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At TextNow, we understand that we’re a bit different than your traditional phone carrier. TextNow is a phone service that can be used in a few ways: through our free downloadable applications that can be used on Wi-Fi, online at, and through our affordable data plans from our online store.

The unknown can be scary for some people, so we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions below to ease your concerns and help you understand what makes TextNow the best wireless phone option.

How is TextNow’s service unique?

TextNow’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, means that calls and texts are routed through the internet (Wi-Fi or Data) rather than traditional cell networks. You may be asking: what is beneficial about that? Well, for example, our VoIP service allows users to stay in contact with their friends and family even when they don’t have a cell signal, as long as they have access to Wi-Fi. Users also have the ability to use one number on multiple devices by simply logging into their TextNow account on any of our supported platforms (Android, iOS, desktop).

TextNow App Cross Device

Best of all, TextNow is able to offer affordable devices at a fraction of the price you’ll get from any other carrier, not to mention our contract-free plans that won’t cost you an arm and a leg — not sure about you, but I’d like to keep my arms and legs for myself!

Why do I have more than one number on my TextNow phone?

This is a very common question we get from new wireless users. If you’re a wireless user, you may notice in your TextNow device you will have a TextNow phone number, and also something labelled as “My Phone Number” in your main Settings app. Your TextNow number is the number that you’ll want to give to your friends and family to call and text you, and that’s the number that your calls and texts will come from.

TextNow App Icon
Your TextNow number can be found in your TextNow app

The “My Phone Number” in your device settings is your phone’s Mobile Directory Number (MDN). This number is used to connect your phone to the network. For your purposes as a user, the MDN is basically just a backend number that does not require acknowledgement, but from a TextNow perspective, the MDN is required to ensure that your service is working just right.

Native Dialer App
Native dialer icons can vary depending on your device’s OS

These native calling icons should only be used for emergency calling (911) and if advised by a customer support agent.

What can I do to minimize my data usage?

By far the easiest way to preserve your high speed data is to connect to Wi-Fi. Let’s say you’re on our 5GB plan — once the 5GB of high speed data is used, you will have access to TextNow’s 2G data network, but 2G can be pretty slow for anything beyond calling and texting. If you connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible, your high speed data will be saved for when you really need it.

It is also recommended that you keep activities such as streaming, downloading, and updating apps for when you’re connected to Wi-Fi whenever possible. These actions can use up data quickly, so plan ahead when you can to take advantage of Wi-Fi networks to save your data. If you’d like more data-saving tips and tricks for specific apps, check out our Save The Data articles!

Why does TextNow require so many phone permissions?

There are three main permissions that are required for the TextNow application to work on your phone: Phone, Microphone and Contacts. These permissions are necessary to make and receive phone calls, record a voice-note or voicemail, compose new messages and more.

Additional permissions that are requested are: SMS, Storage and Location. These permissions are required for users to send photos, record a custom voicemail, select a phone number, and much more. If you want to ensure that you’re able to take full advantage of all of TextNow’s features and optimize your TextNow experience you’ll want to enable those permissions.

Can I recover old messages?

The simple answer here is no. Once a message is deleted or expires from your TextNow account it cannot be recovered. However, if you’re using our Android app, you can take advantage of our export feature before you delete a conversation. This will send a copy of the conversation to your email where the thread will be saved.

You’re welcome.

How come some third-party apps don’t let me verify my account with my TextNow number?

This is a slightly more complicated question because although TextNow provides standard phone numbers to all our users, some 3rd party applications do not recognize them for their verification purposes. This type of issue is, regrettably, out of our control. In order to have your TextNow number recognized by an application that may say it’s not valid, you will have to contact the specific vendor’s support team directly and request that they make adjustments to their verification processes.

Another insider tip that I can recommend for people interested in free service is to follow us on social media and participate in TextNow’s contests. By following our Facebook and Twitter accounts you’ll be able to be notified of any current contests and have the ability to participate.

Do you have any other questions that you think would be helpful for other TextNow users? If so, please comment below let us provide the answers!

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calling and texting