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I was curious if it's possible to send/receive text messages from a computer to a mobile phone.

I found the site http://www.411sms.com/freesms, which seems promising but I haven't actually tried it yet.

Has anyone used this or other online services to send and receive texts? Are there any risks to be aware of?

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Most mobile phone service providers (in the USA, at least) automatically set up email addresses that will pass through as SMS messages to cell phones.

For example, if I am on AT&T and my phone number is (123) 456-7890, then anyone can send an email to 1234567890@txt.att.net and it will be sent to my phone. If I reply to the SMS message from my phone, it will be emailed back to the original sender.

See a list of providers and what to use as the email address on Wikipedia.

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Warning: All text messages received in this manner will be out of carrier. – Samuel May 31 '12 at 22:22
@Samuel What does that even mean? – William Jackson Jun 1 '12 at 3:05
Most carriers have unlimited "in" calling and texting. This method of texting isn't consider "in". – Samuel Jun 2 '12 at 21:12
Another problem I found with this approach was that AT&T generated a new "from" number for each email received. That made it impossible to group messages from the same sender into conversations. I wound up getting a Google Voice account. – cjm Mar 15 '13 at 21:55

Google Voice can also do this.

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Depends on the country though but yeah. It works. – R.K. Jun 6 '11 at 3:07

You can also use the very famous Way2SMS or you may even try FullOnSMS

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Can anyone explain the downvote, please? – user221287 May 31 '12 at 15:21

pinger textfree web allows you to do this, at least, to start a new Gmail account (viz. accept text messages on a local number). I haven't tried to automate anything. They use bot-tests like everybody else.

But if you want API-level access there is a company that makes a famously accessible (albeit paid if you want more than a few requests per hour) API service called Twilio.

There's an API directory at programmableweb.com

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Didn't know about programmableweb, but it's exactly what I was needing for this -- thanks! – eisb Apr 25 '13 at 15:39

You can use Skype. This will cost you money but it does work.


The only risk I'm aware of is draining your bank account. You may need to set-up a Skype Online Number to receive an SMS but I'm not 100% sure of this.

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And Skype is not a web app. – Al E. Jan 13 '14 at 18:17

I've used PDAnet on my Android. Works alright, pops up like a chat message window. Other than that just send a message through an email client as suggested in Will's answer

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I've been using Sooeet Text to send and receive free SMS (text only) and MMS (text and picture) messages online. You don't have to register to use it, but if you do register it remembers your text dialogue and the phone numbers that you texted.

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Google just added SMS capability to Gmail and it’s free. Here is how to do it:

  1. Log in to Gmail
  2. You have to enable SMS Texting first by going into SettingsLabs tab, then click Enable on the SMS (text messaging) in Chat option.
  3. After you enable SMS messaging in chat, make sure your friends list is showing on the left-hand side menu. There should be a little search box all the way to the left where you can type someone's name, and a green light next to your profile picture. If it's not showing, you can click the little "Txt Message Bubble Icon" on the very bottom of the left hand menu column.
  4. In the box on the left hand menu, it should say "Search, Chat, or SMS". Type in the number or name of the contact you want to text, and then a menu will pop up and click Send SMS and there you go!

You do not need to know which cell provider they have or anything else, and I think that if you get a response it should show up right in your chat window.

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This option is no longer available. Presumably because they're moving to Google+ Hangouts. – Al E. Oct 24 '13 at 14:05

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