Having a burner phone or secondary number can help you sign-up for various services without jeopardizing your privacy. They can also often help you save on roaming costs abroad, making burner numbers a ‘must have’ on foreign trips. In an earlier article, we discussed all about burner phones, including their pros and cons, as well as how you can buy a burner phone in your city. Now, we will tell you about an easy way to add a burner phone number to your smartphone using mobile apps on Android and iOS.
This article is about apps that offer fake/ virtual phone numbers. If you are looking for internet (OTT) calling apps, check out the best VoIP calling apps on Android and iOS instead.
Possibly the best-known name for virtual phone numbers, Burner offers a secondary line for calling and texting without having to pay your carrier for a second connection. It provides a disposable VOIP phone number (with a local area code) that you can use for dating, dodging salespeople, online shopping, or selling items on Craigslist.
You don’t have to carry a second device since you can call, text, and manage your contacts from within the app. You can create multiple private phone numbers, keep them as long as you want, or ‘burn’ them anytime. Burner is free to download and comes with a 7-day trial period.
The Burner app works by intercepting incoming calls on the app and routing them to your cell to maintain your privacy and keep your primary phone number anonymous. Integrations with various apps and services, like Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, and SoundCloud, allow you to archive text messages and voicemails.
Calls made through Burner show up on your phone bill as calls between your Burner number and your personal number. The end numbers you are calling through Burner are not shown. Incoming calls show up as calls from your Burner number, and additional numbers are available through an in-app subscription.
PROS CONS Custom voicemail greeting Calls count against your cellular phone plan Easily block contacts Pricier than competition Do not disturb mode Support call forwarding and texting
Another established secondary phone number app, Hushed works much like the Burner app, but it offers burner numbers for 40 countries. That’s in addition to local numbers from over 300 area codes in the US, Canada, and the UK. The app lets you make and receive calls and messages on your Hushed number, and your activity is kept separate from your real number from your carrier. You can get a second phone number, add different numbers, and manage multiple lines within the app.
Hushed offers flexible short-term or long-term subscriptions, prepaid plans, or pay-as-you-go plans starting at $1.99 per month. You can access your Hushed number(s) from anywhere in the world using a WiFi/data connection. Like Burner, Hushed also lets you add custom voicemail greetings and comes with call forwarding, auto-replay, and a plethora of other features. Local calling is available on all Hushed numbers. SMS and MMS are available in select countries. You can even opt for a ‘30 Day Worldwide’ package for International calling and SMS.
PROS CONS Works in 40+ countries with local numbers International package is relatively expensive Dropbox and Slack integration International calling and messaging option
3. CoverMe Private Text Messaging + Secure Texting & Calling
Originally known as CoverMe, this is one of the best, most privacy-oriented fake phone number app you can use. It differentiates itself from competitors by providing features like disappearing messages, encrypted messages, anonymous SMS, etc. It also lets you hide text messages, private call logs, and personal contacts with a shake-to-lock feature. Yeah, you simply shake the phone to lock your private messages away from prying eyes. Everything is end-to-end encrypted on CoverMe, claims the company.
CoverMe Private Messenger provides you with a US or Canada phone number to hide your primary number for anonymous texts and voice calls. It offers secondary phone numbers with various area codes, perfect for business, online dating apps, and any other scenarios for enhanced privacy. It lets you make secure, anonymous phone calls to the US, Canada, and China with a disposable second phone line over the internet (VoIP). The best part is that your call logs won’t show up on your phone bill. You can also change the disposable phone number at any time, making this one of the best burner phone number apps on this list.
PROS CONS Private and encrypted service Relatively expensive than its competition Call logs don’t show up on phone bill Remotely recall or wipe messages Shake-to-lock messages and call-logs
4. Cloud SIM
One of the newer burner phone number apps, Cloud SIM, allows you to create and add multiple phone numbers to your smartphone. You can have up to 4 extra numbers from the UK, Poland, Canada, France, and the US. With Cloud SIM, you can make or receive international phone calls to and from mobiles and landlines. The app lets you choose your connection type and set up your calls over a GSM network or the internet. It ensures you never have to worry about bad reception or call drops.
