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The Best Online Fax Services of 2020

By Andrew Martins,
Business News Daily Writer
| Updated
Jun 05, 2020

Faxes might seem like an outdated mode of communication, but some businesses still need to regularly send and receive them. Online fax services make it easy to manage without the notorious fax machines taking up space and requiring maintenance.
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Pricing starts at $16.95 per month for 150 incoming and 150 outgoing faxes
Best HIPAA-Compliant
Pricing starts at $3.29 per month for 25 pages
Best for Multiple Users
Pricing starts at $7.99 for 500 pages a month
Best Overall
Pricing starts at $14.99 per month for 750 pages
Best for Free Incoming
Free accounts can receive up to 50 pages per month
GotFreeFax
Best for Free Outgoing
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Free accounts can send two faxes (three pages or less) daily
Faxes might seem like an outdated mode of communication, but some businesses still need to regularly send and receive them. Online fax services make it easy to manage without the notorious fax machines taking up space and requiring maintenance.

Update: We've updated this page to add a warning regarding online fax file security issues.

Although faxing may seem outdated, many businesses still need this service. Instead of investing in a traditional fax machine, the preferred option is an online fax service. To help you find the service that's right for you, we spent weeks researching, evaluating and testing dozens of online fax services. We scrutinized pricing, features and ease of use, among other things, to find the best solutions for various business needs.

You can see the online fax services we think are best below, along with the typical cost structures of these services and the features you should look for. You can also learn about what to look for in an online fax service in our buyer's guide.

Additionally, read what actual users have to say about what they look for in an online fax service and what they like about the service they are currently using.

 

Our Reviews

eFax: Featured Sponsor

eFax is an online service that allows users to send and receive faxes. It offers a web-based, easy-to-use interface. Features include digital signature tools, file sharing, lifetime storage, and local and toll-free numbers. Additionally, eFax offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices – users can view, edit, sign and send faxes from anywhere. The mobile app also allows you to take a picture of a document and send it directly as a fax. In addition to eFax's mobile app, you can send and receive faxes from the eFax online portal and via email attachments. eFax offers two service plans: eFax Plus and eFax Pro. eFax Plus costs $16.95 per month or $169.50 per year; users can send 150 pages of faxes and receive 150 pages of faxes each month. eFax Pro costs $19.95 per month, or $199.50 per year; users can send and receive 200 pages of faxes monthly. There is a $10 setup fee for both plans.
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SRFax: Best HIPAA-Compliant Online Fax Service

Why SRFax is our pick as the best HIPAA-compliant online fax service: Medical practices are required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, otherwise known as HIPAA, to protect patients' personal information. We found SRFax to shine in this field: It offers SSL encryption, firewalls and optional PGP encryption for all of its transmissions. Users must sign a business associate agreement, per federal regulations.
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mFax: Best Online Fax Service for Multiple Users

Why mFax is our pick as the best online fax service for multiple users: Though it's slightly pricier than the competition and includes fewer pages per month, mFax came out on top for multiuser faxing services. Its pricing structure supports different-sized teams, from as few as five to as many as 50 users. An enterprise plan is available for large businesses. You can also add multiple numbers to your plan for an extra fee.
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RingCentral Fax: Best Overall Online Fax Service

Why RingCentral is our pick as the best overall fax service: RingCentral's ease of use and breadth of software integration options are just two of the reasons why we feel the Belmont, California, company stands out among its peers. Once signed up, users can send or receive faxes anywhere, including on their iOS and Android devices through a dedicated app, as well as by email. Files can be uploaded from cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox, and sent anywhere around the world.
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FaxBetter: Best Free Incoming Online Fax Service

Why FaxBetter is our pick as the best online fax service for free incoming faxes: Compared to other companies we considered for this use case, FaxBetter easily outclassed them in one simple way – the number of pages you can receive for free. With a free account, users can receive 50 pages a month at no cost. If you want to receive more pages or send some documents of your own, the company offers competitively priced monthly plans. Additionally, as long as you receive a single fax per week, your dedicated toll-free phone number will be yours for life.
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GotFreeFax: Best Free Outgoing Online Fax Service

