My Textnow review.

I read about Textnow last evening and decided to download it and experiment with it.

Though I did eventually uninstall it this morning after concluding that it did not meet my needs, I must say that it's still an impressive plan that could work for some.

It provided me with a free local area code number and unlimited outgoing calls and texts to Canada and the USA and unlimited incoming calls to the phone number provided. All I needed to provide was data or Wi-Fi. My more expensive skype plan allows me to call only all Canadian local phone numbers and most Canadian toll free numbers, and my even more expensive Telus plan gives me only a limited number of local anytime minutes.

One minor catch was that I had to accept advertising. I say it was minor since it was relatively unobtrusive, appearing at the bottom of the screen and so allowing me to just ignore it if I wanted to. It included much advertising for games; so if you're a gaming addict, it might not be for you since it could be too tempting. Worse yet, some of the games were reminiscent of casino slot machines; so it could trigger a gambling addict a little too much too.

Since I suffer neither gaming nor internet addiction, the advertising was not a deal breaker for me, but I can imagine how it could be for some people, especially parents who want to get it for their children and, of course, gaming and gambling addicts.

The first deal breaker for me was the call quality. I have clear hearing and so can tolerate poor call quality, but I also have to consider my interlocutor's hearing too. Communication is a two-way street after all. That said, call quality was not that bad, but again, people with hearing deficiencies would notice it more than someone like I would.

The second deal breaker was the wording in the advertisement for the premium version at 2.99/month or 29.99/year:

"Here's what you get with TextNow Premium:

"Ad Removal: Removes the ad banners from the TextNow app.

"Call Forwarding: Forward the calls to your TextNow phone number to any other phone number in North America or Canada.

"Phone Number Locking: Locks your TextNow phone number to your account for as long as you have Premium, and your number won't be recycled for inactivity. "

That last point raises questions about how much I can trust that my number won't be recycled in the free version. Sure I can pay for the premium version to avoid this problem, but then I'm no longer comparing my present Telus, Skype, and VirtuFon plans to a free one anymore, but a paid one. That said, even TextNow premium at 29.00/year is still a much sweeter deal than Skype out at 4.00/month (with a 15% discount if I pay for the year and VirtuFon incoming calls transfered to my Skype account at 4.95USD/month, for a total of around 10.00 per month, maybe a bit more with currency fluctuation.

The third deal breaker for me was Hangouts Dialer by Google. It works in conjunction with Hangouts. Though it gives me no free phone number, it does allow me an unlimited amount of outgoing calls to most Canadian and US phone numbers. Like TextNow, it's free, but call quality is clearer. Though it provides no incoming phone number, I have VirtuFon for that anyway. Yes, VirtuFon is more expensive, but again it provides clearer quality and it's a guaranteed phone number as long as I keep paying for it.

All in all, I still need the call quality and especially the guaranteed phone number and so have decided to remain with my Bell internet, Telus mobile, Skype, and VirtuFon plans; but I can't deny that TextNow might be a sweet deal for some people at least.
Last edited by White_Unifier; Jun 12th, 2017 at 09:52 AM..
Splurge the $15 a month for an unlimited NA wide texting/media texting package.
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Splurge the $15 a month for an unlimited NA wide texting/media texting package.

Who provides that?

Right now, I pay a total of nearly 30.00/month broken up between different businesses for 400.00 local anytime minutes per year, 400 texts per year, two phone numbers (one mobile, one virtual), unlimited outgoing calls to Canadian phone numbers over data, 100 mb of mobile data per month and unlimited incoming calls over my virtual phone number over data. If we add another 53.00/month, I then have unlimited home high-speed internet to cover the necessary data at least at home, though the home internet is shared between more than one person. All of it is advertising-free.

I'd be more than happy to reduce the cost as a part of an interesting experiment, but it would seem that anything that I've been able to find below that cost up to now does not stand the test of my needs.

It might work for some people though.
texting from a PC to a cell would be cool
For $90. a month before tax, with Bell, I have unlimited text and talk anywhere in Canada and 1Gig of shared data on two cell phones...
This is a month to month plan I got from Nortel mobility about four or five years ago and when Bell took over the Northern tell a few years ago my plan got grandfathered.
To keep that month to month plan I have to buy outright any new cell phone...... but it's worth it.
For calls in the US I use Skype on my cell phone or computer and through some unknown reason I have had a $14 balance in my skype prepaid account for the last 13 years.....I must have got lost in their billing system!
Can't complain!

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