What is an online fax?
Faxing online has replaced traditional fax machines as the
quickest, easiest and most convenient way to send and receive faxes. An online
fax service, like those listed in the chart above, gives you
- A dedicated business fax number
- The ability to send, receive and manage your faxes from a simple online dashboard
- The ability to receive inbound faxes at at least one email address
Think of online fax as an email service that can communicate with a
traditional fax machine. When you receive a fax, it will be sent to
your email address as an attachment. You can also log into your dashboard,
view your digital fax there, and print or delete it at will. This saves on
paper and ink needed to print your faxes.
(Tip: Online fax services are sometimes mistakenly called eFax services, but eFax is simply the trademarked name of one of the largest service providers. The name eFax is to online fax as Xerox is to copier.)
Why use an online fax service?
Low Cost: Typically the monthly fee you pay an internet fax service is much less than the cost of a dedicated phone line and you have no long distance charges.
Convenient: Online fax services allow you to send and receive faxes from any internet connected device, including smartphones and tablets (several companies offer smartphone apps, including eFax, RingCentral and MetroFax).
Efficient: Many services allow you to set up multiple “receive” emails, so your faxes are automatically delivered to whomever you choose.
Reliable: You will no longer have to deal with the limitation of your phone line or fax machines. This means no busy signals, no running out of paper, no paper jams, etc.
Eco-Friendly: Reducing consumption not only reduces costs, it’s the responsible thing to do for the environment. Printing every junk fax or bad transmission creates trash and costs money.
Secure: Most email fax services support high level encryption technology. Furthermore, you can designate specific email addresses to receive faxes, which is significantly more secure than sending sensitive documents to a shared fax machine.
Special note about eFax
eFax, and it’s parent company, j2 Global, is such a large player in the online fax industry that it warrants special attention.
eFax got its start in 1999, when a fax company named JetFax changed its name to eFax.com, Inc., and began offering online fax services. In 2000 eFax was acquired by JFAX, which changed its name to j2 Global Communications after that purchase, and later to j2 Global, Inc.
Over the years, j2 Global has purchased several other popular fax brands and continues to operate them under their original brand. Two of those brands are MetroFax and MyFax. Subsequent to their purchases, j2 moved each of these brands to eFax’s technology, service and sales platforms, so the interfaces of each are identical. The only differences between these services are the pricing plans and a few features like e-signing that are included with eFax, but not with MetroFax or MyFax.
j2 Global also owns the fax services TrustFax, CallWave, RapidFax, Send2Fax and Fax.com
eFax typically charges a $10 setup fee for new customers. By signing up using the links on FaxCompare, that fee is waived.
Nextiva’s “Single User” plan typically only includes 500 fax pages per month. FaxCompare users will receive 1,000 pages per month for the same price.
MyFax’s “Best Value” plan typically only includes 200 incoming and 100 outgoing fax pages per month. FaxCompare users will receive 400 incoming and 400 outgoing fax pages per month for the same price.
What to look for in an online fax service:
Market Standard: After reviewing plans from all
the internet fax service providers
on our list, we came up with what we consider to be “market standard.”
A standard online fax service offers the following features:
- 30-day free trial
- No startup fee.
- $9.95 per month
- 300 total pages (incoming and outgoing combined).
- $0.10 per minute for overage pages.
- No Hidden Fees
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Send/Receive capabilities.
We do not recommend selecting an online fax service based on brand
name recognition. There are many reliable online fax services with good customer service that meet FaxCompare.com’s “market standard” criteria. More well-known services may charge more for the same features that are available from lesser-known, less expensive email fax carriers. (Use the online fax comparison chart at the top of the page to compare current prices.)
Pages v. Minutes: Some providers quote rates in minutes and others in pages. Those that quote rates in minutes are assuming that it takes 1 minute or less to transmit 1 page. However, they all state that the actual time to transmit a page may vary.
Why use FaxCompare.com?
FaxCompare.com was created in 2007 as a result of our own frustration in choosing an online faxing service. Over the years, we have spent hundreds of hours testing and updating this site to ensure that it is the best online fax resource on the web. We have consolidated and organized all that information, so you can make a quick comparison of the different services, select a provider, and get back to business.
Over 1,000,000 people have used our website to compare online fax services, and we hope you’ll find it useful too.