TextNow – Everything You Need to Know about This Texting App
TextNow is a breakthrough that will help you to reduce your monthly phone bill. Your calls and texts are handled by using Wi-Fi. Several features are offered depending on the plan you choose. Here we have several things you need to know along with pros and cons to weigh before buying a subscription or considering using the app for your family.
What is TextNow?
TextNow started its journey in 2009 and was initially a Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP app. This app provided users with a U.S phone number so they can send texts and make calls of Wi-Fi. Today, that kind of service is still provided by the provider and yet, TextNow also expands the business into a true mobile virtual network operator or MVNO. The presence provides wireless coverage for your mobile phone though other cellular networks.
Being in the MVNO industry, this brand stands out in the crowd by providing a few things that differentiate from rivals. Unlimited plans with a sweet price and free tier supported by ads to name a few of the sweet offers. More things still need to be reviewed before you conclude.
Back then, TextNow was relying on Sprint’s CDMA network to provide cellular services. Later, the manufacturer added the GSM-based T-Mobile network too. However, cellular is just a story of this provider. This MVNO relies on Wi-Fi whenever possible so you can send text, make calls, and use data. The Wi-Fi-centric concept makes the carrier to compete on low monthly subscription fees.
In case you plan to try this communication provider, you can buy a SIM card (choose between CDMA and GSM) or simply buy a phone offered by TextNow. According to our tests, the T-Mobile GSM model shows a faster yet more reliable service in most areas.
We will remind you that this cannot be universally applied since it depends on the coverage area. Make sure you read the coverage maps so you can find out whether the Sprint’s network or the T-Mobile GSM version that serves you best.
Special features offered by TextNow
In case you will go premium and purchase a plan of TextNow, you will be hyped by special features provided for premium users only. We have the list of plans below in this article along with what you will get. Since all plans feature unlimited texts and phone calls across the USA and Canada, the prices are considered the lowest among competitors.
The company also allows you to add credit by completing surveys, watching ads, or installing apps. This just works like when you play a game and need gems to purchase stuff. So, those who play free-to-play mobile games would be familiar with this thing. The offers, after all, can vary and you will get a bunch of account credit. For instance, watching an ad for 30 seconds allows you to get 2 cents of credit.
On the other hand, if you need to make international phone calls from the US, competitive rates are offered by TextNow. However, this plan is only valid when you are in the US and Canada. When you are traveling outside both countries, this plan won’t work. Still, you can send texts and make calls through Wi-Fi connections after all.
How to delete the TextNow account?
Deleting a free account might not be possible for some legal causes. However, there is an alternative solution you can check out that turns out similar to deleting your account. Signing out of your free account and staying inactive for three days will make TextNow being dormant. It means that your account has been deactivated. In case you want to go down this route, check out the steps to remove your information before leaving this path.
Deleting TextNow free account
Open your TextNow account and head to the homepage. Later, go to the setting tab that can be found on the page’s left side. Find the “account” tab and you will see the information you’ve registered when you created this account. Change every personal information you’ve found on the page and fill your email address with “delete[at]invalid[dot]com”. Save the changes you’ve made.
Find the “Security and Login” on your screen and click the “log out of all devices” button. After that, you can remain inactive until three days and your account is deactivated. Keep in mind that the account has been essentially deleted after you changed your personal information. Thus, none can be traced back to your phone.
As we have mentioned earlier, you cannot delete your TextNow account and the company has legal reasons for that. So, removing your personal information and changing the setting will allow you to “clean up” the account. However, deleting your app doesn’t mean that your premium subscription is canceled though. You need to cancel it separately and make sure you’ve done that before deleting the app. The option can be found on the main menu of the app and head to “Account Balance”.
How long can you keep a TextNow number?
As long as you pay for the premium subscription, the number won’t be switched off as long as your payment is accepted by the system. However, even though you use the free version, your number will be on the account as long as you use it. As we have mentioned earlier, your account will be automatically deactivated after three days of inactivity. It advised me not to use a free TextNow account for business purposes. You can find the restriction on its terms of service though.
How to change Textnow number
Changing or releasing your TextNow number is possible. The process is quick and easy which can be done through the app. Keep in mind that the steps might be a bit different depending on your device and operating system.
