6 Free Texting Apps and Services

Send real texts to any cellphone or smartphone

Many free messaging apps let you send text messages to others. Unfortunately, most of them only work if the other person also has that same app.

Another way to send free texts is to use an app or web service that sends real text messages. When you message someone's phone, they'll receive it as an SMS, so you can text from your computer, tablet, phone, or iPod that doesn't have a phone plan.

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TextNow: Unlimited Free Texting App

Textnow website
What We Like
  • Customization options.

  • Connects to your contacts.

  • Supports free phone calls.

What We Don't Like
  • Shows ads.

  • Must use actively or lose number.

  • Call quality can be poor.

TextNow is one of the best free text messaging apps. It lets you send an unlimited number of messages per month, send pictures, and send regular texts. Because this app gives you a second phone number, you can text any phone, and the recipient can text you back. One thing that sets this free text messaging app apart from the rest is that you can use it from your phone and your computer.

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FreedomPop: Send Free Online Texts to Any Mobile Phone

FreedomPop website
What We Like
  • Easy to use.

  • Supports U.S., U.K., and Spain numbers.

  • Runs on Android and iOS.

What We Don't Like
  • Messaging limits.

  • Limited support.

  • Many features are premium.

FreedomPop is much like TextNow in that you can text real phones for free using nothing but your data plan or Wi-Fi. When you use FreedomPop, you get a second number that works like a real one, supporting texts and calls.

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Google Voice: Text Free From Your Google Account

Google Voice messaging
What We Like
  • Use Google account.

  • Send to any texting-enabled phone.

  • Separate phone number.

What We Don't Like
  • Account required.

  • Limited local numbers available.

  • Limited support.

Google Voice lets users get a free virtual phone number. With it, you can send texts to any phone that accepts text messages, and you can do it from your computer or your phone/tablet.

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Text Free: The Fastest Way to Text From Your Computer

Text Free website

Textfree Web lets you pick a number from any of the supported area codes, and within a minute, you can start firing away free text messages from your computer.

This free texting service supports sending texts, images, and a number of built-in emoji.

What We Like
  • Quick sign-up process.

  • Syncs with Google Contacts.

  • Supports group texting.

What We Don't Like
  • Number expires if not actively used.

  • Includes ads.

  • Sometimes freezes.

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Globfone: Send Free Texts Anonymously and Without Logging In

Globfone website
What We Like
  • No user account required.

  • Texts are anonymous.

  • Monitor message status.

What We Don't Like
  • Slow.

  • No way to receive responses.

  • Messages show "/ globfone.com" at the end

Globfone is not an app but a web service that lets you send free text messages to any mobile phone in various countries. Just visit the site, choose the country where the phone resides, enter the number, and send it off.

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Email: Send a Free Text Right From Your Email Account

Sample email text message
What We Like
  • No app required.

  • Easy to use.

  • Works with any email client

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't work for all carriers.

  • Might now work with multimedia messages.

  • Must know cell phone carrier.

You can also text for free from Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, and other email providers. The way it works is that you send an email to the recipient's phone number. The only downside to this method of free texting is that you have to know the person's cell phone provider.

For example, if you know that your friend uses Verizon Wireless, then you can text for free from your email by sending the message to 5555555555@vtext.com. Just put their number in the To box and instead of adding a regular email domain at the end, put @vtext.com.

A different domain is required for other carriers. You can see which carrier your friend uses and how to address the email by looking up their phone number on Free Carrier Lookup.