Why GotFreeFax is our pick as the best online fax service for free outgoing faxes: You can't beat free. GotFreeFax's free outgoing account doesn't come with a contract, isn't supported by ads on your fax's cover letter and doesn't require a credit card to sign up. Free accounts allow users to send up to two free faxes, each up to three pages, per day at no cost. However, free accounts can't receive incoming faxes, so if you're looking to both send and receive faxes, a different provider may be a better fit for your business.
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Pricing

Like many subscription-based services on the internet, online fax vendors charge a monthly fee. When considering adding an online faxing service to your overall monthly costs, it's important to determine how much you intend to use the service. Most companies limit their service tiers based on the number of sent and received pages in a month.

According to our research, we found that most companies charge a base fee, which ranges from $5 to $50 per month, with the higher-cost service tiers offering a more robust feature set. Depending on how much you're willing to spend per month, you may be limited to sending and/or receiving a handful of pages to thousands of faxes per month. If you send or receive more pages than your monthly allotment, you will usually have to pay additional fees that range from 3 to 12 cents per page.

Some companies offer a pay-as-you-go option. Under that style of plan, users pay a one-time fee per fax sent. Generally, these online fax services are only for outgoing faxes; if you need to receive faxes, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Since faxing is still widely used to send sensitive documents to customers or vendors in foreign countries, some services offer international faxing at an additional cost. Prices generally vary by location, but potential users should be prepared to pay anywhere from 2 cents to a couple of dollars or more for each international fax sent, depending on the country you're faxing documents to.

Features

At a macro level, nearly every vendor in the online fax industry provides the same service. Regardless of whether you need a HIPAA-compliant provider or you occasionally send a fax, how you ultimately transmit your messages remain largely the same. Therefore, it usually comes down to the features a service provider can offer your business when deciding on a platform.

Through researching numerous online fax services, we found that the following features usually served as a way to differentiate one company from another. If present, these features generally help simplify the online faxing process and provide the tools necessary to ensure your messages get where they need to go.

  • Proprietary app support: Nearly everyone these days has a mobile device in their pocket that's capable of handling complex tasks with the tap of a finger. Online fax companies can often leverage the computational power of a smartphone by offering an Android or iOS app so users can send and receive faxes no matter where they are. In some cases, these apps let users view, edit, sign and send faxes regardless of where they are in the world as long as they have a working cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

  • Encryption: Data security is an important thing to require from any online service, but it's especially imperative in online faxing. Since faxes often contain sensitive information, strong forms of encryption, like SSL and PGP encryption, can be used to protect that data. Data protection is so important to some industries, like the healthcare industry, that specially crafted online fax services that cater to federal guidelines are often offered by online fax companies for a slightly higher cost.

  • Dedicated fax number: One common feature that online fax vendors often include in their service tiers is the use of a toll-free or local fax number. In addition to choosing your fax number, some companies sell long-distance or international fax numbers, though the price will vary in either instance. If you already have a dedicated fax number, many services also allow users to port their old number over to the new service.

  • Cloud storage: One major downside to traditional faxing is that paper documents are finite things. If you accidentally trash or lose the only copy in your possession, then you're out of luck. Through many online faxing services, however, users can safely store copies of every fax they send or receive in the cloud. Some services allow their users to tag faxes with keywords, making them easily searchable files that can be recalled at a moment's notice. This feature usually comes with limitations, such as how many pages you can store at once or how long those files stay on the server.

  • Email-to-fax support: Many online fax companies have web-based platforms and applications for users to send and receive digital faxes. While that method works for most, some companies also allow users to send and receive online faxes through their preferred email client. While not specifically built for the service, most people are already well accustomed to sending and receiving emails, so translating those same actions into sending and receiving faxes makes for a more seamless experience. To send a fax via email, the user usually has to turn the recipient's fax number into an email address, such as 1234567890@onlinefax.com. In that example, the numbers would be the recipient's fax number, and the "@onlinefax.com" would be replaced with the online fax service provider's domain name.

