Capable mobile apps and a solid interface make MetroFax the best choice for managing your inbound and outbound faxes.
SRFax is a good alternative if you don't need MetroFax's tagging and search features. SRFax is ideal for either individuals or businesses.
Sfax's HIPAA compliance targets specific industries and it has a flexible interface and multiuser support, though it is pricey.
Faxing may seem so last century, but sometimes it's the only way to get important forms and documents back and forth, whether you're buying a house, signing contracts, or conducting some other paperwork-dependent business. If you must get a document from Point A to Point B and email just won't cut it, we recommend MetroFax as the best online fax service. The combination of fax-management features and easy-to-use software makes it an ideal choice for either individuals or small businesses, and it's attractively priced.
Among the dozen-plus other options we've tested, SRFax impresses us with its amount of detail and customization. Their rates are cheaper than MetroFax for individual users. If, however, you work in a field with stringent privacy rules and need your fax service to comply with patient data privacy requirements, turn to Sfax.
When it comes to free options, our testing indicates that you generally get what you pay for, but if you're absolutely determined to use a free service, HelloFax's free tier is the best option, though you're limited to five pages total.
Here's a closer look at how we rank the top online fax services.
The best fax service overall
Capable of handling the faxing needs of small businesses up to larger corporations, MetroFax offers the best fax service based on our testing. The company's has an easy-to-navigate web portal, and its mobile apps – available for both Android and iOS — are the best we've seen.
We like that MetroFax supports more than 50 file formats, including commonly used options such as Microsoft Office files, Adobe PDF and JPEG graphics. But you'll also find support for arcane file formats, too.
Monthly prices are low, especially if your faxing needs are fairly modest; you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial before the regular rate kicks in. If you pay on an annual basis, MetroFax will take a little bit extra off your bill. (Annual billing reduces the monthly cost of MetroFax's 500-page tier from $7.95 to $6.63, for example.)
Read our full MetroFax review.
Best value for faxing
SRFax competes well with MetroFax, at least if you don't do a lot of faxing each month. If you only need to send and receive 25 pages each monthly, you'll pay $3.29, and the faxing process at SRFax is a lot more polished than what you'll experience with free services.
That edge disappears if you've got more demanding faxing needs, as the 500-page tier at SRFax costs $2 more each month than it would at MetroFax.
You'll find a wide range of file format support and a web-based interface that's text-centric and clean. The responsive design works well on mobile devices — which is a good thing, since there's no dedicated mobile app for SRFax.
Read our full SRFax review.
Best fax service for businesses
If the documents you're sending need to stay secure, look no further than Sfax. The faxing service offers HIPPA-compliant faxing as well as a number of other features geared toward the health care industry. Even with its industry-focused approach, Sfax still delivers a very visually attractive and intuitive interface.
With plans starting at $29 a month, Sfax is one of the more expensive services we've tested. But business users will appreciate the extensive support for different files, the ability to store multiple cover pages for different types of faxes, and multi-user support.
Read our full Sfax review.
A business focus for occasional faxers
Biscom isn't just for enterprise telecommunications. The service also offers a fax service for individuals and small offices, and if you pay up for its Small Groups plan, you'll get multi-user support. That's ideal for businesses who don't need Sfax's HIPPA certification or other pricier plans.
Should you opt for Biscom 123, expect a friendly and colorful layout. You'll send and receive faxes either via email or a somewhat limited mobile app. Biscom also doesn't store any of the faxes you send, which may not be that much of a problem if you only need this service for an occasional fax.
Read our full Biscom 123 review.
Popular fax service is pretty pricey
eFax is probably the most recognizable name in online faxing, and there's a lot to like about it. The service's interface and mobile apps look a lot like what MetroFax offers (not surprising, since they're owned by the same company), and eFax throws in some nice features, like the option of sending faxes using a secure SSL-encrypted container. The service lets you tag and search faxes, and supports up to five email address for use with a given fax account.
Our big objection, though, is to the pricing. Other than Sfax, eFax's monthly rate is one of the highest you'll pay of the services we've reviewed, and the page limits aren't that generous. eFax also charges a $10 activation fee, though it sometimes waives that on some of its tiers.
Read our full Efax review.
A good, if limited, free faxing option
We haven't been impressed by the free fax services we've tested, but HelloFax is easily the best choice if you only need to send a few pages every now and then. HelloFax's free tier is limited to just five pages per month, and you'll appreciate the clean, simple interface. The service also supports electronic signatures, which is a welcome addition.
We are less impressed by HelloFax's approach to fax tracking and indexing — you don't get a confirmation your fax was transmitted, and searching is limited to email address or document title. High-volume faxers will want to steer clear.
Read our full HelloFax review.
Extensive faxing features get lost in the shuffle
There's a lot we like about RingCentral Fax, which offers a flexible set of features, and strong support for both cloud storage and mobile. It's the only service we've tested that lets you schedule sending out your faxes, which will appeal to some users. Signing up on an annual basis also can lower your monthly cost by $2 to $10 depending on your service tier.
But faxing is only one component of what RingCentral offers, which also includes voice and unified communication services. RingCentral's interface is designed to serve all those customers using all of its services, which can be overwhelming if you just need to fax. The inability to track faxes also limits RingCentral's appeal.
Read our full RingCentral Fax review.
Cluttered interface for faxing
Nextiva's faxing service — the "v" in vFax stands for "virtual" — supports fax by email or through an existing fax machine. The prices are reasonable, especially if you opt for annual pricing instead of monthly pricing, as that knocks $4 off the monthly cost of Nextiva's 500-page tier.
Nextiva's web portal gives you a nice overview of faxes you've sent and received, and we appreciated the degree to which we could customize notifications and settings. But the web portal lacks panache, and the grim interface detracts from the service.
Read our full Nextiva vFax review.
Faxing option for cheapskates
The good news about GotFreeFax is that the price is right there in the company's name. You can send up to two free faxes per day, provided they're not larger than three pages each. If you need to send more pages, GotFreeFax's prices are reasonable: $1 for 10 pages, $2 for 20, and $3 for $30. Because you can send your fax without having to register, GotFreeFax is a good option if you just need to fire off the occasional fax.
Don't expect to be able to receive faxes, though. File support is limited to several common formats. And while GotFreeFax does have prepaid tiers for people who do a lot of faxing, you'll find more full-service options with better pricing elsewhere.
Read our full GotFreeFax review.
There are better free faxing options
At first glance, FaxZero seems to be more flexible than other free-faxing options. You're limited to three pages (plus a cover), but FaxZero lets you send up to five faxes per day. The catch is that the cover sheet includes FaxZero branding, and you have to opt for the company's $2 tier to make that branding go away.
When testing FaxZero, we saw a noticeable lag between when we sent our fax and when we got a confirmation. FaxZero also has a two-step process for sending faxes; you have to wait for email with a link to your fax that you click on to finally send. It's more trouble than it's worth.
Read our full FaxZero review.
Quick fax service shopping tips
When considering a service, ask yourself the following questions to help find a provider that fits your needs:
- Do you need only one number, or multiple numbers that are linked?
- Do you need workgroup support, so others can access the inbound and outbound faxes for that line?
- Do you need a custom number for sending your faxes?
- Do you want to customize your fax cover sheet?
- How many pages do you anticipate sending and receiving each month?
- Do you need an easily searchable archive of inbound and outbound faxes?
What you'll pay for an online fax service
Online fax providers typically offer multiple tiers of service that put limits on the number of pages you can send and receive each month. You can opt to pay on a monthly basis, though several services will offer a discount if you pay annually. (We list monthly pricing in our reviews.) Monthly prices on the entry-level tiers range between $3 and $29.
All of the services we've reviewed offer free trial periods or — in the case of HelloFax, GotFreeFax and FaxZero — free service tiers. Free services place limits on the number of faxes you can send, so unless you only need to send a handful of faxes, you're better off with a paid service.
For a closer look at whether you should pay for an online faxing service, we've provided a closer look at how free-faxing services compare to paid options.
Paid options can vary widely, with MetroFax and SRFax offering some of the cheaper plans while SFax, RingCentral and eFax are on the more expensive end of the spectrum. When checking pricing, make sure that the number of pages you can send and receive fit in with your needs. Note that several faxing services discount their rates if you opt for annual service instead of month-to-month.
How we test online fax services
Our fax service ratings come after more than 100 hours of testing a dozen different services (some of which have since been bought out by competitors and thus have been dropped from this guide). In addition to our initial testing, we periodically go back to services we've looked at previously to see if new features are added or pricing has changed; we then update our ratings accordingly.
When evaluating fax services, we consider pricing as well as the number of pages you can send and receive under a given plan. We also pay careful attention to each service's interface, ease of operation, and overall features. We send and receive faxes, observing how long it appeared to take for an outbound fax to send. This is difficult to gauge, since most services simply take a moment to process, then will later deliver a confirmation that the fax was sent.