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.