How To Use Signal Without a Phone Number

How To Use Signal Without a Phone Number
Table Of Contents

Signal is a highly recognized and widely used messaging app known for its strong emphasis on security and privacy. This app offers end-to-end encryption for all types of communication, whether it’s text messages, voice calls, video calls, or file transfers. 

However, to use Signal, you’ll need to register with a phone number. This requirement can be concerning for those who value their privacy or those who wish to keep their primary phone number separate from their online activities. 

But what if there was a way to use Signal without giving out your personal phone number? We’ll guide you through how to use Signal without a phone number so that you can protect your privacy while you communicate online.

Why Use Signal Without a Phone Number?

When it comes to preserving privacy in this digital age, every detail matters. Phone numbers, especially, can be a significant privacy concern. They're tied to all kinds of personal information, like your name, location, and potentially even your home address. In the wrong hands, this information can be used for identity theft or harassment.

Because of this, many people look to use encrypted messaging apps like Signal without tying them to their phone numbers. This allows you to take full advantage of Signal's robust privacy features while also ensuring your phone number — and, by extension, your personal information — remains private. 

What Is Signal's Normal Registration Process?

Signal's default registration process requires a phone number, which is your unique identifier on the platform. When you download and install the Signal app on your device, the first step is to enter your phone number. 

Signal then sends a verification code to that number through a text message or a voice call. Once you enter this code in the app, your registration is complete, and you can start using Signal to send encrypted messages, make secure calls, and share files.

However, this means that your phone number, which is typically linked to your real-world identity, becomes a part of your Signal account. This means that anyone who knows your phone number can potentially find you on Signal, which can pose some privacy concerns.

Plus, in certain regions and under specific circumstances, obtaining a phone number might be challenging. For instance, in countries with strict surveillance laws, people might be hesitant to link their personal phone numbers with a privacy-focused app like Signal.

How To Use Signal Without a Phone Number

VoIP Services

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services offer one solution to using Signal without a phone number. These services allow you to have a secondary phone number that is not tied to your personal information. Examples of such services include Google Voice, Skype, and many others.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use a VoIP service to register for Signal:

  1. Sign up for a VoIP service. This process will vary depending on the service you choose, but it typically involves creating an account and choosing a phone number.
  2. Download and install the Signal app on your device.
  3. Enter the VoIP number when asked for a phone number during the Signal registration process.
  4. The VoIP service will receive a verification code from Signal. Check your VoIP account for the verification code.
  5. Enter the verification code in the Signal app to complete the registration.

This method allows you to maintain your privacy and anonymity while using Signal, and it's a relatively straightforward process. However, there are a few potential downsides. 

Not all VoIP numbers will work with Signal's verification process. Plus, depending on the VoIP service's privacy policies, your VoIP number may still be tied to some personal information. It’s important to do some research and choose a VoIP service that best fits your privacy needs.

Get a Burner Number

For those who prefer not to use VoIP services, another option is to use secondary phone numbers provided by Burner. 

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use Burner for Signal registration:

  1. Download and install Burner on your device.
  2. Sign up for Burner and choose a phone number. Keep in mind that the availability of numbers can vary based on location and area codes.
  3. Once you have your Burner number, download and install the Signal app (if you haven't already).
  4. During the Signal registration process, enter your Burner number when asked for a phone number.
  5. A verification code will be sent to your Burner number. You can access this code through the Burner app.
  6. Enter the verification code in the Signal app to complete the registration.

While this method has many advantages, one of the biggest ones is that Burner numbers are temporary and can be disposed of after you’re done using them, adding an extra layer of privacy. This is especially useful for those who plan to use Signal for a short period or for a specific purpose and then delete their account.

Landline Numbers

Landline numbers are another option for registering on Signal without using your personal mobile number. Yes, you read that right. While landlines might seem like a relic of the past, they can effectively keep your private cell number safe while you navigate the internet. Signal can send verification codes via voice calls, making it possible to use a landline number to set up your account. 

Here's how it works:

  1. Download and install the Signal app on your device.
  2. During the registration process, enter your landline number when asked for a phone number.
  3. You'll be prompted to select how you want to receive your verification code. Choose the “Call Me Instead” option.
  4. Signal will call your landline number with a recorded message that provides the verification code.
  5. Listen carefully and write down the verification code.
  6. Enter the verification code in the Signal app to complete the registration.

While it’s relatively straightforward, using a landline to register for Signal will only protect your privacy in certain scenarios. For instance, if you have a landline number that isn't tied to your personal information or if you want to use Signal on a device that doesn't have a SIM card, this method can be very useful.

However, it also has a few disadvantages. For instance, you need to be physically present at the landline to receive the verification call. Plus, landline numbers, just like mobile numbers, can be linked to your real-world identity, so this method may not work if complete anonymity is your goal.

How Can You Ensure Privacy and Security on Signal?

While using Signal without a personal phone number can protect your privacy, there are a few extra steps you can take to further secure your Signal account. Firstly, always ensure that your app is updated to the latest version. Updates often include security patches that protect against known concerns.

Secondly, you might want to enable the registration lock feature in Signal. This feature requires you to enter your Signal PIN whenever you register your phone number with Signal. It prevents anyone from taking over your Signal account, even if they have access to your phone number and receive the verification code.

You can also take advantage of the disappearing messages feature for sensitive conversations. This feature automatically deletes messages after a set period, making sure that your chat history is not permanently stored on either your device or your contact's device.

Lastly, be cautious of who you communicate with on Signal. Even though the platform offers end-to-end encryption, the security of your communication also depends on the other person’s commitment to security.

The Bottom Line

In a world where digital privacy is increasingly important, being able to use Signal without a personal phone number can help you keep your data secure. Whether you decide to use a VoIP service, a secondary phone number from Burner, or a landline number, each option offers its unique benefits and drawbacks. 

Remember, the aim is to boost your privacy while enjoying the many security features that Signal provides. By following the methods outlined in this article, you can strike a balance between convenience, privacy, and security in your digital communications.


What Is Digital Privacy — and How Can It Be Protected? | IDX


About | Google Voice

Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information | Pew Research Center

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