A “burner phone” is a cheap mobile phone that users don’t intend to use for a long time. In popular cinema, culture gangsters use such devices to avoid detection. But regular users might put it to good use as well to protect their privacy.

1. What is a “burner phone”?

A prepaid SIM card people can insert into any mobile phone for a short period to protect their identity in this way.

Usually, people buy such devices with cash to avoid entering any personal data. “Burner” became a buzzword after 2002 when HBO presented the TV series called “The Wire”. These phones helped criminals to get away from cops. As soon as the number was seen as suspicious or compromised, they just were thrown away so as not to be caught red-handed.

Burner phones allow you to protect your identity. Suppose you have an opportunity to purchase a phone and a SIM card without giving away your credentials and linking the process of purchase to your data. In that case, there’s no risk of being identified.

There can be various reasons to say private and not sharing personal details with others, be it mobile carrier, Facebook, or Twitter. Burners allow you to use secure messengers such as Discord, Signal, or Telegram without exposing your phone number.

You could avoid sharing your number with advertising agencies that might spam you by showing targeted ads and then retargeting you with an additional portion of advertisements of the products you might have browsed by chance on some website. Advertising systems often send their users follow-up messages on SMS.

Most of the burner phones are low-end devices Limited to only text and calls. You won’t have to charge these devices regularly like your personal iPhone or Android device since burners do not consume such an amount of battery charge.

2. The shortcomings of these phones

Such devices are also known as “feature phones” or “dumbphones.” You can still use them today, but there’s no point in doing so when you’ve got a slim, portable SIM card that you can insert into a phone for the same purpose to avoid detection. So, “burners” are clumsy and outdated.

If you consider purchasing a burner phone to protect your privacy, remember that service providers don’t guarantee your privacy intact.

When you buy a burner from a store, your Cellular mobile carrier might find out where you are and when you purchased your phone. If you buy it with cash, a credit card company will have information about your purchase with payment details. And wherever you use it, your mobile carrier will know where you are.

So, there’s a couple of ways to trace your location.

3. Online SIM is the best alternative to “burner phones.”

This is the way to protect your privacy. But you don’t even have to buy another SIM card and service plan that might be pretty expensive. With online SMS services, you can receive text messages in your account on the website of such a service.

The OnlineSIM website offers a free disposable number for registration on any website, such as social media, email service, marketing tools, or other online services.

OnlineSIM allows its customers to see SMS messages in their user interface, and your number is displayed in your account along with text messages you receive.

OnlineSIM guarantees a personal verification of your accounts. If you’d like to register another Facebook profile, first register on OnlineSIM, and you won’t need to buy a second SIM card to do it. In your account on OnlineSIM, select a country and then a social media you need.

After that, copy the number you received to your registration page on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media website you’d like. Then, you’ll see a confirmation code in your account on OnlineSIM. Copy it to complete registration.

Virtual phone numbers allow users to sign up on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) or email services (Gmail, Yahoo) or any other services like Uber, Gett, Microsoft, or Tinder.

So, buy a virtual SMS number instead of spending money on an expensive service plan when purchasing a genuine SIM. The OnlineSIM website uses its hardware and software with SIM cards that generate phone numbers of mobile carriers from different countries.

When you get a text message on the phone number you bought, the SIM card receives it, and after that, you can see it in your account on the website, where you can copy it.

You can test the service using free temporary numbers for one-time use. These are the public numbers, so some of them have already been used for registrations. But unlike some other providers, OnlineSIM updates its free number list on an everyday basis.