How to Tell If a Number Is a Landline or Cell Phone
By Michelle Carvo
Updated September 18, 2017
Even without paying for Caller ID from your wireless carrier, you can find out whether a landline or cell phone number has called you by using an online tool, such as a phone number validator or reverse number search.
Phone Number Validator
The easiest way to tell if a phone number is a landline or mobile number is to use a phone number validator tool. There are a variety of phone number validator tools available online including both free and paid options. Some validator tools can be used for free to check the phone number type but charge for additional information such as the name of the person who owns the phone number. TextMagic, Phone Validator and Searchbug are three phone number validator options available.
Reverse Phone Number Search
Another option for checking the type of phone number is to use a reverse phone number search website. Reverse phone number search websites show both the phone number type and other information that phone number validators don’t, such as the phone carrier, owner’s address and other addresses previously associated with that number. As with phone number validators, these websites reveal basic information for free while charging for additional information. Websites like Spokeo, Whitepages and BeenVerified show basic information like the phone number type for free, so these are a good option for checking whether the call you have received came from a landline or cell phone.
Caller ID Apps
If phone number validator or reverse phone number search websites aren’t giving you the information that you need for a particular number, then a caller ID app may be a good alternative. Caller ID apps for iPhone and Android show the identifying information about incoming callers including their phone number type, the city of the caller and occasionally the caller’s name. Caller ID apps available include Truecaller, Mr. Number, CIA (Caller Identification & Search) and Caller-ID.
If none of the above tools show you whether or not the phone number in question is a landline or cell phone, you are not completely out of options. An alternative to look into is your cell phone carrier’s bill and call log. Some carriers display the phone number type alongside the call’s origination location.
Another option is to try texting the number. If the number is a landline then you will receive no response to the text but if the number is a cell phone, you may get a text back.
One final option is to go to Google.com and type in the number to search for it. The number may appear on phone number ID websites, which will be shown in the Google results. Often these websites also display the type of phone number.
Michelle Carvo has been writing professionally since 2006, contributing to a variety of websites. She is also a technical writer with extensive experience in Android/iPhone development and PC repair. Carvo holds a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from the University of Michigan-Flint and works as an IT project manager.