Efax Review

Efax is the granddaddy of fax services, and arguably the flagship service of the plethora of J2 Global-powered fax services. Along with our top-rated pick MetroFax, Efax is one of two J2-owned services we looked at in our guide. The Efax Plus service adds some features above and beyond rival faxing services, including file-sharing and a custom email address. But for what Efax Plus gains with these enhancements, it loses for unattractive pricing.

Pricing

Like its competitors, Efax offers a free 30-day trial. The service still carries a $10 activation fee. (At the time we tested the service, Efax was waiving that fee for customers.)

The Efax Plus monthly charge is $16.95. That includes 150 free pages each for incoming and outgoing faxes. Each additional page is 10 cents apiece. International rates vary; choose the fax destination and currency from a drop-down, and Efax shows you the send rates. Some random examples of the dramatic range I found: 10 cents a page for Switzerland versus $1.06 a page for Panama.

If you anticipate needing up to 200 pages of incoming and outgoing faxes, you'll need to step up to the Efax Pro monthly plan, at $19.95. This plan also has a $19.95 activation fee.

Efax is the only service among those in our roundup to have an activation fee. Its monthly fees are also higher than most of its competitors, especially considering the comparatively low incoming and outgoing page allowances.

Setup

To sign up, you'll pick your country; choose to search for a number by area code, state, ZIP code, or toll free; and then enter the parameter you chose to receive a fax number. I selected San Francisco's 415 area code, then picked a number from the options presented.

Efax is the only service in our roundup to have an activation fee, and its monthly fees are also higher than most of its competitors.

You can choose a local, toll-free, or international fax number. In fact, Efax is the only service we tested to let you pick an international number. Efax generates a four-digit numeric password for you.

You'll enter your name and email address, followed by address and billing info, and that's it — you're ready to fax.

File Support

Efax lists support for 37 files types, including all the usual suspects and a few we wouldn't expect, such as Quattro Pro or Amiga Interchange File Format. My guess is, those are holdovers from when Efax launched back in 1993.

Interface

Efax's web interface supports sending up to 10 documents, or up to 18MB total, and the look is fairly simple and pleasing. In fact, it's identical to that of MetroFax — not surprising given that they have the same owner in J2 Global. The one difference: Efax sports a big link at bottom for sending large files via another J2-owned service, FuseMail. (FuseMail used to be known as 123mail.net, which Efax's online documentation still refers to — just one of many highly outdated legacy references in the service's documentation.)

When you send a large file, your Efax account logs into FuseMail's service, providing you with a free FuseMail email address. You can use FuseMail directly if you prefer, but I expect most users will just tap the link, add email recipients, upload a file of up to 3GB (available for 90 days) and choose to be notified when the file is downloaded. Ultimately, this FuseMail integration is just another example of the hodge-podge nature of J2’s services.

Efax supports adding a signature to a fax document, but the methodology is not the legally-binding modern variant found in services such as HelloFax's HelloSign or Sfax, but rather a crude throwback method of manually cropping a signature out of a scan, storing it with your profile, and then adding it to the fax.   

Like MetroFax, Efax lets you tag and search faxes.

Mobile Apps

Also like MetroFax, Efax has a mobile app for iOS and Android. The Efax version has options for signing faxes (which I couldn't get to work) and looking up any contacts you’ve added to Efax, but that's about it. The MetroFax and Efax mobile offerings are practically twins.

Bottom Line

Efax has good functionality in its web browser-based interface, but the service is overpriced for what you get. MetroFax costs half the price, and delivers much of the same experience in an identical way.

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17 comments
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  • dalewb
    A very quick Google search for "Metrofax review" reveals this site, http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/id-2109682/online-fax-services-2014.html , where users report abysmal service and impossibility to cancel accounts. Apparently *something* happened mid-2014 and the company suddenly began having serious issues not only with its faxing service but its customer service. I just tried to contact customer service through their online chat and waited for 15 minutes before giving up. I think you guys should revisit this article in light of the serious degradation in Metrofax's performance.
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  • terryddc
    People need to be VERY Leary of MyFax. They are not a BBB registered company because their customer support center is based in Canada. If you have a complaint like I did..Good luck getting it resolved. Here is my personal consumer review of the nonsense I had to deal with using MyFax:

