mSpy vs Bark: Which Parental Control App is Better for You?

Social media has become more popular in recent years, enabling people around the world to connect. However, despite its many benefits, social media poses several risks to its users, especially kids. And this presents a set of problems to parents.

Luckily, there are licensed software parents can use for monitoring their child’s phone and social media usage. These tools are known as parental control apps. They start monitoring children’s online activity and notify their parents of alarming occurrences. However, they are not cheap (since they aren’t making money by selling your data), so keep that in mind if you plan to use any parental control app.

In this article, we will compare mSpy vs Bark to help you know mSpy features and understand the Bark app so you can make the right choice in picking the best parental control app for your circumstances. Keep reading to learn more about which is the best parental control app for you.

mSpy vs Bark: Which is the best parental control app?

This section compares mSpy vs Bark and their parental control features.

Bark

Launched in Georgia, USA in 2015, Bark is a parental control app that protects millions of children. It uses artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning algorithms to track and analyze the social media activity of children. It then notifies parents when it detects potential problems like violence, cyber bullying, sexual content, online predators, suicidal ideation, and more.

Bark has access to several platforms like Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Snapchat. To detect problems, it filters specific keywords from children’s conversations on their kids devices with other people. Bark can detect clues from texts, images, audios, and text within images. Hence, it can protect your children regardless of the means of communication on any platform.

Further, Bark enables you to customize your alerts. For example, you can choose not to get alerts when your kids talk about fighting but only when there are direct threats of violence to them. Also, Bark offers tips on how to make the most of the Bark app. These include suggestions on how to efficiently use its features, react to results, and communicate with your children. Due to its unique understanding capabilities of local language and culture, Bark is available in the USA, Guam, Australia and South Africa. While people in other countries can sign up and use it too, the software may not recognize the threats as effectively. 

Bark Phone (coming soon)

The recently announced Bark phone is a kid-friendly device built by parents, for parents and it presently has a wait-list.

 The Bark phone will combine Bark’s technology with a secure Android device which is age appropriate for all kids. Launching later in 2022, it will give parents the ability to completely customize their child’s online experience, helping to keep them safe online and in real life.

Bark App Features

  • The Bark app is available on a range of devices, including iOS devices, Google Play, Chromebook, and Amazon Fire tablets.
  • Offers screen time management including filters and blocks specific sites and apps on the device(s) it’s connected to
  • Allows you to see all apps installed on the device
  • Monitors texts, voice memos, images, videos, and text within images along with 30+ social media platforms
  • Alerts you to potential dangers in your child’s online activities
  • It has location-sharing benefits
  • Full benefits of Bark are available for those living in USA, Australia, Guam, and South Africa
  • Bark’s AI monitors content in English, Spanish and Afrikaans.

Payment plan

Bark app has two subscription plans with different features. Each of these plans offers a seven-day free trial, during which you can enjoy the full benefits to determine if it’s the one for you.

Bark Jr.

Bark Jr. is the entry-level plan, and allows you to manage screen time, filter websites, and includes location sharing features for all devices registered under the plan. It is available at $5 per month; however, an annual payment will provide you with a 42% discount. Unfortunately, Bark Jr. restricts you from monitoring your child’s online activities and getting alerts on important issues like cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, etc.

Signup for a free 7 day trial to Bark Jr. today!

Bark Premium

This is Bark’s full parental control solution. It is available at $14 per month, although an annual payment will provide you with a 42% discount. Unlike Bark Jr., Bark Premium provides access to all of the features of the parental control app, like monitoring content and alerting to potential concerns, as well as managing screen time, filtering websites, and location sharing features. Just like Bark Jr., Bark premium doesn’t limit the number of devices registered under the plan.

Signup for a free 7 day trial to Bark Premium today!

Payment Methods

Bark accepts all major Credit cards.

mSpy

Launched in 2010, mSpy is best described as a mobile tracking app that enables parents to monitor their child’s digital activities. It has features that enable it to monitor any conversations through text, photos, videos, and other details like memos, call history, and scheduled events.

Further, it enables the parent to identify and track the specific location of their child’s device through GPS. It also offers geofencing and sends notifications when an enrolled device enters a forbidden area. Also, this software allows parents to track keyword’s usage by monitoring the words used in conversations when surfing the internet.

Installing mSpy on iOS or Android device can be complex as one has to root or jailbreak the target device which, can void your device warranty. However, once that is done, and app is installed, parents can access nearly all the content of their child’s devices.

When we say content, we mean text messages, installed apps, social media posts, and everything that comes under device usage. Parents can even view the images and videos saved on devices.

mSpy is only available for mobiles and is not for desktops or laptops.

mSpy Features

  • It supports keylogging which can help you monitor what your child is up to with their devices
  • It monitors all popular apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat
  • It provides a detailed report on the social media apps it monitors
  • It monitors call history, keeping a record of call logs to enable you to know the people they are in contact with
  • It shows the photos and videos stored on the target device
  • It can track the location of the device it’s installed on
  • It has geofencing that enables you to know when your the mobile is going out of bounds
  • It stores deleted messages, so you never miss out on any detail

Payment plan

Like Bark, mSpy offers two subscription plans: basic and premium plans. Also, it offers a 7-day free trial where you can decide if the app is worth your money. Additionally, it offers a 14-day refund policy if you don’t like its user experience. However, this policy comes with certain terms and conditions you have to abide by to use it. Each device installation requires its own plan.

Basic plan

The mSpy basic plan provides you access to some of the app’s features and limits you from others. It gives you access to text messages, calls, emails, keyword searches, location, and browsing history. It also provides free updates and unending customer support. However., you can’t access geofencing, phone locking, and website or content restriction, among others.

Premium plan

The mSpy premium plan offers a range of exciting features at an affordable price. And the best part is, the longer duration you pay for, the more you save.

The monthly mSpy premium plan costs $48.99. The three months plan, on the other hand, costs $27.99 monthly. However, if you opt for the yearly plan, you only have to pay $11.66.

Payment Methods

mSpy accepts payments via Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards and Wire Transfer.

mSpy vs Bark Conclusion

As you can see, the Bark app is built around the concept of child safety keeping well within legal and privacy guidelines set by most countries. Bark uses an A.I that is constantly improving to protect children online. On the other hand, mSpy, is well into keeping an eye on everything that goes on and heavily relies on human involvement to sift through the data to catch any alarming problems. mSpy users also need to be aware of local laws towards privacy especially if the device in question does not belong to a minor/child under the subscriber’s guardianship. 

They both offer several overlapping features but the key difference is Bark technology doesn’t require any rooting of devices or Jail Breaking any iOS device.

If you want to manage your child’s screen time and/or get alerts for potentially harmful activities, Bark is by far the best parental control app. If you are, however, looking to track and need all the details of your child’s social activities and locations of those under your care, mSpy edges it.

Mubashra Munir
Mubashra Munir
Mubashra, both a biologist and a freelance writer at heart, is our latest addition to TechVise. She covers a range of topics, including technology and consumer guides. In addition, she enjoys reading novels and baking.

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