind at ease. After I found out the truth I was able to finally move on with my life and then decided to give back all that I had learned to help people who are in a similar situation.

I made a list and reviewed what I have found to be the best spy apps for you to use. Each one is good in it’s own right. Choose the one that works best for you.

 

#1 – Auto Forward Spy

Excellent for all iPhones and Androids. No Access or Possession Needed.

auto forward text spy app

Our TOP PICK! Auto Forward Spy was introduced in 2012 and has been a market leader ever since. Over the years, the app has been improved with remote access and the ability to monitor a phone without having it in your possession. They also have an option to “clone a phone” which shows you how to create an exact copy of one phone to another. Very cool!

Spy on a Cell Phone Without Having it

The latest version now lets you use their exclusive OTA (over-the-air) link to download the app to your phone where it creates a remote connection over the internet to the phone you want to spy on. All you have to do is download the app, activate it using your license key, then enter the number of the cell phone you want to spy on. You can be getting information from the other phone within minutes!

Auto Forward delivers everything you need and then some. We tested a variety of iPhones and Androids and we did not encounter any issues. Auto Forward can extract text messages and iMessages (even if they have been deleted). The app also gathers calls, GPS, Facebook, Instagram and a lot more! Among its many benefits are;

    • OTA (over-the-air) link: Enables remote downloading for quick and easy monitoring of any cell phone.
    • Undetectable: The app is undetectable on the target phone. Activity is captured and uploaded silently.
    • Text messages: See all texts that have been sent or received (even they have been deleted). Includes the date, sender and complete message.
    • Social media: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat messages. Records; Likes, Shares, Private messages, and more.
    • Keylogger: Captures and records all keystroke entries performed on the phone.
    • Calls: Record all incoming and outgoing phone calls. 
    • Remote listening: Activate the phones microphone to listen to surroundings.
    • Stealth camera: Send a remote command to the phone to snap a picture.
    • Low price: One-time fee of only $29.99 and no monthly subscription. Plus, you get free lifetime upgrades!
    • Works with: All Android’s and iPhone’s

Using the OTA (over-the-air) link, you can remotely download the app and monitor the target phone without having it in your possession. Once a remote connection is established, Auto Forward continuously uploads activity from the target phone to your secure online account. You can literally monitor the target phone right from your own cell phone without being anywhere near it!

Visit their website: www.auto-forward.com

Read my Auto Forward Review

#2 – Highster Mobile

Works with all Androids and iPhones.

highster mobile

Another app that allows you to spy on a cell phone without having it in your possession! That’s Highster Mobile in a nutshell. Great technology that’s easy to use for the average “Joe”. Downloaded over 1 million times and going strong, Highster Mobile is still one of the best cell phone spy apps you can buy.

Highster Mobile has been on the market since 2007. They helped pioneer the technology and remain the leader in cell phone spy applications. You just can’t go wrong with this app. Tried and true and up to date to work with the all Androids and iOS devices.

    • Social media: Captures and records copies of both incoming and outgoing messages for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
    • Text messages: Get an exact copy of every text sent or received (deleted texts can be viewed)
    • Keylogger: Captures all keystrokes performed on Androids and iPhones.
    • GPS tracking: Tracks a phone to within a few feet of its actual location.
    • OTA (over-the-air) link: Download the app remotely for fast and easy monitoring.
    • Works with: All Android’s and iPhone’s

If you’re looking for a low-cost spy app for Android or iPhone, Highster Mobile should be at the top of your list. It’s competitively priced, offers many useful features, has a user-friendly web interface and it’s very easy to use, even for beginners.

Visit their website: www.highstermobile.com

Read my Highster Mobile Review

#3 – PhoneSpector

PhoneSpector is among the latest, cutting edge utility apps that can be used to spy on a cell without actually having the phone in your possession. More powerful and easier to use and set-up, it has become the choice of thousands who need help learning how to spy on a phone. It has no monthly fees. Unlimited lifetime upgrades and comes with full support for all phones. Check it out!

Visit their website: www.phonespector.com

Read my Phonespector Review

#4 – DDI Utilities

DDI Utilities is a next-generation utility program that can extract and deliver large amounts of data and activity from any cell phone quickly, easily and silently without having the phone anywhere near you.

DDI is fast taking over space in the market once occupied by cell phone spy programs that just don’t work anymore. As new models and operating systems are introduced it has become more difficult to find a spy app that actually works. DDI Utilities works!

How DDI works:

DDI Utilities download procedure is simple. All you have to do is text the download link to the phone you want to monitor. When the link is activated (tapped on) the automatic install begins and within minutes stored data and activity from the phone uploads to your secure online account. Log into your account using the user/pass provided and you can see all captured files and activity.

Features:

  • Text messages: An exact copy of every text that was sent or received. Deleted texts can also be recovered.
  • iMessages: All iMessages sent and received.
  • Keylogger: Captures all keystrokes executed on target phone.
  • Social Media: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter messages posts.
  • GPS location: The GPS tracking system of DDI Utilities will track the phone to within 50 feet of its actual location.
  • Photos: All photos, new, old and deleted.
  • Videos: All videos residing on phone.
  • Undectectable: DDI is undetectable on the phone. Data and activity is uploaded silently.
  • Works with: All Android’s and iPhone’s

If you have tried regular cell phone spy apps with no success, you will want to buy DDI Utilities. It has been shown to succeed where the older, more traditional spy programs no longer can.

Visit their website: https://ddiutilities.com/

Read our review: DDI Utilities review

Can you spy on a cell phone without installing anything to the target phone?

When looking for spy apps for phones, the question that always comes up is: Is it possible to spy on text messages without installing software on the target phone? While many think this impossible, I would urge you to think again and to read this article I found, and reposted, about a woman who’s estranged boyfriend was able to spy on her cell phone without having the phone. You’ll learn how to spy on someone’s phone remotely using the best phone spy apps.

 

What You Need To Know Before You Buy

  1. You must have access to the target phone so you can download and install the mobile spy and text tracker app directly onto their phone. You don’t need to install anything on your phone or computer. Using the OTA link greatly simplifies and speeds up this process. In most cases, installation can be done in less than a minute.
  2. The phone you are monitoring determines which version you buy. If you want to monitor an iPhone, you buy the iPhone version and hence the same for Android. Your personal phone does not matter.
  3. Monitoring a cell phone is a serious endeavor and should never be done in an illegal manner. Proper authorization is always required. Before attempting to monitor any cell phone always check with your local and state laws and federal law to ensure you are not violating any laws.

 

Guide To Spying On A Cell Phone

Today two types of devices dominate the mobile market: Androids and iPhones. Through independent research, I have narrowed down the best cell spy software for both. While there are many reasons someone would need to spy on texts (if you are an employer or a parent for instance,) catching a cheating spouse is the most popular.

Over the years, I have learned a lot (mostly I learned what not to do!) and what I have learned is that you need to find a text message spying app from a company that has three basic but very important features. They are:

  1. Telephone Number – When you have a question, or a problem, isn’t great when you can pick up the phone and speak to someone? I never buy anything from any website that does not have a working telephone number with an actual person answering. Make sure the website has a working telephone number. This is a good sign that the company is legitimate. Any website that does not have a telephone number is likely a fly-by-night and not very good.
  2. No Monthly Fees – Don’t get involved with any program that has monthly fees! Most of us have all been caught by a scam that initially bills for a small amount which then results in the never ending nightmare of trying to cancel. During that time  monthly charges continue to pile up! Don’t do it! Our reviews include only those programs that can be bought for a one-time charge. All come with free lifetime upgrades, which will enable you to spy on any cell phone well into the future regardless of software updates or phone changes.
  3. Customer Support – Make sure the company offers full telephone customer support. Email is not enough with this type of application. I can almost guarantee that you will need help along the way and it will be a huge plus to get a live person on the phone who can solve any issue you may have. This will be invaluable to you…Trust me!

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what you want in a company, let’s talk about the Android and iPhone spy apps themselves.

With the emergence of more powerful utility apps that are now being used to spy on cell phones, I have altered my top picks to better reflect the latest technology. Here they are:

 

Top Apps to Spy on Text Messages

So, how do you sort through the junk? Below, I’ve provided a list of the top five cell phone spyware apps available today (I have actually tested and used each one of them). Each of these will enable you to read someone’s text messages and just about all activity of virtually any mobile device. Read carefully and know that whichever of these you choose, you’ll gain peace of mind with your purchase.

IMPORTANT: Each of the programs below is capable of retrieving more than just text messages from a cell phone or tablet. They will retrieve phone activities such as; Calls, GPS location, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, websites visited, photos, videos and much more.

These programs are very powerful and will enable you to spy on a mobile device much like any government or private investigator might and should be used only for legal purposes. 

#1 Auto Forward Spy (Recommended: Best for Android phones and tablets)

how to spy on text messages

Inexpensive and user friendly, Auto Forward Spy is—without a doubt—the best choice for Android and iPhone devices! It allows users to view a targeted device’s browser history, text messages, take photos remotely and much more all without having the phone in your possession. From its simple installation to its ease of use, Auto Forward Spy gives you all the benefits of mobile monitoring software with none of the hassle. It’s just download, install and monitor!

With Auto Forward, you’ll be able to:

    • SMS Spy on a phone, even if the phone’s logs are deleted. With Auto Forward Spy installed, you’ll be able to view the content of every text, the phone numbers associated with them and the time and date of each message.
    • Monitor social media in real time! Ideal for parents, this feature lets you check on children’s social interactions on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, and more! It lets you see who they’re talking to, what they’re saying and what they are sharing.
    • View all phone calls received and dialed. View the phone number(s) involved and phone date and timestamps. 
    • Track via GPS: Whether the device you’re tracking belongs to a loved one or an employee—or is stolen or lost—the GPS tracking app feature can pinpoint its location on a map in 5-minute intervals.
    • Monitor and record email: Instantly access all incoming and outgoing emails on the mobile device in which the app is installed and time-stamp and store all the data on the platform of your choice.
    • See all incoming and outgoing calls as they occur: The Call Log feature of Auto Forward Spy lets you see every phone number dialed and the duration of each call—even if the call logs have been deleted—and allows you to retrieve and download the data.
    • Access contacts: Auto Forward Spy gives you instant access to all of the names, phone number, email addresses and more contained within the designated mobile device.
    • View the browser history: Monitor your child or employee’s internet access to safeguard against them viewing inappropriate websites, videos or photos.
    • Take photos remotely from the device’s viewfinder and download and save the images with Auto Forward Spy’s Remote Camera.
    • Observe all activities – incoming or outgoing -in real-time through any device with the Real-Time Control Panel in order to see how the device is being used. Need to see a chat message? A call? Need to monitor texts? The Real-Time Control Panel gives you this information instantly.

Customer Support

Excellent customer support with LIVE people answering the phone. Of course, I called just to see if real people would actually answer the phone and if they knew what they were talking about, which they did. I was very pleased with how helpful they were.

Price

As I stated above, “stay away from monthly fees”. After trying their 3-Day Free Trial, Auto Forward Spy has a price tag of only $29.99 with no monthly fees and no additional charges. Honestly, for the money you really can’t go wrong. It’s fast, simple and easy-to-use, but most of all, it’s powerful enough to get just about anybody all the information they would ever need.

Auto Forward Spy has been on the market for over 5 years and has done an excellent job in surpassing the competition. The development team of Auto Forward Spy has proven to be extremely capable of producing one of the best apps for spying on texts you will find anywhere.

