How Does Data Work On TextNow?

Unlike traditional cell phone carriers, TextNow phones and plans utilize your data connection for all communication - calling, texting and accessing the internet. In order for TextNow to work, you need to be either connected to wifi, or be within the TextNow coverage map

Also unlike other cell phone companies, when you go over your data limit we don't turn off your connection. Rather, your connection slows down to 2G speed, which still allows you to call and text when you're not connected to wifi. For more information on unlimited 2G, please see our Fair Use policy here

What counts as 'data'?

Outside the TextNow app, any app that communicates with the internet uses data. So, for example, watching a video on YouTube, or checking your Twitter feed, or posting onto Facebook - all of that uses your data connection.

Accessing a file that is being saved remotely (like playing a video on YouTube, or playing a song on Spotify) is called streaming. All streaming services use data; how much data is being used depends very heavily on the app and your personal settings.

Does wifi use my data from my TextNow plan?

When your phone is connected to wifi, any data used does not count towards your data plan. Your data plan is only used when wifi is unavailable, and you're connected to the TextNow 3G/4G data network.

Do I need data to make a call?

Yes. TextNow uses your data connection to place the call over the internet (a method known as VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol). You need to either be connected to wifi, or have access to our 3G/4G data networks.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Allie Stepp

    So when im out of data i cant text or call home? Basically im paying 18.99 to get the same app i get for free at home cause all i do is use it to text or call h9me when im at school andctheres no way that takes up my data. We have wifi at home

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Allie! No worries there at all. If you look up at the article, we do also state that if you go over your high speed data, you'd be put on our unlimited 2G network, so you will keep having service!

    Hope that eases your mind :)

  • Avatar
    Scott Henderson

    I am trying to understand how this works. With my previous carrier(sprint) I often had call/text service in areas that I didn't have data service. Does that mean with textnow I will only have the ability to call/text in areas that had data service?

  • Avatar
    Erin TextNow Support

    Hi Scott,

    You are pretty spot on there. Since TextNow is a VoIP service you will need Wifi or Data in order to make/receive calls and texts.