Free unlimited calls and texts over WiFi on Android and iOS? What’s the deal with TextNow – is it 100% legit?
TextNow has experienced explosive growth over the past several years and, thanks to WhatsApp’s current woes, more and more people are switching to TextNow for ALL their texting and calling needs…
What is TextNow?
TextNow isn’t like WhatsApp or Signal, or Skype, although it does share some similarities with these apps. TextNow is essentially an end-to-end phone service contained inside an app. You get free texts and free calls over WiFi, meaning when you’re at home – or on a WiFi network – you don’t have to pay for calls.
TextNow also does data too, so you can get your entire plan with them – they have a great unlimited offer that starts from $39.99 a month (and it gets you unlimited everything). But the data stuff is new; most know TextNow because of its free calling and texting service.
Free Cell Phone Calls Are Always Good – But What’s The Catch?
There isn’t one, really. The basic TextNow app, which gets you free calls and texts over WiFi, is 100% free. The catch is that you will need a different number – but you’re given one when you download the app. Is this a deal-breaker? Not really. I mean, you’re getting free calls.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the TextNow app only works in the USA and Canada. If you’re outside those countries, you’ll need to find another free phone call app – one that works in your country. You get unlimited calls, however, and unlimited texts, so once you get your number, all you have to do is send it to your friends and family, so they can call you and know when you’re calling them.
Pretty simple, right? But what else does TextNow do? Plenty of stuff, actually. You can assign each contact a specific ringtone, so you know exactly who is calling without even looking at your phone, it does call forwarding, you get voice mail and voice mail transcripts, as well as full support for Gifs, Emojis, and Stickers.
How Is TextNow Free?
The TextNow app is free because it is ad-supported, meaning there are some adverts inside the app. If you can stomach this, as millions of people clearly can, then you’re good to go. If you cannot, you can always pony up for a paid plan – TextNow has a bunch of these as well as data plans too.
TextNow Features: What It Can Do
- Making and receiving voice calls
- Using emojis and stickers
- Sending pictures
- Caller ID
- Voicemail transcription
- Call forwarding
- Customizable tones
- Unified inbox
Does TextNow Work On My PC?
Like WhatsApp and Signal, TextNow has developed a PC/Mac-based web application, so you can make, receive, and manage all of your messages from the comfort of your laptop and/or PC. All text messages automatically sync too, so you don’t have to worry about losing anything. You can also start a message on your computer and pick it up on your phone – just like on iMessage.
TextNow also supports video calling too, so you can catch up with friends during lockdowns or if they live overseas. And, like its text and calling functionality, video-calling on TextNow is 100% free.
What Can I Use TextNow For?
If you already have a phone, that you pay a monthly fee for, you can download and use the TextNow app to save yourself some money. With TextNow, you can make free calls on WiFi, so if you’re at home – or in the office – you’ll never have to use your minutes up making calls, you can do it all through TextNow.
Similarly, if you have an old phone lying around and you work from home and you want to separate your business from your personal life, you could use the TextNow number as your business number. This would mean ALL calls you get through TextNow are business-related. You can then also make business calls for free.
Alternatively, if you don’t want a landline in your home and would prefer to use a cell phone for “house calls” then repurposing an old phone, so long as it runs Android or iOS, is one of the easiest and less expensive ways to do this. In fact, doing this wouldn’t cost you anything, as you already have the phone and TextNow is completely free to use.
Is TextNow Safe For Kids?
A service like TextNow would also be ideal for a kid’s phone, providing they are supervised at all times. If you have a teenager in the home and you’re not really comfortable with them having a smartphone, you could use and old phone and install TextNow on it for them. This would give them free calls and texts but limited internet access.
However, it is worth noting that TextNow is not rated for school kids. The app is listed in SmartSocial’s Red Zone which means it is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. There have been reports of predators using TextNow to target kids, so, as always, it is best to keep young kids away from cell phones and the like.
Where To Download TextNow
If you’re interested in trying out TextNow, you can download the app for free via the Apple App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve downloaded TextNow, simply follow the instructions provided to set up your free phone number. It doesn’t take long either, so you could be making free calls within a few minutes. Just make sure your phone is connected to your home’s WiFi network otherwise it won’t work…
If you’d like to check out TextNow’s data plans and cell phone deals, click here! All the phones sell for less than $200.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.