Misplace or break your phone? No cell signal? Have no fear. You can still text away with a computer via WiFi.
Texting from a laptop has its perks: it’s (usually) free, typing is easier and faster, and best of all, you can look busy when you’re not.
Here are five different ways you can text from your laptop.
1. Text through email
If you know your friend’s phone number and cellphone provider, you can easily deliver a text through email.
Combine your recipient’s 10 digit phone number with one of these popular domains:
- AT&T: @text.att.net
- Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com
- T-Mobile: @tmomail.net
- Verizon: @vtext.com (or @vzwpix.com for photos and video)
For example, if the phone number is (123) 456-7890 and the owner’s wireless carrier is AT&T, you would send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just put your text message into the body of the email, press send, and voila!
When he or she replies to your text, the message will go straight to your email’s inbox. Keep in mind a longer email will be broken up into multiple text messages, and standard text message rates apply to recipients because the messages are sent as regular texts.
2. Text through your wireless carrier’s website
Depending on what your wireless service provider is, you may be able to text other subscribers from your own carrier’s website.
If you have Verizon, you can sign into your My Verizon Account, where you can send and receive texts, photos, and videos. Verizon users can also download the desktop application for their computers through My Verizon.
You can do the same through a My AT&T account.
Take a look at what texting features your carrier offers for your desktop.
3. Text through Apple’s iMessage
The Messages app can be used to send iMessages from a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Simply open up the Messages app, type in your recipient’s phone number (or Apple ID), and you’ll be able to write your message and send it off.
As long as Messages on your Mac is set up to receive texts from both your Apple ID and phone number, you should be able to text to both iPhones and other kinds of phones via the app.
4. Text through a free SMS website
But these websites have their downsides. In some cases, depending on the website, you won’t be able to receive responses directly on the website. You might have to provide an email address to receive responses. And some sites may even require you to sign up and register to see responses.
Then, there’s the sketch factor. You may be bombarded with advertisements while using these sites, which allow these services to run for free.
5. Text through Google Voice
Unlike some of the ways listed above, you can send and receive text messages with Google Voice without knowing the recipient’s carrier. This software gives you the option to choose a brand new number, free of charge, or use your existing mobile number.
However, Google Voice only allows you to send and receive text messages to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada.
Besides texting, Google Voice has other features, such as calling, voicemail, call blocking, and transcribing your voicemail messages to text.