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What is a burner phone, and when should you use it?

A burner phone is a prepaid mobile phone that is not associated with your identity. A common misconception is that burner phones are mainly for sketchy people involved in criminal activities. However, buying a burner phone can relate to many issues in the modern age. Learn more about how burner phones can assist you today.

What is a burner phone, and when should you use it?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What is a burner phone?

A burner phone is a disposable prepaid phone you can likely purchase at convenience or department stores. It follows the pay-as-you-go principle, and you do not enter any contact with mobile carriers.

  • If you use anonymous payments instead of credit cards to buy burner phones, your purchases won’t be associated with your identity.
  • Burner phones help avoid many monitoring and tracing strategies while you use them to go online or text.
  • It is unlikely that anyone will trace you via the burner phone’s GPS.

Burner phones also come with a prepaid SIM card, meaning you can use it immediately.

There might be a mandatory SIM registration, but you should not need to enter a legal commitment to providers. When you exceed the initial SIM credit, you can toss it or load more credit.

How do burner phones work?

You can start using your burner phone as soon as you buy it. The box will likely contain instructions on phone setup. Furthermore, most phones come with a prepaid SIM card. As long as you have credit in the SIM, you can use the phone.

Generally, burner phones are like any other feature phone you can use for calls and text messaging. Users can choose a classic flip phone or a more modern burner phone with many smart features.

So, burner phone prices can range from $20 to a few hundred dollars, depending on your needs.

When you might want to use a burner phone

Users might associate burner phones with illegal activities, law enforcement, or international spies. However, there are more mundane reasons to get a burner phone.

More anonymous communications

A burner phone can grant you more anonymous and private communications.

Usually, people own their phone numbers for a very long period of time. It is likely that many of their accounts get linked to that number. Having a burner phone lets you link non-essential services to its number.

Also, you do not need to enter into contracts with mobile carriers that might monitor your activities.

When contacting suspicious individuals

A burner phone can be a lifesaver when you purchase something from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You won’t need to reveal your real number to people you meet online. The same might apply to people you meet through online dating platforms.

Fewer spam calls to your real number

A burner phone reduces the chances of getting targeted with Spam Risk calls or other smishing attempts. It works if you reveal your burner SIM phone number instead of your primary number. Then, if your burner number gets targeted by scammers repeatedly, you can dispose of it.

Going off the grid

Current smartphones open endless venues for entertainment and communication. However, it also has negative effects, like doomscrolling, misinformation, or phone addiction. A burner phone can be the cell phone you use strictly for calling and texting. Furthermore, instead of sticking to a postpaid plan, you can only pay for how much you use it.

Affordable cell phone

Burner phones can be highly budget-friendly. You can recharge it whenever you want. Furthermore, you won’t need to go into a contract with mobile carriers. Depending on various factors, such providers can overcharge or offer unfavorable conditions.

Option for children

Parents might consider getting their children cell phones strictly for emergency phone calls. Burner phones are affordable and safe options for them. Since they can be feature phones, you won’t risk children increasing their screen time.

Burner apps grant secret phone numbers

Instead of getting a burner phone, you can consider getting burner numbers.

  • Burner apps let you create disposable phone numbers on your current smartphone.
  • Burner apps grant you a phone number you can provide to people and companies.
  • When someone calls your burner number, the app redirects the call to your primary number. As a result, your real number remains hidden.
  • Such apps forward calls while retaining your information secret.

You can get the benefits of a burner phone without getting another gadget. The key factor is picking a reliable burner app provider. You should read privacy policies about the data related to your calls. Call metadata can still reveal a lot about your contacts and communications. But if the app suits your requirements, it can be a long or short-term alternative to burner phones.