Short Messaging Service, commonly shortened to SMS, is a popular method for sending text messages between mobile phones. Compared to other forms of communication such as email or phone calls, sending an SMS has several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, discreetness, less time consumption, and high open rates.
An SMS API (Application Programming Interface) is a rest API. Using an SMS rest API you can add robust messaging capabilities to your app. You can also use an SMS API to send bulk short messages (usually about 160 characters per message) and market your products cost-effectively to potential customers around the world.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a SMS API?
- 1.1 Top 10 Best SMS APIs
- 1.2 1. Nexmo API
- 1.3 API features
- 1.4 Geographical Coverage
- 1.5 Pricing
- 1.6 2. TeleSign Score API
- 1.7 API features
- 1.8 Geographical Coverage
- 1.9 Pricing
- 1.10 Ease of Use
- 1.11 3. TeleSign SMS Verify API
- 1.12 API features
- 1.13 Geographical Coverage
- 1.14 Pricing
- 1.15 Ease of Use
- 1.16 4. Twilio SMS API
- 1.17 API Features
- 1.18 Geographical Coverage
- 1.19 Pricing
- 1.20 Ease of Use
- 1.21 5. Twilio Lookup API
- 1.22 API Features
- 1.23 Geographical Coverage
- 1.24 Pricing
- 1.25 Ease of Use
- 2 6. Twilio Verify Phone Number API
- 3 9. Octopush SMS API
- 4 10. FreeSMS8 API
- 5 Is there any free API to send SMS?
What is a SMS API?
An SMS API is a software interface for sending short messages programmatically. An SMS REST API uses an SMS Gateway for sending messages. SMS Gateway acts as a “bridge” between telecommunications carrier networks and the world wide web.
We looked at several SMS APIs based on the following four main criteria:
- API features: We evaluated the various features that make the APIs appealing.
- Geographical coverage: We evaluated the geographical availability of each of the APIs.
- Pricing: We reviewed the cost of using the APIs for sending short messages.
- Ease of use: We assessed the ease of integrating each of the APIs into applications.
Eventually, we came up with the following list of the top 10 SMS APIs:
- Nexmo API
- The TeleSign Score API
- The TeleSign SMS API
- The Twilio SMS API
- Twilio Lookup API
- Twilio Verify Phone Number API
- SMSly – SMS to INDIA API
- MessageBird SMS Gateway API
- Octopush SMS API
- FreeSMS8 API
Top 10 Best SMS APIs
TL;DR: Here’s a table summarizing our findings.
|API||API Features||Geographical Coverage||Pricing||Easy to Use?|
|Nexmo API||Send and receive messages, private SMS, notifications, phone number verification||Global||Free inbound SMS and $0.0069 per outbound SMS (U.S.)||Yes|
|The TeleSign Score API||Provides a score of 0 to 1,000 for identifying fraudulent phone numbers||Global||Free and varying paid plans from $25 to $500 per month||Yes|
|The TeleSign SMS API||Delivery notifications, reminders, one-time passwords, two-way private SMS, two-factor authentication||Global||Free and varying paid plans from $10 to $250 per month||Yes|
|The Twilio SMS API||Sending shortcodes, smart content handling, text message delivery intelligence||Global||Varying paid plans from $10 to $250 per month||Yes|
|Twilio Lookup API||Get information about phone numbers, point out local-friendly phone number formats, recognize caller names.||Global||Pay-per-use pricing of $0.005 or $0.01 per request||Yes|
|Twilio Verify Phone Number API||Request a verification code to be sent to a user via SMS or voice||Global||Varying paid plans from $10 to $200 per month||Yes|
|SMSly – SMS to INDIA API||Get OTP SMS delivery services, secured SMS routes, priority SMS gateway routes, live delivery reports||India only||Free and varying paid plans from $25.99 to $189.99 per month||Yes|
|MessageBird SMS Gateway API||Send & receive, verify message delivery status, lookup for invalid phone numbers||Global||Free||Yes|
|Octopush SMS API||Delivery reports, 2-way SMS, 2-factor authentication, push SMS, scheduled SMS||Global||Free||Yes|
|FreeSMS8 API||Send SMS messages, group SMS, classified messages, scheduled messages. Unlimited messages.||India Only||Free||Yes|
1. Nexmo API
Nexmo SMS API offers state-of-the-art communication solutions that allow developers to embed voice and messaging capabilities into their business systems, websites, and mobile applications. Another useful feature is delivery receipts.
