Many of the big email service providers now require a mobile phone number in order to create an account (a land line isn't acceptable). My understanding is that mobile phone access is used to activate the account (possibly via SMS messaging of a PIN?).
I live in a cell tower hole and get no signal in the vicinity of my house. So I haven't bothered with a cell phone. I'm also in need of a new email provider for the first time in many years, so it's the first time I'm running into the cell phone hurdle, and I'm a bit hazy on the requirements.
My read is that the requirement is a mobile phone number with the ability to receive SMS messages.
Is it possible to emulate this on a computer? For example, there are VOIP services that will provide a phone number, and apps for exchanging SMS messages. Can I cobble something together that would appear to the email provider to be a cell phone, which would be adequate to receive a text message to authenticate a new account?
Or is a separate device part of the security design, so nothing you do on the computer would work? I know that the email account creation includes identifying whether the phone number is a land line or mobile number; I'm not familiar with whether VOIP phone numbers are a third identifiable class.
If it makes a difference, I mainly use Linux, but can still access Windows 7.