The fax machine, which originally was known as the “Electric printing telegraph,” continues to be used. While use did not peak until the 1980’s, it is based on a patent dating back to the year 1843. This perhaps at least partially explains why it often feels so anachronistic to stand in front of a fax machine, listening to the buzz of the frequency-shift keying as the data gets sent over the phone system.
While faxes are based on older technology, businesses, and to a lesser extent individuals, still rely on them for transmitting and receiving documents, despite the transition to our current mobile digital world. Thankfully, while the need for faxes continues, there are options to bring this ‘necessary evil’ of a technology into the digital age with an online fax service, such as MyFax, which promises “Faxing made easy.”
- Want to try MyFax? Check out the website here
MyFax offers three tiers of plans. They do not offer a free tier, there is no activation fee, and all offer a free 30-day trial. Also, there is no Enterprise Plan for larger businesses that can be custom built in terms of flexibility for features and pricing. Plans are taken monthly without a contract or commitment.
The lowest tier is their ‘Home Office User’ plan that includes sending 100 pages, and receiving 260 pages per month. It costs $12.99 (about £10) monthly, or there is also the option to skip the free trial, and pay annually getting a discount of two months for free for a total cost of $129.90 (about £100). This basic plan is better suited for a more casual user, as especially on the transmitting side of the equation, the page limit is quite low.
The middle tier plan is dubbed ‘Small Business User,’ which provides for a more symmetric send and receive allotment of 500 pages each. MyFax designates this as their ‘Best value,’ at a cost of $29.99 (about £23) per month. For businesses with modest faxing needs, this would be an appropriate plan.
Their upper tier plan is what they designate as ‘Power User,’ and the monthly page limit increases to 700 pages on both the send and receive category. While the monthly limit for the number of faxes increases by 40%, the price increases by a third, going up to $39.99 (about £31) per month, making this a better value for the user that can utilize this higher volume of faxes.
Apart from the lowest plan, there is no indication of an annual discount for the two higher tier plans. There is also no option for an unlimited faxing plan either. Choose the plan wisely, as each additional page commands an à la carte price of $0.10 (about £0.07) for each additional page over the monthly limit of the plan.
MyFax offers good options in choosing the fax number, including local, toll-free, and international options, and can also port an existing number. However, there is a lack of vanity number options included.
MyFax functions to send the faxes through the user’s email. We like the included cover letter templates, and there are over 100 of them to choose from. Faxes are limited to an attachment size of 10 MB, which proves limiting with some larger or graphics heavy documents. Over 150 types of attachments are supported for faxing, including some less popular options such as Lotus 1-2-3, or StarOffice Spreadsheets; JPEG or GIF images can also be faxed directly without needing to be turned into a PDF first.
True to its digital roots, MyFax includes smartphone apps for both the iOS and Android platforms, making it convenient for use while mobile. The MyFax Mobile App can be used to send, view and receive documents while mobile, thereby transforming any smartphone or tablet into a mobile faxing platform. You can even use the device’s camera to scan the paper document to digitize it for faxing.
MyFax also includes a ‘Fax Archive,’ that provides digital copies of all the faxes that are sent and received to the account. The documents are all saved online and preserved- and for the life of the account without any storage limits or additional charges as a value add. Also, faxing to multiple recipients is included with the ‘Fax to 50’ feature, that allows the same fax to be sent to up to 50 multiple users simultaneously.
MyFax is an excellent option for the right user. On one side of things, it excels for the smaller end of small business, offering a decent feature set, with affordable pricing, and higher page limits than some direct competitors. However, it does not offer a free tier for the lowest users, and has separate page limits for both sending and receiving, making it more likely the user will go over- with a per page cost that will quickly add up and impact the bottom line.
On the other hand, MyFax is limited also on the higher end, as there is no option of an unlimited plan. Furthermore, there is no offering of an enterprise plan, which impairs the ability of MyFax to grow as the business needs to expand its faxing capability.
For the right size of small business, neither too big nor too small, MyFax is an attractive offering, but in some respects this relegates it to a niche product. This is unfortunate as with some needed tweaks as enumerated above, MyFax could have much wider product appeal.
- We've also highlighted the best online fax services in this roundup