SRFax is an online fax service that provides healthcare and enterprise solutions to businesses in need of a world-class fax
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SRFax is an online fax service that provides healthcare and enterprise solutions to businesses in need of a world-class fax
Sfax, which is owned by Scrypt (a company with almost twenty years of experience in the healthcare industry), is a
RingCentral is an online fax service that couples a robust set of features, including flexible faxing options and enhanced levels
vFax is Nextiva’s online faxing service. It uses the same platform as their existing voice and call products and combines
MyFax is an award-winning Internet-based fax service that gives businesses the ability to send and receive fax messages via email,
Amongst the most advanced fax messaging services available on the Internet is mFax. Their system was designed to be a
Many people believe that faxing is a dead form of communication. After all, with email and all of the applications available on computers, tablets and smartphones, why would faxing even still be needed?
It may come as a surprise to you, but faxing is not completely irrelevant. In fact, many industries still utilize fax quite frequently in their day-to-day operations. If you’re a lawyer, doctor, or work in the financial industry, then you’re probably well aware of this.
Of course, having a fax machine in the office is becoming a rarity, which is why online faxing has grown so much in popularity for small businesses and large multinational corporations alike. These online services help to fill the void where a business may still need to send and receive faxes, yet want to reduce clutter and equipment. Plus, online faxing introduces a convenience factor that traditional fax machines can’t offer. Being able to fax from anywhere with an Internet connection is much easier than having to be near an actual fax machine.
If your business is looking to reduce waste and paper usage, online faxing can help with that too. As things like climate change continue to dominate the headlines, there’s no better time than the present to start thinking about ways your business can do its part by “going green.” Online faxing fits the bill perfectly.
Internet faxing also has a much lower environmental footprint in comparison to physical fax machines. The paper savings are obvious, but it’s also important to remember the chemicals and resource-intensive process required to make paper. The parts contain plastics and toner cartridges create further waste as they must be replaced. Eventually, your entire fax machine may need to be replaced as well. All of this waste is eliminated with Internet fax.
Another benefit of going paperless is the organizational benefits. You can feel confident knowing that documents, especially sensitive ones sent by fax, are stored securely and in a way that’s easy to find in the future. No more risks due to unattended faxes left at the fax machine, or paper files being left on someone’s desk or misplaced. With Internet fax, your documents are stored securely online and accessible from anywhere.
Security is about much more than just poor storage practices, though. Fax machines are vulnerable to hacking, just like any other piece of network equipment you may have. Meta data is often saved in the fax machine’s cache, which could fall into the wrong hands, thanks to malware or improper disposal of a fax machine’s memory during recycling. That physical risk is eliminated with internet fax.
Of course, no one can claim to have ever worked in an office where the fax machine repair company wasn’t on-call regularly for emergency issues. Fax machines are an important line of communication, but they can also be notoriously unreliable. Even something as simple as an empty toner cartridge with no replacement handy can cause headaches.
One of the main considerations when it comes to transitioning from a traditional fax machine to Internet fax service is cost. Buying or leasing fax machines can be costly, and that’s before you factor in things like repair costs, toner costs, paper costs, and more. For a small or medium business operating on a tight budget, Internet fax is the affordable and accessible alternative to traditional fax machines.
At the end of the day, there are a number of reasons to choose online faxing, but is it safe? Is it secure? Will it actually meet the needs of your business?
This guide breaks down the details of online faxing services, including what to look for and how to choose a provider. We also share insights regarding 13 of the most popular solutions so that you can make the most informed decision for your business.
If traditional faxing is becoming less relevant to many industries, does that mean online faxing is also losing relevancy?
Comparing traditional faxing and online faxing in this manner isn’t always an accurate comparison since there are some important differences that separate the two methods of faxing, which can dramatically change the way people use the services.
There are still a number of reasons why many businesses still need the capability to both send and receive faxes. For example, even if your business doesn’t fax documents, vendors and/or other businesses you work with may still use fax as one of their main forms of communication. As such, eliminating a fax line would probably cause a number of issues.
There is also the question of having a physical fax machine. Most businesses that have fax machines either own or rent large multipurpose printers with fax capability. This is often a huge expense to your business that chips away at your bottom line, and this is before you factor in things like the cost of ink, paper and maintenance. If your rental contract is almost up, now is a great time to start researching more affordable options.
Online faxing addresses both of these issues. With online faxing, the physical fax machine is made obsolete and digital methods of faxing are used. This saves money on both equipment and paper, as well as lends itself to almost limitless mobility.
