If your small business still needs to receive the occasional fax, a free incoming fax service can meet your needs without the associated headaches of owning a dedicated fax machine. In addition to eliminating related costs and reducing paper waste, a good online fax solution that lets you accept faxes for free needs to be easy and quick to use, while still securely handling the documents you receive.
After extensive research and analysis, FaxBetter is our 2019 pick for the best free incoming online fax service for small businesses. To learn more about our process and to see a comprehensive list of online faxing providers, visit our best picks page.
If you need a service you can use 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.
Of the online fax services we examined, FaxBetter stood out as the best free incoming option because of how easy it is to use and the fact that, unlike other fax providers, it doesn't make you provide your credit card information to sign up for an account.
As a fax inbox service, FaxBetter's free offering is easy to understand. Each month, you receive up to 50 free pages of faxes without any extra charges. There's no need to worry about possible overage charges, because with this plan, the company does not allow any pages above the limit to enter your inbox.
FaxBetter's user interface is similar to an email client, making the service simple to use. Anyone who has ever used email can operate the company's web-based platform.
You get what you pay for with FaxBetter's free service in terms of features. While it works just as the company says it will, the free version is pretty barebones. That being said, there are still some things worth mentioning.
- 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 for free. 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.
While we're looking solely at FaxBetter's free offering, it's important to note how it differs from the company's paid subscription service. For $9.95 per month with automatic renewal enabled, what started as 50 free incoming pages a month jumps up to 500 pages per month, which includes both the faxes you send and those you receive. While the free version doesn't allow for outgoing faxes, the paid model does. If you sign up for a longer subscription, you receive a lower rate. A one-year subscription costs $95.40, and a two-year subscription costs $142.80.
You can't exceed the monthly limit may in the free version, but the paid option allows it at an extra cost. When you use the 501st page in a given billing period, FaxBetter charges you $15, which it calculates as 250 additional pages at 6 cents per page. You don't have to use those additional pages during the same billing period; rather, they roll over from month to month as a credit for future overages.
Along with a larger monthly allotment and the ability to send faxes, FaxBetter's paid service comes with unlimited cloud storage, so you can keep as many faxes as you wish. The free option only allows you to store up to 1,000 pages.
In our testing, we had a conversation with a courteous, patient and affable customer service representative from FaxBetter who took the time to answer our questions. As we asked about the free product and its features, we were never pushed to opt for the paid subscription, though it was brought up as a potential option. There was no pressure to change our decision to use the company's free offering.
FaxBetter's free online fax option is an incoming-only service that doesn't allow you to send faxes. If you want to use the service to send faxes, you'll need to upgrade to a paid account. If you want to keep your business's online faxing costs at $0, you will need to find another provider to send faxes for free.
In addition to not being able to select your own toll-free fax number, having to make sure you receive a fax once a week or risk losing your number altogether can be bothersome. If your business relies on receiving faxes but does so at an infrequent pace, you'll have to find a way to make sure a seven-day lapse never happens.
It's also worth noting that the website is misleading when it comes to the number of pages a free account can receive. While one page says a free account has a 20-page monthly limit, the company's FAQs page says that number is actually 50 pages. We confirmed with customer service that the latter number is accurate, but this discrepancy is confusing.
Ready to choose an online fax service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage: