We invested substantial time to research various online fax services, plans and features. We started the process by coming up with a comprehensive list of vendors that offer online faxing through our own research as well as other lists and reviews of popular vendors.
From there, we visited the websites of each fax service to compare pricing and features. We watched product demos and tutorials, and we sent sample faxes when that feature was available. We used this criteria to narrow down our pool of candidates.
Next, we contacted all the services we were considering, calling and posing as a customer when possible. We wanted to get a feel for how the companies handle actual customer interactions, so we asked each customer service rep the same questions about features, options and pricing, and we noted our reactions to the experience.
For our overall best pick, the decision came down to which company offered the best balance of affordability, robust features and ease of use. We shied away from vendors that offered low upfront pricing with lots of hidden fees or expensive over-limit fees.
Here are the criteria we used to evaluate each online fax software provider:
- Ease of use
- Variety and features of plans
- Pricing structure
- Fax limits and overage fees
- Mobile access
- International and toll-free faxing
- Contract requirements
In Business.com's evaluation of online fax services, we looked for programs with functions like advanced scheduled delivery, international faxing and integration with Microsoft Outlook. We selected services that allow you to sign documents electronically and send faxes to more than one recipient at a time. We found that the best fax services offer toll-free fax numbers, unlimited fax storage and quality customer support to their subscribers.
We performed hands-on evaluations of each service by signing up for free trials and using the fax services the way we would have as a customer. We developed test faxes that we sent through the online desktop programs and mobile apps, where available. We tracked the amount of time it took for our faxes to send and scored each platform on its intuitiveness and ease of use. The services that allow you to create cover pages in the software, have fax templates and offer fax confirmations received additional points.