Disposable phone number are useful whenever you want to give out a phone number, but do not want to reveal you personal, private number.
The services listed below allow you create disposable phone numbers fairly inexpensively. However, many online sites reject the numbers created by these services.
Twilio: Free Temporary Numbers
To get a temporary phone number you can sign up for a free Twilio account. You can reserve your first phone number for free as well, although anybody who calls or texts it will hear a message saying this is a free trial Twilio account. You can pay $1 per month to remove the trial message and program the number.
Burner: Create Temporary Phone Numbers and SMS Numbers
Burner is a free app for Android or iOS. It allows you to make phone calls and send texts from new numbers. However, you do have provide a “real” number to use the service.
You can find new numbers in any area code. You can then “burn” your number anytime and calls to that number will receive an “out of service” message.
The company offers various “burner” packages. The sample burner (free) will last you one day or up to five calls or 15 texts. You purchase a “mini burner” for $2 (three credits), you will get a number for seven days or 20 calls or 15 texts — whichever comes first. You can purchase credits in the app.
On Apple devices, the app requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Blur: Create Masked Emails, Phone Numbers, Credit Cards
Blur is a service run by the privacy company Abine. It allows you to create disposable credit cards. You choose how much you want to add to a card, and a “masked card” will be automatically created. You can obtain a new card whenever needed. All charges on the credit card will show up as “ABINE, INC”.
The cost of this service (MaskMe Premium) is $5 a month, and it also gives you access to the other features — Masked Phone Numbers, Masked Emails and the MaskMe apps for iOS and Android.
Currently, MaskMe’s browser extension only available on Chrome and Firefox.
Hushed is another free app that is very similar to Burner. One important difference is that Hushed can use the phone’s Wi-Fi or cellular connection, whereas Burner uses cell phone minutes. This means it can be used on devices like iPod Touches or Android tablets.
Hushed provides a free number to try when you register the app. After that, you can buy another number for $1.99, with 20 minutes of talk time and 60 texts. Other packages are also available.
Hushed is available for Android or iOS (requires iOS 7.0 or later)
Virtual Phone Numbers Providers
These services offer virtual phone numbers (local or 800 numbers). They are aimed at small business users, and include features like voicemail and call redirection.
- uReach (I used this service for about seven years — they are very reliable)
- Grasshopper (a newer service — includes apps for mobile devices)
Disposable Email Address
We also covered how to get a disposable email address previously on GreyCoder.