Cloud SIM comes with a number of noteworthy features, including personalized voicemails on each profile and the ability to customize each profile to your liking. You can also decide when you are available or away, thanks to the ‘Do not Disturb’ feature.
Overall, it is one of the best apps for fake phone numbers, whether you are selling an item online or meeting clients and signing up for a dating service. You can even create an international number for when you are traveling or chatting with friends overseas.
PROS CONS Affordable pay-as-you-go plans Calls count against your cellular phone plan voice allowance Dedicated voicemail for each separate number International calling Do Not Disturb feature
Unlike the other apps on this list, Line2 is a business-oriented service that offers additional features for enterprise users. Extra features include conference calls, auto-attendants, and toll-free numbers for global customers. The app offers unlimited VoIP calls and texts across the United States and Canada. Users also get free calls and messaging with other Line2 users. There’s also an auto-attendant feature that allows users to guide their customers to the right call queues like sales and support. You also get on-hold music and pre-recorded call greetings.
Line2 is a cross-platform app that works across mobile (Android, iOS) and desktops (Windows, Mac). It enables users to set up multiple business lines on their existing phones and gain essential business features without buying new hardware. It also lets you add, remove or change a business line by simply contacting the support team. Users also get screening and blocking options for each call.
Overall, Line2 is one of the best burner phone number apps to keep your business and personal communications separate. It also eliminates the need to purchase and carry a second mobile phone.
|Dedicated plans for business use||Expensive|
|Supports cellular voice, Wi-Fi, and data||Not for individual users|
|Also available on desktop (Windows and Mac)|
6. 2ndLine – Best Free Burner Phone Number App
Like Line2, 2ndLine is also a full-featured business phone app that offers a burner phone number to use in addition to your personal phone number. It offers an ad-supported free number with local calling and texting, but the paid version removes the ads and offers premium features.
With 2ndLine, you can download the app, pick a virtual phone number and immediately access unlimited calling and texting from an additional line on your phone. Available in the US and Canada, the app offers unlimited local talk and text services, as well as affordable rates for international connections.
Unlike most of the other apps on this list, 2ndLine is available only on Android, with no word on the availability of an iOS version. 2ndLine is a VoIP service that uses your data or Wi-Fi connection instead of your cellular network to provide you with an additional line. Calls and texts made or received using 2ndLine do not show up on your device’s regular phone bill. The service also offers voicemail that shows up in your conversations as an audio file. You can click ‘Play’ to playback your voicemail messages.
The free version of 2ndLine will recycle your number after a period of inactivity. “If you purchase Premium features, your current 2ndLine number won’t be recycled for inactivity for as long as you have your Premium features activated,” says the company.
|Free version available||Only available on Android|
|Calls and texts don’t show up on phone bill||Free version recycles phone numbers|
Pricing: Free; paid plans start at $2.49
Download 2ndLine: Android
Flyp is yet another fake phone number app available both on Android and iOS. It offers up to five additional US phone numbers on your existing phone. You can choose any area code you want for each number so that you will always have a local number. All the numbers come with unlimited calls, texts, and picture messages. You can use Flyp to call and text folks in more than 15 countries. There’s also a ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode that can be set individually for each number, allowing you to decide who can call you and when.
Along with unlimited calls and texts, Flyp offers customized voicemail greetings for each number. The first Flyp number is free for seven days, but thereafter, each number costs $7.99/ month or $79.99/ year. The Flyp app lets you see your calls, texts, and voicemails in one place, which means you don’t go from one app to another to see all your interactions with your contacts. It also only offers connections via your carrier’s cellular network, which increases reliability. But it counts against your cellular phone plan voice allowance and shows up on your monthly bill.
PROS CONS International calls to more than a dozen countries Calls count against cellular phone voice allowance Shows all calls, voicemails, and texts in one place Call details show up on your monthly phone bill Do not disturb mode for each number
Grasshopper is another great burner phone number app that adds a business line and virtual phone system to your personal phone. One of the largest companies in the enterprise virtual telephone market, Grasshopper is aimed largely at small businesses. It offers standard features like Caller ID, custom automated greetings, and multiple extensions that allow companies to sound more professional without spending a fortune. The Grasshopper app is available on Windows, Android, and iOS, with support available 24×7.