  • International faxing: The ability to send faxes to international recipients is another option many online fax services offer. Since files would be sent great distances, many vendors that offer international faxing charge a per-page fee based on where the recipient is located. In addition to sending and receiving international faxes, some vendors sell international fax numbers to their users for an additional fee.

How Does Online Faxing Work?

Traditional faxing and online faxing are two similar office functions that operate in completely different ways. For decades, traditional faxing worked by using a dedicated fax machine to convert scanned documents into a digital audio tone that was sent over a dedicated telephone line. The data would then get to another traditional fax machine, where it turned that data into a facsimile of the original document. The need for extra machinery and a separate telephone line, as well as ink and paper supplies, drove up traditional faxing's operating costs.

In comparison, online faxing works one of two ways, either through email integration or a web-based client. With most service providers, fax-to-email and email-to-fax are how users send their faxes digitally. Through this method, you can send digital attachments through your email client, usually by typing the recipient's fax number as part of a special email address. Faxes can also come into an email inbox if a service has all incoming faxes at a certain number forwarded to the user's email address. Email-based faxing can also happen through integration with existing programs like Microsoft Outlook.

Web-based clients, on the other hand, use forms and upload prompts on a proprietary website to handle incoming and outgoing messages. Much like with the email solutions, any faxes going to a provided fax number will go to the client's dashboard. Files and faxes can then be downloaded and viewed.

While these two options are the most common, some companies provide other solutions, including ones that integrate with physical fax machines, to bridge the gap between traditional and online faxing.

J2 Global Warning

As a major player in the online fax services space, J2 Global has acquired more than a dozen online fax providers. While owning multiple companies in a single space isn't necessarily a bad thing, you should take careful consideration before selecting a J2 Global company.

If you run an online search for this business, you'll find numerous consumer complaints about unfair billing practices, poor customer service and almost scam-like practices. These issues have earned the company and its holdings an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. Customers also report these problems on other forums, including ConsumerAffairs and the Complaints Board.

For these reasons, we suggest you take caution when dealing with a company owned by J2 Global. Several of these companies are on our vendor list, but we have noted in the descriptions when J2 Global is the parent company.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of online faxing?

Perhaps the most touted reason to adopt a faxing service is to reduce office costs. An office fax machine can require constant attention. Regular maintenance, ink and toner costs, and dips in productivity as employees stand around a machine while they send or wait to receive faxes are eliminated when the entire process can be done online from a person's desk.

Fax providers often allow you to store your sent and received faxes online. For some businesses, especially ones with regulatory requirements regarding faxing, it can be a lifesaver to store messages digitally instead of printing out the documents and stuffing them in filing cabinets. Some service providers make the faxes searchable so you can easily find them later.

Companies looking to go green could also find online faxing beneficial, as each message is transmitted over the internet and stored in the cloud. With no need to print documents, there is less paper waste.

What should you look for in an online fax service?

The easiest answer to this question is "it depends." The faxing solution that will work best for you depends on how much you intend to use it and what features you require.

Good fax service providers feature a combination of three things: secure incoming and outgoing fax capabilities, an easy-to-use interface or integration with existing services, and stellar customer service.

Previous Winners

As trends in the online fax industry shift over the years, so, too, do our best picks. Since our previous winners are still viable options for any small business looking for an online fax service, our past reviews remain available online.

Previously, Nextiva Fax was our pick as the best overall service for small businesses, thanks to its affordable plans and litany of key features. Likewise, we listed RingCentral as our best pick for multiple users because of its ability to cater to larger work groups.

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

Community Experts

The reasons for which a small business would need to use an online fax solution depend largely on that company's needs. To understand why some small business owners have transitioned from traditional faxing to online faxing, we reached out with business owners who have already made the switch.

One common theme among people who opted to make this change was the need for better efficiency. Ryan Turner, co-owner of 3Prime Web Solutions, said his team decided to use MyFax when they realized traditional faxing was frivolous.

"Managing a traditional fax machine seemed ridiculous to us," he said. "Having to segment the phone number, or, worse, get a dedicated line seems wasteful."

