Best Spy Apps With a Free Trial in 2024 — 100% Tested

Updated on: June 18, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu
Updated on: June 18, 2024 Writer

Short on time? Here’s the best spy app with a free trial in 2024:

  • 🥇 Qustodio — Superior spying capabilities like location tracking, comprehensive reports, and call & SMS monitoring. Qustodio also offers user-friendly apps and is compatible with multiple device types.

Finding the right spy app with a free trial in 2024 can be challenging, especially when you’re looking for a balanced approach to staying informed about your child’s online activities. Many apps promise comprehensive monitoring capabilities but often fall short in execution, leaving you frustrated. Some might lack essential features like call and message tracking, while others might be easily detectable or simple to bypass.

However, amidst the clutter, there are a few gems that stand out. These apps not only offer a free trial but also deliver on their promises, providing you with all the features you need for comprehensive monitoring of your child’s online activities.

I spent several weeks evaluating various solutions to compile a list of the best spy apps with a free trial. Of all the apps I tested, Qustodio stood out as the most effective for responsible parental monitoring. It offers features for overseeing calls and texts, tracking location, and filtering web content. Best of all, you can explore its offerings through a 3-day free trial and enjoy the added security of a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

TRY QUSTODIO NOW

Quick summary of the best spy apps with a free trial

  • 🥇 1. Qustodio — Best spy app in 2024 with a free trial & lots of comprehensive monitoring features.
  • 🥈 2. Norton Family — Spy app with longest free trial + excellent web & search supervision options.
  • 🥉 3. Bark — Great for spying on your kid’s social media accounts with a 7-day free trial.
  • 4. FamiSafe — Good spy app with a 3-day free trial that lets you monitor driving habits.
  • 5. Mobicip — 7-day free trial with good web filtering & social media monitoring tools.

🥇 1. Qustodio — Best Spy App With a Free Trial in 2024

Approved by our experts
Qustodio
Approved by our experts
Most readers pick Qustodio
Web filtering
Excellent
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
qustodio.com

Qustodio isn’t just another spy app — it’s the best parental control app with a free trial you’ll find in 2024. From its user-friendly interface to its wide range of monitoring features, this app is the ideal solution for parents concerned about their children’s digital safety.

I really like Qustodio’s web filtering feature — apart from allowing you to set specific rules for 25+ predefined website categories and prevent your kids from accessing dangerous sites, Qustodio also sends you alerts if your kid tries to access certain websites. This is very useful for spying on the types of websites your child tries to visit, meaning you can have a talk with them if necessary.

🥇 1. Qustodio — Best Spy App With a Free Trial in 2024

I also like Qustodio’s location and geofencing tool, Family Locator. Not only does it provide real-time location tracking of your kids, but it also offers a timeline of places they’ve visited. What’s more, you can set up predefined zones of up to 0.12 miles or 200 meters and receive alerts when your child arrives at or leaves that zone. This tool worked very well in my tests.

Qustodio also provides detailed activity reports that give you a comprehensive overview of your child’s online activities. From web searches to app usage, it ensures you’re always in the loop.

The dedicated YouTube monitoring feature is a boon, especially given the popularity of YouTube among kids. It lets you see what your kids search for as well as the videos they watch on the YouTube website and app. You can also keep track of your child’s YouTube activity in Qustodio’s activity reports, ensuring they consume age-appropriate content.

Another really great spy feature that Qustodio offers is call and SMS monitoring. This lets you monitor your child’s calls and messages and block or whitelist specific contacts. This feature can be a lifesaver in situations where parents are concerned about who their child is communicating with. That said, because of how invasive this feature is, I recommend being open with your child about using it.

🥇 1. Qustodio — Best Spy App With a Free Trial in 2024

Qustodio is compatible with a range of devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Chromebook, and Kindle. The pricing is reasonable, with the free plan offering basic features for 1 device. The premium plans, starting at $54.95 / year, offer a wider range of features and cover 5 or unlimited devices. All plans come with a 3-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, ensuring you can test the waters before committing.

Save 15% on Qustodio today!
Enter promo code Holiday15 at checkout.

Bottom Line:

Qustodio is the top spy app with a free trial in 2024. Its blend of features, from web filtering to call monitoring, ensures parents have all the tools they need to keep their children safe online. With affordable plans, a 3-day free trial, and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s a worthwhile investment for peace of mind.

Read our full Qustodio review

🥈 2. Norton Family — Best Spy App With the Longest Free Trial

Web filtering
Excellent
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
60 Days
us.norton.com

Norton Family is an excellent spy app with a suite of features that can address your concerns about your child’s online safety. It also provides a generous free trial of 30 days, giving you more than enough time to test all its premium features and see if it’s right for you.

