While computers, printers and other pieces of technology are obviously vital in the modern office environment, there’s no denying the role the fax machine has played in the business world over the decades.
When it comes to running a business, it’s essential to have systems in place to allow you to send important documents to colleagues and other organisations easily – especially if you deal with a plethora of departments or clients on a daily basis. Typically, fax machines have been the solution here.
These devices offer a number of benefits. They can be an inexpensive way to send information and are usually easy-to-use, without the need for extensive training. The biggest benefit of all is the fact that you can send exact copies of handwritten documents or indeed images.
That’s not to say fax machines are an ideal solution. The rise of mobile devices has changed everything, and these days you can easily send information via email or an instant messaging service. Of course, you’re not shackled to fax machines that only work over phone networks – you can now get internet-based fax services which function online without the need for any hardware. And in this article, we’ve picked out five of the best offerings.
A simple web-based fax service
Platforms: Web | Features: Fax archive, Microsoft Outlook plug-in | Subscription options: Yes | Free trial: Yes
MyFax is an online fax service that’s been designed for both businesses and individuals, allowing for the sending (and receiving) of faxes through a range of mediums.
Easy-to-use and affordable, this is a web-based service meaning there’s no need for any software installation – setup is quick and painless. The platform lets you fax from up to five different email addresses, and there’s an archive feature which gives you the ability to access all sent and received faxes. You can choose a local or freephone fax number, too, and it’s worth noting there’s a plug-in for Microsoft’s Outlook.
Smart interface with a handy mobile app
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android | Features: Mobile apps, fax archive | Subscription options: Yes | Free trial: Yes
Built for use with both computers and mobile devices, eFax lets you send and receive faxes via email, a browser or an app. It only takes a few minutes to set up, which is always a bonus.
This platform boasts a smart interface for the web which is nice and user-friendly. It’s possible to send faxes to more than one person at a time, and just as with MyFax, there’s a mobile app (which again is nicely designed) and an archive so you can keep track of old faxes.
You get a ‘risk-free’ 30-day free trial to test eFax out, which is handy because if you do sign up, it’s not the cheapest service around.
Add unlimited amounts of users
Platforms: Web | Features: Multiple users, fax archive | Subscription options: Yes | Free trial: No
HelloFax has been designed predominantly for companies that want a lightweight, easy way to send important documents and communication.
Sending faxes is simply a matter of creating an online account, and once done, incoming correspondence will appear in your email inbox. You also get the option to use your previous fax number.
Documents are scanned and sent as PDFs. There’s also the ability to set up as many users as you want, and you can store faxes in cloud. The service is integrated with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and Evernote.
An affordable fax service
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android | Features: Fax archive | Subscription options: Yes | Free trial: Yes
Faxonline does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s an easy-to-use platform that provides you with all the tools to send faxes online. The service is aimed at a variety of individuals and organisations, and this is reflected in the subscription plans.
To use Faxonline, you don’t need access to a landline, and you’re given a unique UK fax number. It’s a simple matter to get up and running, and you don’t have to install any software on your computer.
You can send and receive faxes via a PC or mobile, and all new faxes are sent to your email inbox. Faxonline works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. The company is offering a 10-day free trial, so you can test it before you make a final decision – and the good news here is that this is a relatively affordable service.
Fax service with a wide global coverage
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry | Features: Global coverage, mobile apps | Subscription options: Yes | Free trial: Yes
PamFax is an online service that allows businesses and individuals to send faxes across the globe, and it doesn’t compromise on price. There are 236 countries in its availability list, and costs start at 10p per page.
As is the case with most online fax services, PamFax works via email. You simply sign up to the platform, upload a document online, enter a number and click send to dispatch a fax to the recipient’s email inbox. The platform works with a range of computing and mobile devices on numerous platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry.