After scouring the online market for hours, we have done our research to determine the best online fax service as MetroFax. We chose this service as our 'Editor's Choice' due to its value on the dollar, and the multitude of features including email-to-fax, mobile apps and international faxing.
However, if you are a power user (meaning you will be sending or receiving faxes in large quantities), then we recommend using RingCentral Fax. Similar to their business phone service, RingCentral offers a specialized fax subscription which offers up to an unlimited amount of pages faxed electronically per month for only $49.99.
Editor's Choice & Best eFax Service
The best online fax service overall based on price, features and reliability.
In business since 1997, MetroFax has built their service on the principles of flexibility and reliability. With prices starting as low as $6.63/month (if paid annually) and support for fax-over-email as well as dedicated iOS and Android mobile apps.
Best For Power Users
Built for power users, RingCentral's plan offers unlimited pages at the top tier plan.
Over the past few years, RingCentral has been molding their products to focus on more enterprise-level offerings bringing more advanced features at a higher price. Their fax service follows suit with the only service to offer a plan that supports unlimited pages sent/received per month.
A higher-priced service that has a stellar reputation in the industry built on reliability and ease of use.
As you'd expect from the name, eFax is a significant player in the online fax industry. Their sister company is the popular VOIP phone service, eVoice. With a long-time positive reputation and lifetime storage of all faxes, it is a service to consider despite the higher cost.
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Choosing the right electronic fax service for your individual or business needs isn't always cut and dry. Despite reading the entirety of this article, you may find yourself with questions or concerns regarding a particular service we mentioned.
For any cases where you feel as though you need further more guidance or simply have a related question that you want to be answered before signing up with an online fax service, you can utilize the comments section below this article. We will do our best to give a helpful reply as soon as possible.
Why Switch From A Traditional Fax To Digital?
Switching from physical fax machine to an online fax service is a no-brainer in the high-tech world that we live in today. The Internet has improved many of our traditional means of communication and while faxing (as a whole) is slowly being replaced with email and cloud computing, many businesses still rely on it to carry out their daily operations.
If you are currently running a traditional fax machine versus a digital solution, then you need to continue reading to understand the true financial and convenience benefits to switching your process to online faxing.
From a cost perspective, running a traditional fax machine is downright expensive. Not only do you have to front the full cost of the necessary hardware (the machine itself), but you also have to run a dedicated phone line to service its usage. Then you need to factor in things like toner costs, maintenance/repair fees and power consumption which can all add up rather quickly.
With an online fax provider, you skip all the overhead and physical components. This means all you are responsible is paying for the monthly subscription cost (excluding international faxing which faces additional fees) and instantly have access to send or receive faxes through digital means.
Initial Setup Costs
Dedicated Phone Line
$40/month or $480/year
$20+/month or $240+/year
As low as $79.56
Source: Small Business Cost Helper
This will differ greatly depending on the online fax service that you sign-up with. The smaller and cheaper services will offer basic feature and functionality to get you started with sending and receiving faxes digitally.
However, the higher-end services with more expensive plans will then incorporate more advanced features like cloud integration (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) and mobile app support (send/receive faxes from anywhere).
Ease Of Use
The great thing about moving to digital is just how easy it is to actually utilize the service. One of the most common ways to use online faxing is email-to-fax. This process allows you to upload a document and send it to a specific email address which is usually something along the lines of 'faxnumber@' and your intended fax will then arrive to your recipient's fax machine. It is as simple as attaching a file and sending an email.
What To Consider Before Signing Up For An Internet Faxing Service
Compared to a traditional fax setup, the investment into an electronic fax service is rather small although that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your research prior before signing up with one. Not all internet fax services are equal and depending on your needs or budget, the right choice for one reader might be different than another.
To help better determine the criteria you should be considering when shopping for the right electronic faxing plan, we came up with the following list of aspects to keep in mind:
- Company - in this type of market, the companies that are typically the most reputable and offer the most value on the dollar will have solid reputations and have been in the business for many years now.
- Pricing - for a subscription service like online faxing, you must always factor in the price as a monthly or yearly expense when looking at the bigger picture. In this article, we will reference the monthly price which offers no commitment. However many providers will offer a 30-day free trial to test out the service (we recommend you utilize this) and some even offer discounted pricing if you are comfortable pre-paying for a year at a time.
- Inbound limit - depending on the Internet fax service you choose, there may be a limit on the number of inbound pages that you can receive each month with your plan. Note that some plans have a 'combined' limit which just caps the amount of pages your plan can send OR receive in total.
- Outbound limit - the same concept as the inbound limit, the outbound references a maximum cap of pages you can fax to others each month via your plan. In the event of a 'combined' limit, again the cap will reference the total number of pages you can send or receive throughout the month.
- Overage costs - depending on the service and plan, you may find yourself hitting or surpassing the inbound/outbound/combined page limits. In this event, you'll be hit with additional charges for the remainder of the month which are on a per page basis although this amount is 10 cents or less. If you find yourself consistently surpassing your monthly limits, then we recommend that you upgrade to the next tier of online faxing plans which in most cases gives you a significant boost in page limits.
- Free Trial - all of the electronic fax services mentioned in this article offer a free trial period as it has become a standard in this industry. Within this 30-day period, you can setup a fax number (or import an existing) and utilize the service in its entirety to see if it's a good fit.
- Email faxing - the most common method of sending or receiving an electronic fax is through your email. While some companies offer other means (mobile apps or web-based interfaces), email-to-fax is the most convenient way to utilize the internet to send or receive. In this case, you can receive faxes through your email address and send faxes by simply uploading your document to an email and sending it to a specialized address.
