After conducting considerable research and analysis of online fax services, we recommend GotFreeFax as the best pay-per-use online fax service.
Ready to choose an online fax service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:
- Choosing an Online Fax Service: A Buyer's Guide
- Best Online Fax Services for Small Business
- SRFax Review: Best HIPAA-Compliant Online Fax Service
- eFax and GotFreeFax Review: Best Free Online Fax Services
- Nextiva Review: Best Online Fax Service for Small Businesses
There are many affordable subscription-based online fax services from which to choose, ranging from $5 to $10 per month. But sometimes, those are more extensive options than small businesses actually need. Monthly subscription plans are designed for businesses that send and receive hundreds of faxes per month. But what if your faxing needs are very occasional — say, one or two per month? That's not worth $50 to $100 per year.
If your business sends only a few faxes per month, you're better off using a pay-per-use service, a less common alternative to the subscription model.
Most of the major vendors don't offer pay-per-use services, but the main benefit is that there is no commitment. We dug up some services that provide a good pay-per-use model. Our favorite that we came across was GotFreeFax.
GotFreeFax also offers a free online fax service that allows you to send up to two faxes per day of three or fewer pages. For a more in-depth look at the unpaid version of GotFreeFax, see Business News Daily's review.
Unfortunately, you cannot receive faxes with GotFreeFax; it is a send-only service. However, we still selected it as our best pick because, while there are a few services that do offer pay-per-use service for both sending and receiving, they quickly end up being just as costly, if not more so, than a subscription service. If you also require the ability to receive faxes, you'd be better off going with a monthly subscription.
The paid option costs 98 cents for a fax of up to 10 pages, $1.98 for a fax of 11 to 20 pages and $2.98 for a fax of 21 to 30 pages. So, for example, if you send two faxes per month that are fewer than 10 pages each, your total cost for the month would be only $1.96. That's far less than you'd pay for any monthly subscription on the market.
GotFreeFax also sells non-expiring credits that you can use for future faxing. A 100-page credit costs $9.95, a 300-page credit costs $19.95 and a 1,000-page credit costs $49.95. However, if you have to fax at these volumes, you would be better off going with a monthly subscription.
GotFreeFax is extremely simple to use and cost-effective, and it offers some features other pay-per-use services don't. For example, GotFreeFax allows users to employ rich text to adjust the font and format of their documents. The end product is a more aesthetically pleasing fax that appears more professional than a simple plain-text document. The service also allows you to upload and send PDFs and JPGs. You can upload up to 10 files per fax, up to 30MB per fax, which is more than some subscription services allow. You can also add your own cover page or use the service's standard cover page. Additionally, all paid faxes are encrypted, and international faxing is available for an extra cost.
GotFreeFax's service is also incredibly easy to use. The form required to send a fax is located right on the company's home page. Just fill out your own information and the receiver's information; paste in the content or upload the files you want to fax; make a payment through PayPal; and send. The entire process takes just a few minutes and works reliably well.
GotFreeFax advertises its prices in a straightforward manner on its home page. The website is clean and simple; it's clear that the company is not trying to hide any of your options from you. When you first visit GotFreeFax's home page, it's immediately clear what services the company provides and at what cost. It's easy to navigate the site and get the information you need.
By using a free service, you also forgo the more robust features. Don't expect features such as document storage or mobile apps, for example. None of the pay-per-use services offer these more advanced features; for those, you would need to subscribe to a paid service. However, if you don't send a lot of faxes, these features aren't that valuable anyway. Convenience and simplicity are what's important when it comes to pay-per-use services.
There is no phone support for GotFreeFax's free sending service; there is only an email address, and the response time is not quick. Luckily, the service is simple and straightforward to use, and there is seldom a problem with sending a fax. The only time you would need customer support is if a fax failed to send.
We chose GreenFax as our runner-up because it offers the ability to store your documents in the cloud indefinitely — something GotFreeFax doesn't offer. However, you have to prepay for a minimum of $10 in faxing credits. Although these credits do not expire, if you're a small business that rarely faxes, this may be an unnecessary purchase. Still, GreenFax is worth a look when you're considering pay-per-use services, because it includes some services not usually offered by these more limited services.
We chose GotFreeFax from a pool of dozens of online fax services. To learn more about our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of online fax services, visit Business News Daily's best picks.
Ashley Smith contributed to the reporting in this review.