While Turner said his company is looking to switch services to more accurately fit its faxing needs, he said they have "never had an issue with [online fax]." "We create documents and upload them to fax," he continued. "It's much easier to work with than the fax machines I remember."

Alex Kovalenko, director of IT recruitment at Kovasys, cited the extra costs associated with a dedicated telephone line just to fax documents as the main reason his company dropped its traditional fax machine.

 "We no longer need to pay a separate line for faxes, which would cost us around $40 to $50 a month when online fax only costs around $10 a month," he said.

Where many companies transition to online fax for the cost reduction, entrepreneurs like Matt Schmidt, founder of Burial Insurance Pro, said he needed something that was easy and accessible to everyone on his team.

"Our faxes now come into our email system and can immediately be downloaded into our sales system," he said. "This also allows us to immediately send off the documents to the appropriate party without any further scanning or downloading."

Environmentally conscious businesses are also leading the charge to online faxing, since there's less need for ink and paper when files are transmitted digitally. Torben Lonne, diver and co-founder of online magazine DIVEIN.com, said his company uses RingCentral because of its smaller impact on the ecosystem.

"The amount of paper generated by fax machines is completely unnecessary nowadays where we can digitize everything," he said.

Our Methodology

We spent numerous hours researching and testing various online fax solutions, including the industry's major players, to find out which ones were best positioned to help small businesses. The following is how we whittled down the field and chose the best online fax services in 2020.

Locating the Best Services

We began our research by compiling a list of vendors that offer online fax services. We searched for companies online and scoured other lists and reviews of popular vendors. We also added to our list vendors who contacted us asking to be considered. In total, we collected more than two dozen services to examine.

Choosing the Best Services

After compiling our list of potential vendors, we combed through their websites to find out about their pricing and features, among other important data points. When available, we participated in webinars, watched tutorials and sent sample faxes to get a feel for how a service stacks up against its competitors. We used these criteria to narrow our list to the following finalists: BestFreeFax, FaxBetter, GotFreeFax, HelloFax, InterFAX, mFax, PamFax, PayGoFax, RingCentral and SRFax.

Researching Each Service

Once we'd selected the finalists, we posed as a potential customer and reached out to each service. Whether our conversations took place over the phone or email, we evaluated how each company handles customer interactions. We asked each customer service representative the same set of questions, including ones about features and pricing, making sure to note how each interaction transpired.

Analyzing Each Service

The companies we selected as our best picks deftly combine affordability, features and ease of use, rating higher in our testing than others. We used the following data points to evaluate each online fax provider: ease of use, variety and features of plans, pricing structure, fax limits and overage fees, mobile access, international and toll-free faxing, and contract requirements. Vendors with unclear fee structures, low monthly page allowances and other limiting factors didn't make the cut.

Andrew Martins
Andrew Martins,
Business News Daily Writer
See Andrew Martins's Profile
I am a former newspaper editor who has transitioned to strictly cover the business world for business.com and Business News Daily. I am a four-time New Jersey Press Award winner and prior to joining my current team, I was the editor of six weekly newspapers that covered multiple counties in the state.

Full List of Online Fax Services

eFax

eFax supports both the sending and receiving of online faxes. It boasts a user-friendly interface on the web and an easily navigated mobile application that is free of charge to account holders. eFax offers unlimited fax storage, as well as 24/7 customer support by phone, email and live chat. eFax enables the sending and receiving of online faxes by multiple methods, including online portal, email attachment or mobile device. eFax lets you take a picture of a document with your mobile device and send it directly as a fax as well. It also includes a digital signature feature and file-sharing option at no additional cost. 