One of the best features about online faxing is that it still uses a traditional phone number to send and receive faxes. So as far as the people you are communicating with are concerned, you’re just using a normal fax line. They’ll have no idea that you aren’t using a physical fax machine anymore. In fact, the ease of use for both you and the people you come in contact with won’t become any more difficult because you have switched to an online fax service.
To answer the main question of whether or not online faxing is relevant, it’ll be relevant as long as businesses have a need to send and receive faxes. And for many businesses, especially those that deal with sensitive information, faxing is still a long way away from being completely replaced by modern communication methods due to security risks.
You may still be wondering why you would bother with online fax when email and messaging apps like Skype and Slack have streamlined communication so much. With so many options available to send and receive documents, why is there a need to fax at all? Why not just rely on email?
Many people assume that their email is private. Unfortunately, however, this is only partially true. If email were to be compared to traditional mail, for example, it’s like sending a post card. Anyone who handles that post card can read the message written. You wouldn’t write something personal, like medical information or your social security number, on a post card, would you?
The challenge for certain types of businesses is that email is simply not an option for secure communication. For example, most regulated industries like medical offices bound by HIPPA, have no choice but to use fax since it’s a secure method of communication where documents are considered legally binding. Government agencies or contractors that work closely with the government are also under a lot of scrutiny and regulation. Their contracts and communications must be above board and able to hold up in court, during an audit, or even just an internal review. Emailed documents do not meet many of these requirements and cannot be used in an industry under tight regulation.
Banks and financial services providers are also very heavily regulated industries. In the event of a dispute regarding a service or investment, the financial provider needs to be able to deliver legally binding documents which is why faxing is the communication method of choice. Even communications between banks for the purposes of transferring investments or paying out loans is done by fax to ensure communications are secure and binding.
Lawyers also deal with a lot of personal, sensitive information that needs to be kept secure to protect their clients, the cases they are working on, and even the people they are going up against in court. Lawyers have a very strong ethical duty to privacy, and they often use faxes to ensure that their communications between other law offices and/or their clients are secure. Emailing information isn’t acceptable, and lawyers can be held legally responsible for mishandling sensitive information, much in the same way a doctor can.
Failing to have a fax line also severely diminishes your ability to do business in many areas of the world. In developing nations, a fax line may be far more reliable than Internet. Their local regulations may also require fax communication. By removing this line of communication from your business, you have essentially cut off a part of your potential base of customers. In our increasingly global world of commerce, manufacturers that ship product around the world need to have an open fax line for communication and to ensure the validity of contracts. The same goes for businesses dealing with manufacturers overseas.
When talking about sensitive information, it’s important to truly understand the security differences between something like email and fax. Is faxing actually more secure? And if so, is the type of document security that faxing provides enough to justify using an online fax service over email?
Emails are, at a basic level, fairly secure. If you use a strong password, then it’s possible to protect your email from prying eyes. That’s only one level of security, however, and it doesn’t account for potential malware or spyware that could steal your password, regardless of how complex and secure it may be.
If your business uses email that can be accessed by a number of employees, then the security level of your email decreases significantly. Each employee is at risk of being hacked, downloading malicious attachments, or having their computer infected with malware. While email on the surface is relatively secure, there are a number of ways those various layers of security can be breached. If you are dealing with sensitive information or simply don’t want your communications to be exposed, choosing fax may be the right option.
Even if your computer is protected by anti-virus software and there is no actual infection on the device, hacking methods like wi-fi monitoring give hackers the ability to view the sensitive information you are sharing on your computer or smartphone. A common tactic is to connect to public wi-fi networks to monitor unsecured communications. In some cases, they may even set up a fake public wi-fi network of their own to view the information of unsuspecting users that connect. Sending sensitive documents by email could potentially expose the sensitive information you’re sending and receiving via email to someone that it wasn’t intended for.
But what exactly makes fax more secure than email?
First, documents that are sent by fax can be legally binding because they have been delivered directly, from one party to another. People can sign important legal documents and fax them to complete important business deals, authorize the release of information to third parties, and even sell their home. None of this can be done by email.
Some service providers even offer encrypted fax lines. An encrypted fax line means that the information is scrambled and can only be viewed by the user or the machine with the correct encryption key. What this means is that even if an encrypted fax is intercepted by hackers, they would be unable to read the contents of the document. Some Internet fax services use military grade encryption, and breaking the encryption requires technology that hackers don’t possess. In fact, many governments around the world don’t even possess it.
Internet faxing is also more secure than email since it eliminates the risk of spam messages with malicious attachments that are common with email. This means there is less chance someone may click on an attachment that contains a virus or malware, which could compromise all future communications on that device. When an Internet fax communication comes through, you can rest easy knowing that you and your staff are receiving a secure document.
