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Another great way to get notifications on your phone is to use your carrier's email-to-SMS gateway. For example, on T-mobile it is 6105551212@tmomail.net.

If you don't want to set up nagios, you can create a quick monitoring solution with cron along these lines:

    */10 * * * * nobody curl -sSfm 10 http://www.example.com || mail -s 'www.example.com is DOWN' 6105551212@tmomail.net < /dev/null
This assumes you have working email delivery on the machine doing the checking.

The last time I tried this (4 years ago?), there were significant delays getting messages to some people. We were all on AT&T plans with work phones but some took 8-10 hours to get the alert.

Those can be good, not sure how reliable they are, and of course you've got to send it to the right carrier.

I'm volunteering for a non-profit right now on a project that sends SMS messages through Twilio, I think their current cost is $0.0075 (for a US to US message), and interfacing to Twilio is easy, if not a joy, their API is sane and the on-line documentation is excellent. This approach gives you the whole 160 character budget to describe the problem.

At https://t1mr.com we don't use SMS for notification, it's too unreliable. Besides delivery issues, there are benefits if the monitor knows if someone has really seen the notification - we know when somebody answers a call, but we can't know if he has actually seen the SMS.

SMS probably won't wake you up or get your attention if you're busy though. if your phone get push email, then email and SMS are more or less the same - you get push notification buzz and something on the homescreen.

just yesterday, i was debating between Twilio or this email-to-sms option.

a more complete list is here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5913116

it's free, but with Sprint for example, it prepends "Subject: " to the front of the text. not great, but i guess might be an ok compromise for "free".

This is the most comprehensive list of gateways I've found:


since twilio is so cheap, it's almost always better than email-to-sms. For example, you don't need to figure out which gateway to send to, and google voice users won't be prevented from getting sms.

depending on the context, and your userbase, it's usually not too much extra work for them to choose one of 7 carriers and saves you a database lookup & maintenance.

if you insist on keeping the huge database (around 30MB), i actually wrote a miner script a couple years ago to scrape the NPA-NXX data as a CSV from 2 different sources [1]. (you'll have to change the $src key and run it twice)

[1] https://github.com/leeoniya/npa-nxx-miner.php

not sure I understand this. You can lookup which carrier a user uses based on area code and next three digits? what if user ports their number from one carrier to another?

good point.

Figuring out a SMS gateway for your phone is pretty darn cheap.

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