Free Fax Number

Category: Fax

Every once in a while, I need to receive a fax, but I don't have my own fax machine. It's embarassing to tell business contacts that my fax number is the local Kinko's, and it's a hassle to drive there and retrieve my fax. Is there any way to get a free fax number for inbound faxes?

How to Get a Free Fax Number

Just in case you haven't considered it, you CAN use your home phone number to receive incoming faxes at no cost, even if you don't have a fax machine. Most computers come with a fax modem, and the software necessary to send and receive faxes. But it is a nuisance to share a voice line with incoming faxes. If you're not careful to keep the fax software turned on only when needed, callers will be greeted with all that shrill beeping and squawking instead of your voice. That said, let's move on to internet-based fax services.

Several years ago, numerous firms offered free incoming fax services. Today, with Internet-based communications in high demand, totally free fax numbers are hard to find and they come with limitations. But if you need a fax number only for occasional use, you can still get a truly free inbound fax number.

The way free fax numbers work is this: The fax service provider, as part of their normal course of business, has fax servers set up all over the country (or world) with numerous phone numbers assigned to all the lines that come into the fax servers. You are assigned one of these numbers to use as your inbound fax number.
Free Fax Number

A fax sent to your number is stored digitally as a TIFF file. In a standard fax machine, the TIFF file would be printed out. But the file can just as easily be emailed to you, and then you can view it on your computer monitor, print it on your printer, forward it, and generally treat it like any other email attachment.

To the sender, it appears that he or she is faxing to a standard fax machine attached to a phone line in your home or office. That's the beauty of a free inbound fax number. You don't incur the cost of a second phone line, or a fax machine and all the supplies it requires. And if you want the whole world to think you have a fax machine sitting on your desk, your secret is safe with me.

Get Your Free Inbound Fax Number Here!

eFax Free is a semi-secret free inbound fax number service offered by J2 Communications. The totally free service is buried deep in the eFax website, and if you're not careful, you might miss the offer. When you click on the link above, there is a form to fill out for the eFax FREE service. But on that same page, there are several links and references for the eFax PLUS service, which is not free. Ignore all that, fill out the form and you'll get the eFax FREE service.

Read the terms of service carefully so you understand what you can and cannot do with the eFax Free service, and what eFax does and doesn't offer with this service. You can't choose your area code or phone number. You faxes may be delayed in delivery depending on how busy eFax's servers are with paying customers' faxes. There are also limits on the number of pages per fax and total number of faxes you can receive per month. If you receive more than 20 fax pages in a 30-day period, J2 will offer to upgrade you to a paid subscription service. If you choose not to upgrade, your account may be terminated or suspended. If you want more, including the ability to send faxes, you will have to pay for the eFax Plus or Pro service.

Note that you cannot SEND a fax using your free fax number, because it's for INBOUND faxing only. But there are some totally free online faxing services that allow you to send a fax. Check out my companion article Send a Free Fax for a list of those.

In addition, there are other Internet fax service providers, such as MyFax.com and UFAX.net, that will give you some free services for a limited time before you have to start paying for monthly service. The free trials may run up to 30 days. You can send faxes as well as receive them on an inbound fax number.

Do you have something to say about free inbound fax numbers? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Posted by on 16 Mar 2010


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Most recent comments on "Free Fax Number"

(See all 28 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Queta
17 Mar 2010

Hi Bob: Just a line to say thanks for all the great info you send. I always look forward to your e-mails.
I have owned a fax machine for about 10 years and only used it to copy a document from time to time.
During the past year I decided to make some room and sell a few things and the fax was one of them.
First there was the 3 day church rummage sale where no one needed a fax machine. Second, several
of the neighbors had a combined garage sale and guess what? Once again the fax came home. Third,
I had a garage sale at my home one weekend and I still had the fax when it was over. So I called several
pawn shops and was told that they do not accept fax machines because they have no resale value.
All I wanted was $15.00 for it. A (Brother) Intellifax #775 had to be worth something. It had a new ribbon
along with the owners manual! Finally, the light come on and the answer was (Goodwill) who cheerfully
accepted my fax. A few weeks later I donated a couple of 15" monitors ( which had also been
casualties of my spring cleaning escapades) to Goodwill. Low and behold, there was my fax being put to
good use right there in the office. When I left, I was beaming with pride, knowing that my fax was
now employed to such a worthy cause. It is like the old saying (things happen for a reason)..........
Anyway, have a nice day!!!


Posted by:

Jack
18 Mar 2010

I find it odd that nowhere is it mentioned that this or these free fax services only work in the USA or at any rate not in the UK - am I right?


Posted by:

janet
19 Mar 2010

After some years of using a fax machine, now I'm really enjoing online faxing with PopFax.com, which offers fast and cheap fax email service.
http://en.popfax.com/


Posted by:

Bruce Fraser
20 Mar 2010

Bob,
That Efax URL appears to have been removed. It redirects the user to the home page. Looking under "site map" shows nothing resembling a free service, aside from the 30 day trial.


