Looking to get a temporary or disposable phone number for calls, texts, and registering accounts anonymously? Burner phone apps let you do just that, without having to buy a separate prepaid phone.
We’ve tested and reviewed the top options to find the best burner phone number apps for privacy in 2023. Whether you need a free temporary number or are willing to pay for advanced features, these apps make it easy to get a second line.
Table of Contents
- Hushed gives you unlimited free calling and texts with burner numbers that last forever.
- Burner provides disposable numbers that self-destruct after usage with advanced privacy controls.
- TextNow offers a free phone number for calling and texting over WiFi.
- Talkatone lets you make calls and send texts for free using your existing number.
- Sideline gives you a second real phone number to use along with your personal cell.
- CoverMe provides private, encrypted messaging with self-destructing chats.
- Best Burner Phone Number Apps like Anonytune and Burner apps offer short-term numbers, while Hushed and TextNow provide more long-term options.
- Paid options like Burner allow setting advanced usage limits, blocking keywords, and integration with work tools like Slack.
- Free apps like TextNow can still meet basic needs for temporary numbers without a cost.
1. Hushed – Best Overall Burner Number App
Hushed tops our list for providing unlimited free phone numbers that you can use for calling, texting, voicemail, and verification purposes.
It offers complete anonymity without any contracts or monthly fees. You get access to fresh virtual phone numbers from over 80 countries.
The Hushed app is great for getting disposable numbers that don’t expire. Your Hushed number works just like a real number, allowing you to call, text, and access data services without restrictions.
Hushed is easy to set up, allowing you to choose an area code and start using your burner number right away. All calls and texts are relayed through Hushed’s servers, keeping your real identity hidden.
You can easily switch between Hushed numbers if you prefer using different ones for various purposes. All your chat history, voicemail, recordings, etc. are saved within the app as well.
For full functionality like MMS picture messaging though, you’ll need to upgrade to the Hushed Plus paid plan. But the free version itself is quite feature-rich, making Hushed our top pick.
- Get unlimited free phone numbers by calling & texting
- No contracts or monthly fees
- Numbers don’t expire and can be used long-term
- Make calls, send texts, access voicemail & more
- Available for both Android and iOS devices
2. Burner – Most Secure Burner Number Service
Burner earns the top spot for privacy and security with its disposable phone numbers. It lets you create short-term burner numbers or lines that “burn” out and disappear after a set period of usage.
You can set limits on number usage for both time and number of calls/texts. Once the limits are reached, the Burner number is no longer usable.
This protects your privacy by limiting any exposure of your real number. You can set the Burner number to delete itself after the initial sign up without any usage too.
Burner also offers sophisticated blocking, filtering, and do not disturb options. You can block incoming calls or text keywords. Automatic caller screening is available to filter out spam.
Integrations with communication apps like Slack allow you to use Burner as your work phone number to keep business calls separate. Burner also has email forwarding and auto-responses to handle voicemails and recorded calls.
With all of these security features and usage controls, Burner ensures complete privacy for your temporary numbers. It costs $4.99/month for 1 number or $9.99 for unlimited numbers if you want extensive options.
- Create disposable numbers that self-destruct
- Set advanced usage limits for calls and texts
- Block keywords, filter spam, and auto-screen calls
- Integrates with work apps like Slack
- Email notifications, voicemail transcription, and more
3. TextNow – Best Free Burner Phone Number App
TextNow stands out as the best free burner phone number app for calling and texting. It gives you a real phone number to use for calls and texts over WiFi, with no hidden costs.
You don’t even need an existing mobile number to sign up. Just download the TextNow app and register to get your free phone number with unlimited US and Canada calling/texting.
International calling is available at low rates. You can also port your existing number to TextNow. All features are accessible using the app, without needing a SIM card.
TextNow utilizes advertising to provide this service for free. You’ll get pop-up banner ads and sponsored messages, which can be disabled through a $3.99/month subscription.
If you just need an anonymous second number for occasional use and can handle the ads, TextNow is a great free option that delivers core functionality.
- Get a free phone number by calling & texting over the WiFi
- No need for an existing mobile number to sign up
- Unlimited US/Canada calling and global texting
- Low rates for international calling
- Bring your own number via porting
- Ad-supported service or $3.99/month for an ad-free experience
4. Talkatone – Best Free App for Calls & Texts
Talkatone allows you to make calls and send texts for free, without getting a new number. It utilizes your existing phone number and WiFi to let you communicate via their app.