The Nexmo RESTful SMS API allows you to send and receive bulk SMS, offer private SMS communication, broadcast SMS with low latency and optimized delivery rates, send event-based notifications, and verify phone numbers. The API also supports other popular messaging platforms like Viber, WhatsApp Business, and Facebook Messenger. This API is a good choice for sending SMS alerts.
With the Nexmo SMS API, you can programmatically send and receive text messages anywhere in the world.
Nexmo employs a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which varies from country to country. For example, with a U.S. virtual phone number, you can receive messages for free. However, sending messages cost $0.0069 per message.
Ease of use
Nexmo has resourceful libraries, tutorials, and tools to help you in integrating communication features into your application without any hassles.
The TeleSign Score API provides reputation scoring to phone numbers, allowing you to recognize those used for fraudulent activities.
The TeleSign Score API relies on phone number intelligence, traffic patterns, machine learning, as well as an international data consortium to assist in detecting fraudulent phone numbers. After submitting a phone number to the API, it is evaluated and a score is returned that indicates its level of fraud risk. The score ranges from 0 to 1,000 and assists to determine whether to block, flag, or validate the phone number. For more details refer to Telesign Score API tutorial. This solution is a good choice for SMS marketing.
It’s available worldwide.
You are not charged for making up to 30 API calls a month. For more intense usage, you’ll need to go for any of its paid plans, which range from $25 per month to $500 per month.
Ease of Use
There is expansive documentation to assist you in implementing the API into your application with ease.
The TeleSign SMS Verify API allows you to verify the authenticity of users and increase the security of your web and mobile applications.
The TeleSign SMS API allows developers to integrate message delivery notifications, reminders, one-time and time-based passcodes for user verification, as well as two-way private communication capabilities. You can use the API to add two-factor authentication and enhance the security of your application. Furthermore, the API allows you to send one-time passcodes to Facebook Messenger users, automatically split long SMS messages, and cleanse phone numbers for increased delivery. The powerful features of TeleSign SMS API make is a good choice for SMS marketing.
TeleSign provides its services to more than 200 countries and territories in more than 85 languages.
You can create an account and begin testing the TeleSign SMS Verify API for free, but you’ll be limited to 1000 credits per month. If you want more credits, you can go for any of its paid plans, which range from $10 per month to $250 per month.
Ease of Use
TeleSign provides easy-to-follow documentation, extensive developer tools, and 24/7 support to ensure you flawlessly implement its messaging API into your application.
Twilio is a widely used platform that lets developers integrate communication capabilities into their web and mobile applications. With the Twilio SMS API, you can add robust messaging capabilities to your applications. This is a robust enterprise-grade solution. Making an API call is reliable, low latency, and secure. The Twilio website has numerous API integration use cases and tutorials to get you started.
The Twilio SMS API comes with several features, including using shortcodes to send and receive SMS, phone numbers in several countries, smart content handling such as MMS rich-media support, delivery receipts, message records deleting, and text message delivery intelligence such as message queues.
The Twilio SMS API allows you to send and receive messages to carrier networks around the world.
For $10 per month, you’ll get 100,000 credits for using the API. One credit allows you to make one API call. If you want higher credit limits, you can subscribe to any of the other paid plans, which range from $25 per month to $250 per month.
Ease of Use
There are helper libraries, comprehensive documentation in the most popular programming languages, and versatile debugging tools to allow you to easily embed the API into your application.
The Twilio Lookup API lets you get additional information about phone numbers so that you can increase the efficiency of your communication. The Twilio website has many use cases of API integration for developers’ inspiration.
With the Twilio Lookup API, you can programmatically find information about phone numbers and lower the possibility of undelivered SMS, point out local-friendly phone number formats, and recognize caller names. Currently, the API supports the following three main types of data: caller name, carrier information, and region-specific phone number formatting and validation.
