Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Easily send a text message to any phone in the United States, free of charge, regardless of where you live. You will get the responses in your email, and can even respond to responses using email. It’s all at TextPort, a site that makes sending SMS messages from your computer easy.
We’ve shown you how to send a free SMS to any phone via email, but doing so requires you know which carrier all of your friends are on. TextPort figures this out for you, letting you send a quick SMS to any phone number in the US for free. It offers a few other worthwhile tools as well, including a reverse number lookup and a few pay features.
Sending, Receiving & Replying To Texts
Head to TextPort and you’ll find this simple interface:
That’s right, you don’t need to sign up for an account, so you can get started sending free text messages right away. Leave the top drop-down as-is. Enter the phone number of the person you’re sending a message to, of course, and leave your email address so you can get responses. Finally, compose your message, taking care to not exceed the 140 character limit unless necessary.
And you’re done. If your friend sends you a reply it will show up in your email inbox:
The email address this message comes from will be your contact’s phone number “@” their carrier; in the above case AT&T. Save this email address and you can send a free text to your friend anytime, without TextPort’s help.
Before you reply, know that all the text in your email will be sent to your friend, so be kind – remove your email signature and previous parts of the conversation before hitting “Send”. Otherwise you will end up flooding your friend’s phone with nonsense split into 140 character chunks.
Look Up Phone Numbers
Do you sometimes get SMS messages or phone calls from unfamilar numbers? TextPort can help with that, thanks to its reverse number lookup.
You’ll see the city and state the number is from, along with information about their carrier. This tool is worth having around by itself.
Other (Paid) Features
Textport does a bit more. You can send messages to international carriers, send MMS messages (SMS with pictures), get a virtual number to recieve text messages at and more. All of these cost money, though, so I didn’t explore them. Feel free to explore yourself, though.
If you need to send an SMS, quickly, TextPort is great. Even better, you don’t need to sign up for the service, and responses end up in your email inbox. Other than adding free support for international carriers, it’s hard for me to imagine this service getting better.
If you do want to send an SMS to an international number, I highly recommend checking out Aibek’s article on doing so. You will need to know the recipient’s carrier, but that’s fine if you’re just occasionally sending messages to a close friend or family member. Alternatively, you can see if any of these ten tools to send free text messages from your computer are still working.
What do you think of TextPort? Can you see yourself using it? Let us know in the comments below, along with any recommended alternative services.