Sometimes you need to send a fax. But not many people have a fax machine or even access to one. You could always pay to use a physical fax machine at your local print shop, but it's not cheap and it's a pain. There is a simple solution: online fax services. Online fax services, sometimes called fax apps, are convenient to use, easier to work than a physical fax machine, and sometimes come with added bonuses, such as digital signature tools or the ability to send a fax by sending an email. The best online fax services make your life easier whether you send faxes regularly or hardly ever. And if you have just one fax to send occasionally and don't want to pay, you can absolutely send a few fax pages for free.
What about receiving faxes? If you're still hanging onto an all-in-one printer that includes fax service, you may be able to get rid of it if you transition to an online fax service. For all the fax services we've seen, you need to have a paid account to receive incoming faxes. You retrieve the incoming files digitally by logging in to your online fax service account; or you can have them delivered to your email inbox in some cases.
Faxing is still a pain, but the best faxing services modernize the experience. So here is a list of the best fax services, followed by more information you may need if you're learning how to send or receive a fax without using a fax machine.
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Best for Low-Cost Monthly Plans
Why We Picked It
Fax.Plus is our top pick for paid faxing services, though it's also very good when you need to send a short fax for free. It's affordable, easy-to-use, and packed with great features. Paid plans start at just $5.99 per month which includes the ability to fax out or receive 100 pages total. If you exceed that limit, you pay 10 cents per page, which is a fair and standard rate.
For people with moderate faxing needs, Fax.Plus works great for free. Anyone can send 10 pages at no cost; if you have to send more pages, they cost 20 cents each. At the free level, you can send faxes but not receive them.
Who It's For
Fax.Plus is excellent for people who have light faxing needs. If you need to send a fax for free just one time and the fax is less than 10 pages, Fax.Plus is great. If you need a dedicated number for incoming faxes and you generally send and receive fewer than 100 pages per month, Fax.Plus is the most economical account faxing service you can get.
Best for Free and High Usage
Why We Picked It
FaxZero is a freemium fax service that can take care of most of your fax-sending needs. While it is relatively bare-bones, it is the most generous free service we reviewed, with replenishing page allocations every day! You can send up to five faxes per day, and each fax can be a maximum of three pages (plus a cover page). However, faxes from paying customers take precedence over free ones in terms of delivery speeds. Additionally, with the free tier FaxZero adds its own branding to cover pages.
Paid faxes cost a flat $2.09 for up to 25 pages plus a cover sheet, and you can pay via credit or debit card or PayPal. FaxZero does not offer an incoming fax services, only outgoing ones.
Who It's For
Because it lets you fax a few pages for free each day, FaxZero is great for people who use faxing for activism, such as sending faxes to government officials. It's also a great option if you have one-off faxing needs because even if you have to pay $2.09 for a 25-pager, that's still a very low rate and you don't need to pay for a recurring subscription, as you must with some other services. So if you don't need much from a fax service (including the ability toreceivefaxes), then FaxZero is your best option.
Best for Low Usage
Why We Picked It
HelloFax is an excellent online fax service that offers a great user experience, excellent value, and a built-in editor that makes dealing with attachments simple. Paid accounts start at $9.99 per month and let you send or receive 300 pages. If you exceed that limit, it's just 5 cents per page, which is the lowest overage charge we've seen.
Integrated form-filling and digital-signature features mean that you never have to go through the hassle of printing and manually sending documents again. Although HelloFax doesn't have a mobile app, paying subscribers can send faxes from their phones by using a fax-by-email method.
HelloFax does offer some faxing for free. If you need to send a fax, you get 5 pages for free (in your lifetime, not per month). After that, it costs just 99 cents per fax for faxes up to 10 pages, plus 20 cents for every page after, no subscription needed. One more benefit of HelloFax is that it offers simple, self-service cancelation through your account.
Who It's For
If you need a paid faxing service, HelloFax is one of our top picks, along with Fax.Plus. Here's the difference: Fax.Plus has a lower price ($5.99 per month) but only supports 100 pages per month. HelloFax costs more ($9.99 per month) and increases the pages-per-month to 300. So if 100 pages per month doesn't cut it for you, HelloFax is a great option.
For free users, HelloFax is a great option if you need to send a one-off fax of 5 pages or fewer. It's also wonderful if you have very modest but recurring fax-sending needs since a 10-page fax cost less than a dollar and doesn't require you to have a subscription—and you do get access to an excellent online interface for keeping track of what faxes you've sent.
Best for Large Businesses
Why We Picked It
RingCentral used to have a standalone fax service, but it has rolled it into more complete business plans that combine web conferencing, phone, team messaging, and other business communication. If you want to use RingCentral for your faxing needs, you'll need at minimum a RingCentral MVP Standard account ($37.99 per person per month; the price decreases once you have 100 or more people on the account). For any paid plan from RingCentral that includes faxing, the number of pages you get is unlimited. We also like that RingCentral has apps that include faxing services for Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and the web.
Who It's For
RingCentral is a great option for your faxing needs if you run a business that also needs phone, web conferencing, and other business communication tools in one package. Another convenience is that RingCentral lets you use the same phone number to receive voice calls and send text message as you do to send and receive faxes.
