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Old 02-01-2020, 20:33   #1
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Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

This came up in another thread and seems worth its own.


Many global nomads like me have a real problem with bank two factor authorization, PayPal account confirmations, and all kinds of other cases where you need to be able to receive a phone call on a U.S. number or even trickier, an SMS message.



I have bank accounts in Europe as well as U.S. so I am not completely dependent on U.S. two factor authorization but this is clearly a PITA for many of us. Keeping up a U.S. mobile phone subscription just for this purpose is ridiculous, however, and I have refused to do that now for some years, and have just dealt with the authentication problems.

I would very much like to have a permanent U.S. phone number which did NOT cost $35 a month or whatever to keep up, via which I could receive phone calls and especially text messages, which can't be forwarded. If anyone has ideas, I'm interested.
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Old 02-01-2020, 20:43   #2
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

I note that some companies are now offering "SMS-enabled DID numbers". Anyone try one of these?


https://www.didforsale.com/sms-enabled-did-numbers
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Old 02-01-2020, 20:59   #3
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

Iíve hesitated to mention directly as we have not (yet) been a long term customer. We cancelled our Fi account and moved the number to a ďparkĒ plan at NumberBarn. $5 setup fee and $2/month service fee. SMS included in all plans. If you want calls forwarded you have to move up to a $6/month plan.

So far have been quite happy, but not a long track record for us.

Google Voice will also do most of this for free, but I donít like that option for myself.

Also tried using a couple of 2FA apps, but too many businesses restrict which one you can use and it got too painful. I hope thatís where the future is heading, but not yet enough interoperability.
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Old 02-01-2020, 23:29   #4
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

Can you receive calls with the Park plan? How do you get your SMS messages?
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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Iíve hesitated to mention directly as we have not (yet) been a long term customer. We cancelled our Fi account and moved the number to a ďparkĒ plan at NumberBarn. $5 setup fee and $2/month service fee. SMS included in all plans. If you want calls forwarded you have to move up to a $6/month plan.

So far have been quite happy, but not a long track record for us.

Google Voice will also do most of this for free, but I donít like that option for myself.

Also tried using a couple of 2FA apps, but too many businesses restrict which one you can use and it got too painful. I hope thatís where the future is heading, but not yet enough interoperability.
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Old 02-01-2020, 23:55   #5
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

I use Skype for a permanent U.S. number and it I can choose the state, plus it is quite cheap. https://www.skype.com/en/skype-number/
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:09   #6
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

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I use Skype for a permanent U.S. number and it I can choose the state, plus it is quite cheap. https://www.skype.com/en/skype-number/

I do too, but you can't receive SMS's with it
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:19   #7
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

TextNow, via app, both voice (voip) and sms

free but need to use it regularly or they recycle the number, then you get a new one assigned

$2-3 a month subscription to not worry about that

$9-12 a month for an actual SIM, north america.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:19   #8
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

gVoice gone completely now?
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:29   #9
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
TextNow, via app, both voice (voip) and sms

free but need to use it regularly or they recycle the number, then you get a new one assigned

$2-3 a month subscription to not worry about that

$9-12 a month for an actual SIM, north america.

That looks like a hot tip; thanks. Have you actually used it?
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:42   #10
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

Yep, have 37 lines in use, some for over 5 years.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:51   #11
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

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Yep, have 37 lines in use, some for over 5 years.

37 lines! You operating a call center?


So -- you send and receive SMS's without problems? To foreign numbers? Do banks accept the numbers? Can you port an existing number to it? Please share your experience; this looks like a hot tip.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:04   #12
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

I've only used for comms within US/Canada, but they do claim to offer some international outbound support.

https://supportwireless.textnow.com/...nternationally

Voice calling requires pre-paying for credits.

https://supportwireless.textnow.com/...bile_site=true

Inbound is no issue, for your stated use case.

You do need a decent Internet connection, they don't use your phone's cellular infrastructure just data.

Can use from a PC / Mac / tablet with no SIM card at all.

My main number works concurrently on dozens of devices.

They have half-decent support, go to the website look for the live chat.

Note that VoIP in general is a huge and very competitive industry, you can find a way to do absolutely anything you want.

But for OTS easy app based stuff, choices are more limited.

https://www.google.com/search?q=alternatives+TexyNow
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:20   #13
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

Similar situation as a nomad liveaboard. I went for a UK gifgaff PAYG sim & transferred the old UK mobile number to that. Not sure if you could transfer a US number though. But works great, dual sim phone normally with local data sim so nearly all actual communication is over the web, just need the occasional security code text.
Revolut card way to go for money transfer.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:27   #14
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

we use Google Fi, this is one of the main reasons . . .
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:32   #15
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Re: Permanent U.S. Phone Number for Two Factor Authentication

Yes Fi is great, have 6 lines with them.

Integration with gVoice so can use from computers as described above.

But not so cheap if you don't want the actual SIM card cell service, might as well use gVoice on its own for free then.

For both these, avoiding a given number showing up as VoIP may require porting in.

But with Google I think you can never port out again.
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