I like Norton Family’s App Supervision feature, which monitors and blocks apps on your kid’s device. App Supervision displays a list of all the apps installed on your child’s devices and lets you select the ones to block or allow. I like how this tool provides activity reports of the apps your kids use the most and the apps they installed or uninstalled. I tested App Supervision on my Android and was able to block apps like Netflix, WhatsApp, and YouTube with no issues.

🥈 2. Norton Family — Best Spy App With the Longest Free Trial

Location Supervision is another excellent tool. It tracks your child’s current location and the places they’ve visited in the past. It also allows you to set up geofenced zones that cover up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters, which is way more than other top competitors (including Qustodio).

I also like Norton’s Search Supervision, which tracks your child’s searches on popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search Supervision also tracks searches on YouTube’s website. However, I prefer Qustodio’s YouTube monitoring tool, as it offers a more comprehensive inspection of your child’s YouTube activities and works on the YouTube app as well as the site. Also, I wish Search Supervision worked on browsers other than the Norton Family browser.

🥈 2. Norton Family — Best Spy App With the Longest Free Trial

Norton Family also provides a Video Supervision tool that monitors the YouTube and Hulu videos your kids watch. While this tool is pretty useful, like the Search Supervision tool, it only tracks videos on the Norton Family browser.

In terms of pricing, Norton Family offers great value at $49.99 / year. An added advantage is its availability as part of Norton’s top-tier 360 Deluxe internet security package, which is priced at $49.99 / year* and includes an excellent antivirus, a good VPN, and a variety of other useful tools. And asides from the 30-day free trial Norton Family offers, all Norton plans come with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

Norton antivirus with parental controls at a 58% discount
Take advantage of this exclusive offer and get Norton 360 Deluxe for only $49.99 / year*.

Bottom Line:

Norton Family offers a comprehensive suite of parental control features that are useful for spying on your kids in 2024. It provides effective tools that all worked well in my tests. Plus, it’s affordable, especially when bundled with Norton’s security packages, making it a compelling choice. With a generous 30-day free trial and a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee, Norton Family is definitely worth a try.

Read our full Norton Family review

🥉 3. Bark — Top Choice for Spying on Multiple Social Media Accounts

Web filtering
Excellent
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
N/A
bark.us

Bark offers a unique blend of extensive social media monitoring without compromising your child’s privacy, making it one of the top spy apps for parents with older children. Instead of presenting parents with every detail of their child’s online activities, Bark focuses on flagging potential concerns, making it particularly suitable for parents of teens who value their online independence. It comes with a 7-day free trial.

I was impressed with Bark’s content monitoring capabilities. It spies on text messages, emails, photos, videos, and a vast array of over 30 social media platforms including apps like Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and more. Unlike Qustodio, Bark doesn’t show you all of your child’s text messages — it only shows you messages or other content when it detects a potential issue like bullying, violence, anxiety, or drugs.

🥉 3. Bark — Top Choice for Spying on Multiple Social Media Accounts

Bark excels in location tracking. It not only provides real-time location updates but also offers geofencing capabilities that let you set boundaries on a map. However, its geofencing radius of 0.12 miles (or 200 meters) is somewhat limited compared to Norton Family’s radius of 2 miles or 3,200 meters.

I wasn’t that impressed with Bark’s activity reports feature. It gives general information about how your kid uses their device, but it doesn’t allow you to view your child’s full browser or app history. For a more detailed insight, parents would need to delve into Bark’s parent dashboard, but even then, it doesn’t match the granularity of competitors like Qustodio.

🥉 3. Bark — Top Choice for Spying on Multiple Social Media Accounts

Bark’s pricing is straightforward with two plans: Bark Jr. and Bark Premium. At $14.00 / month, the Premium plan offers all of Bark’s features, while Bark Jr., priced at $49.00 / year, omits content monitoring. Both plans, however, cover unlimited devices and come with a 7-day free trial (but there’s no money-back guarantee).

Try Bark risk-free for 7 days!
Use Bark's 100% free trial to see if it’s the right parental control for you.

Bottom Line:

Bark offers a unique proposition in the parental control/spy app market. Its strength in monitoring a wide range of social media platforms combined with a privacy-centric approach makes it ideal for parents of older kids. While it has its limitations, especially in its activity reports, it remains a strong contender for those seeking a balance between supervision and trust. Bark has 2 pricing tiers, both of which offer a 7-day free trial.

