If you're on the market for a new phone plan, one quick Google search will overwhelm you with options to explore. Whether you're looking for a more reliable service, a cheaper plan, or just different features in general to get more bang for your buck, there are a lot of options to consider. One of these options is called TextNow.
Don't let the name turn you off right away – there's more to it than just texting. If you're anything like me, you want as many benefits as you can get while spending the least amount of money possible. If you're willing to score all the deals you can, this research is worth doing. We're going to review TextNow from the inside out and evaluate its quality as a phone service. If you're ready, let's get started!
What is TextNow?
TextNow is a user-friendly application that is very, very simple to use. It started off as a wifi-based application downloadable on your device. When you sign up for TextNow, you're assigned a phone number, and then just like that, you're free to make calls and send texts as long as you're connected to wifi.
If you're familiar with WhatsApp, TextNow is similar to that, except anybody can text or call you because you have your own number whereas, for anybody to contact you on WhatsApp, they have to have the app as well. If you are thinking about switching completely to TextNow, let it be known that you do have the option to transfer your already existing number over rather than getting a whole new number altogether. However, do note that you cannot take any number you're assigned from TextNow and transfer it to other carriers.
This service from TextNow is free to use. That said, the reason for this is because it's supported by advertisements. These ads won't necessarily pose as a big burden on your usage of the app, but you will notice them from time to time. But, hey, it's free!
TextNow offers paid phone plans that might give you what you're looking for. They even reward you with $25 just for switching to one of their plans, whether this is buying a new phone through them or bringing in your own device for transfer. Actually, if you buy a phone from TextNow by November 30th, you will get a free plan until January 2019.
Plan and Phone Offerings
TextNow offers a variety of phones, from lower-end used cheap phones costing $10 to $500 32GB iPhones. You're able to view these phones at face-value on the TextNow website. Additionally, purchase of a new phone comes with a 1-year warranty. The purchase of a used and refurbished phone comes with a 6 day warranty. These warranties do not cover physical damage or water damage, but if anything else happens to your phone, TextNow will replace it for free.
Let's talk features and services. There are 5 plans offered through TextNow separate from the completely free plan initially provided to users.
The second plan, the Premium Plan, is $2.99 monthly for all the same basic features of the free plan PLUS caller ID, call forwarding, unlimited storing of pictures and videos, and no advertisements.
The third plan, Talk and Text Only, costs $9.99 per month and offers unlimited texting and calling. What makes this different than the former two is that for this aspect of it, you don't need wifi to use these features. You do, however, still need wifi to be able to access the internet. Getting a mobile hotspot device is another convenient option that will give you access to the internet anywhere.
The 2GB LTE plan costs $19.99 per month and offers all of the above, plus 2GB of data as stated, and data hot-spotting depending on the network. Wifi is not required to use any features of this plan.
The most popular plan currently is the 5GB LTE offered for $29.99 per month. It offers all of the features of the other plans and offers 3GB more data. The last plan, Unlimited LTE follows suit at $39.99 per month and offers unlimited amounts of data.
Have a family? No problem. TextNow offers each of these plans as they are plus added costs for each additional line. The more expensive the plan you're pursuing, the more expensive the additional line or lines. TextNow will even tell you that anybody can be in on this plan with you – it does not need to be family. Regardless of who is in on it, the main TextNow account ordering these services is the sole account that will receive the bills for the services. The bill will not be able to split up to multiple accounts. With any plan, you will never be charged overage fees. Whoop, whoop!
Something to consider when thinking about plans is your intended usage. The first thing I think of when I think about having a wifi-only device is what happens if I break down on a back road in the middle of the night and an ax murderer emerges from the nearby cornfield. My really nice, the free wifi-only data plan will do me absolutely no good unless this ax murderer is willing to wait to kill me until after I reach a location with wifi. I haven't seen many movies where that's the case.
In comparison to other cell phone providers, TextNow offers the lowest price for the features that it offers. If prices are lower, as they appear to be with Tello and Twigsy, it's because they offer fewer amounts of data. However, if you don't have a need for more data, TextNow might not be worth the extra few bucks.