Posted by:

Mathias Nagy
30 Mar 2010

The free efax offer no longer exists. I guess it was nice while it lasted! I'll have to check out http://k7.net - thanks for this info Victor and Kenneth.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Incorrect -- the eFax Free offer is still good. But you have to read carefully. Like I said: "The totally free service is buried deep in the eFax website, and if you're not careful, you might miss the offer. When you click on the link, there is a form to fill out for the eFax FREE service. But on that same page, there are several links and references for the eFax PLUS service, which is not free. Ignore all that, fill out the form and you'll get the eFax FREE service."


Posted by:

Gregg DesElms
30 Mar 2010

The "K7" unified messaging service is free, and it can be used just as a fax number. I believe there's a 100 message per month limit (or something like that), but it's still a nice service for free. All you really have to do is remember to send yourself a fax during any month when no one else does so that K7 won't disable your free number because of inactivity.

SEE: http://www.k7.net

For those willing to pay a little something (which I finally did just because I got sick of remembering to send myself a fax to keep the account alive in months when no one else sent me a fax), the FAXAWAY service is far superior, dollar for dollar, than eFax (and I say that as someone who was an eFax customer for years, and who now uses Faxaway).

Faxaway charges a mere $1 per month as a "maintenance" fee for receive-only customers (a mere $12 per year). Only if you SEND through Faxaway do you pay more... something like 11 cents per minute.

See: http://www.faxaway.com


Posted by:

Robin H
30 Mar 2010

I have used fax.com for quite some time. Their rates are very reasonable. You only pay for what you use, there is no monthly or minimum fee. Highly recommended.


Posted by:

Richard Boudart
30 Mar 2010

hello Bob,
I tried to reach the form you suggested. The problem is that the URL is automatically changed to another one (http://home.efax.com/s/r/fr_home?VID=49895&CMP=OTC-be )and no forms to fill appears ! Of course no possibility to get this free number in Belgium.
Is there possible to avoid this bad URL replacement ?
(I receive your newsletter from let's say 1995 , I still remember "The springle adventure" at the Alabama university :-))
Thank you very much for this long way with your help.


Posted by:

BOH
30 Mar 2010

Jack: eFax certainly works outside US, I've been using it for years from Ireland.


Posted by:

Bob
02 Apr 2010

Thanks, worked like a charm. I just needed to receive a fax and this is perfect.


Posted by:

Steph
03 Apr 2010

Hi, Bob - well, I can't find the free one either. I looked too. Anyone else have any luck?


Posted by:

Lin
06 Apr 2010

If you only fax on ocassion, is it better to purchase a printer without a fax? One less thing to go wrong?


Posted by:

Stu
15 Apr 2010

Bob,
There's been a change since you wrote this article. If you go to
http://www.efax.com/customer-agreement
and read the customer agreement, you will find this statement:

"YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF THIS POLICY IF, WITHIN ANY THIRTY (30) DAY PERIOD, YOU RECEIVE MORE THAN TEN (10) FAX PAGES, EXCLUDING ADVERTISING OR INFORMATIONAL MESSAGES SENT TO YOU BY J2 GLOBAL, AS DETERMINED BY US IN OUR SOLE DISCRETION."


Posted by:

Ali
21 Sep 2010

Hi,
Is this offer still available as of today?
I don't see where efax offers free service.


Posted by:

Charlene
21 Nov 2010

I am researching this because I am tired of paying $20/mo plus long distance to the Cable Co for faxing, plus having to print to fax. Seems the best value might be OneSuite Fax Plus. 1.00/month unlimited inbound and 2.95/mo to send and receive and US lower 48 and toll free are .025/page.Doesn't seem bad for me since I might only send or receive one fax a month but when I do it might be 30 pages so I need that flexibility. Only downside is they don't have an NC numbers. Lots of good features like confirmation, fax to email, fax attachments and no set up fee. Anyone have any experience with this company?


Posted by:

Jay Dee
03 Jan 2011

I just used FaxZero.com to send myself a fax. It worked and was totally free! Catch: you can only send 2 docs per day and each one has a 3pg limit


Posted by:

janet
20 Jan 2011

I would suggest you to try Popfax.com internet fax service. I use it for several years, and never got problems. It is cheaper than other providers. Try it for free on FreePopfax.com:
http://www.freepopfax.com


Posted by:

Ken Bush
25 Jul 2011

A few more comments:

K7 no longer accepts new users.

There's a service called Faxbetter.com. It offers toll-free inbound fax number, but one has to receive a fax every 7 days or the number no longer is valid.


Posted by:

tan
08 Nov 2011

thanks so much, Ken Bush, I forgot to use my k7 number for a long while then lost it. Now with faxbetter.com i have a relief.


Posted by:

Damodara Surya Rama Prasad Dubey
15 Jul 2012

I just intend to have free international fax number and free international inbound and outbound fax service as I so rarely send or receive faxes. Is there anyway to get entirely free service sans any trail or time bound service. Thanks. Dubey


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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Free Fax Number (Posted: 16 Mar 2010)
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