What is the best online fax service?
August 11, 2011 1:33 PM   Subscribe

What is the best online fax service?

I have a combo fax machine/copier/scanner, but no land line, and would prefer not to have to get one. I am in the position where I am going to need to send or receive a fax once or twice a week for the foreseeable future.

I did a Google search and was overwhelmed with all the online fax services. Does anyone have a particular one they would recommend? I am of course looking for inexpensive (or free!) but also reliable, and need to make sure that I can receive as well as send faxes.

If it would actually be better to get a land line, or if there is another alternative I'm not considering, I'd like to know that too.

posted by parrot_person to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: P.S. I see that similar questions have been asked before, but the recent one (from May 2011) is from someone who doesn't need to receive faxes, and only needs to send them occasionally. All the other questions are years old and I am assuming the available selection of services has changed in recent years.
posted by parrot_person at 1:34 PM on August 11, 2011

We use Nextiva. It's $50/yr, which is still a lot per fax, but in my experience when I need to send a fax, it's something super-important.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:39 PM on August 11, 2011

No land line - does that mean no VOIP phone? You might be able to get that very cheaply from your cable/internet provider. We have comcast and our AOI printer can send and receive faxes plugged into their modem just fine.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:49 PM on August 11, 2011

I use Faxaway, for myself and a client I do webdesign for. It uses an email-based interface (which is how my client uses it -- new orders from the website get faxed to the client, because they're not email-efficient, so the website emails the order to Faxaway), which can behave quirky, but is more-or-less reliable to me. There are times when a fax will be delayed longer than I'd prefer, but it still gets through eventually. It can both send and recieve; the recieve end delivers as an email TIF attachment.

For incoming faxes, I use Kall8, who I also get my 1800 number through. You can accept faxes via a 1800 number, which I find rather helpful. My total Kall8 + Faxaway, for both myself and my client combined, is maybe $5 - $10 a month at the most frequent, and that includes an incoming 1-800 voice phone number.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:51 PM on August 11, 2011

Nextiva has been pissing me off lately, so I would anti-suggest it. They don't queue faxes, and if you're faxing documents made in Adobe Acrobat X, it has a tendency to not read filled fields. I recently had a whole lot of work to re-do because of these issues.
posted by griphus at 1:54 PM on August 11, 2011

I use Maxemail.com - $25 a year or so. Been a customer for about 10 years, never had a problem.
posted by COD at 1:57 PM on August 11, 2011

Is that a $25/year flat fee, COD? No extra charges per page incoming/outgoing?
posted by griphus at 1:58 PM on August 11, 2011

I've been using MyFax.com for about $10/month. I've been a happy customer for two years now. I receive faxes in PDF via e-mail, and a text message to my phone when I receive one. Sending faxes is pretty easy, and they support more than one format.
posted by Hylas at 1:59 PM on August 11, 2011

I, too, have been using Myfax.com for a period of years and have never had trouble with their service.
posted by bswinburn at 2:08 PM on August 11, 2011

I manage a corporate myfax account for work. I have about 10 fax lines with them. The service is pretty good, but its far from perfect. Occasionally, they can't take faxes or no one can connect to them. Their billing is funny, you get last month's overages plus this months flat rate in your bill. They aren't able to calculate this month's overages with this month's flat rate for some reason, so it can get confusing when you see the bill. Other than that, they're fine and I'd recommend them.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:20 PM on August 11, 2011

Nthing MyFax.com, which I use for work in a small office. It works well for us, sending and receiving a small volume of faxes.
posted by sabotagerabbit at 2:22 PM on August 11, 2011

I'm a big fan of pamfax personally...
posted by iamabot at 2:30 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I also like PamFax
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:51 PM on August 11, 2011

I've uses Free fax to send some important documents three times. I've only used the pay version. Can't vouch for the free version
posted by hot_monster at 4:57 PM on August 11, 2011

No complaints with MyFax.com

I'm a small business -- probably send five a month, receive 20 a month. This may be the first month I go above my standard page rates, as right this minute I'm uploading 100 pages of pdfs.
posted by freshwater at 5:18 PM on August 11, 2011

Response by poster: Yay, thanks for all the suggestions, I will be busily checking them out.
posted by parrot_person at 6:01 PM on August 11, 2011

Response by poster: No land line - does that mean no VOIP phone?