Choosing an Internet fax company is an important decision because you need to ensure that the service you select meets the needs of your specific business, without overpaying for what you’re getting.
The first step in selecting an Internet fax provider is figuring out what you need. If you only receive incoming faxes or send out a handful of faxes every month, you may not need a premium service. In fact, some Internet fax services offer free plans to meet the needs of businesses with this type of requirement. Evaluating your needs and the volume of faxing you expect to make will make the selection process easier.
Encryption and security is one very important feature to look for when it comes to online faxing, especially if you work in an industry where data privacy is of the utmost importance. After all, you’ll need to ensure that sensitive documents are kept safe and secure. Without layers of security in place, like encryption, this information could be at risk of being exposed. This is especially true for government agencies, as well as doctor’s offices and law firms.
In addition to basic faxing features, you should also look for features that add convenience that a traditional fax machine can’t. For example, most Internet fax companies offer cloud storage for faxes that are sent and received, so that there’s an archive you can go back through your archives for easy reference. It’s important to note, however, that some will only archive files for a certain period of time – for example, 6 months – while others will archive files for as long as you’re a paying customer. When it comes to archived faxes, actually being able to find what you need, when you need it, is also a biggie. Not all Internet fax companies are created equal, and some have very shoddy search features, which can make finding old faxes impossibly difficult, especially if you’re a high-volume fax user.
If you find you are often away from your computer, you may want to consider an Internet fax service with features like SMS or email notification when a fax has been delivered. It’s hard to monitor your fax inbox on-the-go, so enhanced notifications can help you stay connected. This also frees up your time to focus on other areas of your business while you’re waiting for a fax, rather than planning your day around when you anticipate that it will arrive.
If your business is highly mobile, having the ability to have faxes sent to you via email as a PDF may be helpful. For the user sending the fax, the process is no different. Your Internet fax provider will simply convert the fax to PDF, and deliver it directly to your email inbox for instant review.
Another thing to consider is whether the company offers the convenience of a mobile app, so that you can send and receive faxes on-the-go from your iPhone or Android smartphone, and close deals “on the spot.” Signing documents right away through a mobile app can save time and allow your business to move ahead with the agreement rather than waiting on documents to be returned. If you want fast turnaround time on contracts, some Internet fax providers even offer digital signing capabilities as well, which could further streamline the process.
Finally, customer service is always a necessary consideration, especially if you are relying heavily on your fax line. Having unreliable Internet fax is as bad as having a broken fax machine in the office. If your business operates 24/7, you may want to consider an Internet fax company that offers customer service that matches. Most providers only offer customer service and technical support during normal business hours, however, which is typically available via phone support. Live chat and email support may also be options, depending on the company. This may be more convenient for you if you’re not always able to get on the phone to resolve an issue or ask a question. There are a wide range of providers with varying levels of customer service. Finding the right one for your business is key.
If you already have a fax line that your customers use to communicate with you, then it makes sense that you may not want to change this number and potentially cause confusion. The good news is that in most cases, Internet fax providers give you the ability to port your number over so that you don’t experience any hiccups when you switch. It’s important to note, however, that this isn’t an industry standard so it’s best to confirm this is indeed an option prior to signing up for service.
The types of documents that you can send will vary from provider to provider. In general, most Internet fax providers allow you to send the most common types of documents like PDF files and MSWord documents. If you have special types of files you need to send, you’ll want to review the different types of documents supported with the service you are planning on signing up with. This can vary greatly from provider to provider, so be sure to do your homework. If you can’t find a provider that supports your document in your budget range, finding a conversion program that will convert your file type to something more standard, like PDF, may be an option worth considering.
Prices for Internet fax services vary, depending on the volume of use and the features included. There are some basic fax services with low limits for volume usage that are entirely free. Other more basic services cost as little as $5/ month, which includes a certain number of pages. Overage fees apply on a per-page basis if you end up exceeding those limits. More advanced services start around $20/month, and prices can go significantly higher from there if you need features like encryption or unlimited fax volume. Pricing will largely be contingent on your unique needs.
Most Internet fax services use a web portal to send and receive faxes, which can be accessed on any browser and used on any operating system. Some Internet fax providers do offer features like browser extensions, which may only be compatible with certain browsers like Google Chrome. In addition, some providers offer a mobile app that can be used on a smartphone or tablet. If you rely on your smartphone to run your business, a provider with mobile app support is probably going to be your best option.
