With “digital strip-searches” in force and privacy scandals fast becoming the norm, you might wondering about how to get a burner phone. Temporary and anonymous, burner phones are a popular answer to our everyday privacy concerns.

If you are looking to get a temporary phone number in the USA, then you absolutely need to know how to get a burner phone number.

Before we take a look at how to get a burner phone, let’s see what burner phones are all about, how they work, and why you should be using them.

What is a burner phone?

If you’re a fan of crime and investigation dramas, burner phones should sound familiar to you. Popularized by shows like HBO’s The Wire and FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, burner phones have actually been protecting caller privacy since the 1990s.

The name “burner phone” is actually derived from spy jargon. When a spy is compromised by the enemy, the individual is “burned”. The same idea applies to burner phones. If things get too hot and your phone is about to be “burned’, you can simply dispose of it and get yourself a new number.

Because burner phones do not require a compulsory registration of identity, they are also a lot harder to trace. Even with triangular phone tracking and IMSI catchers, it’s still difficult to trace burner phones to their users. This is because burner phones can be bought with cash and without a contract, and therefore are really hard to associate with a particular owner.

Burner phone versus prepaid phone

We often think of burner phones as prepaid phones and use both terms interchangeably, but there are some key differences between the two.

Essentially, burner phones can be prepaid phones, but not all prepaid phones are burner phones. Burner phones are typically only used for one purpose and then disposed of. Unlike prepaid phones, burner phones can be paid upfront for in cash, or via a prepaid card bought in cash.

It’s fair to say that both acts as extra cell phones that provide temporary and anonymous phone numbers, but the important thing to note is that burner phones are usually only used ONCE and can be easily disposed of.

How do burner phones work?

The power of temporary and anonymous burner phone numbers lies in how burner phones can be bought with cash and without a contract. Sold by Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) who are not obligated to identify cell phone users, anyone who uses a burner phone can simply discard their burner phone wherever and whenever; by changing devices and purchasing them with only cash, it becomes a lot harder to detect burner phones.

This doesn’t mean that burner phones or having a burner phone number makes you completely anonymous however. Any cell phone can still be tracked via GPS and WiFi, and how the cell phone was purchased also affects how easy or difficult it is to trace it back to an owner.

Why use a burner phone?

There are many reasons why so many today wan to find out how to get a burner phone number, or how to find a burner phone. Having a temporary and anonymous phone number on an extra cell phone can:

Burner phones have a reputation for being temporary, one-use-only cell phones, but there are another reasons why people want to get a burner phone for the long run:

  • As a separate phone number for business or work, to help separate work from personal life and keep you productive.
  • If you’re struggling to make ends meet or have a bad credit history, a burner phone is also a cheaper alternative to stay in contact with friends, family and colleagues.

How do you get a burner phone?

Here are some tips for how to get a burner phone:

Tip 1: You can find burner phones at major retailers, online stores and MVNO outlets

Knowing how to find a burner phone isn’t as important as knowing the right places to get a burner phone.

Lots of places sell burner phones – Walmart has them – but what you want is to get your burner phone that makes it hard to trace the purchase back to you. You’ll want to look around for places that allow upfront cash payments for burner phones and not prepaid contracts.

Tip #2:  Know what types of burner phones are available.

Some come locked to a particular MVNO like Virgin Mobile and Tracfone, others allow you to insert a SIM card into an unlocked device.  This means there are two answers to how to get a burner phone number. It either comes pre-installed and fixed or sold separate from a burner phone and therefore disposable on and by itself.

Tip #3: Make sure there’s nothing that can connect you to your burner phone.

This ties back to our first tip. How you get the burner phone matters just as much as how you use it.

When looking to get a burner phone as an extra cell phone, make sure you do not give the seller your credit card or bank account information. When buying your burner phone, have the store clerk activate the phone for you – do not give them any personally sensitive information.

Often, you’ll find you won’t need to undergo a credit check or reveal any vital personal information. Buying and activating a burner phone should be entirely anonymous.

BONUS Tip: Instead of a burner phone, why not get a burner phone app like Phoner instead?

Today’s burner phones come in two forms: physical and virtual. While you get to replay scenes from your favourite crime dramas with a physical burner phone, virtual burner phone apps have a lot more features and save you a lot of hassle too.

Burner phone apps are better than physical burner phones because you don’t need to carry two separate phones to have multiple phone numbers.

Phoner's burner phone numbers are a great alternative to burner phones
Get unlimited burner phone numbers with Phoner

With a burner phone app like Phoner, you have access to unlimited temporary and anonymous phone numbers you can use use immediately without having to get a new phone or SIM card.

And think about the cost. Your standard physical burner phone will set you back at least 20 dollars, often for a fixed phone number. Phoner? Just slightly over 10 dollars for a customizable number.

You’ll also have zero worries about accidentally revealing personally sensitive information when buying burner phone numbers on Phoner. Simply buy credits (we don’t save your information), choose a number you like and start using temporary and anonymous burner phone numbers.

Phoner is the answer to how to get a burner phone

So there you have it. Burner phone apps like Phoner give you more numbers, more features at a cheaper cost. They are the perfect solution for how to get a burner phone. Want to get a burner phone without having a get an extra cell-phone? Try Phoner today and start using our range of unlimited temporary and anonymous burner phone numbers!