- Android app - some efax services will offer a specialized mobile app for Android users to access their account or send/receive faxes over their mobile phone.
- iPhone app- similar to the Android app, some services will offer dedicated mobile applications for iPhone users to access their account while on the go.
- Transfer existing fax number - for some users, switching from traditional fax to electronic fax is worrisome as they have a fax number that customers or clients have been using for years, many services will allow you to port your existing number while reaping the benefits of online faxing.
- Toll-free numbers - if you are starting out with a free number, many services will provide a toll-free number included with your monthly subscription cost.
- International faxing - for someone who is conducing international business, being able to send or receive faxes to different countries is crucial, and many services mentioned in this article do support this. However, there is almost always additional fees to fax internationally so be sure to keep this in your mind and budget accordingly.
The Top eFax Services Compared
Transfer Existing Fax Number
*International faxing may incur additional fees beyond monthly subscription cost.
Best Online Fax Services (2018)
Our top pick for electronic faxing in 2018, MetroFax has been in existence for over 20 years and is currently run by J2 Global (the same parent company as eFax, MyFax, and RapidFax). The service offers stellar features and performance for the affordable monthly cost and goes above and beyond even some of their more premium competitors.
They are the only internet fax service within this article that offers a base plan under $10 that meets all the criteria we seek including email faxing, dedicated mobile apps, toll-free numbers, existing fax number transfers and the ability to send faxes overseas.
While MetroFax offers a free 30-day trial, the service starts at only $7.95/month with no commitment for monthly pricing. You can score a deal for as low as $6.63/month if you pay upfront for their annual plan after the free trial ends.
One of the original leaders in the electronic faxing industry is eFax who have also been in business almost 20 years. Their sister company, eVoice is also one of the leading providers of VOIP telephone communications for individuals and small businesses.
Similar to MetroFax, eFax covers the spectrum in terms of features with all the bells and whistles you'd expect. This includes email faxing, dedicated support for mobile, toll-free numbers, existing number transfers and international faxing.
With the long-time positive reputation, eFax does charge a premium for their services over MetroFax with pricing starting at $16.95/month plus a $10 initial setup fee. If you prepay annually, you'll get a discount equivalent to two months free.
RingCentral's primary business is in the VOIP phone market, but they offer specialized plans which include access to only their electronic faxing service. The minimum plan starts at 750 pages per month combined and extends all the way up to unlimited pages per month for their corporate plan.
There is support for sending and receiving faxes via your computer, email or the RingCentral Mobile app. An advanced feature with RingCentral is their integration with popular cloud storage providers like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft Outlook.
Like the rest, RingCentral Fax offers a free 30-day trial and pricing starts as low as $14.99 per month (no commitment) or $12.99 per month with an up-front annual plan.
Nextiva is another VOIP business phone provider that also offers cloud storage and internet faxing. Their vFax solution allows you to send and receive faxes electronically without the mess or hassle of the traditional process.
Their service covers most of the features you'd need, but they rely on email-to-fax or a browser-based portal instead of developing dedicated mobile apps. They also do not accept international faxing at this time.
However, one unique advantage with Nextiva is that they sell a $150 'Nextiva Fax Bridge' allowing you to use a standard fax machine (that you may already own) with the vFax service. With this, you can choose whether you want to use the machine for sending or receiving virtual faxes or both.
Pricing for Nextiva's vFax service starts at an affordable $8.95 per month with no commitments, but you can cut this significantly if you pre-pay annually as this cuts it almost in half down to just $4.95 per month.
Founded in 2004, MyFax ran for years as a successful internet faxing provider although the company was acquired in 2010. MyFax is now owned by j2 Global, the same people behind eFax, RapidFax, and MetroFax.
Since the acquisition, MyFax has seen some improvements to their service including dedicated mobile apps, improved contact organization, the ability to send a single fax to multiple people and online access to all previously faxed documents for the life of the account.
As you'd expect, there is a 30-day free trial and pricing is more competitive than eFax starting at just $10 flat a month with the option to get two months free via the annual plan. MyFax also offers a higher tiered plan than eFax running $40/month which includes 400 inbound and outbound pages each.
RapidFax is more of an old-school solution, but they still have a relatively large customer base who don't seek all the bells and whistles. The company was also acquired by j2 Global as well back in 2007, so it shares the same parent company as eFax, RapidFax and MyFax.
The byline on RapidFax website is 'Email to Fax - Fax to Email' and they specialize in exactly this. This means they don't have any dedicated apps or a web-based interface, but they support email faxing along with scripts available for sending straight from Microsoft Word.
A free 30-day trial is offered then pricing starts at $13.99 a month with no commitments. This is their only plan as of right now and this allows for 350 pages total combined with inbound/outbound.
If you've made it this far then you should be well versed in the current state of electronic fax services. While we think MetroFax is the best choice for most of our readers, there is certainly an argument to be made for any one of these services to be the most optimal for your needs or budget.
With a lot of technology, taking all this information can be overwhelming, and you might not feel as though you are ready to sign up with any of them right away. While we think the free trial gives a great indication of how good a service is before risking any money, we would recommend bookmarking this page for future reference when you are more prepared to reap the benefits of an internet faxing service.
Once again, if you find yourself stuck, have a question or simply unsure if electronic faxing is worth diving into compared to a traditional faxing strategy then feel free to utilize the comments section below this article to get in touch. We will do our best to assist prompty with any helpful feedback or advice.
We truly hope you found this guide helpful in your search for an online fax service!