Faxes? Who still uses faxes these days? A lot of people, which is why finding the best online fax service is so important. Faxes are particularly important in industries that depend on privacy, such as finance and medicine.
Whatever your reason for wanting to send a fax, the best fax services are now all based online. The fax machine that was first invented in 1846 has evolved to meet the needs of the modern era. After looking closing at the options available, here are my top picks for best fax service.
The Best Online Fax Service: What to Consider
A number of cheap online fax services exist these days. Although you might find some that are available for free, most charge a monthly fee for their use. Costs aside, there are several things to look for before your business chooses the best online fax service for its needs.
6 Features of the Best Online Fax Services
Doing your research and browsing the array of options out there can accelerate the decision process and help you achieve peace of mind in all your business affairs. When looking at the top fax services available, there were a number of factors that I used to determine which ones offered the best fax service. Some of the factors I looked at included:
1. The cost of using the service
I'm going to say that you will have to pay at least something to get the best online fax service out there. Free options are few and far between. While the best fax service providers do often provide a free trial, it's safe to assume that you'll be paying a monthly fee to continue to use the service.
2. The ability to get a fax number in your area
It's helpful to get a fax number that uses your business' area code. You might also want to get a toll-free number, so that people can fax you without paying long distance on their end. While most of the best online fax companies let you easily get a number in your area, a few charge extra for the ability to get a toll-free number.
3. The features available from the provider
The best fax service has the most features available for the most affordable price. Look at how many fax pages your plan includes each month, and what the cost is should you go over that allotment. Some fax providers charge the monthly fee again if you need to send an extra 150 pages by fax a month, for example. You also want to look at how quickly the company can send or receive faxes.
4. The level of customer support offered
If you have a problem with your fax service, you want to know that someone will be there to help you out. Look at the customer service options the best fax service companies offer. Can you get in touch by phone, email or online chat? When are customer service reps available?
5. How secure the information is, to ensure confidentiality of documents
Security is important for all industries, but it is a matter of critical importance if you're a doctor sending faxes to another doctor or a bank communicating with another bank. I looked carefully at how well the best online fax services encrypted or otherwise kept their documents secured.
6. Whether there is a trial period available to enable customers to assess the service
Getting to try before you buy or commit is always a good thing. I looked closely at the trial periods offered by several of the top fax services, as well as at how difficult it was to cancel if I wasn't satisfied.
By looking at these different factors, I found it easier to determine which of the growing number of internet fax services was likely to be the most suitable for a variety of business needs and a variety of business budgets.
Benefits of the Best Online Fax Service
The best online fax services offer several benefits over other methods of sending documents or files. The best fax service also offers benefits over the traditional, clunky fax machine.
Although you can now send much larger email attachments than ever before, sending any attachments over 25 MB is generally not recommended. Large attachments are difficult to download over email, for one thing. Since some email providers have smaller attachment size limits than others, there can be confusion if someone tries to send a large file to someone who can't open it.
Online fax services eliminate the issue of too-large attachments. Although many services do have page limits each month, those limits are usually very high (several hundred at least, for the best online fax companies). Additionally, you're easily able to purchase additional pages per month if you need to do so.
Even with the monthly cost, an online fax service is usually still a cheap fax service. You don't have to purchase paper to send through a fax machine. You don't have to worry about purchasing ink to use in the machine. Most importantly, you don't have to worry about purchasing a fax machine.
The Best Online Fax Service Can Save You Money
Still not convinced that online fax services are worth using? Take a look at a few more stats that show how much you can save by switching to the top fax service.
- The average fax machine printer cartridge prints up to 200 pages. Printer cartridges usually cost about $20. If your company receives 200 faxes a month, you'll save by switching to an online service.
- Let's not forget the cost of the actual fax machine. Depending on how high-end you go, not having to buy a machine can save you anywhere from $40 to several thousand dollars.
- Traditional fax machines use a lot of energy and water. Going online would reduce electricity use by 215 kilowatts per year and would save 360 million gallons of water. That's a lot of energy savings.
The Best Online Fax Services
- Easy to send and receive faxes
- Desktop interface and online facility
- Range of plans available
- Competitive prices
- Free 30-day trial and no set up fees
- Variety of features may seem confusing at first
Ringcentral Fax is a reputable and very efficient online fax services provider. It allows you to send faxes through the use of the company's website or through any email account. One of the key benefits for businesses using this service is that the prices are extremely competitive and are among the lowest web-based options on the market. There are no set up fees to worry about and you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial.
