MetroFax has a dedicated faxing service that makes it easy to send and receive your faxes electronically. The service is aimed at handling small businesses to large corporate needs, and has many built-in options to facilitate faxing via email, the Web or mobile (using free iOS and Android companion apps). The service is owned by J2 Global, which also owns Sfax and Efax.
Pricing for MetroFax starts at $7.95 per month billed monthly, or $6.63 per month billed annually, for 500 pages. As you scale up by number of pages, it works out to $0.03 per page.
Free Trial: MetroFax offers a 30-day free trial, after which its month-to-month service kicks in. From there, you can also upgrade to the service's annual plan (which lowers your month rate) or cancel your service without penalty.
Getting started with MetroFax is simple. Select your state and area code, and choose a plan (even though there's a 30-day free trial, you'll still walk through these steps).
Once you enter your billing information, you'll get your fax number and PIN (your randomly assigned password) for immediate use, and links for downloading the mobile iOS and Android apps. You can transfer a fax number as well, but that requires contacting the company during signup.
Like Nextiva, MetroFax bills itself as having 99.9-percent reliability and redundancy. But unlike Nextiva, MetroFax only does faxing.
The Web portal is pleasantly and visually designed, and easy to use. When you log in, your number shows clearly at the upper right, and if you have more than one number, you can select among them here, a handy feature for high-volume faxers. The portal itself has four buttons on the main screen; these options are duplicated in a nav bar up top, too. The options are straightforward: You can view faxes, send faxes, update your account or search for help.
I liked the organization of the Web interface. It was visual, friendly, and easy to read.
From within the Web console, you can add tags to organize your faxes, which makes it easier to search them later. I liked the organization of the Web interface; it's visual and friendly, and tangentially modeled after Windows Explorer's pane views, making it easy to read. You get fewer controls over your faxes than on, say, Nextiva, but the overall presentation for sending and receiving faxes is superior.
Sending and Receiving Faxes
For sending a fax, you'll get a well-defined pop-up screen dubbed "Websend" that makes it simple to send faxes directly from a Web browser. You can enter data manually or pick from your contacts list (import as CSV file from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail and Comcast); you can choose the country the fax is going to, add up to 50 fax recipients, choose to include a basic cover page, add up to 10 document attachments to send, and choose the quality of the fax. The cover page is a weakness here: You have no choices for the cover page's design, and it's not even clear what is on the cover page beyond the message you enter into the box on the Websend form.
The service provides Web-based access to all of your inbound and outbound faxes. You can organize, print and save faxes. However, that said, you're equally as likely to use email to send faxes. With MetroFax, simply send a fax to the 10-digit phone number (as with Nextiva, don't include a "1" first), followed by @metrofax.com. Add a subject and email message to create a cover page, attach your file to fax and hit send. I saw no noticeable delays in sending or receiving faxes.
Inbound faxes arrive as PDF or TIFF files in your email inbox, but you don't have control over notifications, or limiting their arrival into your inbox.
File Format Support
The service supports a slew of file formats — more than 50, including the usual suspects like Microsoft Office files, Adobe PDF and JPEG graphics, and ones not seen on other services, such as arcane formats from Corel, WordPerfect, Lotus and Star Office. Even Adobe Photoshop .PSD files are supported.
MetroFax offers full-featured, dedicated iOS and Android apps. The apps send you notifications when you've received a fax, an option that could make it easier to spot an inbound fax, even though it means you'll get notified twice, by your email and by the app itself. The app also lets you access your faxes as stored on the Web, view faxes and folders, see your contacts, and tag and search faxes. You can send faxes, too, by attaching files on your mobile. We liked this app the best of all the mobile apps; it's easy and logical to use, and it's packed with functionality that makes it easy to read, send and share faxes.
Using a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone, I could attach a file from one of the linked apps (including Dropbox and the image gallery), or from anywhere on the phone via the MetroFax file browser. On my Apple iPhone 6s Plus, I could share a document via the share protocols or attach an image from the camera roll or the camera app. MetroFax’s app offered the best functionality of any of the services with mobile options. RingCentral Fax also has a good mobile app that lets you receive and send faxes, but MetroFax's app is focused solely around its faxing services.
The smart interface and mobile component of MetroFax make it a great choice for those on the go. And the wide range of file formats supported make it optimal for offices with a variety of needs. Most importantly, its focus on faxing, and its ability to tag and search faxes sets MetroFax apart from the crowd. That also makes it our pick for best fax service, over RingCentral, which lacks the fax-management abilities, and Nextiva vFax, which has a less friendly interface and lacks the mobile apps.