Um? I'm not really up on that terminology and have only a vague sense of what VOIP is. I have used skype before. The only phone I have is a cell phone.

You might be able to get that very cheaply from your cable/internet provider.

We're unhappy with our internet provider (Qwest) and I'd prefer not to give them more business if I can help it (though they are the ONLY high-speed internet option where we live), plus we are strongly considering moving at the end of Sept, so... I probably won't be looking into this option, but thanks.
posted by parrot_person at 6:10 PM on August 11, 2011

I've been using UREACH for over five years now and am very satisfied. They offer a variety of service including an inexpensive 877 or 800 number that acts as an enhanced Google Voice but if you are only interested in faxing then their $6 a month uFax service is great 10 pages a month free and then 10 cents a page after than - comes with a free 800 number for receiving faxes).

If you memail prior to actual sign up I can give you a code that will get your second month free.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:39 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

jBlast is a prepaid fax service that charges only 6 cents per page, and their (formerly terribly clunky) interface has gotten a lot better. It's a great option for the occasional faxer.

And "The Occasional Faxer" would be a great title for a mass-market supermarket romance novel
posted by joshuaconner at 7:17 PM on August 11, 2011

Response by poster: Is that a $25/year flat fee, COD? No extra charges per page incoming/outgoing?

griphus, it's a flat fee of $24, but there is also a $10 set-up fee, and you don't get a local nor a 800 area code number.

posted by parrot_person at 10:00 PM on August 11, 2011

I'm actually paying $14.95 a year - grandfathered in on the old pricing. That gets you 100 incoming pages a month, and outgoing pages are $10 each, deducted from your account. So if you are sending 1 or 2 faxes a month the base amount should get you through a year.

True, no local number. Does anybody really care about that anymore? I'm very close to shutting down my landline and using my fax number as my phone number, as it also gives you a voice mail service at no additional cost. People I want to talk to will have my cell number, everybody else can leave a message on my South Dakota area code number and it gets emailed to me.
posted by COD at 6:09 AM on August 12, 2011

That should be 10 cents each above....
posted by COD at 6:15 AM on August 12, 2011

I've used MyFax for a long time and been very happy with it.
posted by doomtop at 10:21 AM on August 12, 2011

I rarely need to send faxes, so I use faxzero, which lets you send a fax for free (they put ads on the coverpage) or $2 for no ads. No receiving of faxes. I've personally used this, although I must admit I did shy away from sending financial documents.

I've heard good things about hellofax, although I haven't used them personally.
posted by sharkfu at 10:24 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

For incoming faxes, my small business uses eFax.com. We don't receive many incoming faxes anymore, so we use the free service (http://www.efax.com/efax-free). I can't remember exactly what the limitations are (something like 25 incoming pages per month) but they give you a fax # for free, which is nice. For outgoing faxes, we use hellofax.com, which is pretty inexpensive.
posted by tundro at 7:39 AM on August 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the options. I researched each one of them carefully, but ended up going with sfax (which isn't listed here). I don't love it thus far, it doesn't have terribly good documentation and some of the programming behind it appears to be wonky, but I'm in the 14 day trial period, so I can still go back to the drawing board if need be. I chose it because it is relatively inexpensive ($24 per year for up to 100 faxes), has 24/7 online support, and is advertised as "HIPAA-compliant solutions for the healthcare sector".
posted by parrot_person at 6:18 PM on August 14, 2011

Oh, hey, this post. Yeah, if anyone is using this as a reference, MyFax has been a giant pain in the ass lately.
posted by griphus at 12:33 PM on May 16, 2012

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