Last updated on July, 21
🏆 Best Online Fax Services for August 2021
Do you need to send a fax? No worries. Online fax service is the fastest and easiest way to send a document by fax, without ever having to leave your desk. Sign up for a free trial of best online fax services!
What is an online fax service?
Faxing may seem to be outdated, but in reality, many businesses still use this service to send and receive official notifications. But today, instead of using fax machines or fax servers, which require telephone network and landline phones, you can access your faxes from almost any internet-enabled device through an online fax. Online fax is a technology that uses the Internet protocol (IP) to send and receive faxes online.
Why do you need an online fax service?
Technology continues to make everything in life more manageable, including communications made within and outside of companies. As different industries move their business transactions to the cloud, and traditional fax systems have become too inefficient and expensive to maintain, many companies are switching to online fax services.
Saves Time and Money
Using an online fax service means no more paper is wasted, and no more costs are needed for the maintenance of your fax machine. Also, you get to send and receive faxes from anywhere and at any time of the day. You no longer need to be in your office to use your fax machines for your documents. With the best online fax services, you can consume less time, money, and effort. As long as you have a device that is connected to the internet, you are good to go.
Most documents that are faxed together with company information are crucial and confidential, and they need to be kept private and secured. Online fax services use encryption systems to make sure your data is transferred safely so that no one except the sender and receiver can open and read the content of the faxes.
Companies generally send and receive multiple faxes per day. With this, you need to make sure you have a decent filing system so you can easily find them when you need them. These online fax services allow you to electronically sort documents directly from your fax website, mobile app, or email, making the storage and archiving of information very easy. These services also eliminate the need to handle mountains of physical documents.
Unlike traditional fax systems, online fax services remove people’s reliance on fax papers. These services, in turn, help the environment by eliminating the necessity of cutting down trees to produce paper. If you use online fax services, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and making your business “green” since you can go paperless. Plus, you only need your computer or smart device as your equipment.
Convenience and Flexibility
While traditional fax systems require physical machines to send and receive a fax, these online services allow you to manage all of your faxes directly on the cloud – from literally anywhere that has an Internet connection. Therefore, you can access all of your essential documents anytime, even if you are on holiday or making a business trip.
Fax machines, together with ink cartridges and papers, occupy space in business premises. But online fax services remove the placement of such things, giving more space for other types of equipment to be placed in your office.
Online fax services offer scalable solutions that adapt to the needs of your company. Whether your business is expanding, or you need to open multiple fax lines, or add various users, or send more or fewer faxes than you initially do, these services are always scalable to meet your requirements. Most online fax services use pay-per-use pricing, which means that you aren’t paying a single cent more than what you’re using, and you can always change the plan you’re subscribing to depending on your needs.
Core features of best online fax service
Nearly every brand of online fax provides almost the same service. So it usually comes down to which features a service provider can offer your business when deciding on a platform. The following features can help simplify the online faxing process, provide the tools necessary to ensure your messages get where they need to go, and let you maximize the use of the service for a better online faxing experience.
Dedicated or Local Fax Numbers
One common feature that online fax services often include in their service packages is the use of a toll-free or local fax number. In addition to choosing your fax number, some companies also sell long-distance or international fax numbers. When you have a dedicated or local fax number, you show that you're a neighborhood business that people can trust. Customers will see your business as reliable and be more inclined to work with you.
Through online fax services, users can safely store copies of every fax they send or receive in the cloud and easily access them 24/7. Some services allow their users to tag faxes with keywords, making the files easily searchable. Most of these services also let you store every fax online for the life of your account. With the lifetime storage feature, service providers store almost every fax you send or receive securely in the cloud for as long as you're a subscriber.
Electronic signatures are one of the main reasons why an online fax service is so beneficial for companies, as they are legally stronger than signatures provided through other methods. This feature lets you add your signature to a document electronically by taking a photo of your handwritten signature or merely swiping your finger across your mobile screen to sign. This feature saves you from having to print anything and saves both time and money for everyone involved.
With the address book feature, you don't have to type the number or email addresses of your contacts manually when you send them a fax. You can save your frequent fax destinations and even assign multiple numbers to a group. You can also easily search through your contacts when you log into your account or in your mobile fax app. Having an address book ensures minimum effort and maximum time saving on your behalf when sending fax out.
Large File Sharing
It's sometimes frustrating when you try to send a file to a colleague, whether it is a presentation, high-resolution image, video, or audio clip, but it's too big for email. With this feature, you will never have the same problem because it allows you to send and receive large files from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Large file sharing can be integrated seamlessly into your business to improve collaboration quickly and save time and money efficiently.
Do you need specific fax but can't remember what you named them? This feature lets you quickly find any fax you've ever sent or received using keywords, recipient name, date, or other parameters. You can also tag faxes with your keywords to find them quicker. Fax search saves you lots of time and keeps you from the frustration of getting lost while searching for a fax.
