Learn how to Get a Secret Cellphone Quantity (and Why You Want One)

Many years in the past, individuals modified their cellphone numbers on a regular basis—in the event you needed to transfer to a brand new city, you did not get to maintain your quantity. Now, you’ll be able to take your first cellular phone quantity with you for all times, even protecting the world code on a brand new continent in the event you’re keen to pay for it. That has downsides. Having one other quantity related to you for all times, very similar to your Social Safety quantity or driver’s license quantity, means it is one other straightforward factor for unhealthy actors and Large Brother to make use of for monitoring you. Particularly since your cell phone quantity is probably going related to nearly each digital account you have got.

The best way to get round that’s to by no means hand out your private cellphone quantity, besides to family and friends. There are lots of good causes for this. Maybe you purchase or promote objects on Fb Market, handle an Airbnb itemizing, are attempting to find a job, have a profession that requires plenty of cellphone calls, otherwise you’re on-line relationship. Give all of them a burner quantity.

Usually, a burner is a no-contract, pay as you go cell phone, normally an ultra-cheap handset you purchase in a retailer (with money, for privateness), activate with a name or on-line, use for some time, then discard. The throwing away is the “burning” half, however tossing the cellphone/quantity is non-obligatory, because the proprietor can “high off” the minutes on a pay as you go cellphone and maintain utilizing it. With a burner, you do not have to dam an individual (or stalker, shady marketer, or robo-caller) out of your everlasting cellphone. Nor do it’s good to get a brand new quantity. However the choice is there, whereas your unique cellphone quantity is unbroken.

For a second quantity, you’ll be able to all the time get a pay as you go SIM card on an inexpensive provider if you wish to go that route. It would even be useful if in case you have an additional cellphone round. Many new unlocked telephones assist eSIM requirements the place the SIM card that identifies you with the provider is totally built-in and solely changeable through distant software program. However eSIM is not a lot of an choice for a burner-style quantity. And swapping bodily SIM playing cards to alter cellphone numbers is a ache, at greatest.

You in all probability have already got a iPhone or Android smartphone that may’t deal with two numbers, so you do not need one other handset. Fortunately, there are nonetheless some ways to get an additional, (presumably) short-term cellphone quantity that works along with your smartphone (and even in your pill). The numbers may even be used to ship and obtain texts with images.

This is not like utilizing *67 or #31# earlier than a name, which reveals you as Blocked or Unknown. The providers beneath make some extent of displaying a brief quantity while you name, so return calls can occur—till you need them to cease. Should you simply need the numbers to take calls, all of the burner providers characteristic issues like voicemail and name forwarding.

There are some drawbacks to those burner apps and providers. The most important is that you simply sometimes cannot use them to name 911 for assist. Some construct that restrict into their phrases of service—they do not need to get sued. Second, the businesses behind a few of these options have a really restricted variety of cellphone numbers to make use of. Analysis from 2014 discovered(Opens in a brand new window) that some corporations recycle numbers rapidly, that means you can be on the receiving finish of calls from individuals making an attempt to succeed in somebody who beforehand had your quantity.

Should you can overlook all that and nonetheless want a secondary quantity, get able to entry some apps and providers that can preserve your privateness by turning into the quantity you hand out while you aren’t positive who to belief.


  • 7-day trial with 20 minutes of discuss and 60 texts.

  • Pay as you go Burner numbers: $1.99 for 50 minutes of discuss and 100 texts lasts 30 days, or lengthen with credit.

  • Limitless texts, discuss, and photos: $4.99 per thirty days or $47.88 per yr.

Burner(Opens in a brand new window) grabbed the perfect title for this type of product. Restricted to US and Canadian numbers, the service affords limited-time entry to sure digits. In case your account or free trial lapses with out an improve, so does the quantity. A premium subscription choice gives as much as three cellphone numbers with limitless minutes and texts.

(It’s greatest to register a Burner subscription on the net(Opens in a brand new window) fairly than the cellular apps, so Apple or Google do not change into a part of the transaction. Do not pay the Apple Tax(Opens in a brand new window).) It guarantees to be 100% ad-free, blocks spammers, and in addition helps image messages.

If you make a name through Burner, it’s really your smartphone calling Burner, which in flip locations a relay name to the quantity you need to attain (so it’s certainly consuming into your discuss plan minutes). The steps are spelled out as you go, so you are not confused. A PIN lock(Opens in a brand new window) retains the app safe; it integrates with fingerprint or face scanners in your smartphone.


  • 3-day trial

  • $1.99 for seven days pay as you go, or $3.99 per thirty days with limitless calls/texts, with pay-as-you-go worldwide plans beginning at $4.99.

  • Lifetime second quantity is presently on sale for $25 in US, UK, or Canada.

