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Grow Your Business Technology

Best Online Fax Services for Small Business

No matter what your faxing needs are, there's a solution out there for you. Our staff researched and reviewed a number of popular online fax services to find out which ones are the best for small businesses. Here's a roundup of our best picks for 2017 and how we chose them.

Ready to choose an online fax service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Of all the services we reviewed, Nextiva offered the best balance of affordability, convenience and customer service. Nextiva, which offers a number of different plans, boasts a strong array of features, including integration with existing fax machines and numbers, support for most file types and mobile access. Nextiva also employs a secure online portal and stores your documents on its own servers. The company offers useful customer service support, which is open every day of the week, with limited hours on the weekend. See our full review of Nextiva's service.

If your business doesn't fax very often, you might consider a pay-as-you-go service. GotFreeFax is affordable, at a price of 98 cents for a fax that's up to 10 pages, and the service is secure and simple to use. GotFreeFax can only be used to send faxes, not to receive them. However, we could not find a pay-per-use fax vendor offering both incoming and outgoing fax service that wouldn't quickly add up to at least the same cost as a more robust subscription service. For businesses with incoming and outgoing needs, we think that a low-cost subscription service is a better value and less hassle than pay-per-use vendors. See our full review of GotFreeFax's service.

Many online fax services have a free option that allows businesses to send a limited number of faxes per day at no charge. In addition to the pay-per-use version, GotFreeFax has a free service that allows customers to send up to two faxes of three pages each per day. We like GotFreeFax because it is easy to use and, unlike competing free services, it does not include advertisements on your cover page. The service is simple to use, and while it's not rich in features, it gets the job done. See our full review of the free services offered by GotFreeFax.

For small medical practices, we chose SRFax as the best online fax service. Medical practitioners are required to employ communications technologies that comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, more commonly referred to as HIPAA. SRFax meets those requirements with a high level of encryption and password protection, ensuring that sensitive patient data and medical information is protected. SRFax's service is also priced at a very affordable rate, especially considering the level of features the company offers. The company will store your faxes indefinitely for later reference, and an unlimited number of users can access the system. Moreover, SRFax's customer support hotline is available 24/7, so if a problem should arise, you'll always have somebody to help walk you through it. See our full review of SRFax's services.

We take the process of recommending vendors seriously, so we invested substantial time to research various online fax services, plans and features. We gave each vendor equal consideration. 

We started the process by coming up with a comprehensive list of vendors that offer online faxing. To do this, we searched the Web and consulted other lists and reviews of the most popular vendors, including this list from our sister site, Top Ten Reviews. We ended up with a list of about 22 online fax services to examine further. 

From there, we visited the websites of each fax service to compare pricing and features. We looked at all the details, including how many plans are offered and what kind, how many faxes per month are included in those plans and how much the company charges for faxes beyond the limit. We looked at contract requirements and payment options. We spent considerable time comparing features — for example, does the service offer a mobile app, international faxing or a toll-free number? We watched product demos and tutorials, and we sent sample faxes when that feature was available. We used this criteria to narrow down our pool of candidates.

Those that made it to our shortlist include Nextiva, SRFax, eFax, GotFreeFax, MetroFax, Greenfax, RingCentral, SFax, Foiply, HelloFax, FaxZero, and MyFax.

Next, we called all the services we were considering, posing as a customer (with the exception of the few that offer email-only contact). Beyond just the marketing rhetoric on websites, we wanted to get a feel for how the companies handle actual customer interactions. We asked all the customer service reps the same set of questions about features, options and pricing, and we noted our reactions to the experience. Company representatives who were friendly and forthcoming got higher marks, and those who were less than helpful or too pushy scored lower. We realize, of course, that customer service interactions can vary, based upon whom you reach, but we thought that this was an important part of the process nonetheless. 

