FaxBurner review

The app that turns your smartphone into a fax machine

Main
(Image Credit: FaxBurner)

Our Verdict

FaxBurner stands out from the competition with a usable free tier, and less restrictive, higher page limits than their competitors in the paid tiers. Their app provides additional functionality, such as the ability to receive, sign and send documents, all from a mobile platform.

For

  • Free tier
  • Mobile-based
  • Reasonable page limits
  • Apply a signature to a fax from within app

Against

  • Lacks desktop support
  • No annual discount

FaxBurner comes to us from Networx Online, based out in Laguna Beach, California. It also makes PhoneBurner, software that automatically leaves voicemails to generate sales leads.

Pricing

FaxBurner's different plans (Image Credit: FaxBurner)

Pricing

FaxBurner pricing covers the gamut from a barebones free plan, to the top end premier plan, which offers full service features, with a plan in between for good measure. The entry level is the so-called ‘Free Package,’ which has a disposable fax number, which expires after 24 hours. It also has a reasonable low volume of 25 pages of inbound faxing, and 5 pages of outbound fax also. It also includes email-to-fax support, and fax-to-email support, and yes, the cost is truly nothing, making this ideal for occasional use, or as a trial before signing up for a paid plan. It can be used long term as the page limits reset each month.

Moving a tier up is ‘Professional,’ that costs $9.97 (about £8) per month, with a 14-day free trial. Their most popular plan includes multiple upgrades, including notably a permanent fax number, a toll-free number, as well as the lower plan’s email-to-fax support, and fax-to-email support. Perhaps most importantly, the page limit goes up to a healthy 500 pages monthly total limit, that covers both inbound and outbound faxing.

The top tier is dubbed ‘Premier,’ which costs $19.97 (about £15)  for each month of service. This plan includes all the features of lower plans, with the increase of total inbound and outbound fax pages of 2,000 for each month, making this plan quite suitable for heavier business use.

No credit card is required for either the free package, or to sign up for the 14-day free trial. We did not find any coupons, or annual discounts, but appreciate that the account is easy to cancel online if the service is no longer needed, without a lengthy process.

Features

Faxburner's features  (Image Credit: Faxburner) 

Features

Forget those clunky, online web interfaces, that are difficult to navigate, and use, just to send a fax. After all, sending a fax remains quite common these days, and it is ideal to have a solution that simplifies things, making an app on a phone the ideal solution for today’s mobile worker.

FaxBurner adopts this ‘Mobile first’ approach, with apps available for the iOS and Android platforms, that work on both smartphones and tablets. Users can start with a free account, which comes with a temporary fax number, that expires after 24 hours. After that, FaxBurner gives the option to keep the fax number by upgrading to a paid account. There is absolutely no need for a dedicated phone line, or even a physical fax machine.

Also, the apps provide more than just the basics of sending and receiving faxes. For example, the fax can be entirely composed in the app window, or there is the option to attach an already existing file. There is also the option in the app to create a cover letter also. Images can be attached, and all of this can be combined into a single multi-page fax.

Most competitors (frustratingly) totally gimp their free fax tier, by emblazoning it with watermarks, and other ads, which makes it look totally unprofessional and not suitable for business use, and especially when applying for a job. Thankfully, FaxBurner does not do this- even on their free tier.

An all too common scenario still is to receive a fax, which is a pile of documents that requires printing it just for applying a simple signature, which then has to all be refaxed back to a recipient. FaxBurner takes on this problem, and their app allows the user to receive the document, sign it, and fax it again- all without printing anything out- for a simpler, and speedier workflow. There are also economic and green benefits, by avoiding paper, ink and electricity. The faxing can also be done mobile from a phone, making going back to the office to check on, or to deal with a fax an annoying activity of the past.  

The FaxBurner app provides a simple notification of the received fax with a special tone, as well as a copy of the document via an email. FaxBurner also provides integration to popular storage apps, including DropBox. There is also the option to snap pics of documents allowing the phone to function as a scanner, so they can be faxed.

While the primary way to send a fax is via their app, at least an alternate method is provided as it can be sent via email. Users just attach the PDF or image file to the email and then send this to FaxBurner’s unique email address, with the recipient’s fax number in the email subject line. This at least provides a partial workaround that allows a fax to be sent while on a desktop computer in the office, as otherwise there is no direct support for the Windows, MacOS and Linux desktop OS’.

Final verdict

FaxBurner is one of those, “Why didn't I think of this?” ideas. Underlying the simplicity of a mobile app to fax, is quite a bit of power and usability. We particularly like the free tier, and appreciate the lack of ads on the cover pages, or even worse in our opinion, fax pages. 

Another pro is a choice of paid tiers, both with a reasonable number of pages for the costs. A miss is that while FaxBurner is quite mobile focused with its iOS and Android apps, there is little support for any desktop platforms, including ubiquitous Windows, other than to use the fax-to-email workaround. Despite this shortcoming, there is much functionality to like here, and makes FaxBurner an easy to recommend service that every user should put on their smartphone.