Best Online Fax Services of 2018: Pricing & Reviews
Internet fax services make it possible to receive or send faxes digitally. The faxes are sent through your internet connection, and all you need is your computer or mobile device. It's even possible to send online faxes using VoIP services that have been installed on a fax machine.
The services turn your documents into data packets during the process. This makes it possible to send or receive just about any file. If a document can be sent via email attachment, it can probably be sent via online fax.
Conventional faxes require that you use a telephone line, and this line must be fully dedicated to faxing. Furthermore, you are limited to sending or receiving one fax at a time. You don't need a phone line for online faxes, and they are sent via web-based GUI or email. However, they are different than conventional file sharing. Online faxes are legally recognized and binding just like offline faxes. The fact that you don't have to use a fax machine to send or receive online faxes makes the process far more convenient.
Online faxes can be sent or received from almost anywhere in the world. Business VoIP services used to need codecs to decode and compress data that is designed for voice communication, but the T.38 protocol has made it possible to send faxes over the internet.
How Does It Work?
The way online faxing works is similar to conventional faxes. However, there is an important difference. This is that a graphical user interface is used to send and receive faxes instead of a fax machine. Using online fax services is generally a fairly simple process.
Open either your email or the GUI. Then, punch in the fax number of the person you're sending it to. In addition, type in the designated domain of the person you're sending it to.
Then, you attach the document. There are some online fax services that make it possible to add a message that is designated as a cover letter.
After the message is sent, the person it's sent to will receive it immediately.
The hard copy file that is uploaded or scanned to the computer is converted into either a TIFF image file or a PDF image file. This file is attached to the email that is sent. The email arrives in the standard format for emails to support non-text attachments. This standard is MIME (multipurpose internet mail extensions). The TCP/IP protocol is used to make secure transmission possible over long distances. It even makes it possible to determine whether or not the fax was received.
The Benefits Of Online Faxing
The process of faxing is becoming somewhat outdated, but internet faxing changes this by making it possible to send and receive faxes over an ordinary internet connection. This makes the benefits of online faxing fairly easy to see, and these are some of the most important ones:
You Will Not Any Need Standalone Hardware Or Software
The fact that standalone hardware and software are not necessary means that there are fewer things that can go wrong with the faxing process. This is especially true due to the lack of hardware. In some cases, there is a significant amount of maintenance that you'll need to perform on a fax machine. In addition, the lack of hardware means that there isn't going to be as much clutter in your office. This will provide your workers with more mobility.
The fact that internet faxing uses a web-based GUI, smartphone apps, your personal email account, or your business email account means that you can send or receive faxes in any location where there is an internet location. It's even possible to send or receive faxes if you or your employees are traveling. In fact, faxes can even be sent or received from home! This will save you the hours that can be spent trying to find a fax machine. If you don't use internet faxing, you could spend hours trying to find a fax machine just to send or receive one document. In addition, online faxing makes it possible to send documents to multiple recipients much more easily
If you use a fax machine, the same machine will be used by all the workers in an office. If you're staying in a hotel, it will be even less private. In fact, the fax machine will be used by everyone staying there! This is important to recognize since faxes are generally used to send and receive legal documents, and legal documents often contain highly sensitive information. Online faxing makes it possible to send and receive faxes from private email, and this makes it much easier to ensure that you're the only one who is reading them.
Phone Costs Are Reduced By Online Faxing
The stand-alone phone line that you need for online faxing can significantly increase your phone bill. In addition, phone companies often have additional charges for sending a fax. If you combine these expenses, it's significantly more than the amount you'll pay for online fax services.
Some online fax services will charge per page, but the fee is typically as little as a dollar for a page. However, most online fax services charge a monthly fee. This fee is typically quite affordable. The only other expense associated with online faxing is the cost of your internet connection.
Online Fax Services Are Email Focused
Online faxing is completely integrated into your email account. Not only does this improve the security of the faxes, but it also makes the process 100% paperless. All of the faxes you receive will be sent directly to your email account, and this makes them far easier to find. In order to send an online fax through email, all you'll need is the recipient's telephone number and the domain that is supplied by the address line.
