How to Tell if a Number Is Cell Phone or Landline

Have you ever wondered whether a certain phone number is a cell phone number or landline? This could be a number you’re trying to call or need to look for. However, finding this out can be a challenge if you’re in North America as opposed to some other part of the world because the prefixes used for numbers here could either be for a landline or cellular phone.

So how can you truly tell if a number is a cell phone or a landline? There are a few ways you can go about this. You can use a phone number validator, a reverse lookup tool like Intelius, or even a caller ID app like TrueCaller.

If you want to go a little old school, you can even buy yourself the latest version of a directory and look for the number. We’ll go through each one of these methods and discuss how effective they are.

Is It Possible to Detect if It Is a Cell Phone Number or a Landline?

Yes, it is possible to detect if a phone number is a cell phone or a landline.

One way to do this is by using a phone number validation tool or service that can determine the type of phone number based on its prefix or area code. In the United States, for example, phone numbers with area codes starting with “2” or “3” are generally assigned to landline phones, while those starting with “4” or higher are assigned to cell phones.

However, it is important to note that this method may not be foolproof as some area codes can be assigned to both landlines and cell phones. Another way to determine the phone type is by making a phone call and listening for a specific tone that is played on landline phones but not on cell phones.

Another way — using a phone lookup service.

Using a Directory to Find Out a Cell or Landline Number

The first and possibly the most old-school method to find out if a number is that of a landline or cell phone is to look for it in a directory or a Yellow Pages. If the number you’re looking for is not present, given that you have the latest edition of the directory, chances are that it’s a mobile number. However, this won’t be the case in all instances, which makes this method unreliable at times.

Use a Reverse Phone Number Lookup

If you don’t want to use a caller ID app or phone number validators, you can make use of a free reverse phone number lookup service. One of the best phone number lookup websites available today is Intelius. It offers you all kinds of information, such as someone’s phone number, address, name, and even any past criminal records.

NOTE: The service also has approval from the FCRA to provide aggregated data on paid subscriptions.

Here’s how you can use Intelius to check if a number is a cell phone or a landline:

  1. Open the Intelius website.
  2. Tap “Phone” and enter the number you want to check the connection type for.
  3. Confirm your search in the next window.
  4. Click on View Report and confirm that you’re not a robot.
  5. Enter your details, accept the terms that declare the information will not be used to stalk or harass someone, and you will be granted access to your report once you’ve paid for it.
Find phone number type using Intelius

As you can see from the image above, Intelius will give you the details such as the owner’s name, the carrier their number is associated with, and even their location and address.

Using a Caller ID App to Tell if a Number is Cell Phone or Landline

Another way to tell if a number is a mobile or landline is to use caller ID apps like TrueCaller. Apart from giving you basic information like the phone number and the name of the person calling you, TrueCaller, among some other good caller ID apps also show you whether a number is a landline or cell phone.

Additionally, the app also gives you spam reports so you can avoid answering such calls, and tells you which carrier it’s linked to.


Another benefit of Truecaller is that it also allows you to manually enter a phone number to get all basic and additional information about it and find out whether it’s a landline or cell.

How to Tell if a Phone Number Is a Cell or Landline Using a Phone Validator

Using a cell phone number validator is one of the easiest ways to tell if a number is mobile or landline. A phone number validator is a tool that confirms a number’s validity, apart from telling you what sort of a connection it is.

The tool does this by querying the Location Touring Number database. This database is used by every cell phone provider to route a call from a number to the correct destination. This database also stores information about the type of connection of a certain number: cellphone or landline, along with which wireless carrier it’s associated with.

While these tools are fairly effective, they usually offer validation services in bulk for a large set of phone numbers. However, a few of them, such as Phone Validator, and TextMagic phone validator do offer a more limited service that allows you to identify phone line type. Do note that there are several free phone validators too, but not all of these are effective or safe to use.

What Is the Difference between Mobile Number and Telephone Number?

A mobile number is a phone number that is associated with a mobile device or cellphone. Mobile numbers are typically used for making calls, sending text messages, and accessing the internet from a mobile device. These numbers are usually provided by mobile network operators and are associated with a SIM card.

On the other hand, a telephone number, also known as a landline number, is a phone number that is associated with a physical telephone line.

These numbers are typically used for making calls and are connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which is a global network of interconnected telephone lines. Telephone numbers are usually assigned by telecommunications companies and are associated with a physical address or location.


As you can see, there are several ways in which you can find out whether a number is a cell phone or a landline number. You can use Google search, a directory, or even more advanced tools like a phone number validator or a caller ID app.

However, the best and most comprehensive solution is to use a reverse phone lookup tool like Intelius. It gives you all the information you could possibly need about the number and its owner.

frank spyappshub

Meet Frank, often known as "Frank the Security Guy". He's got an insatiable curiosity for all things related to cybersecurity and spy apps. He thrives on decoding the intricate details of the digital universe, and what's more, he loves sharing this knowledge to make the online world a safer place. When he's not knee-deep in the latest security protocols, Frank loves to explore the world around him. His life's mission? To ensure your digital world is secure and free from threats.

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