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AshlynM's avatar

How do free texting apps work? How are they free?

Asked by AshlynM (6519 points ) 1 month ago

Do they use your wifi connection? If so, couldn’t you just your regular messaging app through wifi? Is that the same?

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3 Answers

downtide's avatar

I think they allow you to send a text to someone without using up the number of texts allocated to you on your normal cell plan. If you’re restricted to, say, 100 texts a month but you regularly want to send more, you could use the app to do so. They would need either Wi-Fi or your normal mobile data plan to work. In the latter case they would use up a small amount of your monthly data allowance.

Or you could use the app on a tablet that has wi-fi but doesn’t have its own 3G/4G mobile data or texting facility.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I believe these apps are essentially like an email address so rather than texting the person you are sending an email to their phone number. This would obviously use data if you aren’t around a wifi connection.

@downtide “Or you could use the app on a tablet that has wi-fi but doesn’t have its own 3G/4G mobile data or texting facility.”

That was exactly what I did on my nook when I was out of the country. Was still able to talk to people without an expensive phone plan.

seekingwolf's avatar

These apps work by using the data network (which is different than traditional SMS) to send a message. Mind you, with these free apps, you won’t be using your regular phone number to text. It will all be done through the app and if you text someone outside of the app with the app, it won’t show your cellular number, but rather an email address or a different number.

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