You can sign a PDF document from your phone, tablet, or any other computer and email it off to someone. But some organizations still don’t accept documents via email — you may need to fax documents instead.
No, you can’t use your smartphone’s phone connection as a fax machine or dial-up modem. You’ll need to rely on an app or third-party service that does the faxing for you, just as you would sending the occasional fax from your PC.
Yes, This Will Cost You
You won’t find an app that lets you send an unlimited number of faxes for free. Every app you’ll find here will cost you money to use regularly. Some apps may let you send a handful of pages for free, but that’s it. These services have to maintain phone numbers and interface with the telephone network for you. Your smartphone can’t act as a dial-up modem, so you’re depending on a service’s servers to do the heavy lifting.
But, although this will cost you, it can save you money and be more convenient than the alternative. The alternative is paying to use fax machines at a store, or purchasing your own fax machine and hooking it up to a telephone landline. Both will likely be significantly more expensive if you just need to send a few faxes.
This method also lets you do everything entirely electronically. You can sign and fill in PDF documents on your phone and fax them. Or, use your phone’s camera to scan paper documents and fax them.
iPhone or Android Apps
Search for “fax” on the App Store and you’ll find quite a few options, but none of the apps are actually free, and the few that do provide a few free fax pages are usually limited to just a handful of pages before they start charging you.
But there’s a bigger problem — the vast majority of the time when you need to fax something, you’re faxing a document that contains very personal information — it’s health care and government that tend to require faxing things, after all, and they are also dealing with your personal information.
You should not trust just anybody with handling your personal information in a fax. So we’ve got some recommendations for you.
Power Users: RingCentral Fax
If you are going to be sending sensitive faxes all the time, or you work for a company and you’re trying to choose a service, RingCentral Fax, which is partially owned by Cisco and AT&T, is probably the best choice for your needs, especially since they have a lot of great security features and support for multiple users with separate fax lines.
They also have a really slick mobile app that’s probably one of the nicest ways to deal with faxing, or you can send faxes through email instead. It has all the other features you can imagine, including integrations with Outlook, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and you can even get a toll-free number. It also has a lot of security features that would be useful for businesses or people that are transmitting secure information.
Of course, if you just want to send a few faxes, you can sign up for one of their cheap plans… and then just cancel after a month or two.
If you just want to send a few faxes every now and then, you can also choose eFax, which is well known as the company that basically invented faxing digitally. They have a nice mobile app that lets you both send and receive faxes.
If you just need to send the occasional fax, we also recommend MyFax, which lets you send up to 10 free pages without having to pay. This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more pages per month than most people have to fax per year. If you do need to send more pages each month, you can upgrade to a regular plan.
Both of these providers are reputable and owned by the same large company that has been doing this for years. It’s not some fly-by-night operation. They might not have all the security features that RingCentral does, but you don’t need to worry about who has your personal information.
Faxing Over Email
If you’re using Windows Phone, Blackberry, a Fire Tablet, or some other operating system, you can always sign up for RingCentral, eFax, or MyFax and then use their website to send the fax — or you can use their fax by email feature.
Almost all of the providers let you send faxes by emailing a document to the number you are trying to fax to, combined with a custom ending. For instance if you wanted to fax something to 800-555-1212, you would send the document to an email like [email protected] (not a real address).
Being able to send faxes over email means that any mobile device can easily send faxes without needing to install an extra app.
Ultimately, there’s no single best fax application for everyone. If you need to send quite a few pages on an ongoing basis, a subscription-based service like RingCentral or eFax could be the best. If you want to just send a quick fax, MyFax is probably your best bet.
If you’re using another smartphone platform (like Windows Phone), your best bet is to find a fax service that lets you fax by email, which is generally the easiest and best way to send faxes anyway.
No fax machine? No problem. Your multi-tool of a smartphone can replace that device, too, and allow you to send faxes from your phone.
Your smartphone is one of the best tools you could have for working on the road. It’s a mobile office—scanner and fax machine included. On those rare occasions when sending a document via email or text message won’t suffice, you could use your camera phone to photograph a document and use a mobile fax app to send it to a fax machine. Here are some helpful mobile fax apps:
Files Anywhere aims to live up to its name by allowing users to store, share, sync and fax documents from anywhere. Like other cloud storage services such as Evernote and Dropbox, this app lets you store your files and access them from web-enabled devices. Bonus: You can send and receive faxes from your smartphone.
The app is easy to use. You can fax different types of files, such as PDF files, Excel spreadsheets, photos and more, to toll-free domestic and international fax numbers. Simply find a file on your phone, upload it to Files Anywhere and choose to fax it from the remote files. Just like sending a document on a real fax machine, you fill out the recipient’s information, the sender’s contact information, type a number and press Fax. Files Anywhere even sends a traditional cover sheet. If you choose, you can receive confirmation of the successful fax via email.
The number of faxes you can send varies depending on the plan you choose, which start as low as $4.99 monthly for unlimited faxing and 20 GB worth of cloud storage. You can start with the trial personal plan, which gives a single user 1 GB of storage and 10 free outbound faxes.
This app lets you “scan,” sync, edit and share documents—receipts, contracts, invoices, whiteboard discussions—across all mobile devices. CamScanner uses smart cropping and auto-enhancing to improve the image quality.
(If you still like the quality you get from a physical scanner, then try the ION® Air Copy Wireless Scanner. This portable, high-resolution scanner gives you the freedom to scan business cards, photos or other documents directly to your device in seconds. Get a real-time preview of the scan on the accompanying Air Copy app. Save those images and use CamScanner to send faxes from your phone.)
With CamScanner, you can access documents from the web, add tags and notes to them and even add a customized watermark. Once you’re done editing a document, you tap Fax in the Actions menu. Then type in the destination country and fax number.
The basic version of CamScanner comes with 200 MB of storage. You must buy credits to fax documents. To get more cloud space and other features, upgrade to the premium version for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Breezy – Print and Fax
The Breezy mobile printing and fax app lets users print and fax documents to any public printer in the Breezy Partner Network. To fax a document from the app, you simply open a document and select the Share menu. Then select Breezy from the list. You can preview the document or just tap Send As Fax. Enter the fax number and choose whether to include a cover sheet. Easy, breezy.
You must purchase Breezy credits to send documents via fax. Packages range from $1.99 for 10 fax pages to $19.99 for 100 fax pages.
These mobile fax solutions are great for small-business owners and freelancers. With these tools, anyone can send faxes from a mobile device while on the go.
The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Verizon is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.