Getting a new phone number is easier than ever in 2024. With more and more people cutting the cord and going wireless, you have multiple options to acquire a new number for your smartphone or mobile device without too much hassle. Here’s an in-depth guide on the various ways you can get yourself a new phone number this year.
Why You Might Need a New Number
There are a few good reasons why you might want or need a new phone number:
You’re Getting a New Phone
When you purchase a new smartphone, you’ll need to activate a new number for it. The major wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile will provide you a new number when you sign up for service. You also have the option of transferring or porting your old number over to the new device in most cases.
You’re Switching Wireless Carriers
If you’re not happy with your current wireless provider and want to switch to a different one, part of that process will involve acquiring a new phone number. As with getting new phone, you may be able to port your old number over depending on the circumstances and carriers involved.
You Want More Privacy
If you’ve been getting harassed by someone that has your phone number or you simply want more privacy for your wireless communications, getting an entirely new number is an effective solution. This severs all connections someone previously had by knowing your old number.
You Need a Second Number
Some people like having multiple phone numbers – perhaps one for business and another for personal communications. Getting an additional number through a new device activation or Google Voice provides this flexibility and separation of work/life domains.
Step-by-step Guide to Get a New Phone Number
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting a new phone number:
- Decide if you need a new cell phone number or landline number. Cell phone numbers are 10 digits and associated with mobile carriers and service plans. Landline numbers are tied to a physical location.
- Research carriers and plans if getting new cell phone number. Compare major carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile on coverage, data amounts, and costs. Or consider affordable prepaid no-contract options from Metro, Boost, Cricket, etc.
- Purchase the phone service plan and compatible cell device if needed. Sign up and activate the service to trigger assignment of your new 10-digit cell number.
- Optionally transfer (“port”) your old number instead of getting completely new number when switching carriers. Initiate port request during activation of new carrier service.
- Obtain free extra numbers via Google Voice or TextNow apps if desired. Sign up for account, download app to start making VoIP calls/texts over data.
- For new landline number, contact your local phone company to order home phone service and get paired copper wire phone line installed at fixed address.
- Personalize voicemail, set up call forwarding rules and save/distribute your new contact number to friends and family once active.
Following this process will smoothly guide you through getting setup with a functional new mobile or landline phone number with minimal hassles. Reach out for customer or technical support if any activation issues.
Major Wireless Carrier Options
If you want premium wireless service from a major provider like Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile, you’ll need to sign up for service and activate a new number through one of them when you get a new device.
Getting a New Number with Verizon
To get new phone number with Verizon Wireless, you’ll first need to purchase a compatible device that works on their network. You can bring your own Verizon-compatible phone, purchase a certified pre-owned device directly from them, or buy a brand new model from their selection or another retailer.
The next step is selecting one of Verizon’s unlimited plans – Start, Play More, Do More or Get More. Each offers unlimited talk & text, but data allotments, 5G access and other perks differ. Once you settle on a plan, you can then activate service and get assigned a new 10-digit phone number to use with your device.
If you’re switching to Verizon from another carrier, you may be able to bring (aka “port”) your old wireless or landline number with you for a small fee. This allows you to keep the number your contacts already know while getting Verizon service.
Getting a New Number with AT&T
The process of getting new phone number through AT&T is very similar to Verizon. You first need to secure a compatible device like an iPhone or Android phone that works on AT&T’s network bands.
You next choose one of AT&T’s unlimited plans: Unlimited Starter, Extra, Elite or Unlimited 55+. Each offer unlimited nationwide talk & text, but have differences in priority data speeds, 5G access, hotspot data amounts, streaming perks and included cloud storage.
Once you pick a plan tailored to your needs and budget, you simply activate service on your phone to instantly get your new 10-digit AT&T wireless number. You may also be able to transfer an existing number you have with another provider when signing up for service.
Getting a New Number with T-Mobile
T-Mobile also follows the same general new number procedure. First get a phone that’s compatible with their network, like most modern iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel models. Shop T-Mobile’s plans to decide how much high-speed smartphone data you’ll need each month.
Popular unlimited options for individuals include Essentials, Magenta and Magenta MAX. Families and kids have plans options too. Any postpaid plan you choose will come with unlimited nationwide talk & text.
Finish up by activating cell service on your device through T-Mobile. This instantly assigns and activates your new 10-digit number on their network. As an alternative, explore if transferring your old number from a previous provider to your new T-Mobile service is possible in your situation.
Prepaid Carrier Options
Beyond the major postpaid carriers, there are many prepaid wireless companies that also issue you a phone number with an activated account. Here are some top choices for the best prepaid carriers to easily get yourself a new number.