If you are using an Android device, make sure that you have downloaded the latest version of the app. Open the app and find the three dashes on the left side of your phone screen. Tap the “Account” tab and proceed to “TextNow Number”. Later, you will see the menu bar on the top right corner and choose “Release Number”.
If you are using an iOS device, you can go to the Main Menu of the app and choose “Settings”. At the bottom of the tab, you will find the “Account Settings” and then choose “My Number”. The “Change Phone Number” is written in red and you can tap that button to change your number.
Please keep in mind that this service can only be done every 15 days. What about phone numbers from inactive accounts? Those numbers are automatically released by the system. Sometimes you will get the wrong area code if your request is not available. Make sure you choose the right area code because the system will pick the closest possible match if you cannot use your entered area code though. Don’t worry because this won’t affect the features and usability of TextNow.
How to use TextNow
After you buy a phone sold by TextNow, you can simply unbox the phone. Simply connect to Wi-Fi around you and then launch the app. After you finish the Sign Up steps by filling username and password, you can use your account.
When you create an account, the app will ask you to add an area code. The generator will show you five different options of phone numbers you can choose. Sometimes the area code won’t match with what you are referring to but the app will work normally though. After you pick a number, you can use the app freely.
The number can be used even for other chatting apps that require a phone number for verification. This virtual phone number allows you to verify the app without actually having the phone number though.
Why use TextNow
No one forces you to pick a communication provider specifically. However, you can choose the one that gives an excellent service with an affordable scheme. TextNow is a communication provider that gives you a phone number for free, reduces your phone bill, and gets interesting features with an affordable monthly plan.
All plans (even the free one) allows you to make a phone call and send texts in an unlimited amount. Other than that, you can open the app from a computer, laptop, and other devices that allow sending and receiving texts or calls. The free plan allows you to use their service through Wi-Fi only. If you will use your phone, you need to purchase a monthly plan which is considered inexpensive compared to rivals.
Things to consider
Just like any other chatting texts, users can send and receive pictures, get random phone numbers every 15 days, and a lot more things. Still, we highly recommend you to check how the app works before assigning your kids to use this app. According to reports, users received many calls and texts from random numbers. Make sure your kids would ignore those stranger calls or texts. It could be a bit difficult to monitor your kid’s activity if they use this app though.
You only need to enter your registered username and password to access your account. However, if you cannot log in to our account, there might be a few issues you need to assess first.
Did you enter the right credentials?
The most common issue is that you might be entering the wrong username or wrong password or both. Generally, you can log in by using your username or email address. If you happen to forget your password, you can simply click the “Forgot?” button you can find somewhere on the login page. Once you enter your email address on the designated box, a link to reset your password will be sent to the address. Sometimes the email may go straight to the spam folder. Check the folder if you cannot find the link in your inbox.
Have you updated your app?
The next issue that may lead you to login fail is the app you are using. TextNow updates the app for reasons. If you haven’t downloaded the latest version, the login issue may appear. Make sure you’ve updated your app and then try to login again.
We remind you that this app is only available for Android Lollipop or above. For iOS, the app is only valid for iOS 11 and above. Older operating system versions don’t support this app though. Make sure your phone meets the requirements.
Your VPN is on
Unfortunately, TextNow doesn’t support VPN. Even though this allows you to create a better yet secure connection to another network, you won’t be able to use the app if your VPN is on. After you turn off your VPN, try to log in one more time and see if the problem is solved.
If you are still unable to login to your account, your number might’ve been deactivated. According to the terms of service, after three days of inactivity, an account will be automatically deactivated. You can reactivate your account after doing an email verification.
TextNow app is available to download on the App Store, Google Play Store, and Windows Store, depending on the device you are using. You can create your account directly from the device and manage the billing or purchasing the plan as well. Make sure your device has met the minimum requirements so you can use it conveniently.
Android users commonly use APK files to install apps. Is it any drawback? What are the benefits of installing APK? Or, what does APK stand for?
APK stands for Android application packaged. The format can only be read by the Android-based system, just like .exe file for Windows. Converting an installer into an APK is common and it makes paid apps free to download even though you may need to pay for upgrades.
Is it legal? It can and cannot be legal, depending on how the APK was made. Also, you need to acknowledge the benefits and risks of installing APK files on your Android phone.