For our overall best pick, the decision came down to which company offered the best balance of affordability, robust features and ease of use. We shied away from vendors that offered low up-front pricing with lots of hidden fees or expensive overlimit fees. We also decided not to go with the more expensive and specialized services that cater to one industry in particular or offer very advanced capabilities. Many of these services are great — and worth the investment for some companies — but our goal was to choose the service that provided the best value and benefits to the largest number of businesses. 

When choosing the best picks for free and pay-per-use services, we had fewer options. Our methodology was similar but less involved, because these services are far simpler. We looked for a balance of affordability, features and ease of use. We also looked for pricing structures that are clear-cut and easy to understand.

Here is a full list of online fax services we reviewed and a summary of what each company claims to offer. We separated the vendors into two categories: subscription-based services and pay-per-use or free services. The alphabetical lists also include our best picks. 

Subscription-Based Services

eFax — eFax bills itself as the world's largest online fax service, used by 11 million people each day to send and receive online business faxes. Customers include small businesses around the world and nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies. With eFax, you can fax from your computer, tablet, smartphone or any other Internet-enabled device. eFax lets you receive, review, edit, add a digitized signature and securely email your faxes — and store and retrieve all of your faxes from its online service for as long as you wish. eFax.com

Fax.com — Fax.com is a service of Data On Call Inc., which provides outsourced messaging and communication services. Since 1996, Fax.com has provided businesses and individuals with digital fax services. Fax.com offers faxing by Web, email or mobile device. Additional features include sending multiple messages at once, using dedicated toll-free and local numbers, and shared user accounts. Fax.com

FaxBetter — FaxBetter offers a dedicated toll-free fax number. Faxes can be sent in multiple file formats, and unlimited lifetime storage is offered. Faxes are also searchable on the website. faxbetter.com

Faxx.us – Faxx.us provides straightforward, economical, secure Web-based inbound and outbound faxing for businesses and individuals. Faxx.us is a TelNG LLC service. TelNG has been providing next-generation telecom services since 2005. faxx.us

Foiply — Foiply is a fax-over-IP solution that is built for enterprises, but available to anyone. The cloud-faxing platform offers HIPAA-quality security and compliance, and the company said its network boasts 99.99 percent uptime and the latest infrastructure. It offers plans to suit everyone, from individuals to enterprises. Faxes can be sent via email, the Web interface or with traditional fax machines. foiply.com

GoDaddy — This domain-name and Web-hosting service also offers an online faxing service called Fax Thru Email. Faxes can be sent and received over the Web, through email or through a mobile device. The company offers several tiers of plans — economy, deluxe and premium. Both local and toll-free fax numbers are available. godaddy.com/email/internet-fax.aspx

GreenFax — GreenFax was created in the mid-'90s by a company called Meixler Technologies to address its own need for sending and receiving faxes, and the service was eventually scaled up and sold to other clients. According to the company, GreenFax has thousands of clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Faxes can be sent via email or through the company's website. International faxing is available, and customers can choose a local area code. greenfax.com.

HelloFax — HelloFax sends faxes directly to your email inbox as a PDF, where they can be viewed, downloaded and shared. Outgoing faxes can be signed, edited and sent electronically to multiple numbers at once. Users sign in with their Google account, so no new password is required for access, and they have the option of sending or receiving faxes by syncing the account with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and/or Evernote. International faxing is also available. hellofax.com

MetroFax — MetroFax, a sister company of eFax and MyFax, said it's powered by the largest digital fax network in the world. Faxes can be sent using laptops, desktops or wireless devices, and fax pages are delivered to your inbox as email attachments. A variety of plans are available to meet the needs of both small businesses and large corporations. Local and toll-free numbers are available. metrofax.com.

MyFax — MyFax is a cloud-based fax service that serves individuals, small businesses and corporations. Faxes can be sent or received via email, the Web or mobile devices. The company offers simpler plans for small businesses and more complex and secure plans for corporations. Faxes can be sent to multiple recipients at once. myfax.com

*Nextiva — Nextiva is a Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that allows faxes to be sent over email, online or with a mobile device. Most types of file formats are accepted, and faxes are stored for later access. Toll-free and local numbers are offered, and no contract is required. The company says it guarantees that customer-support calls will be answered in two rings. A variety of plans are offered. See Business News Daily's full review or visit Nextiva.