One of the best features of Internet fax services is the lack of equipment required. After all, you are trying to get away from expensive fax machine repairs and leases so why would you want to end up taking on even more equipment? Since the fax providers connect with either a web portal, app, or email account, there is no special equipment needed. All you need is a device that can access the internet like a laptop as well as a modem and/or router that connects you to the internet. Chances are that you already have all of the equipment needed to start using Internet fax services.
There are two different ways to digitally sign faxes. Some Internet fax providers offer a digital certification, which allows you to review and sign documents. In most cases, these documents are password protected to ensure the security of the digital signature. Other faxes can be signed simply by editing a faxed PDF with an electronic signature image, and then sending the original back to the sender. Depending on the security and regulatory requirements for your business, this may or may not be sufficient.
The busy signal of a fax machine is history with Internet fax providers. Since the internet is always open, that means that your faxes will always be delivered. No busy signal will get in the way of your important communications.
There are two ways you can send an online fax. The first is to use the Internet fax provider’s web portal. Here, you’ll simply upload the document you wish to send and then enter the fax number of your recipient. The other method involves attaching a document to an email, and then emailing the number you wish to send the fax to with an address associated with your fax provider. This second option may not be available from all providers, so be sure to do your research prior to signing up for service.
Email may not be secure enough for sensitive faxes. Not only can this cause the release of sensitive information, emailed documents may not hold up in court if you work in a regulated industry. For many businesses, switching away from fax to email entirely is impossible and you must maintain a fax line for some purposes.
In many cases, it is possible for multiple users to share a single online fax line. There are a few ways to accomplish this. Some Internet fax services allow for you to add multiple unique users to your business account, and even set parameters like how many faxes they can send each month, for example. In other cases, a shared email inbox where faxes are delivered can help multiple users manage incoming and outgoing faxes using a single fax line. Of course, there is the possibility to also share the login information for the Internet fax provider’s web portal but you should check if this is in violation of the terms of service before going this route. It may not be a great option due to security concerns with multiple users have access to the admin panel as well.
Internet fax doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how to use. In fact, if you can do things like send an email then you can send an Internet fax as the basic concepts are very similar. To send an internet fax you simply have to add a supported document and then input the recipient’s fax number. This is much like attaching a document to an email and inputting the recipient’s email address. The learning curve for Internet fax services is generally very easy to overcome.
If you operate locations around the world or simply want to help the people you communicate with save on long distance fax costs then there may be some services that offer international fax numbers. This is often an additional feature or charge that you will be responsible for and not all providers will offer this feature so it’s important to shop around and compare the offerings to ensure you are getting the right service for your needs. In most cases, a free Internet fax provider will not offer international fax numbers and you should expect to pay.
Again, this will come down to the Internet fax service you are using. Most free services only offer domestic fax capabilities. However, there are a number of paid providers that offer affordable international fax solutions for their customers. Be sure to examine whether the plan you’re choosing includes international faxing or if there is an additional package that must be purchases. Some Internet fax providers may charge per fax for international faxes which may cause costs to add up quickly. Examine how much volume you are sending internationally and whether a plan or pay-per-use option would be best for your businesses’ budget.
One common concern with Internet fax providers is whether or not both users need to be using Internet fax to communicate. This can be a problem if your business is communicating around the world where internet may not be reliable or readily available. The good news is that, if you’re using Internet fax, the other user can simply continue to use their fax service like they always have. They will continue to send faxes to a fax number and receive faxes to their number through their fax machine. The only change when making the switch is with how your business manages faxes. As far as other people are concerned, you may still be using that old fax machine since there is no real way for them to tell the difference with most providers.
For a complete suite of online fax features, it’s hard to find a provider that offers better value than SRFax. The interface is very intuitive and easy-to-use, and their 60-day trial is generous, which should give your business ample time to experiment with the platform. Security is top-of-mind with SRFax, and the service is even HIPAA compliant, which makes it a top choice for healthcare businesses that handle sensitive personal information. It’s honestly hard to find many faults with SRFax, other than perhaps the pricing. This is especially true for larger businesses that need enterprise support.
Sfax is an online fax service designed with healthcare businesses in mind. The service is HIPAA compliant, which means that it adheres to the highest standards of both data privacy and protection. The dedicated iOS app is beautiful and easy-to-use. Plus, your business can design a custom plan to meet your specific needs. What’s more, customer service and additional features are exceptional. The only real area where Sfax struggles to compete is pricing. The added benefits of being HIPAA compliant unfortunately come at a cost that healthcare businesses may not be able to avoid, but may still find hard to swallow.
