SMS stands for Short Message Service but most people know it better as text messages.
There are several reasons why you might want to get text messages online instead of through your phone. In this article we’ll show you why you would want to receive SMS messages online and how to do it privately without giving out your real email address, phone number, name, or credit card information.
Note: If privacy isn’t your primary concern then you can click here to scroll down to the reviews. The first few headings are intended for people trying to use premium SMS features while maintaining their privacy.
Why Would You Want To Receive Text Messages Online?
Do any of these reasons sound like you? If not, let us know why you want to get text messages online in the comments.
- You don’t have a SMS plan on your phone
- You don’t want to give out your real phone number for privacy reasons
- You want to sign up for marketing and specials (i.e., spam) from restaurants and stores
- Social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest)
- Unimportant iOS and Android apps
- Two-step authentication or second sign-on security
- Online betting, gaming, or risky trading
- Pawn shops and payday loans
- And of course, booty calls and drug deals
First, Get A Disposable Email Address
Most of the online SMS services require an email address, name, phone number, and other personal information. To keep the entire process private we recommend using a temporary/disposable email address. Disposable email addresses are generated instantly and are great for when you don’t want to give out your contact details or you want to keep your inbox free from spam.
There are several popular disposable email address services including Fake Mail Generator, MailCatch, Mailinator, and Hide My Ass Anonymous Email. Hide My Ass stands out for being a private service that, unlike the other options, provides additional security thanks to its password protection feature.
Second, Get A Virtual Phone Number
That solves the email address issue but currently, many websites are also asking users to complete phone verification. This means that you would need to provide your phone number to receive a code via SMS or voice call, which you will need to enter on the website to confirm that you are a real user. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of providing their mobile phone number, which is why there are websites that will allow you to receive text messages online using virtual phone numbers. This means that you will be able to see the phone verification code and complete the signing up process on a website without providing your phone number.
Third, You’ll Need A Way To Pay
If you go through all the trouble to create a fake email address and a fake phone number and then use your PayPal account tied to your bank or credit card then you’ve defeated the first two steps.
While Bitcoin is still traceable for the average user it’s not nearly as bad as using your credit card or PayPal account on the site.
Sites That Provide SMS Messages Online
Now that you have a fake email address and a fake phone number you’re ready to sign up with some of the online text message providers. Each provider offers free and paid features. For the average user the free services are fine though paid features are very reasonable.
Most, if not all, of the sites allow you to click on the free phone numbers and see all of the text messages that other people have sent. If you’re bored and you find a good number it could lead to some interesting reading. A private number is best if you don’t want the world to read your messages.
While the list of phone numbers available is limited, Receive SMS does not require registration and is easy to use. They offer virtual phone numbers from United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Mexico, Spain Israel, and South Africa. There are also private numbers available for paid subscribers.
If one of the numbers on the site doesn’t work just pick a different one. They are constantly updating their phone numbers and you can subscribe to their email list to be notified when new numbers are added.
Paid plans start at $13 USD for 10 phone numbers. They accept PayPal, Credit Cards, Western Union, and Bitcoin.
TextNow is recognized for offering private phone number service, meaning that the SMS texts received can only be accessed by you. After registering you will be assigned an exclusive phone number.
Plans start at $19 USD per month and unless you are based in the United States you will need to use a VPN or Proxy to sign up. You will be able to access your unique phone number after logging in.
Receive-SMS-Now.com is an easy to navigate site with a lively design. There are public numbers available from United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Australia, Finland, Hungary, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Chile, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, France, Mexico, and Israel.
Depending on your location you can get a private number to receive unlimited SMS messages starting at $7 USD per month. This private number will allow you to see the messages received by accessing an exclusive link on their website.
They accept PayPal and Bitcoin.
Free Online Phone
freeonlinephone.org looks like a directory of random numbers but it lists virtual phone numbers from United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Sweden. It does not offer private numbers but it is very easy to use. All you need to do is to select one of the numbers that appear on the site and then use it to receive SMS texts.
If you like Free Online Phone, you can also use receivesmsonline.net or receivefreesms.net which has pretty much the same design and offers additional phone numbers.
Sellaite SMS RECEIVER
Sellaite offers a convenient service that lets you receive SMS messages online using a phone number based in Estonia. While this may not work in all cases as some SMS Gateways may not be able to send the text message to phones in this country, Sellaite is usually quite reliable. They will list valid numbers so you can use one to get the SMS that you need to complete phone verification. After providing the number on the website you are trying to sign up to, all you need to do is to click on the number on Sellaite’s website to see the messages received.
Pinger Textfree Web
If you’re trying to sign up for a service that requires a US mobile phone number you can count on Pinger TextFree Web, a solution that provides a list of valid numbers for free. All you need to do is to enter a valid US zip code, which you can find online from Google, and they will select a phone number from that location. After you select a phone number you must verify your registration with a mobile or landline phone number so use the fake one that you created earlier to receive the SMS verification code. You can skip the mobile/landline registration process by signing in with Facebook or Google+.
Receive Free SMS has a wide selection of disposable mobile phones for SMS messaging. You can receive SMS using virtual phone numbers from Canada, Lithuania, Belgium, United Kingdom, Poland, United States, Estonia, Spain, Norway, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Ireland, and Finland.
Public numbers are free but you can buy private virtual numbers with prices starting at $7 USD per month depending on your location.
They accept PayPal, credit cards, and debit cards.
Receive-SMS.com enables users to protect their privacy by using a virtual phone number. They only offer US numbers so it’s not as versatile as the other solutions but it still gets the job done.
You can purchase one or more phone numbers for 3 days, 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year. For example, one phone number costs $9 for one month or $30 USD for one year.
They accept Bitcoin, Payeer, and PayPal.
With a little effort you can receive SMS online while still protecting your privacy. Do you have any favorite services that you prefer? Let us know in the comments!