Internet Fax is known by many different names such as email fax, online fax, electronic fax, e fax or even digital fax. Regardless of what you call it, Internet Fax simply means using your email system and the Internet to send and receive your faxes via email attachments usually in PDF or TIFF formats.
You have an online interface (site) where you can not only store your faxes but also where you send and receive your faxes. In addition, many providers will let you fax through a desktop application or directly through your email program.
Internet faxing has become very popular mainly because it is relatively inexpensive and it lets you send and receive your faxes anywhere, anytime. It is more secure than theold fax machine and since it is web based, you can basically fax wherever you have Internet access and these days that’s just about everywhere.
If you’re looking to purchase an Internet Fax service you will probably consider some of the more popular brand name online fax providers such as MyFax, eFax, RingCentral, RapidFax, TrustFax, Send2Fax, MetroFax and Faxage.
However, choosing an Internet Fax service does take some consideration, especially since this is usually a “long-term service” and even a small difference in price can add up quickly over the long haul. So here are some certain common features and qualities that you should look for before buying or signing up to any one fax service.
1. Overall Quality Of The Fax Service
The overall quality of your chosen fax service is very important to consider. You want a reliable service with a minimum of problems. Your online faxing should be seamless and hassle-free; with any issues quickly answered or solved. Checking customer reviews and ratings will give you some idea of the quality of the different fax service providers. Test-driving a service will give you a better view.
2. Good Reliable Customer Support 24/7
You want good customer support that’s available 24/7. Again, if you should have problems, they should be taken care of in a timely fashion. Check the Support hours — most companies have
24/7 service but not all.
3. Competitive Pricing
There are countless fax plans and services so it pays to shop around for the best price. But again, look first for a quality service instead of just choosing the cheapest rate. Consider the number of pages (incoming & outgoing) which you will receive with the monthly fee. Check what’s being
charged for overage or extra pages. Also remember, buying with an annual plan can save you up to 25% or more.
4. 30 Day Free Trial
Most Internet Fax Providers give a 30 Day Free Trial so take advantage of this offer to test-drive a service. Try before you buy. Some companies also offer one month free but you only get this on your second month into the plan.
5. $10 Monthly Fee
The average monthly fee is around $10. Some plans offer a small annual fee of around $20, which should be considered if your faxing needs are very minimum. There are also some services where you pay around $4 per month with no free pages, you buy faxes as you need them.
6. No Set Up Fee
Most but not all Internet Fax services have no set up fees. Check your service plan before you sign up. Keep in mind, it might be worth your while to pay a start-up fee if the service you’re getting is worth it.
7. No hidden Fees
Most fax services do not have hidden fees but you must ask or check before you buy. Make sure all your faxing costs are up-front and you can check these costs at any time. Some companies will notify you when there are extra charges over your regular limit.
8. Around 300 Combined Pages (Incoming & Outgoing)
There are different amounts but most companies have around 300 combined faxing pages included in their plans, this includes incoming and outgoing faxes. If you do a lot of faxing, it pays to shop around for the best service with the largest number of faxes each month.
9. 10 Cents Per Minute for Extra Pages
The average for extra pages is around 10 cents per minute but again it pays to shop around. Also
note, some companies quote rates in pages, while others quote in minutes… for pages it is assumed that it takes 1 minute or less to transmit your fax, however, with large faxes it may take longer.
10. Local and Toll-Free Numbers
Check what type of Fax Number you will be receiving, Local or Toll-Free. Check to see if there are any extra charges for the Toll-Free number.
11. Online Interface & Storage Capacities
Most companies have an online interface (site) where you can send and receive your faxes. But each will have different storage amounts and different lengths of time you can keep your faxes online. This is important if you plan to keep your faxes for a long time or if you want to store large quantities of faxes online.
12. Scalable Business & Corporate Plans
Most fax providers offer corporate faxing plans that are completely scalable to meet your growing company’s needs. Also check for special rates if you will be doing any large volume fax broadcasting or you’re operating a large amount of fax numbers within your company.
All of the above features should be considered when buying your Internet Fax service. Some of these will vary depending on your own faxing needs or requirements; but always keep in mind, you’re looking for a good reliable service that offers quality faxing at a competitive price. Do a little homework now and it can pay big dividends down the road.