FaxBetter is our choice as the best free incoming online fax service for small businesses. While there are plenty of free fax inboxes online, we were impressed with FaxBetter for several reasons. One thing that drew us in was how easy the company's web-based platform is to use. As it's a solely incoming fax service, you only need to keep track of messages coming in. FaxBetter's user interface is similar to an email client, making the service simple to use. Anyone who has ever used email should be able to operate the company's web-based platform easily.
We were also impressed that FaxBetter, unlike many of its competitors, does not require you to put a credit card on file to take advantage of its free services. Companies often ask for that type of information upfront to make it easier to switch you to a paid plan down the line, but FaxBetter skips that step altogether, allowing users to try out the service for free before making a decision about future plan changes.
If you need a service to send faxes for free, see our review of GotFreeFax's free outgoing service. We couldn't find a free online fax service that allows you to both send and receive faxes; you'll need to use a paid account for that.
To learn more about our selection process and to see a comprehensive list of online faxing providers, visit our best picks page.
It would be easy to just say "it's free" and move on to the rest of the review, but it's important to compare FaxBetter's free offering with its paid service. At $9.95 per month with automatic renewal, FaxBetter's paid service is on the low end of the price scale for incoming fax services. For that cost, you get 500 pages per month instead of the 50 you can receive in the free service. That number also includes faxes you send, since outgoing fax is enabled in the paid plan.
While the free version of FaxBetter's service has a hard limit on the number of pages you can receive, the paid version allows additional pages per month at an extra cost. When you use the 501st page in a billing period, FaxBetter charges you $15, which it converts to approximately 250 additional pages at 6 cents each. You don't have to use those additional pages during the same billing period; they roll over from month to month as a credit for future overages.
In addition to the larger monthly allotment and the ability to send faxes, FaxBetter's paid version provides unlimited cloud storage, which is a major improvement over the 1,000-page storage limit you get with the free account.
As previously mentioned, the paid account clocks in at $9.95 per month with automatic renewal, but businesses that make a longer commitment to the service get discounted rates. A one-year subscription costs $95.40, and a two-year subscription costs $142.80.
One can't expect too much in the way of features from a free service. As such, FaxBetter's free version is pretty spartan, only allowing 50 incoming pages per month. While that's to be expected, the following set this company's free offering apart from others:
- Free toll-free fax number: Upon signing up with FaxBetter, you receive a dedicated toll-free number to use. Though this number is free, it comes with the major caveat that if you don't use the number at least once a week, it will be removed from your account.
- Storage: The ability to access and download past faxes is an important feature for many small businesses. FaxBetter's free version allows you to store up to 1,000 pages. After you receive a fax, it will be available for retrieval until you decide to delete it. Once your account is deactivated, you have 60 days to retrieve any faxes you need before they're deleted.
Pros of FaxBetter
As a free service, FaxBetter gives companies the ability to receive faxes without much hassle. There's no need for a credit card during signup, and no advertisements are affixed to any pages sent through the service. While the free version doesn't come with the extras that a paid FaxBetter account gets, it's a great choice for small businesses that only need to occasionally receive a fax.
When you sign up for a free account with FaxBetter, you immediately get a dedicated toll-free number. Once the free fax number is assigned to you, it's yours for the life of the account, as long as you receive a fax every week. The free account also comes with enough cloud storage space for you to keep approximately 1,000 pages online. As faxes come into your account, you can set email notifications so you don't miss out on anything important.
The free account has a monthly allotment of 50 received pages. Other free services are very restrictive in the number of pages you can receive, so the number FaxBetter provides is better than expected.
Cons of FaxBetter
As FaxBetter's free version is an incoming-only service, the first major limitation you'll notice is that you can't send faxes out. If you need to send a fax, you'll need to access a physical fax machine, sign up for a free outgoing service from another company or upgrade to FaxBetter's paid subscription.
You're also unable to select your own toll-free fax number. Furthermore, you'll have to ensure you get a fax at least once a week to keep the number you get. If you fail to meet that criteria, you will lose your number, potentially causing major confusion with any outside entities you gave the toll-free number you were provided. If your business relies on receiving faxes but receives them at an infrequent or inconsistent pace, you'll have to find a way to make sure a seven-day lapse never happens.
Posing as a small business owner and potential customer, we spoke with a member of FaxBetter's customer service team. We asked technical questions about the service and how it's different from the paid version. Our rep was mild-mannered, easy to chat with and never tried to upsell us on the paid subscription.
You can contact the support team by phone or by filling out an online help ticket.
Ready to choose an online fax service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage: