Misplace or break your phone? No cell signal? Have no fear: You can still text away with a computer via Wi-Fi.
Texting from a laptop has its perks — it's free of charge, typing is easier and faster, and best of all, you can look busy when you're not.
Here are five different ways you can text from your laptop.
1. Text through email.
If you know your friend's phone number and cellphone provider, you can easily deliver a text through email. Combine your recipient's 10 digit phone number with one of these domains:
- Alltel: @message.alltel.com (or @mms.alltelwireless.com for picture messages)
- AT&T: @text.att.net
- Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com
- T-Mobile: @tmomail.net
- Verizon: @vtext.com (or @vzwpix.com for photos and video)
For example, if the phone number is (123) 456-7890 and the owner's wireless carrier is AT&T, you would send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When he or she replies to your text, the message will go straight to your email's inbox. Keep in mind a longer email will be broken up into multiple text messages, and standard text message rates apply to recipients because the messages are sent as regular texts.
2. Text through your wireless carrier's website.
Depending on what your wireless service provider is, you may be able to text other subscribers from your own carrier's website.
If you have Verizon, you can sign into your My Verizon Account, where you can send and receive texts, photos and videos. Verizon users can also download the desktop application for their computers through My Verizon.
You can do the same through a My AT&T account.
Take a look at what texting features your carrier offers for your desktop.
3. Text through Apple's iMessage.
iMessage isn't just for iPhones.
The Messages app, a replacement for iChat, can be used to send iMessages from a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air running OS X Mountain Lion. Simply open up the Messages app, type in your recipient's phone number (or Apple ID), write your message and send it off.
Here's the catch: your messages will only send if your recipient has an iPhone with iMessage enabled.
Those who have iPhones will notice that their text message conversations are synced between the two systems.
4. Text through a free SMS website.
If you search the web, you'll find a ton of free unlimited SMS websites that will allow you to text internationally. Some free texting messaging sites are Send SMS Now, A Free SMS and Txt2day.
But using free websites like these has its detriments. In some cases, depending on the website, you are unable to receive responses directly on the website, or will have to provide an email address to receive responses. Some sites may even require you to sign up and register to see responses.
Keep in mind that you may be bombarded with advertisements, which allow these services to run for free.
5. Text through Google Voice.
Unlike the ways listed above, you can send and receive text messages with Google Voice without knowing the recipient's carrier. This software gives you the option to choose a brand new number, free of charge, or use your existing mobile number.
However, Google Voice only allows you to send and receive text messages to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada.
Besides texting, Google Voice has other features, such as calling, voicemail, call blocking and transcribing your voicemail messages to text.