With a busy work schedule, sometimes you tend to forget that there are faxes needed to be sent. With this feature, faxes can be scheduled and sent at a defined time and date. This feature is mainly used when delivery time matters the most, and you would like your fax to be transmitted and delivered at an exact time in the future. So you don't have to delay the transmission of any urgent fax.
Types of online fax service
You can find different online fax services. Check out the pros and cons of each type to figure out which online solution will serve you best.
This type of online fax service enables you to use a web-based application to do all your faxing. You just need to have a PC or laptop with an internet connection to have access to all your documents, send and receive them, and organize them in the cloud. Most web faxing services come with a feature that informs you with an email or push notifications when there is a new fax message in your inbox.
Pro #1: No need to learn new software
Faxing on the web saves you the trouble of installing and learning new software. All you have to do is to create an account with the service provider you have chosen, and then you can start navigating through their web pages and start using their online fax services.
Pro #2: Simple interface
This type of online fax service offers a simple and intuitive interface that allows users to familiarize the web-based application in no time, thus, allowing you to use the service and maximize the web faxing experience quickly and without any frustration.
Con #1: Internet downtime
Internet downtime encounters are the most considerable disadvantage for all types of online fax services. With everything done on the web, it can inevitably affect your faxing when the internet is down. Downtimes can delay essential business communications and transactions, which slows down the progress of your business activities.
Con #2: Monthly subscription
Like other online services, web faxing requires you to create an account and pay for a monthly subscription to the service provider for you to maximize all its features. Though these monthly subscriptions aren’t as expensive as the cost and maintenance of fax machines, ink cartridges, and papers, it’s still a disadvantage if your business is running on a low budget.
Mobile phones have not only increased their processing power, but their functionality has also dramatically increased with the power of applications or “apps.” Today, faxing can be done conveniently through mobile apps. This type of online fax service turns your smartphone or tablet to a fully-functional fax machine.
Pro #1: Effortless sending and receiving of fax
This type of online fax service allows you to use apps directly from your smartphones, which are helpful for those times you don't have a scanner at hand or don't want to bother logging in to your computer. With mobile faxing, you can just open your device's camera and use it to scan physical documents and turn them into digital documents ready to be sent via fax.
Pro #2: Increased productivity
We all know that we carry our smartphones or tablets with us whenever and wherever we go. Using these devices became a big part of our daily lives, and with this, faxing has never been easier. You can send and receive a fax with just a touch of a button. The ease of mobile faxing means that more fax will be sent and received within a given time, thus, increasing work productivity.
Con #1: Cloud storage
While cloud storage allows you to store your files online and causes you to free up device storage, this is also risky in terms of security. Though these online fax services have security features, you can't be too sure if your files are safe because anyone can hack everything you put in the cloud.
Con #2: App updates
Mobile apps have updates from time to time, mostly with added features and bug fixes. But sometimes these updates can be a little annoying, especially if it's done weekly and if the new app version continually takes up too much storage space on your phone or tablet.
Nowadays, faxing is as easy as emailing. This type of online fax service lets you send faxes from any email server to any fax machine or internet faxes and vice versa. The process of email faxing is relatively straightforward — you can send and receive a fax just as you would typically send and receive an email. As you can email from anywhere, this approach makes an online fax service more universally available.
Pro #1: Worldwide coverage
Whether you want to send and receive faxes locally or internationally, you can do it directly from your email. You will no longer have to worry about finding a location to fax as you can access your account everywhere you have access to the internet. Email faxing lets you get a local or toll-free fax number from your desired area code in different countries and receive faxes online. You can also port your existing fax number if you wish to keep your current number.
Pro #2: Delivery status
This type of online fax service lets you get the delivery status of your fax right in your email. There will be confirmation pages or proofs of receipt that give you a record of the other end of the line receiving the message. Knowing your fax's status reduces the kind of situation wherein someone claims that they never got the message.
Con #1: May contain advertisements
Advertisements can also be done through email fax. Outgoing and incoming email faxes may contain advertising on the cover page. But most of the time, ads in email faxes are unwanted and unnecessary, especially when you are sharing confidential files with clients or with another company.
Con #2: Familiarity with fax machines
Signing up for a service like online faxing can be an intimidating process, especially if you are technologically-challenged and have no one to teach you how it works. If you know how your fax machine works, you might not want to change your system. Fax machines have been around for decades, and sometimes familiarity with a system beats out less expensive or modern alternatives.
Who needs an online fax service?
Lots of industries require online fax services in sending out official documents. Read on to see if you belong to such segments.