Best for HIPAA-Compliant Plan Options
Why We Picked It
SRFax is an intuitive and reasonably priced faxing option, although its rates have gone up since we last tested it. SRFax now starts at $9.95 per month, which supports 200 pages of incoming or outgoing faxes. If you exceed that limit, the price is 8 cents per page. We like that SRFax supports multi-factor authentication, but it does not have a dedicated mobile app and lacks digital signature tools. While there is no free account, you can get a free 30-day trial. For those requiring HIPAA compliance, SRFax offers four tiers of service in its Healthcare plans, plus a custom option for very large organizations.
(Editors' Note: SRFax is owned by Consensus Cloud Solutions, Inc., and PCMag’s parent company, Ziff Davis, is a minority shareholder in the company.)
Who It's For
SRFax has attractive plans for healthcare practices. While many fax services offer HIPAA-compliant plans, we like that SRFax offers several of them at varying price points, serving the needs of small practices and large organizations alike. The Healthcare Lite plan, for example, starts at $10.95 per month for 200 pages per month, with received and sent pages pooled. Additional pages over that limit cost a very low rate of 5 cents each.
What Is Online Faxing?
The best online fax services let you send and receive faxes without using a fax machine. To send a fax, you typically generate a PDF or scan the document pages you want to send. After that, you upload the file to the fax service. You then fill out additional information, such as the recipient's name and fax number, and optionally add a cover page. The online fax service takes care of the rest. The recipient receives the documents just the same as if you had fed them through a fax machine. Sometimes you can send a fax through email, which we'll cover a bit later.
To receive faxes through an online fax service, you have to have a paid account, which will get you a dedicated fax number. In most cases, you either log into a web portal to retrieve digital versions of faxes you receive, or they can be sent to your email.
If you plan to use an online fax service regularly, say, sending more than one or two faxes per month, you'll want an account with a paid subscription plan. Otherwise you can get by using a free service, such as FaxZero, or you can pay per fax without a subscription using HelloFax.
How to Send a Fax Online
All the fax services included here offer a web interface, but their utility wildly varies. Well-designed software can inspire user confidence, while archaic services can just as easily undermine it.
Of the services we tested, HelloFax is the best when it comes to having a highly functional and clear web interface.
HelloFax has a simple and clear web interface.(Credit: PCMag)
When sending a fax from a web portal, all your attachments (that is, the fax pages) are sent as images. All the fax services we tested support a generous range of file types, though the file size limit varies. The majority of the services let you preview attachments before you send them. HelloFax also includes tools for creating and applying digital signatures.
For more details, see our article explaining how to send and receive a fax online.
How Much Does Sending Online Faxes Cost?
Most online fax services want you to sign up for a subscription and pay a monthly fee. Each subscription typically includes an allotment of pages that you can send each month. Some companies distinguish between how many pages you can receive and how many you can send. Other services offer a pool of pages, which is a more flexible approach. With a pool, if you send more faxes than you receive, you can make the most use of the total allotment.
Pooled-page plans also make it easier to avoid paying overage fees, which are per-page fees assessed when you exceed your monthly allocation. These fees are typically around 10 cents per page. HelloFax charges just 5 cents per page for overage, which is the lowest rate you'll find.
Depending on your service, your plan likely does not include international faxing, though faxes from the US to Canada and the UK sometimes do not incur extra costs. Most companies charge an additional fee, sometimes on a graduated scale depending on the recipient's location, and usually per page.
Setup fees are rare in the world of online fax services. Only one of the services we tested, eFax, charges one ($10). Between the setup fee, non-competitive prices, and eFax's merely average list of features, it didn't make the cut to appear in this list of the best fax apps.
Are There Any Free Online Fax Services?
If you rarely send faxes, a free faxing service will do. Three services are the best for free faxing: Fax.Plus, HelloFax, and FaxZero.
Fax.Plus lets you send 10 pages for free (ever for your account). HelloFax lets you send 5 pages for free. FaxZero lets you send 5 faxes per day for free, and each fax can include 3 pages plus a cover. FaxZero's business model runs on advertisements.
FaxZero lets you send 5 faxes for free per day, and each fax can contain 3 pages plus a cover page.(Credit: PCMag)
There's simply no reason to opt for a paid service if all you need to do is send a fax once in a while. If receiving faxes is a requirement for you, then you need a paid plan.
How to Fax From Your Phone or Tablet
The majority of online fax services offer Android apps and iPhone apps. With a mobile faxing app, you can just take a picture of a document and send it on its way. Of the services included in this list, Fax.Plus and RingCentral offer mobile apps.
We prefer online fax services to have dedicated mobile apps, but, at the very least, they should have a mobile website. FaxZero SRFax have sites that are very usable via mobile browsers. HelloFax lets you send a fax from your mobile device, but you have to go through your email account to do it.
Fax.Plus offers a mobile app for faxing.(Credit: PCMag)
How Can You Receive a Fax to Your Email (and Vice Versa)?
