No, You can't register or use a Signal account without a phone number, and also you don't have to use the same phone number where you are registering the Signal account. Unlike WhatsApp, the Signal account won't check your phone for the same number, you can give your secondary phone number or a dummy number while registering a Signal account, see that OTP, and type in to register the account. But, keep the number safe if you want the chat conversation in the future.
Of late the need for privacy has been concerning the tech aficionados to the extent that popular messaging app, WhatsApp, ensured its safety protocol via dedicated status update. Meanwhile, many users switched to the Signal app trusting its widely campaigned encryption feature.
However, the need to submit the phone numbers is still haunting the tech dependents around the globe. I'm totally cool switching to Signal. But it would be great if it doesn't reveal my identity i.e. Phone number. Today, the craving to remain anonymous in the digital market is real and significant.
If you have decided to switch your messaging services to Signal but are figuring out a way to hide your phone number, you will make your decision at the end of this article and find how to use the Signal Messenger app without a phone number.
Why Signal needs a phone number?
The Signal messaging services need phone numbers only to register a particular user to its platform. For instance, a service provider should know the originality of its users. However, unlike Whatsapp, Signal's need for requiring a personal number is only for identification.
Generally, it is believed that the Signal account is directly linked to a phone number. But it's not. The phone numbers obtained from the users will be used to create a private key. Furthermore, the private key is processed to generate an arbitrary number for setting up a cryptographic identity.
Now, to ensure only authentic users Signal would require a phone number for the aforementioned process. Otherwise, there are multiple ways for hackers to infiltrate the application and orchestrate malicious intentions.
Is it possible to Register a Signal Account without a Phone number?
You definitely need a phone number to access the Signal app but it doesn't have to be the one associated with your personal contacts. As we have discussed, the application only needs to authenticate the user.
Therefore, you can use any number for the registration process. It's just like a baton or a stick carried in a relay race. Until the stick doesn't get lost, the race is on. The person who carries the stick should successfully pass it to his or her partner to finish the race.
Assume the stick as the signal app and the person carrying it as the phone number. The identity of the person keeps changing at regular intervals but the stick stays the same. Similarly, the signal application can be accessed from a dummy phone number or a pseudo number. You have multiple registration options to access the Signal app without using your phone number.
Ways to use Signal App without your Phone Number
Below are the really good ways you can try and start using Signal without worrying about revealing your phone number to anyone.
1. You don't have to use your personal phone number
Yes, if using your own number and revealing it to others is your primary concern, then you don't have to do it. Signal App doesn't want the sim card with the registered number on your phone to work all the time. What you can do is, you can register the signal with a secondary or a dummy phone number, get the OTP for registration and keep it aside and safe (You need the number again, in case of re-linking and transferring.
2. Google Voice VoIP number
Yet another option to use the signal app without revealing your original phone number is via Google Voice VoIP number. However, the feature is commonly available for only US-based IP addresses. If you are not from the USA you can move to method 3 of using the Signal app without a phone number.
- Go to voice.google.com
- Search your city or area code
- Choose a city to see the list of available phone numbers
- Now to confirm the chosen phone number, you have to click verify.
- Once you click verify Google will as you to type in your phone number to receive an OTP, this is just for verification and this number won't be used anywhere else. Once you give your number and click send code, Google will send you 6 digit code which you have to type again for verification.
- Upon verifying your identity you can use the number you have selected.
3. The free throw-away SMS account
You can use free throwaway SMS inbox providers to get an OTP and register your Signal account without using your own Phone number.
- Go to receive-smss.com
- Choose a country and Phone number
- Use that on your Signal account for registration
- Check the website for OTP. If you couldn't see, do a refresh.
Upon accessing such providers, you can receive text messages for account validation required by applications such as Signal. Specifically, the SMS service providers create pseudonymous Signal private Messenger account number. Once created, the SMS messages will not be used for any other purpose.
4. Pseudonymous Google account
If the above two options don't work, you can always lookout for a pseudonymous Google Account, through which you can start using Signal messenger without a phone number.
Probably, most of you might have had the habit of creating a google account without providing your phone number for many purposes. You can create such a pseudo account to complete your Signal registration process.
Signal Registration Lock PIN
If you have followed until this process, you will be one of the many registered Signal users. Now, you need to create a Signal registration Lock PIN.
The PIN is an additional layer of security offered by Signal to protect your privacy. By creating a registration Lock PIN, you can rest assured that nobody shall use the same number as you to access the Signal app.
Moreover, Signal has an in-built Secure Value Recovery feature to keep your social graph invisible to signal servers. This convenience can be rarely availed, as many apps store such data in plaintext on their servers.
To create registration Lock PIN, visit Privacy and click on Registration Lock PIN in the Signal app. If you are worried about remembering your PIN (provided if you have too many secret PINs for other applications), check out secrets management apps such as KeePass.
Signal PIN Management
You need to be aware of the following important points if you have created a Signal Registration Lock PIN.
- The PIN cannot be used to create chat backup or retrieve chat history. Therefore, your chat history cannot be recovered, using the PIN, if it is lost
- The Signal servers will not have the data of your PIN which makes it impossible to reset or recover it for you.
- In case, if you forget your PIN while having your registration lock enabled, your account may be locked for up to 7 days
- You must send a Signal message at least once in a week to protect your registration Lock PIN and remain invisible to the hackers.
Now you are ready to use the Signal app without the risk of providing your personal number. However, the messages sent to your number will be delivered and notifications meant for your dedicated Signal number will be visible at the top of your Signal app.