Grasshopper offers users a full, virtual phone system at a relatively affordable price. The app offers vanity numbers, toll-free numbers, as well as standard-issue local numbers for several cities around the US. You can also port an existing business or virtual number to Grasshopper for free. Some notable features of this virtual phone number app include access to your complete call history, voicemail transcription, on-hold music, call forwarding, and more. The app also offers a 7-day trial so that you can try it out before paying.
PROS CONS Available on desktops and mobile More expensive than the competition Voicemail transcriptions Not meant for personal use Multiple extensions for each number Custom greetings Simultaneous call handling Virtual fax
MightyCall is another fake phone number app aimed at businesses, for the most part. It advertises itself as the best alternative to Grasshopper, and one quick look at its feature tells you why. Like the aforementioned app, MightyCall offers vanity numbers, toll-free numbers, as well as standard local numbers. You also get multiple extension support for each number, custom automated greetings, premium (EV) SSL certificates with 256-bit encryption, and other features you have come to expect in this sector.
A VoIP + CRM service designed for small businesses, MightyCall offers slightly more affordable rates than Grasshopper. Prices start at $29.99/ month inclusive of taxes, while for $49.99 flat, the company offers five virtual numbers (local or toll-free) with unlimited users. Of course, MightyCall also has a 7-day trial period that lets you try its service before you pay up. Meanwhile, other features of this virtual phone number app include conference calling, call queue, voicemail transcriptions, webphone, softphone & desk phone support, social media tracking, international calls, and more.
PROS CONS Call recording support Calls count against your cellular phone plan voice allowance Voicemail transcription Pricier than competition Make and receive calls from PC using a softphone Affordable than Grasshopper
10. Google Voice
Moving on, we have Google Voice. It is one of the oldest virtual phone number apps that has been around for the better part of the last decade. Google Voice is a virtual telephone service that offers voicemail, text, and voice messaging. It works on both smartphones and computers and syncs across all your devices.
Google Voice numbers work on smartphones and the web, so you can place and receive calls from anywhere. The service offers a truckload of features, including voicemail transcription, AI-powered spam blocking, call forwarding, and more.
Google Voice provides advanced voicemail transcriptions that you can read in the app or have them sent to your email. You can also use the service to make international calls at competitive rates without paying extra for international calls. However, calls made using Google Voice for Android can also be placed through a Google Voice access number, which uses your carrier’s cellular network. Hence, it counts against your voice allowance as well. Google Voice is currently only available in the US, while Google Voice for Google Workspace can be accessed in select countries.
PROS CONS Voicemail transcription Expensive PBX configuration Calls count against cellular voice allowance Integration with Google Calendar and Google Meet 24×7 support Call forwarding
Last but not the least, we have an apo called Dingtone. This app is one of the most widely used and trusted burner phone number apps out there. As soon as you download it, you will understand why. Firstly, the interface is very simple and makes understanding each and every feature of the application easier.
Most importantly, Dingtone is a free virtual phone number app and offers super affordable in-app purchases too, starting from as low as $1.99 per month. You can create a free US burner phone number with this application. International calls and texts are free for the most part, bringing support to over 23o countries to the table. However, to bring the best out of the app, you will need to purchase one of the premium plans. Even so, more affordable than the competition.
In addition, you can also record your calls and mail them over for safekeeping. Bonus features also include call forwarding, Walkie Talkie mode, call block, voicemail, and more. There are a whole lot of features than what meets the eye. Overall, this indeed is easily one of the best burner number apps for your Android or iOS device.
PROS CONS Can be used for free Call quality is average Paid plans are affordable Faces connection issues at times Integration with Google Calendar and Google Meet 24×7 support Call forwarding
Pricing: Free, Paid plans start from $1.99/month
So now that you know about the best burner phone number apps on Android and iOS, use them to keep creepy dates and would-be stalkers at bay. Small business owners can use virtual phone number apps to offer a professional support experience to their clients using some of these specially curated services. Meanwhile, as a privacy-conscious user, check out the best secure messaging apps you can use and the best privacy-oriented browsers for Android and iOS. Finally, go through other tutorials on protecting your digital privacy, including how to disable location-tracking in Windows and how to hide your ‘Active’ status on Facebook.