    My family and I started MyFax service when we were in transition from one home to another. We were stuck in a Cable service issue because of something the previous owner of the house we purchased did. Until it was straightened out (90 days) we could not get cable services (TV, Phone, internet). We researched and My fax was not top choice but the affordable one. Their customer service STINKS! Their user policies are horrific. They are nothing but another greedy non-american based company (Canada is their call center). I tried several times to cancel my account over the past few months. Then two months would pass and charges would show up on the credit card statement again. I would call and speak to a rep who assure me the account was cancelled. Then a few months later there were the charges! I most recently tried to cancel this January only get charged AgaIn in the same month! Then I was charged AGAIN in Feb 8, 2015!!! I called to cancel the account AGAIN! The two reps I spoke to essentially blamed me for the issue. They indicated that since I could not provide case numbers and log numbers or the exact representatives names (btw no call center rep ever gives real name) they were not willing to refund any of the charges..but..would cancel the account. They said if I could provide the EVIDENCE of cancellation they might consider refunding one month. SERIOUSLY? As if I were trying to cheat them out of $10?! I said to the reps (again) I had been trying to cancel the account for several months. Once more they tried to blame me and said they had no record of my ever calling. However, during one prolonged debate one of the reps let it slip that they had indeed tried to contact me because 1/08/5 charges were declined..YES! Because I had cancelled the account! They sent me an email to an old email address asking me to give them a new card number. I ignored it because I figured I had closed the account once and for all. HOWEVER, their finance department submitted the charge again..and it went through 1/23/15..despite their asking for a different form of payment (to me proof that I had cancelled the account -when the charge was decline!). Unfortunately, my credit card company informed me that once a merchant has your credit card information it is difficult to block them unless you change your account number..So thanks you jerks at Myfax..TODAY TO AVOID These IDIOTS charging me in the future...I had to close my credit card account (one I had for 10 years!) and open a brand new account..Now I have to wait 5-7 business days for a new CC to be issued. The rep that told me about the charges being declined ..but them pushed through on 1/08 and 1/23 and 2/08..even said "that's odd you would be charged twice in one month" but then had a lame excuse that the 1/08/15 charge was declined and would show as a refund on my feb statement. WELL NOT SO! INSTEAD I WAS CHARGED AGAIN IN FEB FOR A SERVICE I SUPPOSEDLY CANCELLED. I tried to speak to a supervisor. She indicated that unless I had case numbers, contact names, and log numbers she would not submit my request for a refund. I even said "well i would be willing to accept a refund of the february charges..since I cannot provide ALL the exact details you are requesting..that is only$10" To which she stated "our finance department will not permit refunds based upon the consumer simply telling us they were erroneously charged. You need to provide us with proof." I told her they had proof right in front of them with the declined charge in January that demonstrated the account had been closed"..finally I gave up..after being on hold for 10 minutes to get a rep, a debate with one for 15 minutes, on hold again for 10 minutes, and then a argumentative arrogant supervisor for another 5 minutes...I just have had it and will chock this up to a lesson learned. DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • laruib
    Be VERY careful with metrofax. They DO NOT notify you when your account is due to renew. They just charge your card for another year even if you don't want to continue the service they won't do anything. I would never use metrofax again! Got many unwanted faxes trying to sell me stuff!
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  • SmiTTTen
    In the interest of full disclosure, I do business with Concord Fax. I will say that their service is what they say it is and their support is superb. Anyway, worth a look if you're interested.
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  • karen64
    I don't see it listed as an option but just in case, DO NOT use OnlineFaxes.com - I had them for a year and went to renew online only to find out that they had given my number "mistakenly" to another customer! I have been waiting for a week for them to contact the "new owner" and ask them if they can give it back to me??? What? I am the original owner. Shouldn't they be giving them a new number and giving me back the one I have on business cards, my website, registration forms, etc? Unbelievable. And the customer service is as bad as their business. No one seems to think this is a big deal. Online fax company. Business plan? 1) Sell fax numbers; 2) Don't sell the same number to more than one organization!
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  • California_1
    Metrofax used to be a good provider until another company, J2 Global, took over. Since then, my experience with them has never been the same, and not in a good way. They told me I had a trial period, which they emailed me for payment before it was up. My account online said I had a $0 balance, so what's up with that? Before I knew it, they decided to tag on a late fee because I failed to pay before my account was even due. Let's put it this way, I paid them to get away from them and to never hear from them again. They seemed like a bunch of thieves. I will NEVER EVER use Metrofax again.
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  • shipdog711
    I use free FaxZero. Very simple to use. S o far has never failed me. I am talking about someone who only faxes once a month.
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  • Comissha
    SRFax.com is an amazing service with AWESOME customer service.
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  • KC____
    I've been using Ringcentral Fax since 2006.Started well but over the years Ringcentral upgrades have continued to remove existing features that made their product useful.

