Which Internet Fax Service Is Right For You?
Internet or e-mail fax services are becoming very popular with the computer savvy public. The ability to receive and send faxes whenever and wherever you access you e-mail has proven too irresistible for many fax users to ignore.
It's an offer they couldn't refuse. Can you blame them?
No more paper-jams, no more bulky fax machines, no more messy inks, no more busy signals, no more extra phone lines, no more return trips to the office at 10 o'clock at night to retrieve that important fax.
Internet fax is easy, mobile, convenient, accessible and very compatible with most of today's and tomorrow's computer gizmos and gadgets. From cell phones to BlackBerries to ultraportable notebook computers, e-mail fax services will work with all of these contraptions.
Besides, almost every aspect of doing business in our brick and mortar world has been transferred onto the Internet. Faxing services are no different. However, using an Internet fax service has some distinct advantages over the old fashion fax machine/service; mainly the ability to access your faxes anywhere, anytime. This mobility is a big plus for both mobile professionals and ordinary fax users. Being completely connected in a wired world can give any business or company a competitive edge.
But there are so many Internet Fax services to choose from, each with its own features and pricing structures, so just which Internet fax service is right for you?
The answer will mainly depend on your own faxing needs or requirements. How much faxing do you plan to do? What types of faxing services do you need? Will you be only receiving faxes? Will you be only sending faxes? Will you need both functions? Will you need a fax broadcasting service?
Perhaps, the first question you have to ask yourself? Do you need Internet fax at all? Some people like to keep their businesses 9 to 5, weekdays only, please don't bother me after working hours or on the weekend. If you want your faxing strictly confined to your office, during office hours on your old fax machine, then Internet fax is probably not for you!
On the other hand, if you want your business or company to be able to receive and send faxes 24/7 -- 365 days of the year, then you should check out the different Internet faxing services.
There are many Internet fax services available to the consumer. Some of the better known ones are MyFax, eFax, Send2Fax and TrustFax. All these e-mail fax services have different plans and features. They also have different rates and fees, so it pays to shop around and check out each before you sign-up to any one fax provider.
Each Fax Service provider has slightly different ways of sending and receiving faxes. They all use e-mail and the Internet. Some have a free desktop application download that sits on your desktop. Most can be used with Windows Outlook and Windows Office. Most or all have a Web Interface, online web site where you can access your Internet fax account to send or check your faxes. Most also provide storage space if you wish to keep your faxes online.
Almost all are completely flexible and scalable to meet all corporate faxing requirements. They can be customized to any size organization or business. Fax broadcasting, where you send a fax to a large numbers of recipients is offered by most online fax services including the ones mentioned here.
And obviously, all supply you with a local or toll-free fax number.
What Internet Fax service is right for you depends mainly on your own personal needs. Are your faxing needs very minimum or do you do a lot of faxing? The answer will usually determine which faxing service you go with. Of course, you must also check out customer support, service reliability and the overall quality of the fax service you are signing up for. But you knew that!
If you just want to ONLY receive faxes, eFax will provide you with a free account where you can receive up to 20 free faxes a month. But be warned, you will have to upgrade to a paid service if you want to send faxes. The charge is minimal but they can quickly add up, so keep a close check on how many faxes you send each month. You should also be aware that each of these services charges higher rates to send international faxes; domestic faxes are cheaper.
Another fax service you should check out if your faxing needs are light, Send2Fax Prepaid charges you $0.15 for every fax and a $20 deposit along with a very low $1.95 monthly fee. They also have a plan if you only send faxes - Send2Fax Broadcast is a send-only account at $0.06 per sent page and a $1.95 per month fee. TrustFax has a Power User plan for $19.95 per YEAR with 70 Free Fax Pages (Incoming AND Outgoing) and 15 MB online storage for your faxes.
If your faxing needs are a little heavier you could try MyFax, it has great customer support and is only $10 a month which includes 100 sent and 200 received faxes. No setup fees, no hidden charges and it also informs you how much each of your faxes cost.
Which one should you choose?
It's always a good idea to try before you buy. Many of these Internet fax services have free one month trials. Some services such as MyFax and TrustFax have online demos which you can use to see what your faxes will look like. You can Test Drive their faxing systems before you buy.
If you check online, MyFax has garnered top customer or user ratings in such sites as Microsoft Office Marketplace, PC Magazine and on Fax forums. It provides good quality service for a very reasonable price. Not to be outdone, eFax is extremely popular with over 9,000,000 users and that must count for something. TrustFax and Send2Fax also come highly rated.
But make up your Own Mind!
There are many more Internet faxing services on the web. You will have plenty of other services to choose from. Just make sure you have an Internet fax service that meets all your faxing needs and you won't be disappointed. Whether you're running a small home office or a large multi-national company, there's probably an online faxing service that will meet your needs.