Read our full Bark review

4. FamiSafe — Spy App With Unique Driving Safety Monitoring

Web filtering
Very good
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
famisafe.wondershare.com

FamiSafe is the best spy app for parents of older kids who are just starting to drive. Its unique driving safety monitoring ensures that parents can keep a watchful eye on their teen’s driving habits, ensuring they adhere to safe driving practices. Plus, its free plan that includes all features, and its 3-day free trial on the annual plan allows you to test it risk-free.

Drive Safety is FamiSafe’s standout feature — it provides comprehensive reports on your child’s driving habits. It offers a detailed insight into their behavior on the road, presenting you with information like speed metrics, total distance traveled, number of hard brakes, and more. I tested Drive Safety by driving around my block for a while. The driving report I received when I got home was very accurate and easy to read.

4. FamiSafe — Spy App With Unique Driving Safety Monitoring

FamiSafe claims to provide real-time notifications for popular social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok; however, during my tests, its performance was somewhat inconsistent. On iOS, monitoring was almost non-existent, and on Android and Chromebook, while it did document searches, it failed to flag or block inappropriate content. Bark, on the other hand, alerts you to any harmful content it detects on social media apps. Meanwhile, Qustodio provides comprehensive YouTube monitoring on your child’s device.

I like how FamiSafe provides live updates about your child’s location every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, you can create geofences of up to 3,280 feet or 1,000 meters, which is quite extensive, but not as far as Norton Family’s geofence zone of up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters.

FamiSafe offers flexible pricing with multiple plans. The monthly plan, priced at $9.99 / month, covers up to 5 devices. The annual plan ($59.99 / year) extends coverage to an unlimited number of devices. There’s also a free plan that includes all features, but it limits you to 1 device and only daily reports. While only the annual plan offers a 3-day free trial, all plans are backed with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

FamiSafe offers a unique blend of standard parental control features with the added bonus of driving safety monitoring. It’s an excellent choice for parents of teens, especially those who have just started driving. The pricing is reasonable, and the 7-day money-back guarantee allows you to try it out risk-free. There’s a free plan that includes all features for 1 device, and its annual plan includes a 3-day free trial.

Read our full FamiSafe review

5. Mobicip — Good Web Filtering and Social Media Monitoring Tools

Web filtering
Very good
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
mobicip.com

Mobicip is a top choice for parents who want to customize their child’s online experience. Its unique scheduling capabilities, combined with decent social media monitoring, make it an effective spy app for your kid’s online activities, complete with a 7-day free trial.

I think Mobicip’s web filtering tool is pretty good. It uses advanced AI and machine learning to scan websites in real time and compare them to 15+ predefined content categories including Games, Alcohol and Addiction, Mature and Adult, and more. I tried out Mobicip’s web filtering, and it blocked all the websites in restricted categories that I tried to access on my device. That said, I would like to see Mobicip expand its list of predefined content categories. Competitors like Qustodio provide 25+ predefined categories, while Norton Family has 45+.

Mobicip’s social media monitoring is another valuable tool. It lets you spy on your child’s activities on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. It scan your kid’s social media messages and images for any inappropriate content relating to violence, sex, bullying, drugs, and suicide. But while this feature is useful, it doesn’t match the extensive coverage offered by competitors like Bark.

5. Mobicip — Good Web Filtering and Social Media Monitoring Tools

The location tracking feature is pretty good, offering accurate real-time tracking of your child’s device and a 30-day location history. The geofencing, with zones covering up to 0.62 miles or 1,000 meters, is another valuable addition, ensuring you’re alerted when your kids cross set boundaries.

Mobicip offers a tiered pricing structure, catering to different needs. The Lite plan at $2.99 / month offers basic features for up to 5 devices. The Standard plan at $4.99 / month extends coverage to 10 devices, while the Premium plan at $7.99 / month offers advanced features like social media monitoring and coverage for up to 20 devices. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee and there’s a 7-day free trial as well.

Bottom Line:

Mobicip offers a balanced mix of features, making it a good choice for parents seeking features like web and app filtering, location tracking, and social media monitoring. While there are a few areas for improvement, its competitive pricing and comprehensive feature set make it a valuable tool for parents looking to keep an eye on their kids. Overall, Mobicip stands as a reliable spy app with a free trial, giving you ample time to test out its features.