Visit their site: http://auto-forward.com/ 

#2 Highster Mobile (Best spy app for iPhones and iPads)

highster mobile

Highster Mobile is an SMS tracker and text message spy software that has been on the market for nearly 8 years. It has helped literally hundreds of thousands of people to spy on cell phones and in particular, gather text messages from just about any mobile device on the market.

A superior text message spy, Highster Mobile not only enables a user to retrieve new text messages from any cell phone, it will also extract old and deleted text messages as well. It does this by scouring the memory of the mobile device and extracting all available old and deleted text messages that haven’t been overwritten. The astonishing thing is that you can do all this without actually having the phone in your possession. It is not uncommon for users to report the extraction of text messages from up to one-year-old.

The Best NO-JAILBREAK Program

If you are spying on an iPhone and you are either unwilling or unable to jailbreak it, Highster Mobile is for you!

Their No-Jailbreak program is tops in the industry and, in my opinion, is by far the easiest to use and most powerful. I found that it captures more data, in less time, than any of the competing programs. Access to the monitored device is not necessary, meaning it’s possible for you to monitor the target iPhone without installing software on it.

Highster Mobile will also extract loads of data from virtually any cell phone Including; calls, GPS location (within 50 feet of the phone’s actual location), photos, videos, social media messages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), web browsing history and much more.

How it Works

Activation is pretty fast and fairly simple. I used the OTA (over-the-air) method to install the program, which allows for the app to be downloaded using only a WiFi connection. I entered my license key, then the telephone number of the phone I wanted to see text messages from. Within minutes, loads of information from that phone began appearing on my cell phone. I saw all the texts that were being sent and received. I saw the content of each text, the date and time of the message and the phone number to which it was sent or received. I was pleased to see that it worked so well.

Customer Support

Perhaps the most important feature of this program is that it comes with FREE telephone support. Any person who buys this program can actually call the 800 number on the website and speak to a live person. Currently, Highster Mobile is one of only two products I am aware of that offers free telephone support. The other is Auto Forward Spy.

Price

The program costs $29.99 and has no additional charges and no monthly fees. It also comes with free lifetime upgrades so you never have to buy another SMS (text) tracking program again.

Because of its exceptional functionality and reliability and its low price point, Highster Mobile is a good choice.

Visit their site: http://www.highstermobile.com/

#3 PhoneSpector (Best all around  spy app)

PhoneSpector is my personal choice for the best spy app on the market. It represents the departure from traditional iPhone and Android spy apps to a more powerful, in-depth and easy-to-use app that is a better fit for today’s mobile devices.

Because it is a “utility app”, it can dig deeper into file structures of cell phones or tablets and possibly extract more information than a traditional spy app can. Superb for spying on text messages and iMessages, you will not find a better text spy app, or cell phone spy app than PhoneSpector.

Read more about PhoneSpector

#4 DDI Utilities  (Net-generation utility app)

DDI Utilities is used primarily for backup and data recovery of mobile devices, but what they don’t tell you is you also can use this program to spy on a cell phone without having the phone in your possession.

DDI will enable you to see virtually everything that happens on a cell phone or tablet without actually having the device in your hands. It does this by establishing a remote connection with the monitored device and uploading that data to your secure online account.

The reason I prefer DDI Utilities over traditional “spy” programs is simple. It’s more powerful. It can get more information and most important, it gets deleted texts and other data from the phone.

Visit their site: https://ddiutilities.com/

IN SUMMARY

text message spy

The internet is a dangerous place. Full of dangerous people. Hackers, haters, scammers, cyber stalkers, perverts, pedos—the online world is a virtual devil’s playground. A world that we carry along with us in our hands. So how can you protect the ones you love from those seeking to do harm? And how can you safeguard those you entrust with your devices against misuse? Installing cell phone spy software that allows you to view text messages, track social media activity, access browsing history, view call logs. and more is a step in the right direction.