Metro by T-Mobile
T-Mobile’s prepaid brand Metro by T-Mobile offers 4G/5G service without contracts or credit checks. Plans start at just $40 month for 10GB of smartphone data. Unlimited talk & text included. Bring your own phone or purchase one from Metro to get setup with a new number quickly.
Cricket Wireless runs on AT&T’s reliable nationwide 4G & growing 5G networks. No-contract plans start at only $30 a month including unlimited talk & text plus 5GB high-speed data. Smartphones are affordably priced if you need one. Get a new wireless number when activating service.
Google Fi distinguishes itself by tapping into the strengths of T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular’s networks using one SIM card and a compatible phone. Pay just for the data you use at $10 per 1GB. Includes unlimited domestic talk & text plus free international coverage in over 200 destinations. Get your new number when you sign up and activate a SIM card.
Another prepaid carrier running on T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G and 4G LTE networks is Boost Mobile. Monthly no-contract plans with unlimited talk & text plus 35GB or 50GB of high-speed smartphone data start at $50 a month. Bring your own compatible phone or purchase one from Boost to get setup with a new number.
Straight Talk Wireless
One of the largest no-contract MVNOs, Straight Talk Wireless gives you unlimited domestic talk & text plus 25GB of high-speed data access on Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile’s networks depending on the SIM card you activate. Just shop their bring your own phone options or select device offerings to easily secure a new phone number with nationwide service.
Getting an Additional Number Through Google Voice
In addition to your main wireless number provided by Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile or a prepaid provider, Google Voice gives you another way to access a secondary number for calling and texting. It essentially exists independently, able to route over an existing internet or cellular data connection.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included and how to get a new number via Google Voice in 2024:
- Get a free personal Google Voice number that friends/family can use to call & text you
- VoIP-based app powered by your WiFi/cellular data – works independently from your regular wireless number and carrier
- Make and receive calls through data connection using Google Voice app or website
- Transcribes voicemails automatically to text in app/email for quick reference
- Forward calls to your main number or directly access voicemails using Google Voice
- Separate number also useful for business/side hustles without sharing main personal number
To get your new Google Voice number:
- Go to voice.google.com or open Google Voice app
- Sign in with your Google account credentials
- Click “Get a Google Voice number”
- Follow prompts to obtain a free additional number with your area code of choice
Customize call/text preferences, review usage details any time, works internationally. Convenient way to get a second number or hide your main number for privacy.
Getting a Number Through TextNow App
Another option similar to Google Voice for acquiring a free secondary phone number for calling and texting is the TextNow app. Available for Android and iPhone devices, here’s what you get and how it works:
- Free additional phone number with nationwide coverage over WiFi or using cellular plan data
- Make/receive calls through TextNow app to individuals or businesses in US & Canada
- SMS/MMS capabilities to send unlimited texts with other TextNow users or small fee to outside numbers
- Voicemail and call forwarding configuration options included
- Compatible with most smartphones including bring your own device
Follow these steps to get your new phone number with TextNow:
- Download & install TextNow app for your smartphone
- Sign up within app and create new account with email address
- Confirm email address and follow prompts to generate your free TextNow number
- Grant required permissions so calls & texts work using your device’s data connection
- Start calling, texting anyone in US/Canada from your new secondary number
You can purchase affordable prepaid data within TextNow or use your existing cellular data plan so this second number works independently from your regular phone service. Add funds as needed for outside calls/texts.
Getting a Custom Number to Spell Words
Beyond just getting a random new number, both Google Voice and TextNow give you the ability to get a customized phone number that actually spells out words or letters. This can really make your number stand out.
Here’s more info on getting your own custom number through these services:
Google Voice has an extensive list of available custom numbers you can browse through when signing up for new service. You can search for specific words/acronyms and Google Voice will show available numbers that match to claim.
Some examples of the types of custom numbers to choose from include:
- Words like NEW-PHONE
- Acronyms like GR8-DEAL
- Your name – SARAH-55
- Letter combinations – 333-JAZZ
- Repeating numbers – 888-8888
Cool option to essentially pick your own number if you see one you like to easily remember.
The TextNow app also allows you to select a customized number when getting your free additional phone number through their service. When signing up, you can tap the link to “Pick your own number” instead of being assigned a random one.
This brings up TextNow’s inventory of unique available numbers to claim on a first come, first served basis similar to Google Voice. You can filter and search through their list of numbers like:
- Repeating numbers – 333-3333
- Letters – 1-800-CASH-NOW
- Names – EMILY-202-GO
- Words – 909-WIN-BIG
Fun way to get a neat custom number that’s meaningful to you when going through TextNow. Be sure to act fast if you see one you really want before someone else does!