Faxing is an integral part of the legal industry, and lawyers must be able to sign and send essential documents quickly. Legal teams can use online fax services to build and maintain trusted relationships through quick and reliable faxing when clients need it the most. Because professionals in this industry have such busy schedules and are often juggling multiple clients, it is crucial to make the most out of every billable hour.
Online fax services help transportation and logistics companies gain a competitive advantage by compressing delivery times and boosting responsiveness to ensure seamless communication with all members of the supply chain. Whether employees are on the road, at the warehouse, or just out of the office, they can handle all faxing needs directly from their smartphone or tablet through the use of online fax services.
Countless insurance-related documents are sent and received every day. With online fax services, insurance companies can ensure that documents are transmitted as efficiently as possible, by faxing anytime and anywhere. These services give insurance companies the convenience of sending and receiving documents for internal use. Also, it allows communication between businesses and customers.
Bankers can streamline the process of sending and receiving these essential documents through the use of online fax services. Countless banking documents, including loans and licenses, are sent and received via fax every day. With online fax services, they can safeguard sensitive financial information while responding to urgent client needs on-the-go.
Real Estate Agents
Online fax services are beneficial for real estate agents and mortgage professionals because they help deliver the responsive and personalized experience that clients demand. Online fax services also allow them to send offers, sign purchase agreements, or share contracts right from their PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. They help realtors stay in touch with buyers, sellers, banks, and other agents.
Consulting is all about establishing trusted relationships with clients. With online fax services, these companies can deliver personalized and responsive service for clients. Time-sensitive documents and client requests can arrive at any time, so consultants must be able to respond as quickly as possible.
Step-by-step guide on how to choose the best online fax service
Step1: Know you fax volume.
Before subscribing to any online fax service, the first thing you have to do is to know the volume of faxes that you need to send and receive each month. Knowing your fax volume is an essential key to finding the right service provider.
Step 2: Know your budget and your desired plan.
If you don't send a lot of faxes, you can choose an inexpensive plan with a lower monthly fax limit. On the other hand, if you have a lot of faxes to send, you may consider spending a few dollars more for a higher limit. Determining these factors will help you think of what you would feasibly send and receive in a month and aid you in choosing a plan that fits your needs.
Step 3: Do your research and contact person providers.
After assessing your faxing needs, you should get familiar with the different service providers available so that you could compare and contrast the features of their offers. In case you need additional information, you can reach out to them directly so that you could evaluate their products and customer service.
Step 4: Understand fee structures.
Once you have chosen your online fax service provider, you should understand their full fee structures. You have to learn all about the service costs, both advertised and hidden. Even if the service provider doesn't require you to sign a contract or a long-term agreement, it will hold you liable for all fees, including those you unwittingly incur.
Step 5: Start faxing.
Now that you have learned about the costs and subscribed to them, it's time to familiarize yourself with your new online fax and start using it in your day to day business activities. Congratulations! You've just made your work life more manageable with online fax services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are various types of online fax services to choose from, which offers features that could be very beneficial for your business. Depending on your faxing needs, you can compare and read reviews about specific types and brands and choose the top online fax service that gives you the most advantage.
Most online fax services are subscription-based, and they require you to pay monthly fees. However, there are, indeed, free fax service providers, but they don’t offer the same features as the premium ones.
Also, some online fax service providers offer free trial periods. During these demos, you can use their premium features for free for a limited time. This trial period is helpful for you if you want to check a service first before you invest your money in it.
Yes, there are service providers who offer one-time faxing. These are pay-per-use online fax services, and they mostly cater to small businesses because it's easy to use, and they only charge you for the faxes you send. Plus, there are no monthly fees. Pay-per-use services like this are advisable for small businesses so they can send just a few faxes each month.
Yes, most of the time, you need to create an account to use online fax services. This account allows you to send and receive faxes, update account information, and administer multiple accounts. You can also configure your email and SMS delivery of incoming faxes, and check how many pages are remaining in your plan’s monthly allotment, and much more.
Yes. There are no contracts when using online fax services. You can cancel your subscription anytime without having to pay cancellation or termination penalties.
Yes. Most service providers let you use your existing fax numbers by transferring it to their online fax system. Keeping your old fax number is the easiest way to provide a seamless transition to online Internet faxing without putting much hassle on your customers.
Yes. Most service providers allow you to send a fax to a couple of destination numbers all at the same time. However, you might have to contact your service provider to enable the ability to send to more recipients at once.
No. unlike the traditional fax machines, you don’t need to keep your device always on. All messages are automatically stored in your user, email, or mobile app account, waiting for you to retrieve them whenever you want.
Yes. Most service providers offer the feature of having multiple fax numbers assigned to your account. However, you may want to check your subscription plan first since this may come with additional costs.
Yes. Some fax service providers have mobile apps. This way, you can access your fax messages on your mobile devices anytime and anywhere. All you have to do is download and install the app, and get yourself an internet connection.