Pros of installing TextNow APK
Android users love APK files for many reasons. When a new app was leaked ahead of time, APK files could be the ones that show you the new app. Some apps are also banned in specific countries according to local regulations.
APK files will allow you to enjoy those banned apps. Other than that, you can get early access to unlocked features of an app. APK is like a cheating machine or a shortcut to reach the destination. The legality, though, should be questioned.
Cons of installing TextNow APK
Security issues are the most common issues in installing APK files. Thus, you need to be very careful about getting and installing the file. If the files are stolen things so you might be exposed to troubles. As we discussed earlier, the app might be part of pirated apps. On the other hand, the file you got is illegal which you better not do.
Since many places all over the internet provide APK files for free, you need to be very careful in choosing your resources. Some files may expose you to malicious threads, harmful software, and other things you don’t plan to get. Make sure you download from a trusted website and check if the file is safe. Don’t settle for something that seems suspicious though. If necessary, you can use a third-party app to make sure you install a clean APK file.
TextNow Sign Up
Signing Up to TextNow is very easy, simple, and quick. You just need to download the app, install it, and enter your information to get your phone number. Once you get your phone number, you can use it freely. Going with the free plan is great enough especially if you don’t mind being in Wi-Fi only mode. However, you can always pay for affordable monthly subscriptions to get extra benefits and unlock interesting features. The motto of this company is to connect the entire world by creating an affordable phone service with exceptional quality. When you say innovative and unique, TextNow will cross your mind since this one is the first phone carrier that is a cloud-based system.
Who are the ideal users for TextNow?
We have said earlier and all over this article that this company allows you to cut down your monthly phone bill. With affordable plans and excellent area coverage, this phone carrier will allow you to be connected whenever and wherever. This will work well for you if you have a reliable yet consistent Wi-Fi connection available.
However, this company doesn’t offer the fastest speed for users. Still, the connection is quite excellent and the plans are priced accordingly. You can use it for a family with a super budget-friendly price. So, if a lightspeed internet connection is not on top of your priority, this one should match your expectation.
Choose your plan
TextNow offers several plans according to the features you will get. If you don’t want to go premium and use the free plan but without ads, you can pay USD 2.99 to remove those adds yet unlock a few premium features as well. The plan ranges from USD 9.99 to USD 59.99 per month. All plans come with unlimited calls and texts across the US and Canada – none can beat this offer so far. Once you run out of data, you can still surf the web but with a slower speed because you will be switched from the LTE to 2G data. This might be a bit frustrating but it’s better than nothing though. Yet, calling and texting won’t be bothered though.
Why can TextNow go so cheap?
This one may make people wondering and hesitating about this company. The situation may get more confusing because for a lower price you can get more amount of data with TextNow. Some providers may offer cheaper options after all. Still, no one offers unlimited free 2G data when you run out of your monthly plan. The cycle will go on until your next billing.
This company brands itself as a hybrid carrier. Several Wi-Fi connections and cellular data networks are mixed and blended. Thus, this company can provide excellent service at a minimum price.
The saving comes from how the system puts Wi-Fi on the priority. In other words, when you get a Wi-Fi connection, your texts and calls will be directly switched to the Wi-Fi instead of using your cellular data. The good news is that the switching doesn’t need to be done manually by you. Meanwhile, if the system cannot find and connect to the Wi-Fi, your connection will be switched to the Sprint’s nationwide cellular network. Exciting, right?
Here we will show you that even a good thing can turn out not so good. The blending and mixing connections we’ve mentioned above have some issues too. Even though it mostly went seamlessly, you might be experiencing technical glitches on the switching process.
For instance, the phone call quality might get drop off when the system switched from cellular data to the Wi-Fi connection. Thus, using this for business purposes might be a bit annoying when the glitches come over several times during one phone call.
The blending connection thing is also applied by the rival of TextNow. What makes this company different is that this provider offers cloud-bases features. What cloud-based features?
The app and its cloud
The cloud-based system is what makes this app unique and stands out in the crowd. The system is using text-over-internet and voice-over-internet technology through an app. Once you download the app, install it on your phone, and sign up to get a phone number, you are connected to the cloud. The traditional messaging app that comes with standard features in your phone has been altered by the app of TextNow.
The good news is that you won’t lose any data or anything saved in your phone by switching from the traditional app to TextNow. You still have your previous convo with friends, old messages you’ve saved, and simply anything. Other than that, you can send and receive pictures as well.
All activities can be managed through the app. Buying a plan, switching to another plan, or canceling your current plan can be done through a few taps on your phone screen (or computer). Other than that, your call and text are now free.
What about the payment?
You don’t need to commit to a contract but you need to pay for a subscription monthly service. You will need to hand a credit card to the company so your monthly payment will be debited from your card directly. Also, the renewing process is taken every month, automatically.
What if you don’t have a credit card? Fortunately, you can use prepaid debit cards to use the services from TextNow. Make sure you always reload the card so the monthly bill runs smoothly. In case you want to switch carriers, you can cancel the plan. No penalty will be charged and the monthly subscription is simply stopped too.
The pros and cons of TextNow
Here we are on the part you wait for since the beginning of this article. You don’t want to sign up on something unless you know everything about it. Behind its marvelous benefits offered by the company, there might be several drawbacks you need to consider, of course. This part is where we sum up both the pros and cons of this cloud-based communication provider.
TextNow is interesting for various reasons. The most obvious is its affordable plans for those who live in Canada and the USA. Even if you need to purchase the phone altogether, it comes with a warranty. And if you prefer to use your existing phone, you can simply buy a SIM card. The renewal process is easy and automatic. You can cancel the plan anytime you want without worrying about contract penalties.
Once you get a phone number, you can use it on various devices. As long as you have your username and password, the account can be accessed from any device. If you are looking for an affordable carrier plan and not prioritizing lightspeed data, this one might be the best you can find. You don’t even need to worry about commitment to start a line. As long as you have a strong Wi-Fi connection, the free plan will work for your fine.
If your monthly data is running out, you can still surf the internet through unlimited 2G data. It might be slow but worthy. As we have mentioned before, your existing device can workout fine without penalty or lease agreement.
However, you also need to check the drawbacks of using this kind of carrier for your main communication provider. The call quality is not always as seamless as it’s promised. The Sprint’s 4G network doesn’t cover the entire state evenly and yet Wi-Fi connection might not be evenly steady as well.
When the switching is in the process, potential dropped calls might happen. It might be a simple annoyance for personal use but could be an issue when you use it for business purposes. Other than that, not all devices can use this app with a premium plan.
If you are good with the free plan then you should go with it. But keep in mind that the free plan is not for business purposes as stated in the terms of service. Some devices from Boost, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint can be used for TextNow. Still, the options are limited though.
Long story short, affordability is the forte of TextNow. Other than that, unlimited free 2G data is highly appreciated. However, you may receive many random phone calls due to the presence of a cloud-based communication carrier.
TextNow app is available to download on the app store of both Apple and Android. Some people prefer to use APK for some reason. This app is getting more popular since your phone cannot be traced and you cannot even know your IP address in the first place. You will need to do the hard work just to know your IP number. Their technical system is kind of complicated and it seems like you won’t get what you want. Any user data might be released if a police subpoena asked to.
As we have mentioned earlier, you can use the app on the computer and other desktop devices. The app is available on the App Store and Windows Store or you can simply go to TextNow’s official website.
If you have created an account and your account is active, you can simply log into your account. Even if you need to create one, you can do that through your computer directly as well. The steps are similar to if you log in through your phone. Everything can be managed through your desktop. Renewing, canceling, or changing your plan is also available on your computer though.
If you check the official website of TextNow, you will see at least 14 phones offered by the company. The phone selections are focused on “good value”, according to the provider company. Half of that number is offered under USD 100. The Galaxy S9 is the most expensive phone offered by the company, offered at USD 449. On the other hand, if you purchase the Galaxy S9 and use a larger carrier, you need to add an extra USD 300 more or less.
It seems like there are no latest phones offered by the company for sale. For iPhone enthusiasts, the company only sells the iPhone 7 for USD 360. If you are up for cheaper phones, some budget phones are available such as Moto E5 Play, LG Stylo 4 Plus, and so on.
In case you opt for buying phones from the company, you are eligible for paying the device in monthly installments – over three to 12 months. Just like any other installment, a financing charge will make you pay more than the initial price.
TextNow also offers a package for those who don’t want to buy another phone. You can but a SIM card for USD 5 instead. The company offers free shipping and if you are lucky, you don’t even need to pay for the USD 5. This may require you to fill a form. When you get through the checkout process, you need to write information such as your current carrier, your phone’s IMEI code, and your device type. You will also be asked whether you want a GSM or CDMA SIM card before finalizing it.
Generally, the company offers plans at minimum prices while you get a bunch of data long with some unlimited services. If you compare the plans with rivals, you will find that TextNow is the one that gets you at most.
The plan starts from USD 19.99 per month for 2GB of LTE data. Since the company offers unlimited text and calls, you don’t need to calculate the data you need for that. For 5GB of LTE data, you can pay USD 29.99 per month. In comparison, if you purchase the 5GB plan from MetroPCS from T-Mobile, you need to pay USD 40. Meanwhile, if you go over your data plan, TextNow will slow down your speed and switch it to 2G data until your plan is renewed.
The most intriguing plan offered by the company is the unlimited LTE data for USD 39.99 per month. Until now, there are a few names of MVNOs that offer unlimited LTE data and yet, TextNow is among the cheapest ones. Even though you’ve purchased the unlimited data plan, the speed may slow down after you’ve reached over 23GB – this is standard for unlimited plans though.
On the other hand, if LTE data is not your priority, you can use the USD 9.99 plan for unlimited calls and texts. Another budget-conscious offer can even be used by downloading the app and you can call or text as you like. Paying USD 2.99 per month allows you to get a free app with no ads along with some unlocked features like voice mail transcription, conference call, caller ID, and group texting. TextNow app can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android phones.
For those who need more than one line, you can get a discounted price for the 5GB and unlimited LTE data plans. The discount for your additional line starts at USD 7. The family plan allows you to pay for USD 100 per three lines of unlimited LTE data. However, this plan is not the least expensive offer since rivals have cut down their prices for similar plans.
What parents need to know about this texting app
As we have read through this article, TextNow is truly an answer for all prayers when LTE data is so expensive on the market. Even the free plan allows users to send texts and make phone calls through any kind of Wi-Fi easily. This is an interesting way to cut down the phone bill today. The fun continues since you can connect your account to your computers and other devices that allow users to send texts. Getting credits to pay for the next subscription is possible just by watching ads or completing surveys.
However, some people agree that this app might be a bit dangerous for kids and younger students especially without being supervised by parents. According to reports, predators using this kind of app to please their will. It means that your child is exposed to those kinds of people. Other than that, since the messages and histories won’t show up on your phone bill, you might not know what your kids hide from you.
Don’t be paranoid after all. You can talk to your kids and show how your concern reflects your love for them. If necessary, you can make restrictions on phone uses with reasonable rules. Also, encourage your kids to always talk to you every time strangers talk to them or people make them uncomfortable.
It is undeniably right if technology makes parents nowadays to work several times harder. As long as the technology is used wisely, everyone gets the win solution though. No matter what the situation is, supervising your kids is a must and the responsibility of every parent.
TextNow app is available on Google Playstore and App Store for free. With its GSM service, you can use your smartphone and get a bunch of data without paying an expensive subscription. The reliability is much better compared to five years ago when the company started to provide GSM service. However, you may experience some issues when altering from Wi-Fi to cellular.
The company offers tons of interesting features. Earning credit to pay your bill by watching ads and completing surveys make many users interested in this communication provider. Thus, users can keep the cellular bill at a minimum. When you are experiencing data allotment, you can use unlimited 2G data. Even though the network seems a bit agonizing, this option is still nice to consider.
When you need to make calls or send texts but you have no Wi-Fi service at home, TextNow could help you with that. If you subscribe to larger data plans, you can even send texts and make phone calls in places with no cell reception, as long as Wi-Fi connection is available. More than anything, TextNow is a savior when you need to use technology to communicate with others.
Some issues and concerns may appear when you have kids and younger children who use this app without your permission. Since nothing will show up on your monthly phone bill, you don’t know what your kids did or what others did to your kids. Predators are everywhere and sometimes you will receive calls from random numbers. Make sure you monitor your kids well and encourage them to say no to strangers. TextNow, however, is suitable for adults who need to connect with the entire world but still budget-conscious.