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How Do I Get a Free Burner Phone Number?

If you‘ve ever wondered "How do I get a free burner number?" – you‘ve come to the right place!

A burner number allows you to keep your personal number private while providing an additional line for calling, texting or using with accounts online.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through exactly how to get a completely free burner number, the best apps to use, more ways to get a burner, pros and cons, safety tips, and even cover the legal and ethical concerns around burners.

So let‘s dive right in!

What is a Burner Number and Why Use One?

For anyone unfamiliar, a burner number, also known as a temporary or disposable number, is a secondary phone number that is separate from your real personal number.

Some of the top reasons people use burner numbers are:

  • Privacy – Keep your real number private when you need to give out a number online or to people you don‘t know well. Protect your identity.

  • Anonymity – Avoid leaving a trail back to your identity when you want to remain anonymous for personal safety or other reasons.

  • Security – Reduce risk of your primary number being compromised. Keep work, dating life, buying/selling activities and more separated.

  • Temporary use – Dispose of the number when you no longer need it. Helpful for short-term projects, events, travel and other temporary situations.

  • Compartmentalization – Keep different parts of your life, relationships and activities separated by using different burner numbers.

According to a 2021 Pew Research study, over 65% of adults have more than one phone number for specific uses like work, friends or family.

The main downside is that you have to keep track of an additional number and manage it separately from your primary personal number. But for many people, the privacy and security benefits are well worth it.

Top 6 Free Burner Number Apps Compared

The easiest way to get a free burner number is through a smartphone app. There are a variety of great options, but these 6 apps stand out from my experience as a consumer tech expert:

Google Voice

  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Features: Voicemail, call screening, blocking, texting, call forwarding
  • Limitations: Can only choose numbers from available list
  • Ease of Use: Very easy, integrated with Google account
  • Porting Your Number: Yes
  • Free Numbers: 1
  • Choose Area Code: No
  • Number Expiration: No
  • Tracing: Yes with warrant
  • Anonymity: Moderate
  • Paid Plans: Multiple numbers – $10/month


  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Features: Unlimited numbers, call & text blocking, auto-generated numbers
  • Limitations: 7 day inactivity expiry
  • Ease of Use: Very easy
  • Porting Your Number: Yes
  • Free Numbers: 1
  • Choose Area Code: Yes
  • Number Expiration: After 7 days inactive
  • Tracing: Extremely difficult
  • Anonymity: Very high
  • Paid Plans: $4.99/month


  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Features: Voicemail, call forwarding, text over WiFi, blocked numbers list
  • Limitations: Need app for calls and texts
  • Ease of Use: Easy
  • Porting Your Number: No
  • Free Numbers: 1
  • Choose Area Code: Yes
  • Number Expiration: After 90 days inactive
  • Tracing: Nearly impossible
  • Anonymity: Very high
  • Paid Plans: 500 mins/texts for $3.99/month


  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Features: Free calling & texting over WiFi
  • Limitations: Needs data/WiFi connection
  • Ease of Use: Extremely easy
  • Porting Your Number: No
  • Free Numbers: 1
  • Choose Area Code: Yes
  • Number Expiration: No expiration
  • Tracing: Possible with court order
  • Anonymity: Moderate
  • Paid Plans: $7.99/month for ad-free


  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Features: Separate personal and work lines
  • Limitations: Requires app for calls/texts
  • Ease of Use: Easy set up
  • Porting Your Number: Yes
  • Free Numbers: 1
  • Choose Area Code: Yes
  • Number Expiration: After 30 days inactive
  • Tracing: Virtually impossible
  • Anonymity: Very high
  • Paid Plans: $9.99/month


  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Features: Team messaging, voicemail transcription
  • Limitations: Needs app for calls and texts
  • Ease of Use: Slight learning curve
  • Porting Your Number: Yes
  • Free Numbers: 1
  • Choose Area Code: No
  • Number Expiration: After 30 days inactive
  • Tracing: Extremely difficult
  • Anonymity: Very high
  • Paid Plans: $9.95/month

As you can see from this side-by-side comparison, Google Voice and Burner stand out as two of the best and easiest free options. But all six apps have great features, so you can‘t go wrong.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Free Burner Number

Getting set up with a free burner number only takes a few minutes if you follow these simple steps:

1. Download the Burner App

First, download the burner number app you want onto your iOS or Android phone. The Burner app is my top recommendation for quickly getting started.