RingCentral fax is a very well-known name in online communications. The RingCentral platform can manage online faxes, as well as a variety of other communications, including voice calling, video calling, and instant messaging. This makes it a great solution if your business is looking for an entire suite of features beyond just fax. A browser extension makes managing communication feel like a breeze, and calling can be forwarded to the mobile app for users on-the-go. The flip-side is that these added features also make it a higher cost than many other online fax options. This cloud-based platform is amongst the best in the industry, with easy integration support for Dropbox and Google Drive, amongst others. In addition, customer support is available at all times, which is important if downtime means your business stands to lose money.
If you need high quality online fax services at an affordable price that’s coupled with great customer service, then Nextiva vFax checks off a lot of important boxes. Sending and receiving faxes is fairly simple and straightforward. Email or SMS alerts are sent to notify you of new faxes, and multiple users can even be set up to receive notifications to ensure that no important fax is missed or ignored. Unfortunately, the clunky interface and lack of a dedicated mobile app prevent Nextiva vFax from being a top option available, and the platform’s lack of features can seriously hinder your ability to work mobile. If you’re simply trying to get rid of an expensive fax lease and need an affordable solution with excellent support, however, look no further than Nextiva vFax.
MyFax offers a wide variety of features that includes dedicated mobile apps, as well as unlimited storage of faxes. Their pricing is competitive and the responsive, 24/7 customer support is among the best in the industry. Unlike other providers, you can also enable multiple people in your business to receive email alerts when new faxes are delivered. Many other providers only offer support for one email address. Plus, if you want to try the service before officially committing to it, MyFax offers a generous 30-day trial period. The two really important features that are missing are digital signing for convenience, and 2-factor authentication to help ensure total security of your faxes. If these features aren’t important for your business, then MyFax may be a perfect solution for your business’s needs.
mFax is a simple, sleek web or mobile application that literally puts fax capabilities in the palm of your hand. Users can send faxes in a number of different ways including direct from email, through the web portal, and print to fax. The cloud-based platform makes storing, sending, and reviewing faxes simple, even for brand new users. Notifications allow you to be able to see when new faxes are delivered instantly and action them accordingly. The pricing tiers are affordable and packed with features, plus the free trial gives you an opportunity to experience the platform before paying a single penny.
MetroFax brings fax communications into the modern age with an intuitive user interface and affordable fax plans for businesses on-the-go. With dedicated mobile apps and support for organizing faxes using their tag system, MetroFax can help your business communicate more effectively, while simultaneously also improving organization and filing. The challenge with MetroFax is that if you are a high volume business sending large numbers of faxes per month, there is no unlimited fax plan. In addition, customer support is a bit lacking. MetroFax delivers great value with their dedicated apps and fair pricing, but they do fall behind some of their competitors in other areas.
HelloFax packs a lot of features into a very competitively priced platform, complete with a free trial offer. You can integrate services you already use like Dropbox or Google Drive with HelloFax, which makes it simple to use and setup. The interface is incredibly user friendly, and HelloFax’s web interface is compatible with mobile. Email and/or SMS alerts are delivered to notify you of new faxes, failed delivery attempts and more. Plus, built-in document signing capabilities make HelloFax a promising option to replace multiple services. Th bottom line? HelloFax offers exceptional value and a great set of features. The only thing lacking here is top-notch customer support to match.
GotFreeFax, as the name suggests, offers free online faxing, with the ability to upgrade to paid pricing tiers to accommodate greater usage. The payment system is very friendly, with paid credits that never expire, which means you’re in complete control of your budgeting and will never run into any unexpected surprises. The downside, however, is that the interface feels dated and sluggish compared to other providers. In addition, the free offering is very basic, and if you send and/or receive a higher volume of faxes, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid. Customer service is also lacking, as are some more advanced features. For a low-cost solution, GotFreeFax is adequate, but fails to match up with other competitors.
FaxBetter is an Internet fax service that will allow your business to send up to 20 free faxes per month using their simple interface. For higher volume usage, their pricing tiers are competitive to match the quality of features they offer. Document storage is also included in all plan levels, including free plans, which makes reviewing and accessing documents from any device simple and seamless. Email notifications are also sent when a fax is received, so you can be confident you won’t miss that next important fax. Support is included with all plans, and is very responsive, but unfortunately priority support is only available to paid users.
eFax boasts millions of users on their platform. The security and encryption offered is amongst the best in the industry, which is perfect if your business deals with sensitive, personal information. In addition, dedicated apps and the ability to share large files is something that many other online fax services simply don’t offer. eFax also offers lifetime storage of both incoming and outgoing faxes for easy organization and review in the future. The user interface does feel dated and clunky, however. In addition, customer service leaves something to be desired with poor hours and availability.