After considerable research and analysis of online fax services, we recommend Nextiva for its online fax service for small businesses.
Ready to choose an online fax service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:
- Choosing an Online Fax Service: A Buyer's Guide
- Best Online Fax Services for Small Business
- SRFax Review: Best HIPAA-Compliant Online Fax Service
- GotFreeFax Review: Best Pay-Per-Use Online Fax Service
- eFax and GotFreeFax Review: Best Free Online Fax Services
Nextiva is incredibly affordable, and it also comes with all of the key features we looked for in an online fax service.
Nextiva offers three different plans. The first and lowest-cost plan includes 500 pages for $4.95 per month. The "small business" package includes 1,000 pages per month at $12.95. Finally, the "business pro" package includes 3,000 pages per month at $29.95. Each of these pricing tiers is billed annually; single-month subscriptions are slightly more costly, but if you decide that this particular service isn't for you, it's much easier to cancel your subscription. Nextiva offers a 30-day free trial before it asks you to subscribe, so you'll be able to give it a test spin beforehand. Nextiva's overage rates are among the most generous in its class, at just 3 cents per fax beyond the allotted limits.
For those low costs, Nextiva still offers a robust selection of features. Most file types are accepted, including PDFs, GIFs and rich text. And although there are no mobile applications, Nextiva's online fax services work with your mobile browser or email application. You can also keep your existing fax number, so you don't have to replace any business cards that already have that number listed; Nextiva can even configure the service to work with your existing fax machine if you don't want to get rid of it entirely.
While Nextiva does not comply with the privacy standards governing the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPAA), it does employ a secure online portal to ensure a level of security for your documents. Sent and received documents are stored on the company's secured server until they are deleted. Still, if you work in a HIPAA-regulated industry, you'll want to look for a service that offers more robust security measures, like password protection and data encryption. The service is available in 48 states, there are no startup costs and Nextiva is integrated with Microsoft Outlook, so you will already have access to your existing contacts.
Nextiva's customer support service is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. EST on weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST on weekends. In our experience, Nextiva's customer service representatives were responsive and friendly, answered all of our questions about their online fax service and weren't overly aggressive in trying to make a sale.
There is no Nextiva smartphone application, but the online portal can be accessed through your mobile device's Web browser, as well as through your email application. Another downside to using Nextiva is that only one email address can send faxes at any given time, meaning the service might be inconvenient if multiple users need access to the system. There are workarounds, of course, like creating a business email address that the necessary employees share access to, but this can be a bit of a headache. In addition, Nextiva's service does not allow you to electronically sign documents.
Moreover, Nextiva doesn't offer international faxing capabilities, so if you're doing business outside of the U.S., you might want to look elsewhere.
Because of its extraordinarily low cost compared to its nearest competitors and its ability to incorporate the most essential features, we chose Nextiva as the best overall online fax service for small businesses. But there are other solid services in Nextiva's class that are worth a mention. Here are a couple of them.
MetroFax also offers an affordable service that has historically been very reliable. However, since the company changed hands, users have given the system mixed reviews. Moreover, MetroFax offers fewer total faxes in its comparable package than Nextiva does. And, MetroFax's customer service line is only open on weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., while Nextiva's is open on weekends. For these reasons, MetroFax was chosen as a runner-up, but it's still worth a look, given its past success in serving businesses' faxing needs.
MyFax, which is owned by the same company as MetroFax, offers a service that is just slightly more expensive than Nextiva's and includes 400 incoming faxes and 400 outgoing faxes for $10 per month. A nice benefit of MyFax is access to 24/7 customer support over the phone, but the same mixed reviews that apply to MetroFax also plague MyFax. Still, the company offers a solid service at a reasonable price, and for that, it deserves some consideration.