Faxing is still necessary this day and age, despite the fact that we are talking about a technology that was invented over 170 years ago. People are still using faxing, although the technology used to transmit the data has changed dramatically over time.
There are various types of legal documents that require signature and the easiest way to send them is via fax. But faxing is not what it used to be. Nowadays, you don’t have to use the PSTN (public switched telephone network) in order to fax something. You can do it way easier and faster with the help of the internet.
Online faxing, also called virtual faxing, e-faxing, internet faxing, digital faxing and so on, is a newer, greener and more efficient way of sending and receiving faxes, using internet protocols instead of regular telephony.
How do you send a fax over the internet?
In order to send a fax online, you need to sign up for an online fax service. The provider will give you a fax number, which can be local, toll-free or international. You log into your account, you go to your e-mail account, create a new mail and complete all the fields. You type in the fax number of the recipient, which has a format that looks like: firstname.lastname@example.org. You attach the content you want faxed (depending on the provider, online fax services support most of the common file formats, from PDF to DOC, TXT, RTF, JPEG, PNG and others). You can also add a subject and message in the body field, (although these are optional) and you click on ‘send’.
Each time you send a fax to someone over the internet, you receive a confirmation email once the fax reaches the recipient.
The benefits of online faxing over conventional faxing
There are various advantages internet faxing has over traditional faxing. Online faxing is more affordable, because you don’t have to invest in a fax machine, paper, toner and so on. It is also more versatile because you can use it with or without a fax machine, with your mobile devices or your desktop computers.
Online faxing is also more environmentally-friendly so you can help reducing the number of trees being cut for paper production.
It is also more efficient in terms of space, because you don’t need extra storage space for bulky fax machines, folders of paper documents and so on.
Best online fax services to consider
RingCentral. RingCentral is a very renowned company that offers both VoIP and online fax services. It offers cloud-based solutions and it is based in California.
It offers 4 plans to choose from: Fax 750, Fax 1500, Fax 2500, Fax Unlimited.
Fax 750 is priced at $12.99/month and includes 750 fax pages per month. Additional pages are priced at 5.9 cents per page.
Fax Unlimited is the most expensive plan and it starts from $39.99/month. However, in order to get an exact price, you have to contact their sales team and get a customized offer. This plan includes an unlimited number of fax pages and 2 shared fax numbers, as supposed to 1 number included with the rest of the plans.
Features included with RingCentral:
- Toll free, local or vanity fax numbers
- Integrations such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and more
- Fax alerts on your phone
- Mobile app with capture and fax option
- Free trial for all the plans
HelloFax. HelloFax is a great and popular online fax service, especially because of its free plan.
HelloFax offers 5 plans to choose from, with the most basic one being free. The free plan allows you to send 5 fax pages, it has international coverage, secure cloud storage and more.
There are 4 paid plans in addition to the free one: Home Office, Professional, Small Business and Enterprise.
Home Office is the most affordable one and it is priced at $9.99/month. It includes 5 team members and 300 fax pages per month.
The most expensive plan is Enterprise. It is customizable so you have to contact them for an exact quote.
The next most expensive one is Small Business, billed at $39.99/month. It includes 20 team members and up to 1000 pages per month.
Features included with HelloFax:
- Free 30-day trial with all plans
- International coverage (you can fax to over 70 countries)
- Email to fax
- Integrations (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Evernote)
- Secure cloud storage
- Multiple fax recipients
Nextiva vFax. When you hear about Nextiva, the first thing that comes to mind is usually VoIP, because Nextiva is primarily known for offering VoIP services. However, the company also has an online fax service called vFax.
vFax comes with 3 plans: Single User, Small Business and Business Pro.
Single User is their most affordable plan and it is billed at $4.95/month. It includes 500 fax pages per month.
Small Business is your next choice and it costs $12.95/month. It includes 1000 pages per month.
The most expensive plan is Business Pro. This one is billed at $29.95/month and it includes 3000 pages per month.
As you can see, all plans offered by Nextiva vFax are affordable compared to most competitors, which is why this is such a popular online fax service.
The most important features included with Nextiva vFax:
- 30-day free trial
- 128-bit secure SSL encryption
- Toll-free, local numbers (including Canada)
- Fax notifications via e-mail for up to 6 people and SMS alerts
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- The ability to port your current fax number
- Cloud storage for up to 6 months
- 20 file formats supported