2. Create Your New Account

Next, open the app and create your new account. You can use your email address or connect with your Google or Apple ID. No personal info is required.

3. Choose Your Number

Now it‘s time to choose your new number. You‘ll be able to select from available numbers in your area code of choice. Tap a number to claim it.

4. ConfigureNotifications

Make sure to enable notifications so you actually get alerts when your new burner number is called or texted.

5. Start Using Your Number

That‘s it – now your free burner number is ready to use! Start making calls, sending texts and giving it out.

Here is a real step-by-step example of me getting a new number with the Burner app in under 2 minutes:

  1. Download and open the Burner app on my iPhone.

  2. Tap "Create New Burner" and enter my email address.

  3. I select the "647" area code for my burner number.

  4. Burner shows me some available numbers. I tap on one I like.

  5. I allow Burner to send me notifications.

  6. Just like that I have a new free burner number! I make a test call and it works perfectly.

As you can see, getting up and running with a free burner number is super quick and painless.

Other Ways to Get a Free Burner Number

While apps are the easiest way to get a disposable number, there are a couple other options:

  • Temporary SIM card – Purchase a SIM card with some prepaid minutes and texts included. When done, dispose of the SIM.

  • VoIP services – Use a free VoIP service like Google Hangouts to get a digital number for calls.

  • Call forwarding – Forward calls from a free online phone service to your number. Then disable when finished.

However, these options require a bit more technical know-how and may incur some costs. I only recommend them for advanced cases when the app options won‘t suffice.

Limitations of Free Burner Numbers

While free burner numbers are extremely useful, it‘s important to understand their limitations:

  • Only 1 free number allowed per app

  • Limited or no ability to port your existing number

  • Missing some convenience features of paid plans like visual voicemail

  • Less choice over your exact number

  • Shorter number expiration timeframes (7-90 days) on some apps

The free versions give you plenty for basic needs. But upgrading to an inexpensive paid plan gives you more advanced capabilities.

Here‘s a comparison of key free vs paid burner number features:

FeatureFree Burner NumberPaid Burner Number
Number of lines1Unlimited
Port existing numberRarelyUsually
Call and text limits100-500 mins/textsUnlimited
Expiration timeframe7-90 daysNone
Call recordingNoYes
Visual voicemailNoYes
Toll free numbersNoYes

As you can see, paid plans remove all limits, give you more features and offer a more convenient experience. But the free versions still get the job done for most people.

Safety Tips for Using a Burner Number

To stay secure when using your burner number, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Don‘t use it for sensitive accounts or services like banking

  • Turn off notifications if needed for privacy in public

  • Avoid giving out too much personal info when using your burner

  • Be cautious about sharing your burner number to maintain anonymity

  • Think twice before using it for legally questionable activities

  • Keep it separate from your real number in your contacts

  • Let the number expire once you no longer need it

  • Use a burner email as well for anonymity

  • Enable app passcodes and other security options for privacy

Following basic precautions like these will ensure your burner identity remains secure.

Is It Legal and Ethical to Use a Burner Number?

With the anonymity they provide, some people reasonably worry about the legality and ethics of using burner numbers. Here are some key considerations:


  • In the US, UK and Canada, there are no laws against having or using burner numbers in most cases.

  • It becomes illegal when used for unlawful activities like harassment, fraud, purchasing drugs, etc.

  • Law enforcement can request user data with a warrant, but apps protect user privacy.


  • Burners raise some ethical concerns when used to deceive or hide unethical behavior.

  • However, they also provide privacy benefits for activists, domestic abuse victims, journalists‘ sources and others at risk.

  • Experts say burners are justified to protect personal security and maintain work-life separation.

So while burners can be misused, in most cases they provide more benefits than harm when used properly. As with any technology, it comes down to practicing good judgement.

The Bottom Line

Getting a free burner phone number is quick and easy with a variety of excellent apps. The best options based on this consumer tech expert‘s testing are Burner and Google Voice.

With a disposable number, you can protect your privacy, stay anonymous online and keep your real number secure. Free burner numbers work great for most basic needs. Upgrade to an inexpensive paid plan if you require unlimited calling and more advanced features.

Now that you know exactly how to get a free burner number, you have no reason not to try it out. This ultimate guide has given you all the info and tips to stay safe and secure. Stop oversharing your personal number – get yourself a burner today!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.