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I live between Europe and the US, but spend the majority of my time in Europe. I still have several accounts in the US that require a one time use code texted to me every time I sign in (even if I choose "Save this device"). Right now I have a family member's phone number attached to those accounts to receive the one time codes, but it can become quite inconvenient with the time difference. I literally only need a US number to receive these texts, not for phone calls or sending texts. Does anyone know a service that provides this without costing an arm and a leg? I've found a couple of services that would provide me with a US phone number, but won't allow the one time code texts sent to them.

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  • Not posting as an answer as I can’t be sure it actually works for your use case, but the OnOff app allows you to get a US mobile number connected to the app on your phone. It is supposed to allow SMS, though there are special mentions about bank validation messages where the “bank needs to be registered” but “most banks are already registered”. Not cheap though.
    – jcaron
    Jul 17 at 11:30
  • Every two factor authentication system I've seen allows email as an alternative to text. Jul 17 at 15:14
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    I'm American and live in Europe. For my online accounts that need a US phone number, I either use my Google Voice number or a number that I have on Number Barn. The Voice number is nice because it's free, but it doesn't seem as secure for 2FA because I don't technically own that number. If Google decided to cancel Voice, I wouldn't be able to retain it. The Number Barn number is nice because it can be used for anything and I legally own that number, but it costs $2/month. Setting up a new number with them costs $5, or you can port a US number you're still in control of if you have one
    – jdouglas
    Jul 17 at 15:47
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    When I needed the same thing I tried a number of VoIP providers to receive 2fa text messages but had a hard time with banks and other services that were unwilling or unable to send texts to them, so I decided I needed a number from an actual cell phone carrier to make this work well enough to rely on. I don't know how much "an arm and a leg" is but I ended up buying service from Google Fi for $20/month plus taxes. Their numbers are from T-Mobile, texts are free when roaming and it provided phone service when I was in the US as a bonus. It worked well for me.
    – Dennis
    Jul 18 at 22:25
  • Google Fi claimed to work in 135 countries when I had it. Worked fine in each of the fifteen countries I had it in. But customer service SUCKED.
    – WGroleau
    Jul 26 at 7:20
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Some VoIP services (anveo is one I use for this) offer geographic or mobile (cellular) numbers which can receive SMS. Many of these services offer an SMS to email gateway as well, which makes retrieving the one time passwords as convenient as having them sent directly to your phone.

One of the frustrating issues is that the M2M SMS gateways some banks use don’t seem to work with numbers that started life registered with a VoIP provider (messages are never delivered or severely delayed). I’ve had much better luck with porting numbers that were originally registered by a cellular carrier to a VoIP provider. YMMV

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  • +1 to Anveo, works well. Though can you expand on how to port a mobile number to them?
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 26 at 4:16
  • @JonathanReez "In the United States and Canada, mobile number portability is referred to as WNP or WLNP (Wireless LNP)" - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_number_portability - as far as I know (but my memory is foggy) this works between real cellular and voip.
    – Mołot
    Jul 26 at 8:08
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I'm using a US Skype number and I've never had any problems receiving codes. The Skype app is really slow and buggy though and needs a big update.

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