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I've just found that to sign up for Gmail account, I need to give Google my moblie phone number to verify me (they send me SMS message with short code... etc.).

So, I'm thinking now, is there such web app (free; I have found for a few, but I need to pay to use them) that is virtual phone number? It may be temporary, like 10 minute mail.

Thank's for help.

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It don't answer your question, but I think the SMS part is optionnal, as i can't remember having to give one (as I don't even live in US nor have a cell phone to receive the SMS). –  Riduidel Dec 29 '10 at 14:11
    
    
@Alexandre Rafalovitch: GMail verification system was my first motivation, but now I am interested in such app, that can be used as a virtual-temporary phone number. –  exTyn Dec 29 '10 at 22:49
    
voxox.com k7.net ipkall.com sipgate.com all may do this, but you may have to use voice verification, not SMS verification with some of these. –  barrycarter Oct 21 '11 at 5:17

2 Answers 2

Apparently, inumbr used to offer this kind of service (see this Lifehacker article), but this is no longer the case. Now they charge for all their services.

There is a fairly simple alternative: Why don't you buy a prepaid mobile number and use it with an old mobile phone? Receiving SMS poses no problem. Over here in Europe they cost between nothing and 20 $. They can be used for some time. If you do not recharge them, they will expire. Of course, you may have to provide some kind of ID to get a card, but it keeps your real number safe.

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This sounds like a good idea at first glance, but the first problem I can see is that phone numbers are far more finite than email addresses, so you will quickly run out of unique numbers.

There could be a way to do this with extensions perhaps, so the number could be +12125551234p99994858 where 99994858 is your unique number, but then most apps will verify a phone number to a specific mask that will likely reject this as a valid number.

It would be interesting to explore this idea further though...

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There is a couple of free forward and phone mask services. The problem is how to monetize them long term. What I have seen is the phone numbers used as a sort of bit.ly forward with analytics. Voice is much more expensive than emails, so it is a bit hard to figure out how to make money around 'free' temporary numbers. –  Alexandre Rafalovitch Jan 4 '11 at 15:42

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