Best & Worst Online Fax Services 2018

Product Use case Rating
MetroFax Best Overall Fax Service 8
SRFax Best Value 8
Sfax Best for Business 8

Faxing may seem like a relic of yesteryear — at least until you're required to fax an important form or document. When faxing is the best way to get your document from Point A to Point B, we recommend MetroFax as the top online fax service. Its 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.

If MetroFax doesn't meet your needs, our testing of more than a dozen different faxing services found two compelling alternatives. We were impressed by the amount of detail and customization provided by SRFax, which offers a cheaper option than MetroFax for individual users. Although expensive relative to the other services we've rated, Sfax is also a compelling choice, particularly if you work in a field that has stringent privacy rules and need a fax service that complies with HIPPA data privacy requirements.

Many of the fax services we test offer trial periods, if your faxing needs are of the one-and-done variety. When it comes to free options, our testing indicates 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.

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. (Those service tiers place pretty restrictive limits on the number of faxes you can send.) A 30-day free trial is fairly typical, though SRFax offers a 60-day trial on its pricier tiers. With free trials, you'll generally need to provide a credit card, placing the burden on you to cancel service before the trial period ends.

Best Overall Fax Service: MetroFax

Few services make it as easy to send and receive faxes as MetroFax does. The service's web portal is easy to navigate, and MetroFax has the best mobile app of the options we've tested. Support for a wide range of file formats means MetroFax is likely to meet your needs, and you'll particularly appreciate the ability to tag and search faxes. At $7.95 a month for 500 pages — the price drops by more than a dollar if you pay annually — MetroFax is reasonably priced, too, putting it at the top of our rankings.

Best Value: SRFax

SRFax doesn't offer the fax tagging and searching features you get from MetroFax, but it's a good alternative, especially if you have modest faxing needs. A $3.29-a-month basic plan gives you 25 free pages inbound or outbound, and pages after that cost just 10 cents each. The web-based interface is clean and easy to use, even on a mobile device, which is good as there is no dedicated mobile app.

Best for Businesses: Sfax

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. With plans starting at $29 a month, Sfax is one of the more expensive services we've tested, but its business-focused features are delivered in a pleasing, intuitive interface.

Other Fax Services Tested

Here's a summary of other services we've reviewed, along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Service
Price (Monthly)
Pros
Cons
Rating (Out of 10)
HelloFax
$9.99 HelloFax.com Pleasing interface; Supports signatures; Offers a limited free tier for one-and-done users; Connects to popular cloud storage servicesPoor storage organization and indexing; No customizable cover page; Other services offer more pages for the price7
Nextiva vFax
$4.95 Nextiva vFax Easy fax tracking; Substantially lower price if you pay annually; Good control over notificationsPoor web portal design; Mobile app doesn’t support faxing7
RingCentral Fax
$7.99 RingCentral.com Scheduled faxing; Support for web storage; Text message alertsNo management for inbound and outbound faxes; Web interface isn’t specifically dedicated to faxing7
Efax
$16.95 Efax Clean design; Useful mobile appsExpensive; Outdated documentation; Clunky digital signature feature6
GotFreeFax
Free GotFreeFax Simple interface; No registration required; Inexpensive once you exceed the free tier limitsFree tier is limited to three pages per fax up to two faxes per day; No incoming fax service5
FaxZero
Free FaxZero Simple interface; InexpensiveSlow two-step sending process; No mobile app; Free service adds company branding to cover pages4

Why Use an Online Fax Service

There are plenty of reasons for turning to an online provider for your faxing needs. Physical fax machines remain a hassle, and can often be painfully slow to send documents. Plus, who wants to listen to the annoying digital handshake tones?

With an online service, you don't need to be by a physical fax machine to send your fax. And you don't have to worry about busy signals, since the system will wait and send when the recipient's fax frees up. Likewise, for receiving faxes, you don't have to have your PC on, nor do you have to hear a ring when an incoming fax arrives. It's the best possible marriage of old and new technologies.

Since so many documents originate in digital form, or can easily be converted into digital form, electronic faxing makes perfect sense. If you need to have a greater degree of tracking and scheduling than what you get with a simple fax-on-demand system, there are services that can help with that, too.

How We Test Online Fax Services

Our fax service recommendations 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 report). 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.

6 Quick Fax Service Shopping Tips

When considering a service, consider the following questions to help you 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?

Buyer Beware

Some of the shadier online fax services come with a number of buyer-beware gotchas. Watch out for services that charge a one-time setup fee. Before selecting a service, do your due diligence and check the company's About Us page. This should tell you where the company is based. If a vendor is based overseas, there may be no ability to reach a human, in the event of a problem.

Finally, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints, especially if you're signing up for the trial service: Some companies have become notorious for not canceling a trial when requested.

It's worth noting that J2 Global has bought up many different electronic fax brands, though several of those businesses continue to operate under different names. Among the services we've reviewed, J2 owns both MetroFax and Efax, and it bought Sfax's parent company, Scrypt, last year. Those three services operate independently, so we've kept their reviews separate.

Credit: Vector Tradition/Shutterstock

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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.
  • 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Comissha
    SRFax.com is an amazing service with AWESOME customer service.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Tom4palms
    We have used RapidFax since 2008 and the charges are getting too much and the terms are not clear. We need to keep our number. HOW??
  • Francis Jacob
    I HATE a monthly fee to fax! Allow me to buy in bulk or pay as I go! I don't fax enough to warrant monthly faxing yet very few provide a la carte faxing. That's why FaxZero wins in my book. Your rating is way too low...
  • Light_CC
    Nextiva service works well. Cannot cancel through online login. Cannot reach customer service to cancel. Need to go direct to my credit card company. Similar to description of inability to cancel service on Metrofax above - are they the same service, or several of these owned by the same place? Either unethical or incompetent or both.