Usually, whenever I hear about a new free SMS texting service I tend to be very skeptical. In my experience they either never work, are not available in my country, are limited to a handful of messages or require extensive registration which later involves getting my own mobile bombarded by messages, horoscopes and other junk that I don’t want.
Jaxtr, I was pleasantly surprised to find, falls into none of the above categories and allows you to send an unlimited number of SMS messages to people in 38 countries. The setup process is really easy – just enter a name, user-name, password and e-mail address and you can start sending immediately without any verification required. Jaxtr is mainly designed as a VoIP app but it allows sending texts to mobiles via a small interface on the right of the screen. Even better, you can receive responses on your own mobile phone although this involves verifying your mobile number with the Jaxtr website.
The other good thing about Jaxtr is that it seems to work independently of mobile operators so you don’t have to worry about them intercepting your free messages or putting a stop to it all like has happened in the past to such services. It’s also an interesting alternative to Skype because Jaxtr works with any phone, both mobile and landline. When a member adds their Jaxtr link to their email signature, friends and family can call them from their regular phone from anywhere in the world without paying expensive international toll charges. Family and friends simply click on the member’s Jaxtr link to generate a local number in their own country. By saving this permanent, direct-dial number on their phone, people can call friends and family abroad at the same cost and with the same convenience as calling a friend down the street.
I’m still to meet another person who uses this service despite the developers claiming that over 10 million people in 220 countries use Jaxtr to receive calls from people visiting their social networking pages, to make calls to their friends and family worldwide and to get to know fellow Jaxtr members on café Jaxtr, the world’s largest talk network. Now that they’ve launched free mobile texting however, maybe it will give the site the profile boost it needs.