Let's rewind a bit and discuss the network associated with TextNow. When you sign up, you can receive a free SIM card. This SIM card puts you right on either the Sprint network or the T-Mobile network. This might make it or break it for you depending on how you feel about these networks. Sprint has its strong points and weak points. The coverage in urban areas is strong, but not so much in rural areas. Sprint trails right behind Verizon in terms of quality service. T-Mobile is actually on the lower end of reliability.
This network is actually known for having poor coverage specifically in rural areas compared to other networks. In urban areas, coverage is actually reported to be pretty solid across the board. In 2016, it was actually named the fastest network in 2016. Don't count out T-Mobile; this company is determined. They're constantly working to improve their services and are slowly but surely catching up to other carriers like Verizon and AT&T. It's also important to keep in mind that the newer the device, the better coverage will be, due to the updated technology.
Overall, TextNow is rated at an 8/10 for the price and a 79/100 for speed and coverage. Generally, users are happy with the services they're receiving from TextNow. Complaints usually come after technical issues take place or if customer service is difficult to reach.
Before you go all in, take a moment to consider some challenges associated with using TextNow. We all experience lagging audio and dropped calls once in a while. A lot of TextNow's criticism has been about the high volume of users who experience these issues more often. There is currently a customer service branch associated with TextNow, but it can be difficult to reach them. Normally, you're connected with machines and forced to wait to hear back. This means you are on your own if any issues arise.
Another thing is your desire to purchase a phone from TextNow. If you're wanting a high end, newer phone, you only have 1 year to pay it off whereas in other carriers you are not restricted to that amount of time. That said, monthly payments will likely be much higher than the cost elsewhere. If at this point you're thinking this is for you, head on over to the TextNow website to get started as every purchase with this company takes place online.
I currently use US Cellular as my primary carrier. But, I love pranks. That said, apart from my regular carrier, I also have the TextNow app with my own personal number. This has come in handy many times. Have you ever heard of the cat facts prank? Take a moment and search it up. I have successfully executed the cat facts prank on many unfortunate souls, which has brought me endless amounts of joy, all possible because of TextNow. I was able to text the same person as myself through my carrier with my known number, and through Textnow simultaneously as the prankster that I am. Good stuff. I've used both the texting and calling features of the app, which have worked quite well in my experience, and I've tricked many of my friends who might not even be my friends at this point.
Pros and Cons
There are going to be pros and cons, as with anything. Everyone tends to experience things a little differently and the pros and cons differentiate among people who have different preferences and expectations out of their products. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preferences and what you're willing to pay for the services that you want. If you are able to see things for what they are, be realistic about the quality of services you might get for low prices. Free things are great, it's true. However, you won't always get the highest quality products for free. You get what you pay for.
After starting with TextNow, it is really easy to end your plan with them. I have downloaded TextNow, used it, and then deleted it when I thought I was done usng it. Then, I would find a reason to download it again, which required me to get a whole new number – but hey, I was pulling pranks, that wasn't an important detail for me. I've downloaded and deleted the app many times. It's a very easy app to work with. Additionally, TextNow offers a 30-day free trial, money-back guarantee. It would absolutely be worth your while to test it out to see if it meets your needs before you really dive in with the company. What have you got to lose?
General TextNow Questions
This section covers the general questions people have about TextNow. Use this information to get a better understanding of the company and the services it offers.
How Does TextNow Work?
TextNow works like any other wireless service. However, they have technological innovations that make wireless service cheaper and allow you access to a host of features.
Is TextNow Anonymous?
The TextNow App allows you to send anonymous messages and make calls without an identifiable number. You’ll have to identify yourself to the company for payment purposes though.
Is TextNow Free?
Many aspects of it are. The calling and messaging service that you can use on Android and iOS phones is free and works as long as you have an internet connection.
Is TextNow VoIP?
Sort of – TextNow uses WiFi as the first choice of means of delivery for calls and text messages. However, if you have TextNow wireless service and don’t have access to WiFi, then it will use the Sprint Network.
What Is TextNow Wireless?
TextNow wireless is an innovative wireless service that uses WiFi and the Sprint Network to make calls and send text messages. By using WiFi first it lowers the cost to the provider and TextNow passes the savings on to you.
Does TextNow Work Internationally?
Sort of – you can use TextNow to make calls and send messages to numbers in the US and Canada. However, their free service doesn’t allow other international transmissions for free. However, you can purchase international credits.
Does TextNow Work?
