Text Messaging Using PC
September 28, 2005 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Does anybody know how to send text messages internationally (USA to UK) for free using a PC?

I was thinking something similar to Yahoo Mobile, but which would allow you to put in international numbers. I guess worst case would be to go specific cell phone provider's website in UK, but that's assuming of course you know the provider.
posted by Mave_80 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Well, there's Yahoo UK Mobile ...
posted by scruss at 6:49 AM on September 28, 2005

Response by poster: Bollocks! Didn't notice that... However, looking at it, is it actually free? Looks like they charge...
posted by Mave_80 at 6:51 AM on September 28, 2005

You can text message from AOL Instant Messenger and the necessity of a +1 at the beginning would make it seem like it could do international as well...I haven't used it internationaly to be able to confirm tho, so YMMV.
posted by softlord at 7:10 AM on September 28, 2005

Actually, the +1 may simply be to distinguish phone numbers from ICQ numbers, since AIM users have been able to add ICQ users' numbers to their buddy lists for quite some time now.

Couldn't hurt to try it, though.
posted by zztzed at 7:12 AM on September 28, 2005

I've used this before. It works, sometimes.
posted by grouse at 7:18 AM on September 28, 2005

Teleflip, there is also a Firefox extension.
posted by prostyle at 7:22 AM on September 28, 2005

Err... scratch that, TF doesn't have international support on the receiving end.
posted by prostyle at 7:26 AM on September 28, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far. Unfortunately none of them seem to be it yet.

AIM: am trying to do this from work where we're not allowed to install IM programs (blocked by firewall), so can't test AIM.... Arghh!

Tried Grouse's suggestion but it seems like you have to be based in the UK for it to work! (Arghh! again)

Finally, looked at Teleflip, but according to the FAQ it only works for North America (need I say Arghh! once more?)

Any other suggestions?
posted by Mave_80 at 7:29 AM on September 28, 2005

Google for free sms and start trying things. The thing I suggested was second on the list.
posted by grouse at 7:49 AM on September 28, 2005

SMS is a big-money deal in the UK. Free texts are rare as hen's teeth. So if you do find one, post it here!
posted by bonaldi at 7:56 AM on September 28, 2005

bonaldi is right - there is no reliable free sms provider in the uk.
VGS Mail is good, and cheap, but is possibly/probably closing down in the not-too-distant future.
posted by OldMansHands at 8:16 AM on September 28, 2005

Here in the US, if you send mail to the phone number and provider's domain (something like 14155551212@mycingular.net) the message will be delivered via SMS. Surely the UK cell providers -- vaunted as being so far advanced beyond the US in all things SMS -- have functioning SMTP gateways? This has worked for the better part of a decade in the US.
posted by majick at 8:28 AM on September 28, 2005

As an alternative, you could get a cellular data card (a gprs card from Cingular or T-Mobile should do the trick) and install your own SMS gateway. (http://www.nowsms.com/ for example). This would let you send SMS messages and bill them to your data plan. 60 day free trial on the gateway.
posted by daver at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2005

I tried this for a while, but I got text spam so I cancelled it. Nothing for free, I guess....
posted by forallmankind at 9:54 AM on September 28, 2005

You can test out AIM at work using Meebo.
posted by modofo at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2005

sms is what i use. The downside is that you only get a certain # of free messages per day.
posted by ramix at 3:26 PM on September 28, 2005

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