Stop giving out your main mobile number to just anyone. This is the best way to stay safe, keep annoying calls from coming to your main number -- all for free.. I got a free second number years ago and use it today. I use the free second number to give out at the grocery store, pharmacy, credit card companies, utilities, retailers or anyone I wouldn't necessarily invite to the dinner table.

Some folks on dating sites who've met online and think it's time to share their phone number get a second number so that the other person isn't as easily able to reverse search a primary phone line.

My primary number is precious, and I guard to keep it from being interrupted by sales calls and annoying solicitations.

I don't want my life interrupted unless it's from someone I care about.  It's time to regain some of your privacy and uninterrupted life.


incoming call

An incoming call pops up on a smart phone. (iStock)

How do free phone numbers work?

When you want to obtain a free phone number, you first must choose an area code. All phone numbers, including free ones, must have area codes in order to operate. Once you chose your area code, whichever service you are using will give you a list of available phone numbers that fall within that area code.

Your free number will allow people to dial with no extra cost to the person calling the number. This allows people to reach you from long distances without being charged any extra fees.

Plus, it ensures that people can reach you without you having to give them your personal phone number, giving you an extra layer of privacy.


How can I get a free phone number?

There are various services that offer free phone numbers to people who want them.

Google Voice

Google voice insignia.

Graphic of the Google voice logo. (Fox News)

Google Voice offers free phone numbers to users, and you can receive calls on all your devices at once. The number works both on smartphones and the web, so whether you’re on your phone, tablet, or computer, you will get an alert when someone is calling you. Some other features of Google Voice include:

• Voicemail transcription so that you can read your voicemails instead of listening to them
• Forwarding calls to any device and having spam calls blocked
• Free local calls to any phone number in the U.S. at no extra cost
• International calls can be made with a fee per minute

To download Google Voice:  iOS  | Android


Textnow logo.

Emblem of the Textnow app. (Fox News)

TextNow is an iOS app that you can download from your iPhone app store. The app gives you a free, secondary phone number to use, and it works just like a regular phone number. You just choose a city in the USA or Canada, and it gives you a new number with a unique area code. Some features that come on the app include:

• Change the text and ringtones to whatever you want
• Access to a voicemail inbox
• Call or text for free on your home Wi-Fi network
• You can purchase a SIM card for 99 cents for unlimited calls and texts at $0/month
• $8.99/month plans for 1 gigabyte of data

To download TextNow:  iOSAndroid


Dingtone insignia.

Label of the Dingtone brand name. (Fox News)

Dingtone is an app only found on iOS devices that offers lots of features in addition to your free phone number with basic texting and calling. Some of these features include:

• Make conference calls and send faxes at no extra cost
• Free or cheap international phone calls to over 200 countries
• Premium features such as call blocking, forwarding, and recording

To download Dingtone:  iOS only


Textfree insignia.

Photo of the Textfree logo. (Fox News)

Textfree is an app available through both iOS and Google Play app stores, and it can be used via smartphones, tablets, or computers. It gives you a custom phone number that you can use to contact people even if they don't have the app themselves. Some other unique features of the app include:

• Unlimited free texting including sending pictures and videos
• Reliable WiFi calls with no carrier plan needed
• Customize your voicemail greeting

To download TextNow:  iOSAndroid


Other ways to keep your information private

Besides having another unique number that will allow you to control who's calling you, there are other ways to control your privacy. There are plenty of options for keeping your personal information out of the hands of the wrong people. Here are some extra safety tips you can take:

Use a VPN for private browsing

You can keep your browsing private and secure by making sure you install a VPN on your computer.  VPNs have other benefits as well, like increasing your connection speeds and preventing internet service providers from tracking any activity you do online.

Read more about our top picks by heading over to

Use an encrypted email provider

You can keep your emails private by using an encrypted email server. This will prevent companies from selling your information to people who might bombard you with targeted ads, which could make you vulnerable to a phishing scam or even identity theft.

Our top pick for private and secure email providers is StartMail.  Their service will give you unlimited, anonymous aliases which can protect you from getting hundreds of spam emails a day. They also allow you to send password-protected messages, meaning the recipient of your email would have to enter a password just to view your message. And best of all, StartMail has a clean and easy-to-use interface making the whole experience enjoyable and safe.
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