Yes, thousands of people use the TextNow apps and TextNow wireless service to make and receive phone calls and text messages for free over a WiFi connection.
How Much Data Does TextNow Use?
That depends on how much you use it. A call will use about 0.3 MB of data for each minute, and 1MB will cover hundreds of text messages. Compare this to unlimited data phone plans to see what you can afford.
Is TextNow Safe?
Yes, the app is reputable and has tens of thousands of downloads. The company also has a partnership with Sprint to use their network for wireless services. They also have some of the best cell phone deals on their website.
Can You Receive Calls On TextNow?
You can. When you sign up for the service you tell TextNow your area code. They’ll assign you a number from the pool of numbers in that area code. If there’s no available number in your area code, then they’ll assign you one from the area code closest to you.
What Network Does TextNow Use?
TextNow uses the Sprint network when it doesn’t have access to a WiFi connection. This provides TextNow users with voice and data service across the country.
What Is TextNow?
TextNow is an innovative wireless service provider and app that uses VoIP technology to provide wireless services at a lower cost and to allow you to anonymize your calls and text messages.
Do You need WiFi for TextNow?
No. If you don’t have a WifI connection TextNow will use Sprint’s network for data and voice. You can check to see what kind of Spring coverage your area has.
What Towers Does TextNow Use?
TextNow defaults to using any WiFi signal that’s around. However, if there’s no WiFi, then TextNow will use Sprint’s nationwide data and voice network.
This section covers the different questions that people have about using TextNow. If you’re not sure how to use TextNow, then this is the section for you.
Does TextNow Work without WiFi?
If you have TextNow wireless service then it will use the Sprint Network if there’s no WiFi connection available. If you’re using the apps, then it will use your standard data connection.
How to Download TextNow On iPhone?
TextNow has an app right on the Apple App store. Just search TextNow in the app store and select it to download and start using the service.
How to Use TextNow App?
There are lots of ways you can use the TextNow app. Most people use it to send and receive texts and phone calls using VoIP. The app will walk you through the steps of setting up and getting started.
How to Set Up Voicemail On TextNow?
Your voicemail is automatically set up on TextNow. All you need to do is tap on voicemail and hit the play button. It will appear in your conversations panel. If you tap on the message you can tap on the play button to play the voicemail back.
What Is My TextNow Number?
You can find your TextNow number quite easily. Just select the TextNow main menu. Then select account settings and finally select my number. From there you can see what your number is or even change it.
How to Receive Pics On TextNow?
You can receive pics on TextNow just like you do any other phone. If you’re having problems you can have your contact send the message to your user [email protected] That will send the pic to your texting address.
How to Send Videos On TextNow?
It’s easy to send videos on TextNow. Open the conversation you want to send a video to or start a new conversation. Then press the plus sign in the bottom right hand corner of the window. Finally, select take video, and you’re good to go.
How to Edit Contacts On TextNow?
You can’t add, edit, or delete contacts from the TextNow app. The app uses your address book app that came with your device.
How to Enable Calling On TextNow?
TextNow automatically enables calling from your device. If you’re using your computer for a TextNow call, you should check and see if your microphone is turned on.
How to Call On TextNow?
It’s easy to call on TextNow. First, open the TextNow app. Then tap the dial-pad icon in the top right-hand corner. Enter the number or select it from your address book to make a call.
Do streaming services such as Hulu work on Textnow?
If you have a capable enough phone and plenty of data on your plan then yes it should work. Just take a look at Hulu plans and prices to see which fits your budget.
TextNow uses a credit system to make international phone calls. This section covers all the questions you have about TextNow credits.
How to Get Free Credits On TextNow for Android?
The best way to get free credits on TextNow for Android is to log into your account and complete offers. The offers will be things like watching a video or installing an app. You might also have to fill out a survey.
How to Get Unlimited Credits On TextNow Without Jailbreak?
You can get unlimited credits on TextNow if you go to your account and tap on earn money for your account. You’ll be presented with a list of offers you can complete to earn free credits.
How to Get Free Credits On TextNow?
It’s simple to get free credits on TextNow. Under your account you’ll see an option to earn money for your account. Select this option and then complete some of the offers listed to get free account credits.
How to Get Unlimited Credits On TextNow?
The offers that TextNow gives you under your account are the best way to get unlimited credits on TextNow. All you need to do is watch a video or download and app to get free credits.
TextNow Accounts and Payments
This section covers all the questions you have about TextNow accounts and payments. Use this information to answer the questions you have about managing your TextNow account.
How to Delete TextNow Account?
When using the app, you just need to delete it. Your phone number will be removed from your account within a few days of inactivity.
How to Change TextNow Number?
First you need to open the TextNow app on your phone. Tap the menu button in the upper left hand corner of the app and select settings. Then select account and tap on TextNow number. You can tap on the menu button and select release number to change your number.
Does TextNow Show Up On Your Phone Bill?
It does not. TextNow doesn’t place any charges on your phone bill, so there’s no reason why it would show up on your phone bill.
How Do You Change Your Number On TextNow?
You can change your TextNow number by going into your account on the app. After that, select TextNow number. Finally, tap on the menu button in the top right hand corner of the window and tap release number.
How to Delete Your TextNow Account?
Deleting your TextNow account is actually really easy. All you need to do is delete the app. Your account will be deleted after a few days of inactivity on your number.
How to Delete TextNow Account Online?
All you need to do to delete your TextNow account online is delete the app. The way TextNow works your account will be deleted after a few days of no activity.
Does TextNow Show Up On Your Bill?
TextNow doesn’t show up on your bill. The app and its services are completely free. If you have a premium account then you’re paying a separate bill for TextNow.
Is TextNow Free Really Free?
Yes, TextNow free is really free. It uses VoIP to send and receive calls and text messages, so the company isn’t expending any resources it needs to charge you for.
How to Get TextNow Premium for Free?
You can’t get TextNow premium for free. The best option you have is to use the offers you can get from your account to earn TextNow credits.
How Much Does TextNow Cost?
TextNow offers several levels of service. You can get and use the app for free. You can also get a premium version of the app with more features and no adds for $2.99 per month billed through the Apple Store or Google Play. TextNow wireless service charges $19.99, $29.99 or $39.99 per month depending on your package.
How Do I Change My Number On TextNow?
You can change your number easily by going to your account on the app. From their tap TextNow number. Once that’s done you can tap the menu button and select release number to get a new number.
Will TextNow Cost Me Anything?
It doesn’t have to. You can choose to get the premium version of the app with more features, but the basic app itself is completely free.
TextNow on Different Phone Types
This section covers questions about how TextNow works on different types of phones, like Android and iOS.
Are TextNow Phones Unlocked?
No, TextNow phones are not compatible with other phone companies. It’s recommended that you get a new phone if you want to change carriers. As for your old phone you can sell cell phones online to get some money back.
How to Install TextNow On Android?
All you need to do to install TextNow on Androids is to download the app. Once the app is downloaded, it will install automatically. Follow the instructions to set up the app and you’re done.
Does TextNow Work On Android?
Yes. TextNow works on Androids. You can find the app in Google Play. Just download the app and it will install. Once that happens, you can set everything up by following the on-screen instructions.
Other TextNow Questions
There are some questions about TextNow that don’t fit neatly into our other categories. We’ve got the answers to those questions here.
Can You Trace a TextNow Number?
Not usually. However, legal authorities may have the ability to track your number back using TextNow. You’ll need to talk to them to get more information.
How to Find Out Who a TextNow Number Belongs To?
There’s not really a way you can find out who is calling you from a TextNow number unless they’ve told you that the number is them.
How to Track a TextNow Number?
There really isn’t any way to track a TextNow number unless the TextNow user has told you what their number is. In that case, you’ll see it on your caller ID assuming you entered the information in your address book.
How to Block Your Number On TextNow?
First tap on the conversation or call log from the number you want to block. Use the dropdown menu, the one with the three dots, and select block.
Who Is Texting Me from TextNow?
You can’t tell who is texting you from TextNow unless that person shares their identity. Be careful to validate that the name you get is actually who’s texting you.
How to Find TextNow Username?
You’ll need to use legal options to find out a TextNow username. They will respond to a subpoena request from the police to provide information, but they won’t do so otherwise.
How to Find Someone On TextNow?
You can’t find someone on TextNow without a subpoena. That means you’ll need to go to the police to see if your situation warrants legal action to find someone using TextNow.