RapidFAX— RapidFAX is a subscription-based, fax-to-email and email-to-fax service that offers individual and small business faxing. Users can send and receive faxes from local or toll-free fax numbers, with no extra charge for toll-free numbers. RapidFAX has tens of thousands of customers, according to the company. rapidfax.com

RingCentral — RingCentral allows you to send and receive faxes from a desktop, your online account or the RingCentral mobile app. Documents can be sent to multiple recipients, and both toll-free and local numbers are available. RingCentral can also be integrated with your personal contacts or the corporate directory. Multiple plans are available at various price points. ringcentral.com

Sfax — Sfax is a cloud-faxing, HIPAA-complaint service that was built specifically for the health care industry, but other industries can use it. The service allows administrators to have full control to manage users, set accesses and permissions, adjust security settings, and more. Groups can collaborate, view, file, and send and export documents from any location. The service also offers enhanced searching and filtering functions, with custom folders to make documents easier to organize. scrypt.com/sfax/

*SRFax – SRFax is a HIPAA-compliant service with extensive experience serving the health care industry. It offers encryption and password protection for faxes, allows unlimited users to access the service and provides a single administration page to manage all users. The company also offers a 24/7 customer-support hotline. To read our full review, go here, or visit http://srfax.com

TrustFax — TrustFax allows customers to send faxes via email or the company's website. Features include digitized signature tools, free account setup, secure online storage and international faxing. Local and toll-free numbers are available. trustfax.com

Pay-Per-Use and Free Services

BestFreeFax — BestFreeFax, a service of SRFax, provides free outgoing faxes up to a certain limit, although the limit is not specified on the website. Fax numbers for incoming faxes can be purchased for $3.29 a month. Email customer support is available. bestfreefax.com

eFax Free — A free service of eFax, this receive-only service allows 10 incoming faxes per month at no cost. Large file sharing of up to 10MB is allowed, and faxes are stored for 30 days in the eFax messaging center. efax.com.

FaxBetterFree — FaxBetter's free service is a receive-only service that offers users a dedicated toll-free fax number. The number is yours to keep as long as you receive a fax every seven days. The service allows you to receive 20 incoming pages a month for free, and faxes are sent to your email inbox. The service also offers free storage for up to about 1,000 pages. faxbetter.com

FaxZero— FaxZero is a send-only service that lets you send up to five faxes per day of three pages each, to any fax machine in the United States or Canada for free. You don't need a fax machine yourself, but you do need a valid e-mail address. And for a fee, the service lets you send additional faxes as well as faxes to many other countries. The free version has the FaxZero logo on its faxes, while the paid version at $1.99 for a fax of up to 25 pages does not. Several types of files can be uploaded and attached. faxzero.com

*GotFreeFax — GotFreeFax is another send-only option that offers up to two free faxes per day, of three pages each, without any advertisements. The paid version starts at 98 cents for a 10-page fax. The service allows for rich or plain text, and several types of files can be uploaded and attached. To read our full review of GotFreeFax, go here or visit gotfreefax.com

Voxox — Voxox allows users to send and receive faxes using an iPhone or its free PC and Mac apps. While you can receive faxes for free, sending has a per-minute cost. Credits for sending faxes can purchased at Voxox's online store. getsatisfaction.com/voxox/topics/how_can_i_fax_with_voxox

Are you an online fax service provider that would like to be added to this list and possibly be considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Business News Daily at jmulvey@purch.com.

Ashley Smith also contributed to the reporting in this article.

Adam C. Uzialko

Adam received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. He worked for a local newspaper and freelanced for several publications after graduating college. He can be reached by email, or follow him on Twitter.