• USA
  • Canada VoIP
  • UK VoIP
  • Australia
Norton trust seal
BBB logo

Internet Fax Services

Introduction

The fax machine has been around for many years and nearly every office, and many homes in the USA and Canada, has one. However, over the last few years this industry has been transformed by the introduction of an Internet Fax Service. No longer do you need to be concerned about your fax machine breaking down, being out of paper, or privacy as everything is handled in the cloud.

This article is intended for visitors who are new to this type of service and addresses the following areas:

  1. Frequently asked questions and answers that helps explain more about this type of service.
  2. The types of features and plan options to look out for.
  3. An overview of some popular providers and their available plans.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What is an Internet Fax Service?

An Internet Fax Service allows you to send and receive documents electronically without the need for a fax machine on-premise. The only requirements are a high-speed Internet connection and an email account. The service provider will handle all of the sending/receiving for you in the cloud. They have state of the art on-premise servers that are fully maintained by them.

What Happens When Someone Sends Us a Fax

A user will send a fax to you in their normal manner to your assigned number. The documented is directed to the service provider and they convert it into a digital form and then send it to an email account designated by you. It is all handled in the cloud and you simply receive an email with the document attached.

How do I Send a Fax?

There are typically various options for sending. These can include just dragging a document to a providers icon on your computer, or by using a special portal that you access on your computer or smartphone device. Some providers will have the send option integrated into Microsoft products such as Word, Excel, Outlook etc. (similar to printing a document via the File menu). This makes it very easy and convenient. Once sent the service provider takes care of the delivery from their secure on-premise machines/servers. There is no extra equipment or supplies needed other than your computer.

What if I Have Paper Copies to Send?

If you have a document in paper form, simply scan it to your computer and send in the ways described above. Some providers allow the use of your existing fax machine with the addition of a special adaptor they provide you. This adaptor connects between your machine and your Internet connection, converts the output into a digital format and then sends it over your Internet connection.

Who Can Use it?

Anyone can use this type of service, a business or an individual. Most providers do focus on businesses though, with plans typically revolving around number of pages sent/received per month.

Do I Need Special Equipment?

No, you do not need any special equipment to use this type of service. You do need a high-speed Internet connection and an email account though at minimum so you can send and receive.

Is it Secure?

Yes because most service providers include high security encryption. This keeps both incoming and outgoing secure. Many also provide password protected accounts where you can access your storage area.

What Kind of Files Can I Send?

Most service providers allow you to send many different types of files, including PDF, JPEG, TIFF and the standard Microsoft Office document types. If you have some specific file formats you need to send/receive then we recommend checking with the service provider directly before signing up for service to verify they are supported. This should not be an issue though.

Who Can Send Me Faxes?

Anyone can. You will be assigned a number to use. Anything sent to that number will be converted into a digital format and sent to the email address you have provided. There will be no difference to the person sending the document, regardless of the technology they use.

Is it Reliable?

Yes, this type of service is very reliable. There are never any busy signals and the document is typically stored in the cloud for a period of time (dependant on provider) so a copy is available if there are any issues.

What are the Benefits?

The benefits with a hosted service are that it is convenient, secure and very low cost. Instead of having to purchase the traditional hardware and dedicate a phone/data line to it, the Internet is used to send and receive.

How Much Does it Cost?

Costs can vary depending on the type of plan offered by the provider. Some services charge a monthly rate for a certain amount of pages, while others charge per page. Depending on the amount of usage you anticipate, you can choose to pay by the month for a maximum number of pages or per usage.

Choosing a Service Provider

The following provides some items to consider when selecting a service provider:

Some Popular Service Providers

Nextiva vFax

The Nextiva solution comes in 3 plan options, as follows. A free trial is available on the Basic plan.

RingCentral Fax

Ringcentral provide fixed monthly rate plans for a given number of pages per month, as follows. Each plan has a free trial option and includes a shared number unless otherwise stated.

GFI FaxMaker

GFI are an international company and a great choice if you are faxing internationally as many countries are included in their plans.

MetroFax

Metrofax have similar plans to others. You can change plans as your company needs grow. Each plan includes all their features and free North America based support.

Conclusion

Internet Fax Service is a great way to reduce business costs. This low cost service saves on buying and maintaining hardware equipment, as well as the cost of a dedicated phone line. We provided plan highlights of some popular service providers to help make a comparison with your existing costs. Use the table to the right to find out more information on each of these. For more information on this type of service we recommend taking a look at the related article section below.

Author: Mike Bragg


Related Articles for Further Reading:


left arrow PREV
Audio, Web and Video Conferencing
NEXT right arrow
RingCentral vs 8x8 VoIP Comparison

GO TO BUSINESS ARTICLE INDEX


Have something to say about this topic:

Use the form below to add your comments/thoughts and to interact with us. All comments will be moderated by WhichVoIP.com before going live. We try to answer all questions within 24 hours.

Name:
Email: (Not displayed on site, used so we can respond to you)
Comment:
Please enter this code below:
Add my email to the WhichVoIP.com newsletter
(special deals, low frequency, unsubscribe any time)

By submitting your comment you agree to our site Terms of Use

 

Subscribe to our Email Newsletter

  • Useful tips and valuable resources
  • Be first to hear about special deals
  • Low frequency and privacy protected
  • Over 25,000 subscribers
Compare Low Cost Service Options