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Text messaging is a useful communications tool for most cell phone users. Many, however, may not be aware that it is possible to text from computer to cell phone, often at no cost to the sender. Free text messaging services are available from a number of different websites online, and can provide basic text messaging services; however, some online sites may be unscrupulous and retain the cell phone number in order to sell it to advertisers and other telephone number aggregators. Typically, with these online sites it is only necessary to input the cell phone number you wish to text and the message; some sites require that you also know the cellular service provider for the recipient. Once this information has been input, the message is sent immediately.
Many email programs also support the ability to text from computer to cell phone. This typically requires that you know the cellular service provider for the phone you are trying to text. For instance, if the person you are texting gets their cellular service through AT&T, then you would send the email message to the recipient’s cell phone number @txt.att.net. Other cell phone companies would have other email suffixes; Verizon’s suffix is @vtext.com, while Sprint uses @messaging.sprintpcs.com as its email suffix for text messaging.
If you do not know the cellular provider of the person you wish to text, you can also make use of the Teleflip service, which forwards emails to the appropriate cellular service provider automatically. The Teleflip service allows consumers to make up to 100 free email texts per month using its automatic routing service, and can be accessed by addressing the email text message to the appropriate phone number followed by @teleflip.com.
Landline phones cannot make or receive texts; only cellular phones can receive texts, due to the specialized technology involved. The ability to text from your home computer can be extremely useful, especially if the recipient can also receive attachments to texts; this can allow you to forward important documents or other media to family members or colleagues on the go. By using these advanced services, consumers can stay in touch without incurring texting charges or unnecessary fees on their cellular plans.