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The 5 best free fax services for sending and receiving documents
Each one has its pros and cons, so be careful which you choose.
If you need to send a fax, don’t sweat. There are plenty of ways of free fax services that will help you send your cover sheet or other documents online and in a matter of minutes.
Remember faxes? These relics scanned documents and sent them to another machine where they were magically printed out. To this day, fax machines, once consumer products found in most households, are still used by businesses to send and receive important legal documents, notes, and reports. Every now and then, like when dealing with binding contracts or financial documents, you’ll be required to fax—not email, message, or tweet—important papers to someone.
The digital revolution didn’t kill fax, but it did cause it to evolve. Because so few people kept their fax machines after the emergence of email, there needed to be an easy way to fax documents electronically. This led to a flood of free online fax services that let you send a digital file to a physical fax machine or receive a physical fax in an electronic format, some of which even allow you to convert email to faxes.
Each of these free online fax services comes with its own set of features, interfaces, and upgrades. We’re going to focus on those that don’t require a monthly subscription plan. If you need to send a fax but don’t have a fax machine, these are the top free fax services to use.
The 5 best free fax services
This service lets you fax two documents per day with a maximum of three pages for each upload. That’s an already generous plan made better by low subscription prices should you need to send more documents. FaxZero (see below) may have a slight edge since it lets you send five free faxes per day, but unlike that service, GotFreeFax doesn’t plaster its branding everywhere. We prefer GotFreeFax for that reason alone, even if it’s light on features.
When you visit the site, you’re immediately greeted to the webpage used to fax documents. It’s not the prettiest or best organized, but it’s refreshingly straightforward. You don’t have to worry about clicking through links to get to the important stuff and there’s no registration required. Just fill in your name and email along with the recipient’s name and fax number and select the “Send FREE Fax Now!” button.
Like FaxZero, GotFreeFax doesn’t allow for incoming faxes, so you’re stuck having a one-way conversation.
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FaxZero has an impressive free fax option when compared to other services. It lets users send five faxes per day with a maximum of three pages and a cover for each. This can all be done without signing up for the service, so you don’t have to worry about your personal information being misused.
In terms of usability, FaxZero is nothing special. Its stripped-down uploading interface only requires that you enter contact information and the fax number you want to send to. You then upload a document (.DOC, .DOCX, or PDF) using a standard “choose file” upload menu, type your cover letter text, and press send.
You’re right if you thought this sounded too good to be true. There are several cons you should know about before settling on FaxZero. The biggest potential deal-breaker with this free free service is that the FaxZero logo will appear on your cover pages. Also, you can’t receive faxed pages, and there is no mobile app.
That said, FaxZero is still a top contender among free fax services online. If you want something super easy to use, don’t need to send a packet of documents, and are OK with branding, then FaxZero is a solid, frustration-free choice.
Few online fax services offer a free tier and most that do give you a non-replenishing number of pages you can fax. That’s the case with Fax.Plus, which lets you fax 10 pages before the free period is replaced by a subsequent charge of 20 cents per page. This trial of sorts does not let you receive faxed documents.
The page restriction is rather strict, but it’ll do the trick for isolated occasions when you find yourself needing to fax something in a pinch. Unfortunately, you do have to sign up or sign into an email account to use Fax.Plus. That means giving it your name, email, and a password. If that’s not bad enough, it then asks you to verify your account with a phone number.
While the setup process is obnoxious, things get much better once you’re in. Fax.Plus has the best user interface of any free fax service we tested, with simple icons, snappy animations, and no ads. Uploading and sending a file takes no effort, and there’s even a place for you to add contacts to your profile.
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With its clean, modern interface and simple menus, HelloFax is among the easiest free fax services to use. There’s even a simple 60-second tutorial for people who aren’t computer savvy. We’re happy to report that HelloFax is one of few services on this list that looks and feels like it came from this decade.
Its feature set is also excellent, offering integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Evernote to store and access files. In terms of what it offers for free fax services, HelloFax easily outperforms its competition. You can fax internationally to more than 70 countries, edit and sign faxes, and use secure cloud storage.
Unfortunately, the free tier at HelloFax is severely limited, perhaps more than any other on this list. While its feature set is excellent, you can only send five fax pages before you’ll be charged 10 cents per fax up to 10 pages and 20 cents after. Alternatively, you can stall a bit longer by signing up for a free 30-day trial to one of its subscription plans. No matter what option you take, you’ll quickly end up paying out of pocket.
If not for the restrictions on how many pages you can send for free, HelloFax would easily top this list. Instead, it’s only a viable free option for people who rarely need to fax.
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5) eFax Free
eFax Free is unique in that it’s one of few services to offer customers a free incoming fax feature. That is, users can receive faxes. You can receive up to 10 faxes via email each month without spending any money. Faxed documents are stored for 30 days in a message center and you can view them from eFax’s mobile app.
Once you sign up, you’ll be given a random fax number to give to whoever is sending over documents. The eFax website may be easy to use but looks like an email client from a decade ago. Features included in the free tier are few and far between. File sizes are limited to 300MB, you can’t send faxes, and there is no electronic signature.
Also, once you’ve hit your 10 fax limit, eFax will prompt you to upgrade to its robust (and relatively pricey) paid plans. Despite the limit, eFax Free is a great option if you only need to receive faxed documents, not send them.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.