Kapow review

While Txtlocal is a fairly new entrant to the SMS services marketplace, Kapow (or KAPOW! as it likes to be known) has been doing this since 1995, and claims to be the UK’s original SMS gateway provider.

Kapow review

Its core services mirror Txtlocal‘s with a few minor differences. Kapow doesn’t support the sending and receiving of MMS messages, although it does support “flash texts” – these are messages that appear directly on the user’s phone without them having to go to their inbox. Although not supported by all phones and networks, they can be useful for rapid communication to a crowd of people.

Credits are bought in bundles, and as with Txtlocal the more you buy the cheaper they become, at 8.5p for 100 messages down to 5p for 50,000. As well as the credits being slightly more expensive Kapow also charges extra for certain services which are free over at Txtlocal, such as being able to change the sender ID of outgoing messages and setting up an incoming keyword address. Also, with Kapow the credits expire after a year, although any unused credits can be extended for a further year for a fee.

Kapow routes its messages directly into the UK networks, meaning they arrive quickly and reliably. Watch out for companies offering very cheap SMS services as they probably route via overseas networks, typically in Africa or Eastern Europe. Not only do these have a much higher message failure rate, you often can’t send to ported numbers (where a customer has moved from O2 to Vodafone, and taken their number with them), you can’t guarantee being able to set the sender ID, and you can’t always get delivery receipts.

Although reliable, Kapow is starting to show its age. With new competitors biting at its heels, it needs to up its game, both in terms of the web interface and the pricing model.


Software subcategory Other software


Processor requirement N/A

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? yes
Operating system Mac OS X supported? yes
Other operating system support depends on browser

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