Free (orange) SMS alerts

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

In the past I used to pay for an email->SMS gateway, which was used to alert me about some urgent things. That was nice because it was bi-directional, and at one point I could restart particular services via sending SMS messages.

These days I get it for free, and for my own reference here is how you get to receive free SMS alerts via Orange, which is my mobile phone company. If you don't use Orange/EE this will probably not help you.

The first step is to register an Orange email-account, which can be done here:

Once you've done that you'll have an email address of the form, which is kinda-sorta linked to your mobile number. You'll sign in and be shown something that looks like webmail from the early 90s.

The thing that makes this interesting is that you can look in the left-hand menu and see a link called "SMS Alerts". Visit it. That will let you do things like set the number of SMSs you wish to receive a month (I chose "1000"), and the hours during which delivery will be made (I chose "All the time").

Anyway if you go through this dance you'll end up with an email address, and when an email arrives at that destination an SMS will be sent to your phone.

The content of the SMS will be the subject of the mail, truncated if necessary, so you can send a hello message to yourself like this:

echo "nop" | mail -s "Hello, urgent message is present"

Delivery seems pretty reliable, and I've scheduled the mailbox to be purged every week, to avoid it getting full:
UsernameYour mobile number
PasswordYour password

If you wished to send mail from this you can use, but I pity the fool who used their mobile phone company for their primary email address.



Comments On This Entry

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 16:51:37 on 5 august 2014


Tried to do the same, but ended up with a email address and no way to link it to my mobile number. Confused :-/

[author] Steve Kemp

Submitted at 22:17:07 on 5 august 2014

That is odd.

When I got to visit I can login with my mobile number and password - and I'm shown my mailbox.

I see this, for reference:

As you can see there is the SMS-link at the bottom-left, also visible via "My Settings".

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 10:52:19 on 6 august 2014

Right, there is definitely something that I missed, mine looks much more spartan:

It probably requires some sort of subscription, not a lowly PayGo sim. :-d

[author] Steve Kemp

Submitted at 10:53:35 on 6 august 2014

Does this link help at all?

That was shared on IRC last night.

[gravitar] Aaron Toponce

Submitted at 16:34:52 on 6 august 2014

It should be mentioned that many cellular telephone carriers provide an email->SMS gateway as part of their service. Not all, mind you, but many. See for a fairly comprehensive list.

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 17:41:48 on 6 august 2014

Thanks, Steve, but that page leads me nowhere useful; asks me to login with webmail credentials then shows me the Inbox page, with SMS stuff missing.

Trying to register my phone number from the same page says it's not valid (it's EE, perhaps belongs to the T-mobile side of it). I'll check if EE has such a service themselves.

Aaron, thanks, will check it out.

[gravitar] MJ Ray

Submitted at 01:28:46 on 7 august 2014

It's worth paying for an SMS delivery service just not to have to deal with bloody Orange, isn't it?

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 09:27:27 on 7 august 2014


Luckily I also have an O2 in my dual-sim phone, it literally took 10s to enable mail2sms using Aaron's link. Thanks for that!


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