TextNow review in October
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
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.
TextNow plans & pricing
|Unlimited Talk & Text||Sprint||Unltd||Unltd||0GB||$10|
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.
- 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.
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
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
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.
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||$10||$20$10/line||$30$10/line||$40$10/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
|Model||Condition||Memory||Compatibility||Price||Apple iPhone 11||New||64GB||AT&T||$499||Apple iPhone 11 Max||New||64GB||AT&T||$899||Apple iPhone 11 Pro||New||64GB||AT&T||$799||Apple iPhone 12||New||64GB||T-Mobile||$729||Apple iPhone 12 mini||New||64GB||T-Mobile||$629||Apple iPhone 12 Pro||New||128GB||Verizon||$999||Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max||New||128GB||T-Mobile||$999||Apple iPhone 13||New||128GB||T-Mobile||$829||Apple iPhone 13 mini||New||128GB||T-Mobile||$729||Apple iPhone 13 Pro||New||128GB||T-Mobile||$999||Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max||New||128GB||T-Mobile||$1,099||Apple iPhone SE||New||64GB||T-Mobile||$399|
TextNow customer service
The comparison table below shows TextNow user ratings are higher than all of the major carriers.
|CARRIER||TRUSTPILOT USER RATING|
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
|Mint Mobile||T-Mobile||Unltd||Unltd||4GB||$15** $45 for 3 Months Service|
|Twigby||Verizon||Unltd||Unltd||5GB||$12.50** 50% Off for 6 Months|
|Ting||T-Mobile & Verizon||Unltd||Unltd||Unltd||$25** $20 Off for 3 Months|
|US Mobile||Verizon & T-Mobile||Unltd||Unltd||30GB||$30Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM|
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:
- Download the TextNow app to your cell phone and buy a SIM activation kit.
- 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.
- Enjoy the same phone service, either for free or at a fraction of the cost.
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.
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.