For whatever reason, you may find yourself needing or wanting to send a text to someone without your phone number showing up at the other end. In a world where privacy and anonymity are both getting steadily eroded, it can help to know ways to send a message to someone’s phone without saying who you are.
Being able to send an anonymous text is minor protection of your privacy, but it might be one you find essential one day. This article gives you several ways to send a text anonymously or semi-anonymously.
Anonymously Texting Someone
How does anonymous texting work? First, let’s talk about how it works normally. Usually, SMS messages are packaged along with the sending number, the destination number, and the message itself. This is by design so that individual packets (your text may take up one or many packets, depending on how long it is) can reach the destination number and get reassembled into a coherent message. Including the sending number with the packet lets the sending carrier know who to bill for the service.
Your sending number gets stripped out with anonymous messaging after billing is triggered and sent to the destination. This way, the phone company knows you sent the text and charges you for it, but they won’t pass your number along to the recipient of the message.
Another more straightforward approach to anonymous texts is apps and websites that use their SMS numbers to pass along your message. The platform generally switches your sending number with its own for billing purposes, but the service’s number is the one that gets sent along to the destination.
The two main ways to send an anonymous text are through an app or a website. These services tend to come and go, so what follows are the apps and sites currently working in May of 2019.
Apps to Send an Anonymous Text
Apps open up a lot of functionality with your texts. For instance, you can use apps to forward text messages to your email or change your messages’ fonts and layouts. A few apps have anonymous texting either as their primary function or as an added benefit. Most of these will work on both Android and iOS.
All of these applications are free to download and offer end-to-end encryption for ultimate security. Let’s take a look at the apps we’ve researched and make it easier for you to choose which one is right for you.
Private Text Messaging & Calls
Private Text Messaging & Calls is an Android-only app. It can handle SMS, calls, image/file sharing, and self-destruct messages after a set time. It has several other privacy-oriented features and is worth checking out.
In our current era, privacy is scarce. This app not only allows you to send anonymous messages and make unknown phone calls, but it also offers end-to-end encryption and a neat ‘shake to hide’ messages option. Regardless of what you’re using it for, this free app is a privacy-conscious individual’s dream messaging option.
Signal is a secure communications app, apparently supported by Edward Snowden (the famous and controversial leaker/whistleblower who exposed the NSA’s vast data-gathering operation in 2013).
Signal encrypts calls and texts, and you can send files and images securely. It can also suppress your caller ID when calling or messaging, which is ideal if you want to send an anonymous text or call someone in secret.
Using the Sealed Sender option released in late 2018, users can send anonymous messages to anyone who accepts sealed ones (there is an option to turn this off in the settings).
Websites That Let You Send an Anonymous Text
If you don’t want to download an app for it, a few websites allow you to send anonymous texts. Many restrict the number of messages you can send in a day but are otherwise reliable.
We’ve reviewed each of these sites, and they work reasonably well. The basic layout and capabilities are similar among the websites, and the messages tested were delivered within two minutes. These are free to use, so it’s important to remember that message delivery isn’t guaranteed.
TxtEmNow is a very slick website that allows you to send anonymous texts to any North American or international phone. You will need to scroll through the ads to find the options to send a message. The bright side is that you don’t have to sign-up or input any personal information to use this website to offset those annoying advertising adventures.
All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the page, Enter the number and a message, and hit Continue. The next page will ask you to confirm the details and send the message. Click on the confirmation, and your message is delivered.
Message delivery does take a while, especially if the website is experiencing high traffic. Fortunately, you can check the status by refreshing your web browser.
Text ’em is very similar, although the website looks like something out of the 1990s. Regardless, the website gets the job done. Enter the number, the carrier, and the message. Complete the Captcha and agree to the ToS, then hit Send Message. The site seems to cover most North American carriers, with a few international ones thrown in.
SendAnonymousSMS does what it says: send an anonymous message to any recipient in almost any country. The site is clean and easy to use. Enter the sender number, the country, the delivery number, and the message. Then enter the Captcha code and send the SMS.
Delivery with this one took quite a while, and it’s unclear why you have to put your phone number in before sending it. It could be that this website tries to track or eliminate illegal activities. Nevertheless, the service works.
TextForFree.net is another very basic-looking website that gets the job done. This site only seems to work in the U.S., but it does deliver the message if you’re using one of the approved carriers. Enter the number, the message header, and the message, then choose the correct phone provider from the list. Hit Send Free Text Message at the bottom, and again, delivery takes a while, but it does get there.
That is two great apps and four websites that will allow you to send anonymous messages for free. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but they are all successful.