Read our full Mobicip review

Quick Comparison Table

Parental Control App Starting Price Standout Spy Features Number of Devices Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. Qustodio $54.95 / year Web and app filtering, call and SMS monitoring, YouTube monitoring, location tracking, geofencing, activity reports Unlimited 3 days 30 days
🥈2. Norton Family $49.99 / year Web and app filtering, location supervision, search supervision, video supervision, activity reports Unlimited 30 days 60 days
🥉3. Bark $5.00 / month Social media monitoring, location tracking & geofencing, web and app filtering, activity reports Unlimited 7 days
4. FamiSafe $9.99 / month Web filtering, app monitoring, driving safety monitoring, location tracking & geofencing, activity reports 5–Unlimited 3 days (free plan for 1 device) 7 days
5. Mobicip $2.99 / month Web and app filtering, location tracking, activity reports, social media monitoring 5–20 7 days 7 days

How to Choose the Best Spy Apps With a Free Trial in 2024

  • Choose a spy app with comprehensive monitoring features. The best spy apps go beyond just tracking calls and messages. They offer a holistic view into your child’s digital life, including app usage, web browsing, geofencing, and even social media monitoring. Brands like Qustodio and Norton Family are leaders in providing such comprehensive features.
  • Pick an app with good usability and performance. A good spy app should be easy to set up and navigate. It shouldn’t slow down the device or drain its battery. Furthermore, the app should be designed to prevent tech-savvy kids from bypassing its restrictions, whether via VPNs or other workarounds.
  • Look for an app with genuine trial options. Many top vendors, including the ones on this list, offer free trials allowing you to evaluate their features. Norton Family’s free trial is particularly generous, giving you 30 days to try the product out.
  • Consider an app with additional features and benefits. Some spy apps offer unique features that set them apart. For instance, FamiSafe allows you to monitor your teen’s driving behavior. These added functionalities can be pivotal in making your final decision.
  • Be transparent with your child. While the term “spy app” suggests covert monitoring, open communication is key. Some apps even offer child-friendly explanations for why certain content is restricted, fostering mutual understanding and trust.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • mSpy. mSpy is a really good surveillance tool that provides powerful spying features like monitoring messages across various platforms, email surveillance, and a stealth mode for monitoring your kid’s activities covertly. Unfortunately, it lacks both a free trial and a money-back guarantee.
  • Eyezy. Eyezy offers a range of spying features but is limited to iOS and Android platforms. While powerful, it doesn’t offer the flexibility of a free trial or a money-back guarantee.
  • Kaspersky Safe Kids. While Kaspersky Safe Kids is one of the top parental control apps available, it has limitations, particularly on iOS where some essential features are missing. Due to these limitations, it’s not recommended for spying on iOS devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which spy app is best for iPhones?

Qustodio is the best spy app for iPhones, offering a comprehensive suite of spy features to ensure both online and offline safety. It boasts industry-standard parental controls like web filtering, app filtering, location tracking and geofencing, as well as unique features like comprehensive YouTube monitoring. It also provides user-friendly apps for both parents and kids, making it accessible even for those new to parental control apps. What’s more, the brand offers a 3-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you enough options to try it out risk-free.

Do spy apps really work?

Absolutely, but their efficacy hinges on the brand and its commitment to quality. Reputable spy apps, like Qustodio and Norton Family, have been rigorously tested and refined to ensure they deliver on their promises. They not only monitor but also provide actionable insights, helping you make informed decisions about the digital safety of your children.

Is a spy app legal?

Spy apps, when used ethically, are legal. Parents can legally monitor their minor children’s devices, and employers can track company-owned devices. However, spying on someone without their knowledge or consent, such as a partner or friend, is illegal in many places. It’s crucial to be transparent and seek consent when necessary, and always be aware of local regulations and laws.

Can an app spy on my phone?

Yes, certain malicious apps are designed to covertly monitor phone activities. These apps can track your location, read your messages, and even access your camera. To safeguard against this, always download apps from trusted platforms like Google Play or the App Store. Regularly review app permissions, ensuring they can only access necessary information. Employing a reliable security solution like Norton antivirus can also help detect and block such intrusive apps.

Quick Overview of My Top Recommendations:

Our Rank
Our Score
Best Deal
1
9.6
save 15%
2
8.8
save 58%
3
8.6
save 100%
4
8.6
save 50%
5
8.2
save 100%
*1st year, terms apply
The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation and some are co-owned by our parent company. This influence: Rank and manner in which listings are presented. 
Learn more
About the Author
Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu
Updated on: June 18, 2024

About the Author

Kamso Oguejiofor is a former Content Writer at SafetyDetectives. He has over 2 years of experience writing and editing topics about cybersecurity, network security, fintech, and information security. He has also worked as a freelance writer for tech, health, beauty, fitness, and gaming publications, and he has experience in SEO writing, product descriptions/reviews, and news stories. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

Leave a Comment