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TextNow Review

TextNow plans, phone deals & coverage

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TextNow phone service in 2021

Rating

2.5/5 Stars

Pros

  • Both GSM and CDMA network options

  • Free Wi-Fi-only plan option

  • Automatically uses Wi-Fi first to save data usage

  • Unlimited 2G data on all plans

  • Unlimited data plan option

  • Taxes & fees included in plan pricing

Cons

  • Hotspot use only available on CDMA network

  • Call quality can suffer on non-TextNow phones

TextNow is a San Francisco based MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). That means they rent their network from the big guys. They're serious disruptors in the telecoms world offering unlimited talk and text for free.

You could save $600 per year, per line by switching to a low cost alternative like TextNow.

Let's dive in to find out if this is the carrier for you.

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TextNow plans & pricing

Plan

Network

Data

Price

Unlimited Talk & Text

Sprint

0GB

$0

2GB Data

Sprint

2GB

$20

Unlimited Data

Sprint

Unltd

$40

TextNow plans include free unlimited calls and messages to anyone in the US or Canada. It all works through their TextNow app. Once you've purchased a SIM, you get basic phone function for free.

There's a couple of super-cheap prepaid plans to choose from with set-data options, plus add on features like voicemail and conference calling.

To get an ad-free service or more high-speed data, you'll need to upgrade your account. This means paying a low-cost monthly fee. You can manage all this in their app.

Savings comparison

TextNow benefits

  • Same quality coverage: powered by Sprint's national network, TextNow provides you with quality coverage you can rely on.

  • Lower prices: typically an alternative carrier costs between $10-$45 a month. With TextNow most features are completely free. Compare that with a traditional cell phone plan? You're paying more like $80 a month.

  • Simple switching process: you'll be up and running with your new plan within a few days. You can even keep your phone number.

  • Customize your plan: adjust your plan as often as you like in the TextNow app

  • No commitment: there's no contract so you can switch at any time to find a better deal if your needs change.

  • Buy online: choose your plan quickly and easily online.

TextNow coverage

Where VoIP is unavailable, this alternative carrier is powered by Sprint's network. Take a look at our TextNow coverage map to see how it'll work for you.

What networks does TextNow use?

TextNow uses Sprint's 4G LTE network and VoIP technology where WiFi signal is available. Sprint and T-Mobile are in the process of merging but for the time being, it's business as usual for TextNow customers.

Network coverage ratings

NETWORK

ROOTMETRICS

OPENSIGNAL

OOKLA

Verizon network

95

9.8

74%

AT&T network

93

9.5

80%

T-Mobile network

87

88

79%

Sources: RootMetrics, OpenSignal, and Ookla.

TextNow data speeds

Prepaid data plans from TextNow come with 2GB of data, which slows to unlimited 2G speeds when you run out. You can add more high-speed data by going to their app.

TextNow data plans

UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
0 GB4G data
$0per month
Powered by: Sprint
UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
Unlimited4G data
$40per month
Powered by: Sprint

TextNow features

Mobile hotspot

Their prepaid data plan comes with the mobile hotspot feature, so you can share your data with more devices.

Unlimited talk and text

Either on WiFi or through the Sprint network you can send and receive messages, or make calls for free. These features aren't restricted, you can use emojis or send videos and photos. You do however have to put up with a few adverts when you use your phone, but you can easily upgrade your TextNow account to get an ad-free service.

Voicemail

With TextNow's free service you can receive voicemail messages. They'll appear in the app as a voice recording within your messaging history.

TextNow Family plans

TextNow

1 line

2 lines

3 lines

4 lines

Unlimited Talk & Text

$0

$0$0/line

$0$0/line

$0$0/line

2GB Data

$20

$40$20/line

$60$20/line

$80$20/line

Unlimited Data

$40

$80$40/line

$120$40/line

$160$40/line

TextNow phone deals

There's a very limited selection of older cell phones to choose from with TextNow. You can also can bring your own, use our IMEI checker to see which carriers your current cell is compatible with.

Compare iPhone prices

Phone

AT&T

Verizon

T-Mobile

Unlocked

iPhone 11

$349

$599

$599

$349

iPhone 11 Pro

$649

$899

$899

$649

iPhone 11 Pro Max

$999

$999

$999

$999

iPhone 12

$579

$829

$829

$579

iPhone 12 Mini

$479

$729

$729

$479

iPhone 12 Pro

$749

$999

$999

$749

iPhone 12 Pro Max

$849

$1,099

$1,099

$849

iPhone SE

$149

$349

$349

$149

iPhone XR

-

$409

$409

$409


TextNow customer service

The comparison table below shows TextNow user ratings are higher than all of the major carriers.

CARRIER

TRUSTPILOT USER RATING

TextNow

2.6

T-Mobile

1.5

Verizon

1.3

AT&T

1.2

There's a heap of brilliant customer support resources on their website and in app, including video tutorials, to help you resolve any hitches or hurdles. So there are routes to resolve issues yourself.

If you're someone who wants to speak to a real human when you run into a problem, TextNow might not be the first choice. There's no a designated customer support number or chat function at this time.

How do TextNow plans compare

Carrier

Network

Data

Price

Tello

T-Mobile

1GB

$10

Reach Mobile

Verizon

3GB

$15** 50% Off for 3 Months

Pure Talk

AT&T

4GB

$18.75** 25% Off for 3 Months

Ting

T-Mobile & Verizon

5GB

$20** $5 Off for 6 Months

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

$30** $90 for 3 months Service

Switching to TextNow

Bringing your own phone? Make sure your phone is an inactive Sprint device on either an Android or iOS operating system. Then, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the TextNow app to your cell phone and buy a SIM activation kit.

  2. Make sure you're all paid up on your last plan and keep your account open till your number has ported over. You can manage this within the TextNow app.

  3. Enjoy the same phone service, either for free or at a fraction of the cost.

TextNow FAQs

What is TextNow?

TextNow is a low cost carrier operating on the Sprint network. It started as a call and text service using VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol. So you could make calls or texts over Wi-Fi. But it eventually started piggybacking off the Sprint network to offer you low cost plans without needing Wi-Fi.

Does TextNow have an app?

Yes. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play.

Can you use TextNow on the computer?

Yes, you can use TextNow on your computer, tablet or smartphone device by downloading the app from your computer's app store.

Is TextNow free?

TextNow gives you free nationwide calls and texts on its app, using VoIP. But it also offers low cost paid plans that operate on the Sprint network.

Recap

TextNow is a brilliant choice for those looking to get free unlimited talk and text on the Sprint network.

You'll need to pay for an ad-free service and fork out for more data but the prices are significantly lower than those on offer from Sprint.

Not convinced this is the carrier for you? Take a look at some more low cost carriers on Sprint and start saving up to $600 per year, per line.

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

TextNow Network Specs

Network:T-Mobile
Technology:GSM
Bring Your Phone:Yes
Keep Your Number:Yes
Contract:Yes
Credit Check:No
5G:No
Prepaid:Yes
Taxes/fees included:Yes
VoLTE:No
WiFi Calling:Yes
Visual Voicemail:Yes
Multi-line Discounts:Yes
Multi-month Discounts:No
International Roaming:No

TextNow Company Info

Founded:2009
Headquarters:1 Sutter Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA, 94104
Employees:51 - 200
Customer Service:(226) 476-1578
Website:Go to Website
Facebook:Go to Facebook
Twitter:Go to Twitter
The Best Prices on the Best Networks