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?

If you have a TextNow phone, or you're using a TextNow SIM on the CDMA network, you do not need a data connection to place a call. That's because TextNow has the ability to use the voice connection on the carrier network to "fallback" to, in the cases where no data connection is available.

TextNow SIM customers using the GSM network will require a data connection to place a call. You can find out more information about the CDMA and GSM networks on our TextNow SIM FAQ page

[Android] How do I see how much data I've used?

For Android users, you device comes with built-in data usage tools, most commonly found under the Data Usage section of your Android main settings app. Here's an example from a Samsung S7:



Screenshot_20180131-162724.png

 

From this screen, you can see a break-down of exactly what was using my data when I was off wifi for the month of January, 2018. 

[Android] I see something listed as 'Android OS' on my Data Usage page. What's that?

AndroidOS is a compression tool we use on some of our older devices to compress images from different apps, like SnapChat or Instagram. Compressing the images can save a lot of space when transmitting them over 3G/4G data, which means that you can squeeze a little more out of your data plan.

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Comments

  • 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.

  • Avatar
    Josette LaPrade

    im tying to figure out since i had the 39.99 plan, i didnt use all my data at all i, my plan ran out, does that data i didnt use roll over? or im just not gunna get it back, even though i paid for it

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Josette! We do not currently support any "roll-over data", so any unused data will simply remain unused. If you find that you are consistently not using up the full 3GB, you can always downgrade your plan! In order to be able to assist you with that, I would recommend to speak with one of our live chat representatives to be able to process the payment correctly :)

  • Avatar
    Josette LaPrade

    i went to the 19.99 plan it said my payment went through but its saying its going to start the 39.99 tomorrow and i dont want it to charge me the 39.99 on my debit card

  • Avatar
    Noah Blanchard

    Do I have to buy a textnow phone from the site to order the service? Or cam I just activate one I have? tyvm!

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Noah! You can do either or! If your current device is compatible with our service, you are more than welcome to activate it with our service.

    To find that out, you can speak with one of our live chat representatives on textnow.com/wireless, just make sure to have your phone ready!

  • Avatar
    Jenny Banegas

    Hi,
    I blocked all my apps from using data, to conserve it. However, I see that it was still used according to the app. I then looked into my data settings and see that the data was being used by the TextNow app. Is it correct to say that making calls and sending texts from TextNow app takes away from my high speed data? That is what my phone shows. I thought that my highspeed data was for my personal use, and unlimited calls and texts would not be taking away from it. Please clarify. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Jenny Banegas

    Hi,
    I blocked all my apps from using data, to conserve it. However, I see that it was still used according to the app. I then looked into my data settings and see that the data was being used by the TextNow app. Is it correct to say that making calls and sending texts from TextNow app takes away from my high speed data? That is what my phone shows. I thought that my highspeed data was for my personal use, and unlimited calls and texts would not be taking away from it. Please clarify. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Jenny Banegas

    Hi,
    I blocked all my apps from using data, to conserve it. However, I see that it was still used according to the app. I then looked into my data settings and see that the data was being used by the TextNow app. Is it correct to say that making calls and sending texts from TextNow app takes away from my high speed data? That is what my phone shows. I thought that my highspeed data was for my personal use, and unlimited calls and texts would not be taking away from it. Please clarify. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hi Jenny! Your calls and texts would not use up any data, however, if you were to restrict data on the TextNow app, you also would not be able to make any calls and texts at all (as it is a VoIP service)

    The only functions that could run up your data would be mms (such as sending pictures, videos, links)

  • Avatar
    Gaby Martin

    I recently terminated my cell service and am using text now. I'm thinking of getting Text Now as my carrier but don't know if all your plans come with unlimited data. I can see that your plans all have virtually the same features but none says unlimited data

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey there! They do all come with unlimited data, though it may not the one that you'd expect.

    Each monthly plan comes with a limit for high-speed data (4G/LTE), and once you surpass that limit, we simply slow down your speeds to 2G, for unlimited use.

    Hope that helps!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Thomas

    Well I'm having some issues with this service! I used up my data which slowed down to 2g, which was fine. Then textnow shut off service completely bcz i

  • Avatar
    Kelly Thomas

    Used too much of the slow data! Not cool!!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Thomas

    Then I had credit built up and when my plan was to renew, the credits disappeared and I owe the full amount!!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Thomas

    Someone needs to contact me Asap! This is robbery and false advertising!!!!

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Kelly! Sorry to hear of your experience. It does seem as though your service was suspended for violating our 2G Fairuse Policy. Now, since this was your first violation, had you contacted us earlier, we would've reactivated your service immediately.

    I can tell you that your credits did not disappear, they just weren't enough to cover the full amount of the $19.99 plan. So your bill is still owing the difference of $7.47. Once that is paid, your service will be reactivated on the Tall plan.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions, and/or concerns!

    Edited by Valeria TextNow Support
  • Avatar
    Bri Baby

    My data runs out with in a week. I don't understand how it runs out so fast. I barely use it. If I do use it afterwards I make sure to stop all running apps and data is still being used. I've contacted support numerous times but no response.

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Bri! We can certainly take a look into this with you.

    Would you be able to take a screenshot of your data usage from your phone's settings menu and send it over to community@textnow.com (I assure you that you will receive a much more prompt response)

  • Avatar
    mary riemer

    Hello currently i have the 3gb plan. Which is 27.00 monthly. I dont use all of the 3gb ever because i have home internet. Im tryin to set it up were i only pay for 1.5gb i think its 19.99 a month. How do i downgrade my current plan so next month it will be less? I LITERALLY just paid for this month and again it was still the 3gb plan when i wanted the 1.5gb plan.

  • Avatar
    Valeria TextNow Support

    Hey Mary! No worries, you can certainly downgrade :) Just follow the steps in this tutorial for your next renewal!

    Edited by Valeria TextNow Support