Fax is dead! Who uses fax anymore? Well, lots of business folks do. And why? Well, let’s say you have a paper document you want to send to your doctor. Unlike snail mail or email, the receiver gets the document right away without having to open up their computer, look for the email, and then print it.
But how can I fax without a fax machine? How do I even send or receive a fax? Fortunately for you, many web-based services exist that can send or receive faxes without physically going to the nearest Scan & Printshop.
How to Fax From Computer
You can easily send a fax through any browser or platform. Sending a fax from Google Drive (Google Docs and Google Sheets), Gmail, Mac (Apple’s productivity apps, including pages and numbers), and Microsoft Word are all possible using online fax services.
Send an Online Fax
Several online providers can send a fax to any number you want. Some services are even free if you’re sending a couple of pages.
If you have more documents to send or don’t want ads cluttering up your transaction, you’ll usually have to pay a small fee. Unsurprisingly, many services impose a monthly fee and offer a 30-day or 60-day trial.
Best Online Fax Service Providers
FaxZero is an easy-to-use document-transfer website. Upon entering the website, simply enter your contact info, the name, and the fax number of your receiver. Add the document you want to fax; FaxZero recognizes Microsoft Word documents as well as PDF files.
After sending your document, FaxZero sends you a confirmation message with a URL to the transferred document. After your document is delivered to the recipient, FaxZero will send you an email confirming that your fax was received.
The best part is that FaxZero is free if you send only three pages at a time, limit yourself to five transactions a day, and don’t mind the FaxZero advertisement on the cover page. For $1.99 a page, you can send as many pages as you want without a FaxZero ad.
If you’re worried about a personal data breach, fear not. According to the company, user information given to FaxZero is encrypted and submitted through the HTTPS protocol to its server.
Fax.Plus is another document-transfer platform worth considering for its availability and convenience. You can send a fax directly from the Fax.Plus website, iOS or Android app, Google Docs, or email (Gmail and Outlook).
Unlike FaxZero, your first 10 faxes are free; after that, you’ll need to register for a paid plan. The Basic plan allows you to send 100 pages a month for $5.99 per month (or $59.99 per year). The Premium plan lets you send 300 pages a month for $11.99 per month (or $119.99 per year).
On the corporate side of things, the Business plan lets businesses send 800 pages a month for $19.99 per month ($179.99 per year). The Enterprise plan gets you 3,000 pages a month for $59.99 per month ($599.99 per year). Whichever plan you get, you also receive a phone number through which you can receive faxes.
To send your documents, go to Fax.Plus home page and Sign Up for Free > Send Fax. Enter the recipient’s fax number and then attach your document. Fax.Plus supports a broad range of document standards, including Word, Excel, HTML, PDF, JPG, PNG, and TIF. You can even schedule the fax for the receiver to get it at a later time. Go to Settings to access options, email recipient(s) a PDF of the fax, and prepare the document for transfer. When ready, hit the Send button.
All transactions are sent and received through Fax.Plus are encrypted with AES-256-bit encryption.
Receive an Online Fax
What about receiving a fax online? Many sites offer fax-sending services by giving you a virtual fax phone number. The faxed document – typically a PDF or TIF image- reaches you via email. Some services use an exclusive format for the document and provide free software for seeing it.
eFax is one of those service providers that assign you a free virtual fax number through which you can receive up to 10 faxed pages per month and view faxes through the available eFax Messenger software. This software allows you to print the file and save it as a generic TIF image. You can also view the files as PDFs via Adobe Reader or as TIFs.
eFax also offers premium plans if you need to receive or send more faxes. For $16.95 a month, and a $10 setup fee, the eFax Plus plan allows you to send 150 faxes and receive 150 each month. For $19.95 a month and the $10 setup free, the eFax Pro plan allows you to send 200 documents and receive 200 each month.
With FaxBetter, you get a personal fax number and can receive as many as 50 faxes per month for free. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. To use this free service, you’ll have to download a browser extension that embeds ads into certain websites while you’re online. Moreover, you can only view received faxes on the FaxBetter website (no app, no email software).
For $9.95 per month with automatic renewal, FaxBetter lets you receive up to 500 pages a month, view them in your email, search for text within your documents, and send faxes.
Faxing is still an important element of many companies’ daily transactions, so it’s not entirely dead yet. To see for yourself how online faxing can help you save time and money while increasing productivity, check out the reviews for Fax.Plus and FaxZero.