February 2, 2024

Is TextNow really free?

Written by valeria


The most frequent comment that I see on any of our pages is: "Nothing is actually free."

Of course, this is in relation to our claims of free unlimited calling & texting, or phone service for $0/month. And while comments on the internet are usually right and factual, this would be one of those rare cases where the internet gets it wrong. Because there are some things that are free, and one of them is phone service.

We've all been conditioned to believe that getting connected through a phone number requires an active plan, or at the very least, a pre-paid time slot. And messaging services such as Messenger, and even Snapchat did try to circumvent that by allowing people to connect for free without a number. But at the end of the day, a real phone number is still a very valuable asset, almost as valuable as a social security number. Which is why we went one step further and made phone numbers – and the texts and calls they come with them – all completely free as well.

How does it work?

It starts with a download.

Traditional phone service is outdated and boring, all the things that we're not! So to make it easy and modern, we packed regular phone service into an app. Download it for free, sign up for free, and start using it – all for free.

You will be asked to pick a local phone number, and then you can start using that number to make all your nationwide calls and texts, start group chats, and catch up on voicemails all in one convenient place.

Your TextNow conversations screen!

Bonus Perk: Since your phone number is tied to an account, and not physically to your phone, you can sign into your TextNow account on another phone, a tablet, or even on your computer and see all your conversations to catch up on a text thread, or even answer a call!

Do I need Wi-Fi?

Yes. The app does need some sort of internet connection to work. If you don't have your own phone service already, no worries! Connect to Wi-Fi wherever you can, and use your phone number as you would with any other carrier.

If you do have your own phone service with data through another carrier, you can still use your TextNow number for free over their data network. It won't interfere or mess with your primary number in any way, and won't charge you for texts or calls.

How can I use it without Wi-Fi?

If you have your own phone service already, you can use it on that data network whenever you're out and about.

If you don't have any phone service, and can't be connected to Wi-Fi everywhere, we have a SIM card for you! We cover the shipping, so all you have to do is pay (one-time) for the SIM card, activate it with your phone, and connect to our 5G network to be able to take your phone number with you wherever you go. And if you didn't already guess – that service is also provided for free.

How is it free?

The question on everyone's mind. And the answer is quite simple – ads.

Just like your Spotify, Amazon's Freevee, or any of your favorite mobile games offer you their ad-supported services for free, we can too by showing some ads on the TextNow app.

If you really don't like ads, you can always upgrade to an ad-free experience, but we leave that up to you. If you don't want to pay for anything, you never have to. No time limits or "expiration dates" on the free service itself. Use your number for all your calls and texts for as long as you want.

Got any other questions? Let us know below!