Who sends faxes anymore? That’s a good question, but do business for long enough and you’ll encounter the handful of dinosaurs who are still using this technology. The problem with sending faxes is that few enough organizations use faxes on a regular basis for it to be worthwhile to get a fax machine for your home or office, but too many companies and institutions rely on faxes for you to completely forgo a fax machine. Luckily, there are some alternatives to journeying back to the year 1997s to page your local office supplies dealer in order to get hooked up with a fax machine. Two leading fax alternative services are FaxZero and FilesAnywhere. Both offer free as well as paid services that let you send faxes from your computer. This frees you from the burden and embarrassment of being seen carting a fax machine away from the big box store, but saves you from the hassle of dropping in at your local FedEx once in a blue moon to send a fax to your clients and associates in the Stone Ages.
FaxZero is an ad-driven online fax service that lets you send faxes to anyone in the U.S. or Canada. This service is run by Savetz Publishing, a Portland-based company that’s been doing this for quite some time. With over five years of reliable faxing services, FaxZero.com has become a go to destination for anyone who needs to a send a fax in a jiffy.
The interface for FaxZero is refreshingly simple. You don’t need to register or create an account. All you need to do is fill in the sender and recipient information, upload your document and hit SEND. You can use .doc, .docx or .pdf files. The free version of FaxZero lets you fax 1 document at a time up to three pages. You can only send two free faxes per day. Furthermore, free faxes appear with the FaxZero logo on the cover page. Free faxes also have to wait in a queu before being delivered. It usually takes less than five minutes for a fax to go through.
For $1.99, paid via PayPal, you can send an “almost free fax.” Free faxes let you send 1 document up to 15 pages with priority in the queue (i.e. less waiting). There is no ad on the cover page, or you can opt for no cover page at all.
Overall, FaxZero is a great service. The way the logo is presented on the free version may not make you look quite as professional as you may want to appear to the recipient, but the $1.99 is a small price to pay to remove it.
FilesAnywhere is a relative newcomer, and it offers a wider range of services compared to FaxZero. FilesAnywhere is essentially a cloud-based locker for your images and documents, allowing you to edit them using popular web apps such as Picnick and Zoho. But once you are doing editing your files, FilesAnywhere allows you to share them via various channels—for example, faxing. FilesAnywhere allows you to send up to 10 free faxes a day. Like FaxZero, FilesAnywhere places its logo on your cover page, but it’s much more subtle than the FaxZero logo. FilesAnywhere also lets you tweak what appears on the cover page, including a subject, message and a type.
The pros and cons of FilesAnywhere are wrapped up in the fact that’s a more comprehensive service. You do have to register for an account in order to use FilesAnywhere, but with this, you get to track the status of your faxes ,view your fax history and save and manage contacts. The downside of this is that it’s much more complex. There are more forms to navigate and the uploader may be a bit daunting to those who aren’t comfortable with web apps.
Bottom-line: FilesAnywhere offers more features and more free faxes per day. But if simplicity is your priority, choose FaxZero.