Hushed(Opens in a brand new window) (obtainable for iOS and Android) is lots like Burner, however obtainable in over 40 nations, and with a simplicity that makes it value contemplating. Don’t be concerned in regards to the minutes left in your precise cell phone contract, Hushed makes use of VoIP, so calls are revamped Wi-Fi (or utilizing your mobile information). No minutes in your cellphone voice plan get used (until you arrange one thing like Name Forwarding or Name Routing(Opens in a brand new window)). Subscribers can rise up to a few traces bundled. Textual content communications between Hushed app customers are all free, and auto-delete after being learn.


Need a number of numbers throughout a number of space codes? You possibly can rise up to 5 with completely different “places” with Flyp(Opens in a brand new window) for iOS and Android. Every quantity has limitless calling, texting, image messaging, and voicemail. It is costly however easy. One of many attention-grabbing extras is the power to create a whitelist of who can contact every quantity.

Google Voice

(Credit score: Google)

The principle function of Google Voice(Opens in a brand new window) is to offer name routing utilizing a single cellphone quantity, totally free, that rings on all of your numbers. That approach, if an essential name is available in, it may attain your cell, your own home quantity, your workplace quantity, and others unexpectedly—you decide up the one you need. (That is much less and fewer a problem within the one-phone-per-person cellular world, however hey, not less than you have got a everlasting second quantity that prices nothing.)

The Google Voice app additionally encompasses a dialer so you’ll be able to name or textual content out—the recipient will see your Google Voice quantity for caller ID and in the event that they return the decision, you will obtain it on the preset numbers (or get a voicemail with full-text transcription). It is totally VoIP, so it may use Wi-Fi or your cellphone information plan, and it really works through apps on iOS and Android and even on the net. If in case you have a private Google account, you’ve got already received a Google Voice account. So go get a quantity.



(Credit score: PCMag)

Line2(Opens in a brand new window) is a second line in your cellphone, with an emphasis by the corporate (which is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s guardian firm) on being a full-on, cloud-based enterprise cellphone service for small groups. Every Line2 account has limitless SMS and MMS messaging and digital calling. Improve to rise up to 99 extensions with every cellphone quantity. You should use the apps for iOS or Android, or strive Line2 in your desktop with a web-based app.

Line2 Logo



(Credit score: PCMag)

Dingtone(Opens in a brand new window) guarantees free calls and limitless texts to everybody, over Wi-Fi or your information plan, so long as you are solely making calls in and to the US and Canada. You do not have to pay to order a quantity. A number of numbers are allowed, and there are enterprise options like voicemail, name forwarding, blocking, and many others. If you wish to name exterior the nation, you will need to pay for some credit. Charges are completely different per nation. The extra you utilize or examine in with Dingtone, the extra credit you earn(Opens in a brand new window), so possibly you will not need to pay for them. The app is offered for iOS or Android.


TextNow Devices

(Credit score: PCMag)

With TextNow(Opens in a brand new window), you join free to get a second cellphone quantity in your space code (or one other), plus free calling and texting through the iOS and Android apps, so long as your system is on Wi-Fi. It additionally works on the desktop.

If it’s good to be extra cellular, TextNow can also be an MVNO. It has a $0.99 activation equipment that will get you a SIM card for limitless discuss and textual content anyplace (utilizing T-Cellular’s community(Opens in a brand new window)) without cost, with information add-ons. It affords worldwide use in 230 nations.



(Credit score: Appsverse)

Obtainable in apps for iOS and Android, plus as a web-based app in your browser, Phoner (Opens in a brand new window)from Appsverse affords all you’d count on: personal numbers, means to cover/masks your caller ID, voicemail, name forwarding, reverse quantity lookup, and naturally texting and calls. You may get began instantly while you seize a brand new, randomized quantity, although you’ll be able to attempt to get an area quantity in about 30 nations, together with the US. The app additionally makes it doable to file calls and ship PDFs as a fax. The pricing on the positioning and the app shops is complicated, however the firm tells PCMag it’s switching to the above-mentioned limitless month-to-month and yearly plans.



(Credit score: PCMag)

CoverMe(Opens in a brand new window) is greatest often known as an app (for Android; the iOS model disappeared in early 2022) for offering safe or personal communications over VoIP between customers, each voice and textual content. It additionally affords further cellphone numbers for US and Canadian customers, which can be utilized to make and obtain encrypted voice calls. It really works over Wi-Fi or mobile information connections.

The app additionally encompasses a vault for holding photographs and paperwork you do not in any other case need displaying in your smartphone, which you shield with a PIN code.

Essentially the most primary mini-private name plan is $7.99 per thirty days, however issues just like the vault value further. A really limitless bundle with texts and three,000 voice minutes is $99.99 per yr.

A Mashable notes(Opens in a brand new window), including a second quantity could solely be a bandage on an even bigger drawback in the event you’ve related your fundamental cellphone quantity with a bunch of accounts, from meals orders to banking. The quantity may even be one of many methods you are anticipated to authenticate, or replace credentials. However typically a bandage can begin the therapeutic, so put your burner quantity to good use.

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