Today, there are many ways to send and receive files — email, file sharing apps (e.g., Dropbox or Google Drive), and good old fashioned snail mail are some of the options available to you.
However, there are occasions when you must send or receive a fax. Sometimes the business partner with which you are working will only use this method to send you something. If you are like most others, you probably don’t have a fax machine anymore (assuming you had one in the first place).
For a long time, those who wanted to send and receive faxes had to go to an office supply store. Today, however, you have other high-tech options available to you if you need to use this fairly antiquated technology. Nevertheless, the internet tends to offer a solution for most things in life, and faxes aren’t an exception.
A Worthy Upgrade
Online faxing services, at the most basic level, function similarly to its “analog” cousin. They can provide you with a fax number, allowing you to leverage the power of the internet to send and receive faxes.
Video: eFax’s simple tutorial video on online faxing is a straightforward explanation of the replacement technology
This means that you can take care of business without having to make a stop at an office supply store. You can also confirm that faxes were successfully sent or received without having to wait around for the other party to respond.
Sending Faxes Online and On the Go
Faxing isn’t a super complicated technology, so online faxing services tend to be fairly simple and easy to use as well. Most of the options available today will provide you with a dashboard or portal to manage your faxes. The workflow may look something like this:
- If you want to send a fax, you provide the number to which the file should be sent.
- Then, you find and attach the files located on your computer.
- If you want to receive faxes, you’ll need to have a fax number the sender can use. You can purchase a new number (though some will allow you to port a number you already own), and you can access your files online or have them emailed to you.
In addition to the online dashboard, many online fax services also offer mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. These apps help handle business on the go, as well as when you want to fax physical documents. When you don’t have a scanner handy, you can use your mobile device’s camera instead.
Note, however, that even fax services that don’t offer mobile apps should offer a mobile-friendly experience. If you find that a service doesn’t offer a responsive website from which you can use their services, you might want to look elsewhere.
The 7 Best Online Fax Services
To help you find an online fax service that’s right for you, we’ve reviewed and provided summaries of the eight best options on the market today.
|Mobile-Friendly||E-Mail Integration||Starting Price|
|eFax||Yes||Yes||£11.00/mo (UK-based service)|
|MyFax||Yes||Yes||£10.00/mo (UK-based service)|
|FaxZero||No||No||$1.95/fax (limited free version available)|
|Nestiva vFax||Yes||Yes||$4.95/mo (free 30-day trial)|
RingCentral is a provider of cloud-based communication and collaboration tools, and one of its offerings is an online faxing service.
- Send/receive faxes using a new number or an existing number you already own
- Send faxes over encrypted connections
- Supports fax previews
- Access received faxes via email
- No ad hoc faxes; you must purchase a subscription plan
MetroFax offers internet fax services aimed at small businesses. MetroFax can be used in conjunction with your email account or accessed via a web browser or Microsoft Office.
- Simple pricing scheme: you select a monthly plan that supports a specified number of pages, and any additional pages you send cost $0.03
- Supports international faxing, which means you don’t get charged for using a long-distance fax number
- No contracts required
- No mobile apps
- Not HIPAA-compliant
eFax brands itself as “The World’s #1 Online Fax Service” and offers its customers the ability to send and receive faxes via email.
- Allows faxing via computer or mobile device
- Supports electronic signatures
- Enhanced security allows you to receive faxes in an encrypted, secure location
- Can share large files with up to 20 recipients
- Offers unlimited file storage
- International faxes incur additional cost
- Costly subscription
MyFax offers users internet-based faxing that leverages the power of the user’s email provider, web browser, or mobile device.
- Offers both local and international numbers to use, plus toll-free number options (senders don’t have to pay to send you faxes)
- Can receive faxes in your email inbox
- Share your plan with up to five other users, who can all send from your fax account
- Enterprise users may find the existing plans expensive and limited
FaxZero is an online fax service that specializes in helping users send faxes to recipients in the United States or Canada free of charge.
- Good, no-frills option for those who want to send one-off faxes
- Can “white label” faxes you send for a nominal fee; also gets you priority sending and no limits on the number of faxes you can send each day
- Free faxes are limited to three pages and will include FaxZero branding
- Only supports the following file types: DOC, DOCX, PDF
Nextiva vFax is an online service that strives to simplify the fax-to-email process.
- Allows you to integrate your online fax service with any regular fax machine
- Can add up to five additional users to your account
- Does not charge for use of a toll-free number to receive faxes
- Faxes are deleted after six months
Biscom 123 offers simple, easy-to-use, fax services, even to those who don’t have access to a credit card.
- Allows users to send faxes via email, eliminating the need for a dashboard or portal
- No credit card required for subscription plans
- Supports API integration so you can add faxing services to existing apps or websites
- Android and iOS faxing apps available
- Supports faxing to recipients in the US or Canada only
- The starting price at $7.99 per month for only 30 fax pages is expensive compared to other options
Faxing isn’t something that is done very often anymore, but there are times when it’s the only option you have for sending or receiving files. The rise of online faxing services means that you don’t need to make a trip to the office supply store or buy a machine.
Online faxing services vary in the included features and functionality, but these services can vary even more in their pricing. There are free options, but those who need more frequent access to faxing would do well with a subscription plan.