The advantages of online faxing are indisputable. They are the future of fax communication for a variety of reasons.
Online faxing benefits
Online faxing eliminates a lot of the costs associated with traditional faxing. In order to send a fax over the internet, you don’t necessarily need to have a fax machine. You don’t have to pay for paper, toner, and so on. All you need is a computer, a valid email address and to sign up for an online fax service.
Another benefit of sending your faxes via internet is that it is more responsible towards the environment. No more paper needs means less trees cut for paper production.
Online faxing is flexible, you can send and receive faxes from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a reliable internet connection at your disposal.
Online faxing is also a space saver. You will have considerably more space in your office, because you don’t have to store bulky fax machines, folders with paper and so on.
With Internet faxing you can send multiple pages in a single document, as a PDF, txt., etc. so you don’t have to send every page individually, as it is the case with traditional faxing.
Online faxing also works with mobile devices and a lot of companies also offer mobile apps to their customers.
How do you send a fax using the Internet?
Online faxing works pretty much like conventional faxing, but it uses a web interface instead of a physical fax machine.
The first thing you need to do in order to send/receive online faxes is to sign up for an online fax service. When you do that, the company you sign up with assigns you a fax number and you use your e-mail to send a fax via internet. You enter the recipient’s number, followed by the online fax service, you attach the document and you click ‘send’.
All the popular formats are accepted by most providers: docx, pdf, rtf, txt, png, jpeg, tiff and others. You can also use most web browsers for the operation: Chrome, Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc.
Online faxing can be used to send and receive faxes between fax machines, computers, computers and fax machines. If you want to switch to online faxing but still want to keep and use your old fax machine, you can do so. All you need is an adapter and you’re good to go.
Nextiva vFax – Is it a good online fax service?
You might know Nextiva primarily for its VoIP (voice-over-internet-protocol) services, because this is how the company started, 12 years back when it was founded.
However, in addition to VoIP services, Nextiva also offers online fax services, through its vFax brand.
Nextiva vFax offers 3 plans: Single User, Small Business, Business Pro.
The most affordable plan is the Single Plan option. It is priced at $4.95/month, billed annually and it includes 500 fax pages per month.
The next option is the Small Business plan. It is priced at $12.95/month and it includes 1000 pages per month.
The most expensive plan is the Business Pro plan. This plan costs $29.95/month and includes 3000 pages per month.
You can also opt for monthly billing instead on annual, but the prices will be higher ($8.95/$17.95/$34.95).
There is also a free 30-day trail.
Here are the main features included with the vFax service:
- Strong security: two-level security protection, password protection and 128-bit SSL encryption
- Toll-free numbers and local numbers for the entire US and Canada
- The ability to port numbers
- Fax storage for up to 6 months
- E-mail notifications for up to 6 people and SMS alerts
- A lot of file formats supported: you can turn MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint files into fax messages and it supports a lot of other formats as well: PDF, RTF, TXT, HTML, XML, PCL, EPS, TIFF, JPEG GIF, PNG. (around 20 formats accepted)
- Compatibility with all the major browsers: Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and others
- You can use your conventional fax machine with the service, but you have to purchase their Nextiva Fax Bridge, for a one-time $150 fee
- Fax with mobile devices (you can get faxes on your tablet or mobile device as well)
- User-friendly online portal
- 100% in-house customer support (live chat available)
Nextiva guarantees a 99.999% uptime so, for instance, if two or more senders try to fax you at the same time, none of them will get a busy signal and everything will go through immediately.
The service allows you to schedule when to send faxes and you don’t have to have your computer turned on at all times. When a fax is received, it will be received by the server and saved on your dedicated remote storage, so you don’t have to download it right away.
All in all, Nextiva vFax has all the sought for features in an online fax service. It is reliable, user-friendly, it is reasonably priced and also includes a free trial. While it may not have such a rich-feature set as other competitors out there, you get all the basics and more, along with helpful, around the clock customer support.