The lowly fax continues to be used, and is even gaining in popularity. One of the drivers of this is the transition from clunky fax machines requiring paper, ink or toner, and dedicated phone lines, to the simpler and sleeker cloud faxing model. Faxes remain valued for their reliability, with inherent security for transmitting and receiving documents.
GotFreeFax does live up to its name, and has a free tier, although with limitations. A fax can indeed be transmitted for free, with a cover page, although the page length of the fax, other than the cover page, is limited to only 3 pages. Users are also limited to sending only 2 free faxes daily, making this only a possibility for the lowest volume of fax users. A strong point is that the cover page is ad free.
To use GotFreeFax there is only a single option, their web based interface, as there are no smartphone apps. Compared to some others, we find the user interface to be busy, and crowded with a plethora of options crammed with small fonts into a smaller space.
GotFreeFax also offers a higher tier of service, their ‘Premium Pay-Per-Fax Service.’ This level does require a secure payment via PayPal, but for the privilege, users benefit from an encrypted connection, technical support, a page length of up to 30 pages, and priority delivery. The cost is based on a simple length formula, with 10 pages costing $0.98 (about £0.74), 20 pages for $1.98 (about £1.50), and the maximum fax length of up to 30 pages for $2.98 (about £2.26), which costs more or less than some competitors depending on the length.
Finally, there is a business focused tier of service, their ‘Premium/Business Prepaid Fax Service.’ Unlike most other small business based online fax services that offer a monthly or annual plan, this is a prepaid service, with credits purchased in advance, and then used as needed to send faxes, in a manner analogous to a prepaid cell phone rather than having the month-to-month contract. The bonus here is that unlike those pesky cell phone minutes that too often expire faster than they are used, with GotFreeFax, the prepaid fax pages never expire.
The starter package for the prepaid faxes is a 100 page credit for $9.95 (about £7.54). Larger prepaid purchases net a significant discount, including the 300 page credit for $19.95 (about £15), and the ‘price club sized’ bulk deal is the best bargain at 1,000 fax pages for $49.95 (about £38), which works out to an affordable cost of just $0.05 (about £0.04) per page.
The emphasis on a free and low cost fax service also comes through on the feature set, as we need to point out the lack of features. There is no fancy online web portal, no lifetime archiving with search capability of sent and received faxes, nor are there any smartphone apps to make faxing on the go convenient, or allow editing and signing of documents on a mobile platform. This service only allows for sending of faxes. As for receiving a fax, on the GotFreeFax web page, users in fact referred to two other services. So those looking for any of these components should look towards a fuller featured online fax offering.
Despite these limitations, GotFreeFax does offer faxing capability to a large number of international destinations, each with a different price. For example, a 10 page fax from the US can be sent to Hong Kong for $3.15 (about £2.39). There are also options for prepaid fax service to each international country, but no free option other than between the US and Canada.
Faxes are sent through the online portal. The cover page and fax can be created by entering text into a box, or a document can be uploaded. Up to ten documents per fax can be uploaded, and the supported file formats are PDF, DOC and JPG, with the notable omission of the newer Microsoft Word format, DOCX.
The parent company, Vannet Technology, is based in Canada, and gets their trust verified by Comodo. It features greater than 128-bit encryption to ensure the privacy of faxed information.
GotFreeFax is an affordable, and for über low volume usage, in fact free online fax service. For those that can live with just the basics, including only transmitting but never receiving a fax, it offers a free to less expensive method to sending a fax. We also like that it includes a free fax cover page, without the annoying ads that limit its usefulness for business use, such as applying for a new job.
GotFreeFax’s prepaid fax offering we find affordable, and competitive, making it useful for low volume use, or even as a backup method to another service. We also applaud that the fax page credits have no expiration.
However, we are mixed on their Premium Pay-Per-Fax service, which for 10 or less pages has a reasonable cost of under a dollar, but as the page length exceeds that, it regrettably does not provide a volume discount for the larger number of pages, and maxes out at a total of 30 pages limiting the overall usability.