This review was last updated on: May, 2016
For those looking to spend the littlest amount of money for their spying software, some service providers offer a one-time payment app, but most of them perform terribly bad or are downright scams. Unfortunately Highster doesn’t seem to be much more reputable as a clause we recently found in their Terms of Services apparently gives them legal ownership of the contacts on your device and allows them to do with them as they see fit! (read more in the “Stealth” section below. Needless to say, that’s absolutely ridiculous and this company should be avoided going forward. For more details on why we suggest you stay away, read more information on this company, all the other services they offer. If you can look past that detail we’ve tried to provide an objective review of the service below.
Highster Mobile could be an adequate fit as long as you are ready to sacrifice some performance, dependability and overall support. On the surface, the service doesn’t look bad at all, but you certainly don’t get the same kind of live monitoring, tracking and control options that monthly subscription based services offer. Unfortunately, in recent tests, many advertised features left lots to desire, from partial logs, to no logging at all, many functions just don’t work. Equally important, do not expect to have stellar technical support or full compatibility with all devices.
- Call Recording: Quick install, records all calls.
- Text SMS: View all sent/received messages.
- Activate Microphone: Remotely turn on mic to listen to surroundings live.
- Remotely Take Pictures: Activate camera for remote snap-shots.
- GPS Tracking: Live GPS location tracking and monitoring.
- Call Logs: View made and received calls on device.
- Multimedia Access: View pictures and videos saved on device.
- Browser History: View web browsing history.
- Access Emails: Full access to sent/received emails.
- Instant Messengers: Logs WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, and Instagram chats.
- Remote Uninstall: Remove Highster Mobile from device remotely.
- Notifications: SIM change alarm, Email notification alerts.
- Downloads then sells your contact list! (Read more about it in the “Stealth” Section)
- Does not work as advertised, partial to no functionality, intermittent service.
- Only offered for Android & iOS.
- Remote call recording only works on Android.
- Limited feature list for Apple iOS devices.
- Following Android features require device to be rooted; Email logs, Skype, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp.
- Some reports of features partially working, eg; some text and some calls recorded, not 100%.
- Some reports of features not working depending on hardware device or OS version.
- Lacks any parental controls or remote filtering, blocking of apps, websites, calls.
As mentioned, some users may find that advanced features like call recording or chat lots may not work on their specific device, however, that does not mean that compatibility is very bad. They feature a long list of devices on the website and advise of which features require a rooted Android. All iDevices require jail breaking, as with the majority of services.
- Android minimum 2.3
- Apple iOSx
We have two major bones to pick with Highster the second of which is particularly infuriating. Firstly, Highster is an American company. As such, we know that they are subject to a new US law which requires all spying apps to clearly display via a pop up that the device is actively being monitored. The pop up must show up a minimum of once every 24 hours and must be dismissed by the device user. Several other American companies have updated their sites and applications to reflect this but Highster has not. This either indicates that they intend to ignore the law or that a change is coming soon. We recommend our visitors not use any US based companies whenever possible.
The second point is much more infuriating and is made all the worse given that it’s simply Highster’s policy rather than an actual law. While searching through Highster’s Terms of Services looking for mention of a pop up, we found this despicable little clause…
TOS Section 14, Paragraph a:
By accepting this agreement and installing the application you agree to allow ILF Mobile Apps Corp. and grant permission to ILF Mobile Apps Corp. to upload the entire Contact list of the device to which you have installed the software. Once Contact list is uploaded you agree and understand that ILF Mobile Apps Corp. does now own this information which it has legally obtained and is free to dispense and disseminate at its own discretion.
That’s right, they now own your contacts! And can do with them as they wish apparently! I thought this kind of crazy contract clause was relegated to the confines of jokes and episodes of South Park. I hate telemarketers! And it’s exactly these Shady tactics that give them access to your phone numbers and opens the door to months and years of pestering. This is reason alone to not use this product and has earned them a single half star in the Stealth category; the lowest grade possible.
Update: They have since removed this clause from their terms, but in my personal opinion, it is anyone’s guess if they still sell your personal information or not.
The website offers a full troubleshooter and knowledgebase section. Support can be contacted through ticket submission or by calling their toll-free number Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm EST. If you run into any troubles, their team will be eager to help and will do their best in order to avoid a cancellation, but do not expect to get the same level of support offered with subscription services. Updates and bug fixes are not frequent and their last update report post dates back to October 2013.
After going over all the negative aspects of opting for a one-time fee monitoring application and testing it ourselves, we we’re not completely disappointed. Some families cannot afford the extra expense and still want to have some visibility on what their kids are doing online and with their phones. Highster Mobile offers many of the important features at a low cost, bringing lots of value for the investment, given that it works well for your needs. A 10-Day refund policy is firmly imposed with a long list of exceptions to consider before buying.
Highster Mobile App Purchase
1 Time Fee $69.99 – No Extra Costs – No Monthly Fees
The strict refund policy should not be understated. The 10 day limit is always imposed, and must be compatible to be eligible.
There are just too many reasons for me not to advise someone to buy this product. For starters, their servers don’t operate well, and neither does the app. I continuously had to deal with intermittent problems that would cause only some of the messages and data to be backed up. Some features, like WhatsApp never worked on Android. And then there’s all the negative customer feedback that Highster Mobile has consistently garnished year after year. As I mentioned at the start of this review, you can read more about Highster Mobile, and all the other names they operate under, on this article where we outline the reasons why we don’t trust them.