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In an era where smartphone ownership is becoming the majority, it’s hard to imagine someone who can’t (or won’t) send out text messages. When was the last time you knew someone who didn’t have a text messaging plan on their mobile? Or better yet, when was the last time someone told you “don’t text me because I’ve hit my limit!”?
You probably don’t remember. And yet, there are still millions of people out there who (whether involuntarily or by choice) don’t have access to free text messaging. Maybe you’re one of them. Sometimes people lose or misplace their phones and need to shoot a quick SMS to their friends or family.
In either case, these free services will send free SMS messages to your recipients at no extra cost. Very handy for those rare situations!
SendSMSNow is one of the simplest web services to send free SMS texts. The process is simple – you select a country code, enter the recipient’s number, enter your own phone number, type the message, and off it goes. The text message limit is 130 characters, which is more than most free services will offer!
But the coolest part of SendSMSNow, in my opinion, is that you have an inbox on the site and all replies go straight to that inbox. This way, you don’t even need your phone to continue communication. This inbox also tracks a history of all messages you sent using SendSMSNow.
You can send unlimited free texts with this service. That’s just extra icing on top of an already delicious cake.
Regional Availability: 34 countries, including United States, Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Phillipines, Russia, and more.
Even though the website interface for Online Text Message doesn’t look so modern, the service is stronger than most. It supports a whole slew of countries and carriers – so many, in fact, that I had a hard time finding my right selection in the drop-down selection menu! What it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in functionality.
You don’t even need a phone number to use this service. Recipients can respond to your texts and those responses will be directed to your email address. Quite convenient, actually. There’s a “Quick Text” option with hundreds of pre-written texts in case you just need to send a fast “Be right there” or whatever.
Text messages are limited to 100 characters.
Regional Availability: All major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Nextel, SunCom, AllTel, and more.
The Text ‘Em website looks simple, but that’s just indicative of how easy it is to use their service. All you need is the recipient’s phone number, their carrier, and your message. Text ‘Em supports dozens of different carriers, so it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to text your recipient as long as they’re in the US.
Optionally, you can input your email address, which is presumably used for responses to the texts you send out. Text ‘Em imposes a 155 character limit on texts, which is nearly 50% more than the average free SMS service. Take advantage of it if you can!
Regional Availability: United States.
“Our goal has always been to make web-based text messaging free and as simple as possible…” Those are the words of promise that come out of TXTDrop’s creators and, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve delivered on that promise. The interface for TXTDrop is probably the easiest I’ve ever seen. All you need is an email (for replies), the recipient’s number, and a message that will be delivered instantly.
With TXTDrop, you can install a Mac OS X dashboard widget or a Windows 7 gadget which you can use to send free text messages right from your desktop. Extremely useful if you spend a lot of time on your computer and don’t want to retrieve your phone to send out messages.
Regional Availability: United States and Canada.
Yakedi [No Longer Available]
The one downside to Yakedi is that you need to register an account, but if you can get past that, it’s great. With Yakedi, you can be sure that your phone number won’t be misused to send you spam SMS messages. Your information is secure and will private.
With a Yakedi account, you can keep track of all of your sent free text messages. In addition, your account has a built-in address book that you can keep updated with important numbers in case you ever need to send an emergency text to someone.
Unfortunately, Yakedi’s availability is rather limited, so most readers won’t be able to use their awesome service.
Regional Availability: Australia and New Zealand.
If you’d rather have a free SMS alternative on your mobile device, TextFree is the app you want. It’s been consistently ranked as the #1 free texting app and it can send SMS and MMS messages even when you don’t have a carrier or a texting plan. All it requires is an Internet connection.
With TextFree, you are assigned a unique number that is used whenever you send outbound SMS messages. These texts can be sent to anyone, even if they don’t have TextFree, because they act just like regular SMS texts.
Regional Availability: Over 30 countries, including United States, Canada, Bahamas, Hungary, India, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela, and more.
With the tools listed above, you’ll never again have to worry about being unable to send a text. If one service goes down, there’s always another one there. If you don’t want to use a website, get the TextFree app – as a bonus, it’ll feel like you’re actually texting someone.
To combat junk, have a look at our guide to reporting spam text messages.
Image Credit: Text Message Via Shutterstock
Explore more about: SMS.