Are there any good solutions out there?
Faxing is slowly becoming a thing of the past. However, it is still managing to hang on as a technology for businesses that hesitate to make the total jump to the digital age. Of course the proponents of facsimiles hold strong that its a good technology. I speculate because its 1) cheap to maintain and 2) because its anonymous (as in, you can’t fax directly to a person, only to an office by way of a phone number).
There has to be a technology out there that faxes for free. Google defines a fax as: an image of a document made by electronic scanning and transmitted as data by telecommunication links. As an adverb, Google defines free as: without cost. To me, for this area, free is also without limits. I have faith that there is a site out there that faxes for free by the definitions above. Here’s what I can find… these do not necessarily fulfill my needs but are a good start (I suppose).
The most comprehensive, though not exhaustive, list of fax sites online can be found at the website of the Faxing Service Review. Visit their website to help inform yourself.
Faxzero.com, has two main options: Free! and Almost Free!. Neither of these options fit the bill to what my criteria. Free offers: Ad on the cover page, Maximum 3 pages + cover, and Max 5 free faxes per day. Not bad, but with distinct limits. Almost Free offers: $1.99 per fax (Paypal), max 15 pages + optional cover, priority delivery vs. free faxes, no ad on the cover page, or no cover page at all. This is cheap for sure… but not free.
I will also comment that the design of this website leaves something to be desired. The actual interface for faxing is laid out with important information towards the bottom, nearly beneath the page fold (or entirely below the page fold in some instances). Additionally, there is a huge banner ad above the oddly colored faxing interface.
According to Lifehacker, eFax has a free component. I would supposed that following the Lifehacker article on free faxing, eFax increased its billing. For a small business, this source would be relatively cheap, but there is still a set up charge ($10 smackers), per fax page limit (150 pages) and a monthly fee ($16.95 smackers per month). However, on the brighter side you do get your very own fax number.
K7… nice service if you’re only interested in RECEIVING faxes. Yes that’s right, you can only receive faxes with this one; however it is entirely free. The design is terrible though so if you’re interested in a good user experience and GUI, this isn’t the one-stop-shop you were hoping for.
This is a similar service to eFax. However, it’s a bit cheaper. MyFax is $10 smackers per month, no limits on pages, no ads, and free to set up. But, if you’re like me and you’re looking for totally free, this isn’t quite there yet. The GUI however is a welcome improvement on the other sits thus mentioned. That helps make the $10 worth a bit.
This is nearly equal to eFax. There is an $8.95 or $12.95 monthly charge for the use of the website and all sorts of limits that come along with both plan. Obviously, the pricier plan has higher limits. Unlike eFax there is a better user interface.
So it would seem that there is one work around out there that fits my criteria: Google Voice. Someone figured out how to use a Google Voice number (which is free to Google users) as a fax number. What’s the catch here? Why doesn’t this make the cut as the end-all solution to free faxing? Well… because you have to have a fax machine. That is, you have to have an all-in-one printer or an actual stone-age fax machine. This solution was so close… let’s shed a tear for this one.
HelloFax.com is a strong contender for the winner of this motley-crue. HelloFax is a Google Drive launch partner. They also offer a variety of plans that have both positives and negatives. However, they offer a free plan. The free plan has limits but they are the most lenient of all the websites listed here. Check them out.
TPC.INT is the site of one of my references for this article. It’s by auther David A. Berger who wrote an entire book dedicated to free phone calls and free faxing using the internet. TPC.INT is a project supported by volunteers that helps people send faxes via their email. It’s simple really. AND it’s entirely free. Now this is what I’m talking about. It would receive an complete perfect score if the GUI of the site was a bit better; however, since this is actually done through e-mail and not a website, it wins over all. Check this out for sure.
All-and-all, the best solution here is HelloFax.com and TPC.INT. They are both worth using and signing up for. This, as mentioned, is not exhaustive not are any of the references used here. If you have a better suggestion, I’d love to hear it! Send me a note
Each of these options, however, is similar to MyFax, eFax or Send2Fax. They have monthly charges, some with limits and some without. They also come with nice interfaces, but they aren’t free…