Porting Numbers from Different Carriers
When signing up for wireless service with a new carrier, another option beyond getting a fresh phone number is porting or transferring your existing number that you have active service with from another provider.
Here’s a primer on number porting and switching phone numbers to your new cell provider:
- Porting refers to transferring your current wireless/landline number to a new carrier
- Allows you to maintain the same contacts without notifying everyone you have a new number
- Typical fee of $15-40 to port a number to another carrier
- Must have active working service with old provider to be eligible for port (can’t port expired numbers)
- Porting completes within 1-5 business days once initiated and approved
- Easy way to switch and take your number with you to new carrier
To determine if number porting is possible for your situation when getting new wireless service:
- Inform new carrier you want to bring your number from old provider
- Give them your account info with previous carrier during signup
- Check number port eligibility requirements from old carrier
- New carrier manages transfer process once initiated
So in many cases, you can choose to get all new phone number when switching carriers or simply port your existing number. Convenient flexibility.
Getting a Toll Free 800 Number
In addition to traditional 10-digit phone numbers, you also have the option to acquire toll free 800 numbers for your small business or side hustle online these days. Here’s a quick look at how it works and where to get them:
What is a Toll Free 800 Number?
Toll free 800 numbers always start with 800, 888, 877 or 866. Some key facts:
- Called at no cost to contacts/customers dialing your number (you pay the usage fees)
- Provides nationwide coverage through number lookup routing
- No ties to specific geographic area codes/locations
- 800 number gives professional unified presence for business & marketing
- Many forward calling/routing/voicemail features available
Getting Your 800 Number
Top services for getting affordable 800 numbers include:
- Grasshopper: 800/vanity numbers starting at $12/month with all calling & texting features included
- RingCentral: Toll free numbers with custom greeting from $40/month with minutes bundles
- Phone.com: Forward 800 numbers from $6/month + usage fees
- CallHippo: Local/toll free virtual numbers with customizable IVR from $10/month
Most allow online signups, number porting, unlimited extensions, automated attendants, voicemail menus and more. Lots of flexibility at low costs to establish an 800 footprint.
Using Second Phone Numbers for Verification/Privacy
Once you secure that new phone number from Google Voice, TextNow or a prepaid carrier for instance, a creative way to use it is for one-time passcodes and verifications. Other examples where extra validation phone numbers come in handy:
Online Account Security
Many email services (Gmail, Yahoo Mail etc) and social networks (Facebook, WhatsApp) allow adding backup phone numbers for 2-factor authentication and logging in from new devices. Your alternate number via Google Voice or TextNow can serve as the recovery number when your regular phone is not accessible.
SMS Verification for New Accounts
Signing up for any online service today – gaming profiles, affiliate programs, loan applications among others – often requires confirming your identity through SMS. Temporary use second numbers work perfectly for keeping these verifications separate from your daily personal number.
Classifieds Ads Posting
To maximize privacy when selling items through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or newspaper classifieds, utilizing a secondary number from TextNow or Google Voice lets you communicate anonymously with interested buyers initially. Once discussions get serious, you can provide your main number.
Dating & Social Sites
When creating accounts on dating sites, social networks or chat apps such as Tinder or Bumble, using alternate connected numbers helps protect privacy until you’re comfortable providing your real contact info to connections.
The options are unlimited! Get creative within terms of service and legal limitations.
Beware of Number Scams
When searching for new phone numbers, whether for primary wireless service, a secondary Google Voice number or specialized 800 number for business – it’s crucial to watch out for scams and malicious services looking to exploit consumers.
Here are some warning signs to recognize shady phone number dealers:
🚩 Requires excessive upfront payments for number before any service activated
🚩 Advertises number porting/transfers but isn’t authorized carrier to conduct them
🚩 Uses phony regulatory claims or trademarks to appear as legitimate telecom
🚩 Sends SIM card or device never activated after payment
🚩 No contact information available other than email/web form
Stick with well-known major carriers and MVNOs or verified sites like Google Voice/TextNow for trouble-free number acquisitions. Consult the FCC/FTC if encounter potential scams like above when wanting to get new number.
Getting Support Activating & Managing New Number
As you go through process of securing new phone number with a wireless provider, MVNO, Google Voice or any other telecom service – don’t hesitate to use available support channels if encounter issues getting fully activated or questions managing your number’s settings after the fact.