You can select from a range of different plans with Ringcentral Fax. Whether you're a heavy faxer or just need a few hundred pages you can select a plan between 500 and 2500 pages. If you exceed your limit you simply get charged per page you send or receive rather than being cut off from the service completely.
Using the service from Ringcentral Fax is very simple, which means you can get started without any problems. The connection is secure and there are also spam filters and protection as well as a range of other features.
You will also benefit from having an account that is password protected. There is a desktop interface through which you can receive or send your faxes as well as the online service.
With its range of features, ease of use, and total efficiency, this is an excellent choice for businesses and it also has a BBB rating of A+.
The only downside is that users may find the wide range of features a little confusing. However, with a bit of practice and site navigation this won't be a problem. Whether you are sending or receiving faxes, you will be able to enjoy the flexibility, convenience, and affordability that this company offers.
Ringcentral is an online fax service provider that has plenty to offer, making it the ideal choice for businesses of all sizes.
- A range of flexible plans available
- Generous page allocations with the plans
- Secure service to ensure confidentiality of faxes
- Can be used on a variety of platforms
- Competitive prices on plans plus low costs per page (if you exceed your allocation)
- No feature to add an electronic signature to faxes
- Customer service is not available 24/7
- You can't schedule faxes in advance
If your requirements for the best fax service provider include ease of use, flexibility, and competitively priced plans, Metrofax could be the ideal choice for your business.
The online fax service offers a generous send/receive page allowance as part of the fax plan.It also offers a host of features to make the service even more efficient and convenient.
You can use your own fax number with this service and there are no long distance fees for receiving faxes from the USA or Canada.
You can choose from a number of plans, all of which come with a range of features. The number of pages you receive will depend on the plan you choose, but you can use up your allocation of pages in any combination of received or sent faxes. You do get charged for pages over your allotted value, but the rate is affordable- 3 cents per page.
When it comes to security, Metrofax offers a fully secure service so that the information in your faxes remains confidential and can only be accessed by your recipient.
The Metrofax service is very easy to use and set up, and it can be used on a number of platforms, including your PC, smartphone, or other mobile device.
One of the drawbacks of the fax service is that around the clock customer service isn't available. However, the service is very efficient and reliable so you're less likely to face any significant issues. There is also no feature for an electronic signature on your faxes.
This provider enjoys a pretty decent rating of B from the Better Business Bureau, which coupled with the other benefits means that it could be an ideal option for those looking for basic online faxing services. However, before you make your decision it is advisable to look at the pros and cons of using this provider.
All in all, Metrofax is a great choice if you want a service that is basic, reliable, flexible, and affordable, with a range of plans and a variety of useful features available.
- Plans between 500 and 3000 pages
- Competitive pricing on plans
- Security features to ensure confidentiality
- 24/7 customer service
- A+ rating from BBB
- Lacks international faxing features
- No digital signature facility
For businesses that are looking for an online fax services provider that offers affordability, simplicity, and flexibility, Nextiva could be the perfect option. This is a reputable company that offers customizable plans to suit a wide range of businesses. You can select the package that best suits the needs of your business and you can even use your existing number with the fax service, should you wish to do so.
The number of pages you receive with each of the plans from this provider are generous, which means there's great value Nextiva's plans. You can look forward to 500 pages for sent/received faxes and if you exceed the limit you are charged just three cents per page. There are also other plans offering 1000 or 3000 pages. The affordability and functionality of the plans means that this is a good option for businesses looking for the best cheap fax service.
When it comes to security there is no need to be concerned when you use Nextiva, as the company offers secure data services so your documents remain confidential.
While this provider does offer a range of features with its plans, it does lack international faxing facilities and this could be a problem if your business regularly sends or receives international faxes. But its domestic faxing services does offer a high degree of reliability and excellent quality.
You have the ability to view your sent or received faxes anywhere, using your email account. If you encounter any problems, day or night, you will be able to communicate with a customer service representative to resolve the issue.
One potential drawback worth noting is that the provider does not offer digital signature facilities. It does, however, enjoy an excellent A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
By and large, this is a good, solid online faxing services provider and can cater to businesses of all sizes with its good range of plans. If you want a reliable provider that offers competitive prices and a range of features, this service could be the one for you.
- Simple to use service and interface
- Choice of plans available at affordable prices
- A range of features available with plans
- Secure service for peace of mind
- 24/7 customer services with a choice of contact options
- Higher than average cost per page if you exceed your allocated page allowance
- No digital signature facility available
- No mobile fax alerts available
Many businesses that are looking to use the best online fax services want to find a provider that offers simplicity and affordability. These are both qualities that you can expect when signing up for services from MyFax.
MyFax is able to provide you with ease of use, so that you can send faxes via the web or through an email platform. The simple interface makes the service appealing to those who want something that is efficient and easy-to-use.
You can look forward to a range of features when you use this online fax service, which includes password protected accounts, easy access, a high level of customer support, and unlimited fax storage (although they can only be stored for up to a year). You can send up to one hundred faxes and receive up to 200 with the basic service.
A big drawback of the service is the high cost per page if you exceed your page limit. It charges ten cents per page over the limit. A few more downsides include not offering digital signatures and no mobile fax alerts.
On the plus side, MyFax also offers a variety of plan options and doesn't charge a setup fee. It also has impressive security features in place, making it ideal for those who want to ensure the security and confidentiality of documents.
When it comes to support you can enjoy around the clock access with a number of contact options including online chat facilities. There is also a very good knowledge base enabling you to get all of the information you need to make the most of the service.
This provider is one that will appeal to those who want a basic, efficient, and simple to use service. You can benefit from reliability as well as a choice of plans when you choose MyFax.
- Simple, easy to use interface
- Quick integration with email such as Outlook
- Mobile access available
- Large file sharing facilities
- 24/7 customer support
- Higher than average costs per page if you exceed your limit
Although eFax isn't the most competitively priced online fax service provider on the market, it does offer a simple to use service with a wide variety of valuable features. This is a reputable provider and is ideal for those who want to be able to send or receive faxes using a range of platforms such as email, mobile devices, and the web.
You can select from a couple of different plans offering either 150 sent and received faxes or 200. But if you exceed your limit you will be charged 10 cents per page, which is identical to MyFax but higher than many of the other competitors in the market.
Despite its higher costs, this provider does offer a simple to use service that integrates easily with email service such as Outlook. You can also benefit from a digital signature facility, which many other providers do not offer.
Mobile access and large file sharing are two of the key benefits that this provider offers. A smooth and easy to use interface adds to the appeal of this provider. If you do run into any problems along the way, you can resolve your issue with the around the clock customer support team. There is also a comprehensive knowledgebase to help you in the event you need assistance.
Although it may not be as cheap as some of its competitors, eFax does offer a range of other benefits, namely its simplicity, features, and valuable large sharing facilities.
The Best Fax Service Helps the Environment
Traditional faxing is an environmental disaster. Every fax sent generates two pieces of paper. Sending a fax uses twice as much ink as sending a letter via snail mail.
In 2013, more than 16 billion faxes were sent around the world. If you were to stack those faxes one on top of the other, you'd end up with a pile of paper more than 853 miles tall. Plus, all those faxes used the equivalent of two million trees worth of paper annually. The top online fax services eliminate all that paper, saving the trees and reducing the amount of waste produced.
The Best Fax Service and HIPAA
Hospitals, doctor's offices and other medical providers need to particularly careful when sending faxes online. Since people's medical information is closely protected under the rules of HIPAA, sending that information over unsecured connections is usually not allowed.
One way that the best online fax services protect people's medical information is by sending the faxes using a secure socket layer (SSL) encryption. SSL keeps private information private while it travels from one place to another. Should someone intercept the document while it's being sent, they wouldn't be able to decipher it what it says.
If you need to send a fax, you need to find the best online fax service to do it. Since there are so many online fax service providers out there, it can really pay to do your research and check on factors such as affordability, features, efficiently, security, and other key features. By doing this you can ensure you find the right provider for your business needs as well as for your budget.
Along with finding the best fax service for your business, it's important to find the best options for storing the documents you receive. Check out my review of the best cloud storage providers to keep your important documents and received faxes safe.
If you're looking to take your business phone, not just your faxes, into the 21st century, take a look at my review of the best voIP phone systems for businesses. Many of the companies offering the best online fax services are also offering the best voIP options out there. It's time to take your business' communications to the next level.