Each of these spyware apps come with their merits, but if you’re looking for the absolute best of the bunch, then look no further than SurePoint, Auto Forward, and Highster Mobile. With their ease of installation and use—and low cost—these three products are the top choices in the market today. With functions that allow you to take photos remotely, view browser history, view text messages, track via a GPS and much more, these three software programs will definitely give you the most bang for your buck. And there are no hidden fees or monthly costs. Other cell phone spy software might promise more, but read the fine print on their offers to make sure there are no recurring monthly costs. The three I mentioned all have a one-time fee.

So, if you are looking to protect your children from online predators, obscene websites or overall bad decisions—or you want to keep a watchful eye on employees who may misuse your devices while on your company’s time and dime—look no further than the high-quality products in this review.

What To Look For In An SMS Tracker

Many existing spyware apps can track another device’s whereabouts, let you view its pictures and videos and help you spy on text messages, but not every one of them is alike. Here are some important qualities to look for in mobile tracking software:

Ease of Use

You shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to navigate through the software’s web-based control panel. A good app should make it easy for anyone to check chat logs, see text messages, or follow a device via the GPS.

Quick Installation

The same should go for installing the software. Once you purchase the product, the company will send you an email that will take you step by step through the installation process. Most installations should take only a few minutes and be ready to work immediately upon completion.

Versatility

Many of the available cell phone monitoring systems that track text messages share similar features, but some vary. It’s up to you to do your homework and figure out which one is right for you needs. Each app should have a multitude of functions that work to give you the answers you seek quickly, easily and without complication.

Inexpensive and NO MONTHLY FEES!

While most of the spy apps that intercept text messages are in a similar price range, some can be costlier than others. Most are a one-time purchase, but there are those that also charge a monthly fee. Find out which product works best for you and your budget before you buy. And beware of any that look too good to be true. Like anything, there are opportunists out there looking to make a quick buck with shoddy software. But an inexpensive software shouldn’t stop you from having the best and most powerful features, like GPS locator or the ability to see texts. These features should always be available on any decent cell phone spy application.

Undetectable

Stealth is one of the most important aspects of a cell phone spy and text message tracker. Being able to track another person’s cell phone or tablet usage undetected is of utmost importance to the purchaser. The hard truth is that if you want to spy on SMS texts, listen in on phone calls, and take pictures remotely without being detected, you’re going to need a good spyware app. One that is invisible and untraceable at all times.

FAQs About Spying On Text Messages

 

Using spy apps, you will be able to spy on another person’s texts. iMessages, SMS messages, private messages, and social media messages. View text contents including messages, photos, videos, links, and more. Monitoring text messages is legal as long as it’s your child, or your employee’s company-owned device and you have their permission. 

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Yes, there are plenty of apps that can track text messages from iOS and Android phones and tablets. The ones we recommended from our experience are Highster Mobile and Auto Forward. 

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With a text message spy app, you can view:

    • Messages sent with date and timestamps.
    • Contacts who received texts or phone calls. 
    • Sent and received photos, videos, links, GIFs, etc. 
    • Private Messaging apps including WhatsApp, Kik, and more. 
    • Social media messages on Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

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The company will send you step-by-step instructions via email on how to download, install, and activate your software after you make the purchase. The process is very quick and very easy. You’ll be up and running in minutes.

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Yes, but it is a near-painless procedure. Once the iPhone is Jailbroken however, the installation is a snap.

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Not at all. The software runs in stealth mode at all times—making you virtually invisible as you spy on text messages and other phone activities.

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Not necessarily. Check the software’s webpage before purchasing to be sure that the product will work in your area.

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Yes. If someone has installed a spy or monitoring application on your phone, they will be able to see all text messages you’ve sent and received. If this is being done without your knowledge, we recommend:

    • You talk to the person who’s spying on you (if you know who it is).
    • Try to find the app/software on your device and delete it. 
    • Reset your phone to factory settings (only use as a last resort). 
    • Get a new cell phone. 

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