Here are top options to get help:
- Review online knowledgebases – Most carriers/services have extensive self-help account management guides with step-by-step instructions for common new number queries. Search site or app for your particular issue.
- Reach out on social media – Many wireless companies maintain active Twitter & Facebook profiles with reps standing by to assist. Quick public post will usually get prompt response.
- Use in-app or web chat features – Oftentimes easiest way to get live help is using messaging widgets located within your account dashboard or company app. Starts conversation with agent able to pull up your new number details.
- Call customer service hotlines – For complex activation issues or detailed account management needs, speaking with a rep by phone available in most cases. Have relevant account specifics on hand before calling.
Don’t let new phone number problems fester! Leverage above options at early signs of trouble getting number working properly or using features.
How much does it cost to get a new phone number?
The cost to get a new phone number can vary depending on the type of service you choose. Here are some of the most common options and costs for getting a new phone number:
Major Wireless Carriers:
- Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile – Getting a new number with these carriers is typically free when you sign up for a new service plan. However, monthly service plan fees apply, which can range from $30-100+ per month depending on data amounts and features.
- Metro by T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless – Plans with unlimited talk/text + data start around $30-50 per month. Getting the phone number is usually free with plan activation.
Google Voice – Obtaining a Google Voice number is free. It operates over data or WiFi and works independently of your regular wireless plan.
TextNow – Also free for getting an additional phone number through the TextNow app. Works over WiFi or existing carrier’s data connection.
- Options like Grasshopper and RingCentral let you purchase custom 800 numbers starting from around $12 a month plus usage charges.
Your main cost consideration for getting a new number will be the ongoing service fees from either a standard wireless carrier, budget prepaid provider, or VoIP app. But acquiring the number itself is mostly free.
How to get a second phone number?
Here are a few easy ways to get a second phone number:
- Use Google Voice – Google Voice provides free secondary phone numbers that can make and receive calls over wifi or mobile data. Just sign up for a free account at voice.google.com, choose a number, and configure forwarding to your main number.
- Try TextNow – Similar to Google Voice, TextNow gives you a free phone number to use for calling and texting over data. Download the app, create an account, and you’ll be provided a second number.
- Activate a spare phone – If you have an old mobile phone laying around, consider getting a low cost prepaid SIM card from a provider like Boost Mobile, MetroPCS, or Cricket. This will give you a separate number on the spare device.
- Add a line from your carrier – Your existing wireless carrier likely offers options to add a second line to your account. While not free, it conveniently uses your current plan pricing and bundles both numbers on one bill.
- Buy a mobile hotspot – Mobile hotspots also have an accompanying phone number. This allows you to add a wireless data plan for a tablet or laptop that can double as a secondary contact number.
Google Voice and TextNow provide free and easy specialty numbers, while adding device lines or service plans allow you to completely separate your personal and work contacts. Choose the right approach to suit your needs.
How to get a new phone number for free?
Here are a few methods to get a free phone number:
- Google Voice – Google Voice provides free phone numbers that work over data or WiFi. Just sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one, then visit voice.google.com to choose a free number. Calls and texts work through the Voice app.
- TextNow – Another free option is the TextNow app (available for iOS and Android). Download the app, create an account, and you’ll be assigned a free phone number to use for calling and texting through the app over WiFi or your phone’s data.
- Freedompop – This phone service offers 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data each month at no cost when you sign up with your email. You’ll be given a phone number and SIM card to use with any unlocked GSM phone.
- Apps like Sideline and Hushed – These apps let you create a second phone line with calling, texting, voicemail, and other standard features without charge. Just install the app and register for a free number.
So while completely free options are limited, services like Google Voice and TextNow make it easy to get an additional or secondary number at no cost. Just be aware there may be some limitations compared to paid provider plans.
Acquiring a new phone number in 2024 can be easy and affordable using the variety of options now available.
The major wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile will provide you a new number when signing up for service and getting a new device. You also have excellent prepaid carriers like Metro, Cricket, and Boost Mobile with flexible no-contract plans.
If you just need an additional number, Google Voice and the TextNow app offer free phone numbers that work independently over data and WiFi.
For small businesses, getting a professional 800 toll-free number from providers like Grasshopper starts around $12 a month.
When searching for new numbers, beware of scams by sticking to reputable carriers and services. Leverage their website knowledgebases and live support as needed when running into activation or management issues.
With this wide range of choices for obtaining extra numbers beyond your primary smartphone line, it’s easier than ever in 2024 to expand your communication footprint, bolster online privacy, and enable verification convenience using multiple virtual numbers.
So review the various options that align best to your needs and budget to get yourself a new phone number this year.