By relaying calls/texts through Talkatone servers, your real phone number is kept anonymous. You can also get a new Talkatone number if preferred.
Talkatone uses VOIP technology for high-quality calls and the ability to call any phone. You get unlimited calling and texting between Talkatone users, regardless of location.
To call regular numbers, you need to purchase talk credits, which are fairly inexpensive. There are often free credit promotions running as well.
The Talkatone app works great for both Android and iPhone. If you only need to make occasional calls and texts anonymously, it’s a handy free app that gets the job done.
- Call and text for free using your existing number
- Unlimited Talkatone to Talkatone calling/messaging
- HD quality calls using VoIP technology
- Get talk credits for low rates to call regular numbers
- Use over both WiFi and cellular data
- Available on Android and iOS devices
5. Sideline – Top Burner Number for Work
Sideline provides you with a second real phone number to use alongside your personal cell phone number. Think of it like a work line that you can use to keep business calls and texts separate.
You can toggle between your primary and Sideline numbers in the app toolbar. Use your Sideline number when chatting with co-workers, sharing in online ads, registering business accounts, and more.
Your Sideline number works like any regular number, able to place and receive calls and texts. Voicemail transcription, conference calling, call forwarding, and other standard features are included.
Sideline offers a 7-day free trial to test it out. After that, paid plans start at $9.99/month for basic usage needs. This affordable rate makes it a practical solution for maintaining a professional work number.
- Get a second real phone number to use as your work line
- Keep personal and professional calls/texts separate
- Works like any regular number for calling and messaging
- Comes with voicemail, call forwarding, conference calling, etc.
- 7-day free trial, paid plans start at $9.99/month
6. CoverMe – Best Burner App for Private Messaging
CoverMe is designed for private and anonymous messaging using temporary phone numbers. You can generate unlimited CoverMe numbers to use when registering accounts, posting ads, chatting online, and other purposes.
The numbers work for both SMS texting and encrypted CoverMe to CoverMe messaging within the app. You control exactly when the numbers expire, anywhere from an hour to years.
CoverMe also lets you create one-time Burner numbers that self-destruct after a single use. You can pre-set messages to auto-send from the Burner number as well.
CoverMe takes privacy very seriously, deleting all logs and encryption keys after you’re done with a number. They also don’t store any messages on their servers.
With features tailored specifically for anonymous communication, CoverMe is a top choice amongst the best burner phone apps.
- Create unlimited temporary numbers for texting & messaging
- Encrypted chatting within the app
- Make numbers expire whenever you choose
- Pre-set auto-reply messages from one-time Burner numbers
- No logs or data stored after number deletion
7. AnonyTune – Best Short-Term Burner Number
AnonyTune provides easy access to short-term, disposable phone numbers that last just a little while before expiring. You can generate these numbers with random area codes, use them for your needs, and then toss them out.
Numbers are available for 3 hours, 12 hours, 1 week, or 1 month durations after creation. So AnonyTune is great for quick, one-off uses where you need a phone number temporarily.
You can make calls, send texts, and access voicemail using the AnonyTune app. All usage information is erased once the number expires. Note that it only offers numbers for the US and Canada currently.
At $2-$5 per number depending on duration, AnonyTune strikes a nice balance between price and convenience for temporary phone numbers. It’s perfect for maintaining anonymity for short-term activities.
- Get temporary phone numbers that auto-expire after preset durations
- Options range from 3 hours to 1 month
- Make calls, send texts, check voicemail
- Use numbers anonymously then have the info erased
- Inexpensive way to get short-term burner numbers
8. Dozem – Best International Number Options
Dozem provides access to virtual phone numbers from over 40 countries around the world. So if you need an international burner number for traveling or business purposes, Dozem has you covered.
It offers phone numbers from top destinations like the UK, France, Mexico, Hong Kong, Turkey, and many more. You can get incoming calls with virtual voicemail and SMS texting in supported countries.
Dozem also features online fax capabilities, call forwarding, voicemail to email, IVR menus, and other handy tools for managing your virtual foreign numbers. Pricing is quite affordable too.
The Dozem app itself is beautifully designed and easy to use. Overall, for getting temporary international numbers, especially for overseas travel, you can’t go wrong with Dozem.
- Virtual phone numbers from over 40 countries worldwide
- Incoming calls, SMS texting, and online fax available
- Voicemail transcription and forwarding options
- Call forwarding, IVR menus, and more
- Affordable pricing starts at $1.99/month per number
9. PhoneBurner – Quick Short Codes with Keywords
PhoneBurner offers a unique take on burner numbers using short-code phone numbers with custom keywords. You simply set a keyword like “ContactDave123” to share instead of your real number.
When someone messages the PhoneBurner short code with your keyword, the app forwards their text to your actual number. You can reply directly through the app to keep your real number hidden.
This makes it quick and easy to share a throwaway number. And you can generate an unlimited amount of keyword numbers within PhoneBurner to use.
The standard plan with 1 keyword is $9.99/month. For 5 keywords, it's $24.99/month. So PhoneBurner is an affordable way to hand out disposable numbers using easy-to-remember keywords.
- Get virtual short code numbers with custom keywords
- Give out keywords instead of your real number
- App forwards messages sent to a keyword to your phone
- Reply anonymously through the PhoneBurner app
- $9.99/month for 1 keyword number
10. Firefly Mobile – Best Burner App for Kids
Firefly Mobile provides extra phone numbers with parental monitoring for letting kids safely use mobile devices. It operates through the Firefly app, available for iOS and Android.
You manage your child’s number with parental controls like usage limits, blocking calls/texts, location tracking, app blocking, and more for their safety. Firefly works on kids’ existing phones without needing a new device.
The Firefly number can be used for anonymous sign-ups, gaming accounts, social profiles, and any other scenarios where you don’t want to expose their real information.
For the child, Firefly works just like their regular number for seamless usage. But you maintain oversight as the parent. Pricing starts at $9.99/month making it very affordable.
- Provides extra kids' numbers with parental controls
- Monitor usage, block calls/texts, track location
- Use for sign ups so the real number stays private
- Works on child's existing smartphone
- Controlled through the parental Firefly app
- Plans from $9.99/month
11. Felix Phone Number – Best Short Term Burner App
Felix offers easy-to-use short-term temporary phone numbers that are perfect for anonymously signing up for trials, services, and anything else you only need a number for briefly.
You can generate a Felix number instantly in the app. Each number lasts for 14 days after activation and can receive SMS texts or automated calls. All activity details are erased after expiration.
The Felix app also includes other features like virtual business cards to share your number without revealing personal contact info. You can export the virtual card to Apple Wallet as well.
At $1.99 per number, Felix is an affordable solution for getting access to 2-week temporary phone numbers on demand that protect your anonymity.
- Create short-term disposable phone numbers lasting 14 days
- Receive SMS and automated calls
Making the Most of Burner Phone Number Apps
Now that you know the top options, here are some tips for getting the most value out of burner phone number apps:
Use burner numbers wisely
Think about when a temporary number will be most useful vs when you should just use your real number. Burners are great for online anonymity but can be limiting if you need continued correspondence.
Read user guidelines
Most apps prohibit spam, illegal activities, call flooding, and misuse. Use burner numbers ethically and avoid term violations.
Explore features before choosing an app
Consider factors like cost, call/text limits, expiration policies, country availability, etc. to find one that fits your needs.
Mask your identity
Burner numbers let you hide your real number and contact details which is key for privacy. But take other steps too like using fake info when signing up.
Verify important accounts normally
When signing up for utilities, banks, jobs, and other services that require identity verification, it's better to provide your actual number so the process goes smoothly.
Set usage limits if needed
Some apps like Burner let you limit call time, texts sent, etc. Enable these if you only need a number temporarily for very limited use.
Use WiFi for best performance
Most burner apps rely on data networks for calling and texting. For reliable functionality, connect through WiFi whenever possible.
Pay attention to expiration
If your burner number expires quickly, set a reminder to buy a new one so you don't lose access. Longer lasting and indefinite numbers provide more convenience.
Save important info from texts
If you receive useful details like confirmation codes via a short-term number, make sure to capture a screenshot or save it elsewhere before the messages are deleted.
There you have it – our picks for the top burner phone number apps to maintain online privacy and anonymity in 2023. With options like Hushed, Burner, TextNow, and Talkatone, you can easily get access to additional phone numbers for calling, texting, account verification, and other purposes while keeping your personal number safe.
The wide variety of choices when it comes to duration, features, country availability, and pricing means you can find the right burner app to suit your specific needs. Just remember to use them wisely and ethically.
We hope this breakdown simplifies your search for the best burner phone number app. Let us know in the comments if you have any other favorites that we should check out! And don’t forget to share this list with friends and family interested in boosting their privacy.