    I have actually been using a version that is several years old since the newer versions remove those features and now I have been forced to upgrade. What have I lost? 1) Local copy of faxes received and sent (I had years of history, very helpful) 2) Easy ability to resubmit faxes locally 3) Ability to locally change the name of the sender (so I could send with the owner's name instead of mine or with our other company's name) 4) The ability to enter the recipient's company name and individual's name on the fax cover sheet.

    Now I can only enter the phone number.I can no longer recommend this product and I'm looking for a new alternative.
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  • mcbakewl
    I rarely send or receive faxes, but wanted to keep a reliable option available for those rare occasions. Did some research and just today signed up with FAXAGE. Chose their LITE package for $3.49/mo + $0.05/minute for in- or outbound faxes.

    Initial setup revealed an odd problem receiving from (but not sending to) eFax. (Dreadful company, eFax.) Within an hour FAXAGE tech support had identified and resolved the problem.

    No mobile app means only that way to send from an iPhone is Email to Fax, but that works fine too.

    Nice surprise was when the FAXAGE signup routine invited me to choose a phone number from a long list of options within my own area code.

    So, so far so good.
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  • mcbakewl
    Apologies for the typo:

    No mobile app means only way to send from an iPhone is Email to Fax, but that works fine too.
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  • Patrick_64
    Customer service with Metrofax is a complete fraud.
    Forget customer service with these guys. I am now at the end of month TWO trying to port a number with these guys. I have called EVERY DAY (Monday thru Friday) for three weeks, and gotten a different excuse as to what the problem is. This is the FOURTH time they have asked me to send the same information.

    I am a computer consultant for 30 years and this is the poorest customer service I have seen in my life. Do yourself a favor and read almost all of the other reviews here (almost all negative) and believe them. I have spent over 30 hours trying to resolve this, and now found out that they did the same mistake from the beginning. This has cost my customer OVER $400 dollars. Think I am exaggerating? Google “metrofax reviews” and see for yourself.
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  • Peter_162
    babyTEL gives you encrypted fax that you can access anywhere. The encryption is so strong that it's approved for health and financial records.
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  • livingandlearning
    Hi. I have used sFax for several years as a low fax volume small business owner. I find sFax to be difficult to use. For years sFax was upgrading to a new format. I had many problems sending a fax because the fax would sit in the outbox for hours while other higher priority faxes from other businesses would take up the fax times. I am now seeking a less expensive fax option. The one truth about sFax is that not one time in those years did I receive any unwanted faxes from marketing companies. The other parts of the review about sFax is true. sFax has come a long way from where it began. I am not discouraging its use, just letting the small low volume business owners know that you must really want to pay extra for the "security" features to choose sFax. I thought I was getting a better product, but I was paying yearly for a service that I rarely used. At most I faxed 5 times in a year. If you are a small business owner who rarely faxes, save the money or donate it to a worthy cause. Choose a different less expensive plan. Thank you for the review. I will try one of the options and see how it works for my small business.
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  • ajm_fencepost
    As of summer, 2016 Maxemail has been purchased by j2, the same company that has earned such a terrible reputation with eFax (and which in recent years has purchased and ruined the reputations of Metrofax and MyFax). Basically, j2/eFax now owns at least 4 online fax companies, 3 of which were well-reviewed here but which comments indicate have gone downhill.

    If you need send-only, at least two of the companies listed here have cheap send-only options that basically let you pre-pay for a pool of pages or minutes for sending. If you need low-volume receiving of faxes as well, you're probably going to be looking at Nextiva's vFax for $5/month (prepaid annually, it's $9/month paid monthly).
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  • Mtnmann
    For very occasional home use to receive faxes (fax to email,) I was paying $14.95 annually to Maxemail. Now with the purchase by J2/eFax, the new rate would be $85 annual when my subscription expires. I will cancel that. If you know of other services for inbound fax to email at or near my former Maxemail annual cost, please post here.
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