MetroFax
MetroFax is a sister company of eFax and MyFax. You can send faxes using laptops, desktops or wireless devices, and fax pages are delivered to your inbox as email attachments. You can sign up for either an annual or monthly plan. Local and toll-free numbers are available. J2 Global owns this company.
aFax is a straightforward online fax service that converts all documents to PDF files before sending. It works in conjunction with Gmail to make faxing as simple as sending an email.
BestFreeFax, a service of SRFax, provides free outgoing faxes up to a certain limit, although it doesn't specify that limit on its website. Fax numbers for incoming faxes can be purchased for $3.29 a month. Email customer support is available.
Biscom is a cloud-based fax solution with service tiers designed for personal, office and enterprise users. With this faxing service, users can send, receive, and sign faxes via email and even directly on mobile devices through the company's proprietary iOS and Android apps. Biscom also offers a secure file transfer solution and cybersecurity consulting.
Faxage has plans available for individuals and businesses of different sizes. Each plan includes online fax storage and an unlimited number of users for no additional charge. Faxes can be sent and received via email or the service's website. APIs are available.
With a focus on its iOS and Android apps, FaxBurner offers an online fax service that you can use on the go. Free accounts come with a disposable fax number that can receive 25 pages and send five pages a month. You can also send and receive emails either through fax-to-email or email-to-fax. Paid accounts start at $9.97 a month and come with a permanent toll-free number.
Fax.com offers faxing by web, email or mobile device. It supports several users from a single account and allows you to send multiple messages simultaneously. You can use it with your existing toll-free or local phone number, so you don't need to get an additional phone line. J2 Global owns this company.
Fax.Plus is an online fax service that has various plans to meet your needs. Its free plan comes with 10 free pages to send, but it doesn't include incoming fax capabilities. Paid plans start at $4.99 a month and go up to $49.99 per month if billed annually. Fax.plus is a good choice if you need to fax internationally, as it has fax numbers available from 46 countries and you can send faxes to over 180 countries. It also has a mobile app that you can use to send, sign and receive faxes.
FaxZero is a send-only faxing service that comes in two varieties: free and "almost free." In the free version, you can send up to five free faxes per day, each with up to three pages, to any fax machine in the United States or Canada. You don't need a fax machine yourself, but you do need a valid email address. For a $1.99 fee per fax with up to 25 pages, the "almost free" service lets you send additional faxes, and you can also send faxes to recipients in many other countries. The free version has the FaxZero logo on its faxes, while the paid version does not. You can upload and attach multiple file types.
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eFax
Billing itself as the world's largest online fax service, eFax is used by millions of people each day to send and receive online business faxes. You can fax from any internet-enabled device. eFax also allows you to review, edit and sign faxes. Sent and received files can be stored on the company's online service for as long as you wish. J2 Global owns this company.
HelloFax sends faxes in PDF form directly to your email inbox, where they can be viewed, downloaded and shared. Outgoing faxes can be signed, edited and sent electronically to multiple numbers at once. You sign in with your Google account, so no new password is required for access, and you have the option of sending or receiving faxes by syncing your account with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive or Evernote. International faxing is available.
InterFAX lets you send and receive faxes through email and online forms. Free APIs are available for Java, Python and many other platforms. InterFAX is a secure platform that complies with global privacy requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR and PCI DSS.
MyFax is a cloud-based fax solution that serves individuals, small businesses and corporations. You can send or receive faxes via email, the web or mobile devices. The company offers plans for home offices, small businesses and power users. All plans allow you to send and receive faxes. Faxes can be sent from up to five different email addresses on the same plan. J2 Global owns this company.
Nextiva is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that you can use to send faxes via email, online portal or mobile device. It accepts most file formats and stores faxes for later access. Toll-free and local numbers are available, and no contract is required. It offers a variety of plans.
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. J2 Global owns this company.
Send2Fax offers plans for home offices and small businesses. Both plans come with a toll-free fax number. This service sends faxes to and from email accounts, or through the company's web portal. Send2Fax is compatible with Microsoft Office. J2 Global owns this company.
Sfax is a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant faxing service. Though it was created specifically for the healthcare industry, other industries can use it. The service gives administrators full control to manage users, set accesses and permissions, and adjust security settings. Groups can collaborate, view, file, send and export documents from any location. J2 Global owns this company.
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. J2 Global owns this company.
GotFreeFax - Best Pay-Per-Use Online Fax
GotFreeFax is a send-only option that offers up to two free faxes per day, with up to three pages each, without advertisements. The paid version starts at 98 cents for a 10-page fax. It allows for rich text and several file types.
Image Credit: junce / Getty Images
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