The API enables you to look up phone numbers from carriers worldwide.
The API is charged on a pay-per-use basis. A request that includes a carrier costs $0.005 per request while a request that includes a caller name costs $0.01 per request.
Ease of Use
Twilio offers a wide range of helpful resources to ensure developers make the most of its Lookup API. You’ll get comprehensive documentation and detailed SDKs to assist you in getting started quickly.
The Twilio Verify Phone Number API allows you to validate phone number ownership, lower fraudulent accounts, and enhance the security of your applications.
With the Twilio Verify Phone Number API, you can request a verification code to be sent to a user’s device and confirm that a received code is authentic. The API supports codes to be sent to users via SMS or voice.
The API allows you to send verification codes to carrier networks around the world.
For $10 per month, you can perform up to 200 verifications per month. If you want to perform a higher number of verifications, you can subscribe to any of the other paid plans, which range from $20 per month to $200 per month.
Ease of Use
The Twilio Verify API is easy to use. Apart from offering detailed documentation, there are tutorials and SDKs to assist you in getting started fast.
The SMSly – SMS to INDIA API is a simple API that allows you to send text messages cheaply and easily to users. Excellent documentation makes it easy to add SMSly to web applications.
SMSly – SMS to INDIA API offers one-time-passwords (OTP) SMS delivery services, which can be used for user authentication. Furthermore, the API provides secured SMS routes, priority SMS gateway routes, and live delivery reports.
It’s available only in India.
With the API, you’ll get 30 free SMS/OTP each month. To send a higher number of messages, you can opt for any of its paid plans, which range from $25.99 per month to $189.99 per month.
Ease of Use
SMSLy offers easy-to-follow documentation and other helpful developer resources to assist you in easily supercharging your application with robust messaging capabilities.
MessageBird is an Amsterdam-based telecom company that offers reliable APIs to simplify SMS, voice, and chat communications.
The MessageBird SMS Gateway API lets developers embed the sending and receiving of messages to their applications. Every message is accompanied by a unique ID, which enables users to verify the delivery status of a message. Furthermore, you can also use the API to lookup for invalid phone numbers and avoid sending messages to them.
MessageBird has more than 900 global carrier networks, which allows you to send and receive SMS in any country or language in the world.
The API is offered for free. However, sending and receiving Premium SMS messages is charged.
Ease of Use
The messaging API is easy to use. Apart from offering detailed documentation, there are tutorials and SDKs to assist you in getting started fast.
Octopush is a French-based online service for sending text messages with your business systems or applications.
The Octopush SMS API allows you to leverage Octopush’s infrastructure and send SMS. With the API, you can manage delivery reports, including 2-way SMS, embed 2-factor authentication, send push SMS, send scheduled SMS, and check your credit balance. Furthermore, the Octopush API supports integrations with more than 300 applications, such as Gmail, Magento, Dropbox, and Zendesk.
You can use the API to send large volumes of text messages to more than 200 countries globally.
The API is offered for free.
Ease of Use
Octopush provides simple documentation in most of the popular programming languages. As such, registered users can easily integrate the SMS API using HTTP, HTTPS, or SMTP protocols.
10. FreeSMS8 API
The FreeSMS8 API lets you send unlimited SMS to any Indian mobile phone number.
With the FreeSMS8 API, you can send an unlimited number of SMS easily and fast. It allows you to send group SMS, classified messages, and scheduled messages.
It’s available only in India.
The API is provided for free.
Ease of Use
There is simple documentation and other beneficial developer-friendly resources to help you in troubleshooting any integration issues.
Is there any free API to send SMS?
Free SMS APIs don’t charge for sending and receiving SMS. Octopush SMS, FreeSMS8, SMS Gateway are three truly free SMS API. These APIs don’t charge a penny for sending or receiving SMS.
Authentication APIs use SMS APIs to send verification codes and keep systems secure. But do you know that APIs also need security? Our primer on API security is a good starting point if you are new to this topic.
That’s Rakuten RapidAPI’s list of Top 10 SMS APIs. We hope you’ll find an API that you can implement into your application and send text messages around the world!
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