Modern businesses and workers are familiar with email workflows, and most of the fax services included here offer similar fax-to-email capabilities. In practical terms, fax services convert received faxes into email attachments, and conversely turn email fields and attachments into their fax equivalent. As you can send and receive email from anywhere, this approach makes a fax service more universally available.
The process of sending a fax via email is fairly straightforward, and doesn't vary much from service to service. You type the fax number—including country and area code—into the address line, followed by an email domain specific to the fax service (for example [emailprotected]). The subject line and body text appear on the fax cover page, while any attachments appear as separate pages. Your fax number appears as the sender, so there's no confusion about where the message originated.
How to Choose a Fax Number
Most services let you select an area code and either assign you an available phone number for receiving and sending faxes or let you choose from a list of available numbers. Most also let you port over an existing fax number if you have one.
If you don't want people to have to pay to fax you, consider getting a toll-free fax number, which is usually free of charge. RingCentral offer vanity numbers for your fax number, though we only recommend RingCentral for businesses that need other communication tools, too, such as phone service, team messaging, and video calling. You can only use RingCentral for faxing if you have a larger RingCentral plan. Faxing is not available as a standalone service.
Some industries still rely on faxing for various reasons, and knowing where to turn online when you need to send a fax to one of them is much easier than running out, pages in hand, to find a business that offers faxing services in-house.
But faxing isn't the only way to deliver documents, so be sure to check out the numerous secure methods for file sharing and sending encrypted email.
What is the best send fax online? ›
Three services are the best for free faxing: Fax.Plus, HelloFax, and FaxZero. Fax.Plus lets you send 10 pages for free (ever for your account). HelloFax lets you send 5 pages for free. FaxZero lets you send 5 faxes per day for free, and each fax can include 3 pages plus a cover.What is the safest way to fax online? ›
Sfax — Best HIPAA-Compliant Online Fax Service
Sfax is a HIPAA-compliant fax service that allows people to send, receive, manage, annotate, and digitally sign medical and other documents without a fax machine or printer. Healthcare organizations can rely on sfax to keep patient records safe with hippa-compliant faxing.
1. MetroFax. Capable of handling the faxing needs of small businesses up to larger corporations, MetroFax offers the best online fax service based on our testing. The company has an easy-to-navigate web portal, and its mobile apps – available for both Android and iOS — are the best we've seen.How is eFax better than fax? ›
Online faxing is much faster and eliminates the downtime that you might spend waiting to send or receive a fax through a physical fax machine and landline. Plus, with online faxing, there are no busy signals! You can send and receive faxes simultaneously without clogging the system or having to wait for a dial tone.Which is better eFax vs MyFax? ›
Base Pricing: MyFax starts at $10 per month for those who need to send and receive fewer than 100 pages. eFax's only at $18.95 per month for those who need to send and receive up to 200 pages. For the cheapest option, MyFax is the winner. Scalability: For every fax above 200, eFax will charge you $0.10 per page.What is the safest free fax app? ›
iFax also offers superior security and privacy features to keep your confidential information safe. All your faxes are secured via 256-bit military-grade, end-to-end encryption, so you can be sure that only the intended recipient can read them.What is Google fax free? ›
Fax PDF files and Documents directly from your Google Docs. Simple and free online fax service. You can simply open your PDF file from your Google Drive or choose a PDF file from your computer and we can send them as Fax to any fax number in the world.How much is eFax per month? ›
How Much Does eFax Cost? eFax offers two paid tiers: Pro and Plus. eFax Plus costs $16.95 per month and includes 150 pages of incoming faxes and 150 pages of outbound faxes. eFax Pro costs $19.95 per month and includes 200 pages of incoming faxes and 200 outbound faxes.Is Google online fax secure? ›
Any fax messages sent to your number are delivered to the provider's servers, then converted to PDF and dispatched to your inbox. You will need to sign up to a third-party service provider to obtain a Google Fax number. This service provider will ensure all data passing through its servers is encrypted and secure.Are free online faxes secure? ›
Yes, faxes are considered to be secure. One of the reasons for fax security as opposed to the security of other Internet or mobile-based communications is that fax machines communicate via phone lines, not the Internet.
What is the difference between fax and eFax? ›
eFax is a completely digital fax system that allows businesses to send fax documents over the internet. There is no fax hardware required, nor do you need special setups. Fax is sent from your computer, smartphone or tablet using our online solutions.Can I fax through Gmail? ›
The Google fax feature is available for all FAX. PLUS users and enables you to send a fax directly from your Gmail account. You can also receive faxed documents as email attachments in your Gmail account.Does Google have free fax service? ›
Simple and free online fax service. You can simply open your PDF file from your Google Drive or choose a PDF file from your computer and we can send them as Fax to any fax number in the world. The current service has a limitation of 5 pages per month per account.Does IRS accept online fax? ›
If you're under an audit, however, or an IRS agent has asked you to submit items missing from your tax return, then you can send them via online fax.Can you send a fax from Gmail for free? ›
Email to fax is one of the most convenient and fastest ways to send fax online. If you wish to send fax from Gmail for free, follow these steps: Click here to sign up to FAX. PLUS using your Google account (Click on the Google button to sign up with Google)