Net Nanny vs. mSpy 2024: Which Will Give You More Peace of Mind?

Let’s take a deep dive into why Net Nanny is a good overall parental control app while mSpy is better for phone surveillance.
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Best for overall parental controls

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On Net Nanny's website

Parental Controls
Net Nanny
  • Supports up to 20 devices
  • Easy-to-use Location Tracking and Screen Time Management features
  • No text and email monitoring feature

Best for phone monitoring

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On mSpy's website

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  • Extensive monitoring capabilities
  • Real-time location tracking
  • Features like remote camera access can be intrusive

When it comes to the Net Nanny and mSpy debate, Net Nanny comes out on top for having a broader set of tools to keep your child safe. While still effective, mSpy is more tailored to cell phone monitoring.

You’ll find that Net Nanny has robust web filtering capabilities that can monitor and block flagged websites while your child is browsing the internet. Meanwhile, mSpy has premium call and text monitoring capabilities.

Each parental control app has its unique features, strengths, and downsides. Keep reading to learn more about Net Nanny and mSpy, and find out if one of them is the best parental control app for your needs.

In this article
Net Nanny vs. mSpy review at a glance
Net Nanny vs. mSpy prices
Net Nanny vs. mSpy: Monitoring and alerts
Which is safer, Net Nanny or mSpy?
Net Nanny vs. mSpy data security compatibility and customer support
Net Nanny vs. mSpy FAQs
Net Nanny vs. mSpy: Which is better?

Net Nanny vs. mSpy review at a glance

mSpy is ideal for parents looking to track their child's phone, since it’s compatible only with Android and iOS. However, mSpy is an expensive choice. Meanwhile, Net Nanny is more affordable and can also monitor Windows or macOS devices.

  • Net Nanny: Best for overall parental controls
  • mSpy: Best for phone monitoring

Net Nanny vs. mSpy compared

Starting price Starts at $3.33/mo (billed annually) Starts at $11.67/mo
Free version
Max number of protected devices 20 1-3
Web filtering
Screen time limits
Location tracking
Activity reports
Compatibility Windows, macOS, iOS Android, iOS

Net Nanny pros and cons

  • Affordable parental controls
  • Can support up to 20 devices
  • Can monitor Windows and macOS devices
  • No text or email monitoring features
  • Doesn't currently support Android

mSpy pros and cons

  • Premium parental controls for phones
  • Has text and email monitoring features
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Doesn't support Windows or macOS
  • Expensive plans that cover only 1-3 devices

Net Nanny vs. mSpy prices

Best value
Price range $3.33-$7.50/mo (billed annually) $11.67-$48.99/mo
Best value plan 20 Devices Family Protection Pass for $7.50/mo (billed annually) 12 Months for $11.67/mo
Free trial
Money-back guarantee Yes — 14 days

Net Nanny plans

Net Nanny offers 3 annual plans with different device coverage. The more devices you need covered, the more you should expect to pay. Another noticeable difference is that iOS coverage is not available in the 1 Desktop plan. If you want to monitor phones, then you'll need to upgrade to the premium plans or set up parental controls on iOS.

The good news is that all plans have the same features, so you don't need to upgrade to a plan solely to access more features. Net Nanny has a 14-day refund policy, which should give you enough time to determine if it's right for you.

  • Net Nanny 1 Desktop: This plan will cover only 1 desktop device, which means you won't be able to monitor any phones.
  • Net Nanny 5 Devices Family Pass: You can put Net Nanny on up to 5 devices, including iOS devices.
  • Net Nanny 20 Devices Family Pass: Net Nanny can be installed on up to 20 devices, which makes it ideal for larger households.

mSpy plans

mSpy offers 3 plans, and each plan is divided into several subscription options like 1 month, 3 month, or 12 months. Each plan offers slightly different features and device coverage. mSpy also offers no free trial or a money-back guarantee, so it's important to read the fine print to know what you’re getting when you sign up.

  • mSpy Premium: The Premium plan offers all of the essential features like text and email monitoring, location tracking, and internet monitoring. It covers only 1 device.
  • mSpy Extreme: The Extreme plan offers the same features as Premium, but it also includes advanced monitoring tools, like remotely accessing the device's microphone and video. It also covers only 1 device.
  • mSpy Family Kit: Need to cover more than 1 device? With the Family Kit plan, you can monitor 3 devices with all the features from the Premium plan.

Winner: Net Nanny offers a 14-day refund policy, which gives you time to determine if it's the best fit for your family. It also doesn't remove any features based on which plan you purchase.

Net Nanny vs. mSpy: Monitoring and alerts

Our Pick
Website filtering Yes — 14 categories Yes — No category filter
App filtering Yes — 125 apps
Social media monitoring
Text message monitoring
Email monitoring
Internet search monitoring
Screen time limits
Remote lock
Cyberbullying and online predator alerts
Location tracking
Activity reports

One of the most significant differences between Net Nanny and mSpy is their approach to website filtering. Net Nanny has real-time internet filtering, which can block websites based on 14 different categories, like gambling, mature content, or tobacco. You can also create a blacklist to block specific websites.

Net Nanny Profile

Meanwhile, mSpy doesn't have a content filtering tool. Instead, you can only make a blacklist. Without a content filtering tool, mSpy can't block random websites with harmful content. You could potentially get around this by using mSpy's keyword alerts feature, but it won't prevent your child from viewing the content.

mSpy Filtering

Another notable difference is that mSpy offers email and text monitoring while Net Nanny doesn't have this feature. mSpy lets you see who is sending emails or texts to your child, check what is being said, and view any attachments, like photos.

Winner: mSpy wins this round for having text and email monitoring, though Net Nanny does offer better categorization abilities.

Which is safer, Net Nanny or mSpy?

When you use parental control software, you’re giving it permission to access personal information and devices. It's essential to choose parental controls that can safeguard your data and not become a security issue in itself.

It's normal for parental control software to need certain information to run properly, like a device's IP address or payment information. However, you want to try to avoid using software that sells your data to third parties. Net Nanny and mSpy have privacy policies that suggest they don't share your data unnecessarily.

Net Nanny vs. mSpy data security

Our Pick
Two-factor authentication
Collects data Minimal Minimal
Shares data with third parties

Unfortunately, neither Net Nanny nor mSpy offers two-factor authentication to protect your account. However, mSpy does use encryption to protect personal data. We couldn't find any evidence that Net Nanny uses encryption.

Winner: mSpy wins since it uses encryption to protect the personal information it collects from you.

Net Nanny vs. mSpy data security compatibility and customer support

Our Pick
Browser extensions
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Email, live chat, online guides Email, live chat, phone

One of the biggest issues with mSpy is that it works only on Android and iOS devices. If you need to monitor Windows or macOS, then it's not going to work for you.

mSpy also offers significantly fewer features for iOS devices than Android. Some noticeable missing features for iOS include location tracking, geo-fencing, and app and website blocking. On the other hand, Net Nanny has all those features available for iOS.

Net Nanny Location Tracking

Net Nanny can monitor Windows, macOS, and iOS. All devices offer the same features. However, it doesn't currently have Android compatibility, though they expect to get it added in 2024.

When it comes to customer support, mSpy has more options: 24/7 email and live chat support are free, but phone calls and technical assistance will be an extra fee. On the other hand, Net Nanny has limited hours for live chat and email support.

Winner: Net Nanny is the winner here, thanks to being available on both desktop and mobile. Once it comes through with its promise of capability, it’ll be an even clearer winner.

Net Nanny vs. mSpy FAQs


What’s the best parental control app?

The best parental control app is the one that meets your family's needs for online monitoring. You want to prioritize which features are most important to you, like web filtering, screen time management, or location tracking. This can help you find the best parental control app for your family.


Do parental control apps actually work?

Parental control apps can be effective tools to manage your children's online behavior and stay safe on social media. When used properly, parental control apps can help teach a child healthy digital habits while still allowing for age-appropriate independence.


Can my child delete the Net Nanny app?

Your child can't delete the Net Nanny app. Deleting the app requires the parental password, which your child shouldn't know.


Is mSpy legal?

mSpy is legal as long as you follow your country's laws and mSpy's Terms of Service.

Net Nanny vs. mSpy: Which is better?

There isn't a clear winner in the Net Nanny vs. mSpy debate. Instead, each parental control app has different benefits and drawbacks. The best one will depend on what your family is prioritizing.

Net Nanny is the best parental control app if you need simple yet effective controls with an emphasis on web and app filtering. However, if you're primarily looking to monitor your child's messages and phone usage, then mSpy may be a better fit.

Whatever you choose, make sure that the parental control app is compatible with your devices.

Net Nanny vs. mSpy alternatives

It's possible that Net Nanny and mSpy don't quite meet your needs. In that case, there are a few other options for high-quality parental control software. Here are a few apps to consider:

  • Bark: Bark is the best parental control app on the market in our opinion. It works on all operating systems and can monitor content, text messages, email, and more. It also offers a 7-day free trial to test out the app before you fully commit.

    Get Bark | Read Our Bark Review
  • Norton Family: Norton Family provides all the tools you need to monitor and protect your child online. It can also be combined with Norton Antivirus to provide overall cybersecurity protection.

    Get Norton Family | Read Our Norton Family Review
  • Aura Parental Controls: Aura has in-game voice and text monitoring to ensure your child is safe while they are playing online video games. It also contains all the essential parental control features, like content filtering, screen time management, and a remote lock.

    Get Aura Parental Controls | Read Our Aura Parental Controls Review
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On Bark Premium's website
Parental Controls
Bark Premium
  • Machine learning catches the latest slang and keywords
  • Screens content across 19 categories
  • Activity can only be viewed if it’s triggered
Author Details
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.