Internet Faxing Is Much Simpler Than Conventional Faxing
Not only does online faxing make faxing much easier, but the ease of receiving and sending them is unmatched by any other method of faxing. They make it possible to send and receive faxes in a matter of mere seconds. In addition, it's possible to send and receive internet faxes at the same time.
In addition, the level of mobility that is offered by online faxing is unmatched by any other method of faxing. This makes online fax services perfect for companies that have remote employees or employees who travel frequently.
What Features Should You Look For When Choosing An Online Fax Service?
Scheduled delivery makes it possible to set up a specific delivery time for your fax. This makes it easier to send and receive international documents. This is because scheduled delivery ensures that it will arrive at the right time if you consider time differences between different countries. If your online fax service has scheduled delivery, you'll never have to worry about the fax not arriving on time.
The Ability To Have An Electronic Signature
Electronic signatures are needed for many faxes, and this is especially likely to be the case if you're sending or receiving faxes for purposes that are legally binding. Most faxes are legally binding documents or contracts, and this means that it's essential that your online fax service makes it possible to sign documents with an electronic signature.
Many online fax services make it possible to sign documents with a digital signature. Documents can be signed electronically whether they are sent through GUI portals or an app on a smartphone. This ensures that those using the services will be able to sign the document before it is sent.
The Ability To Send And Receive Multiple Faxes At Once With Group Faxing
This is one of the most important benefits of online faxes. Group faxing improves upon this feature of online faxing. Group faxing makes it possible for users of an online fax service to send out a fax to as many people as they want to. This feature usually doesn't cost you anything extra.
The Ability To Send Faxes To A Foreign Country
One of the most important benefits of internet faxing is the fact that it offers a high level of flexibility, and this couldn't be any more true with regard to international faxing. There are usually no additional costs associated when you send a fax internationally if you use online faxing. However, this is a substantial extra cost if you send an international fax through a conventional fax line. This is because of the dedicated phone line and the fact that you have to send the data through the PSTN.
The Ability To Block Numbers
Spam can be extremely irritating and difficult to deal with. Deleting spam can become almost like having another full-time job. If you are sending and receiving a lot of faxes, it can easily become overwhelming. Number blocking can keep the spam out of your inbox. Number blocking is offered by many online fax services. Number blocking makes it possible to create a whitelist of numbers that you allow as well along with a blacklist of numbers that you block.
Find A Service That Offers Encryption
Encryption can keep your files even more secure. Not only should your online fax provider offer encryption for incoming documents, but it should also offer encryption of outgoing documents. There are some providers of online fax services that have SSL secured online communication with the GUI portals. This ensures that you're protected during all parts of the process, including the step that involves uploading the document to the internet. The encryption of incoming faxes ensures that it cannot be read by prying eyes.
Mobile Fax Alerts
Most providers of internet fax services make it possible to get alerts for incoming faxes on your mobile device. Not only can these alerts be received through the smartphone app, but they can also be received via text message. The texts are sent as a standard SMS message. The TCP/IP protocol makes it possible to verify that the recipient of the message received the fax.
The Ability To Create Customized Cover Pages
It is often necessary to have a cover page in addition to the document itself. This is especially likely to be true if you are faxing an especially sensitive or complicated document. Online fax services make this possible by including a message within the email along with the attached file. The same thing can be done through a GUI portal, mobile apps, or desktop apps.
Local And Toll Free Numbers
Many internet fax services offer a list of local and/or toll free numbers for faxes. While you will always receive your own fax number when you get receive online faxing services, the selection of local and toll free numbers can allow you to keep the same local presence.
More Benefits Of Online Faxing
It's important to closely examine how users of internet faxing services will be charged. Also, it's important to examine what aspects of the service users will be charged for. Some online fax services have a long list of hidden fees. These fees may not be disclosed when you first sign up for the service. Other providers limit the number of faxes that you can send and receive each month. The provider may charge you overage fees if you exceed this limit.
Some online fax services will also have additional fees for international faxing. In other cases, there are additional fees for long distance faxes.
It's also important to make sure that the company you choose offers quality customer service. While online faxing is generally pretty reliable, there can be malfunctions on either your end or problems with the service itself. Responsive customer service representatives will be able to help you through these roadblocks.
Many internet fax services offer free demos and/or a trial period. This can be a great way to get a feel for the service's features before you pay. In addition, it's a good way to determine the quality of customer service that the company offers.
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