Price & Value
Sending & Receiving Faxes
Fax Software Review
Why Use Fax Software?
The idea of faxing a document might seem outdated, especially in the age of email and other electronic document sharing. However, faxing is still used in industries where securing information is of the utmost importance. This might be important in medical or legal offices, or for transferring banking documents.
Thankfully, you don't have to worry about dealing with old fax machines to keep your documents secure. Fax software allows you to sign and send documents from your computer or even from your smartphone or tablet.
In terms of contract length, ease of use and faxing features available, the best fax software programs are RingCentral Fax, OnlineFaxes.com and MetroFax. The fax software you should choose for your business depends on the specific needs of your company. While all 10 services in our review are top of the line, we've highlighted software that works well in certain situations, including the best programs for sending fax from a desktop or mobile device, the software that's lightest on the budget, and the service that's best if you need to comply with HIPAA.
All of the programs in our review are usable on mobile devices, though only half offer mobile apps. We tested all of the mobile applications offered by the products we evaluated. eFax's app was the easiest to use, and our testers found it to be the most intuitive. The eFax app also took the least time to process and send faxes.
If you're looking to send faxes from your desktop computer, you may want to look into TrustFax. While TrustFax is missing some of the features we looked for in fax software, we found that its online desktop program is intuitive and easy to navigate and use, and it took the least amount of time to send faxes from a desktop in our tests.
If your business handles any medical documents, it's imperative for you to follow the laws and regulations of HIPAA, which is legislation to protect patients' privacy. Sfax, by Scrypt Inc., focuses on secure faxing. Every plan available is HIPAA compliant, which makes Sfax stand out as ideal fax software for the health care industry.
Running a business can be expensive, and you have to be selective about where you spend your money. If you need fax software but don't have a large budget for this service, we recommend MetroFax. MetroFax's month-to-month charges are the lowest out of the companies we reviewed, and its overage charges per page are the least expensive.
What We Tested, What We Found
Top Ten Reviews has been testing, evaluating and reviewing fax software for more than five years. While evaluating the programs on the market to find the 10 best, we looked for software with certain features, including advanced scheduled delivery, Outlook integration and optional international faxing. We also looked for software that allows for electronic signatures and sending faxes to multiple recipients at once, which can save you time. We gave additional points to fax software that offers toll-free fax numbers, a high storage limit and quality customer support.
We tested more than 15 services by signing up for free trials and using the fax software the way a customer would. We created and sent faxes via the online desktop program and with various mobile devices. While going through this process, we timed how long it took for faxes to send from each service on the different platforms, as well as how easy the software was to use and figure out, and whether or not the design was intuitive. Software earned additional credit for cover page creation, available fax templates and fax confirmations.
How Much Does Fax Software Cost?
It's important to understand the cost of your fax software. Each of the companies in our review offer software on an annual or month-to-month basis. In the chart above, we list the charges if paid monthly, rather than annually. These charges range from $7.95 to $29 per month. A monthly subscription buys you a certain number of pages for the month. The best fax software has page limits for the month but doesn't break that limit down into faxes sent and received. Most of the companies we evaluated offer 300 to 500 pages a month on their basic plans without designating how many of those pages have to be sent or received. A couple of the products have similar page limits but designate a certain number for received and sent, which might be less convenient depending on how you plan to use your fax software.
If you find that you're faxing more than your plan allows, you'll be charged an overage fee per page. An average cost for this in the industry is 10 cents a page (not per fax), though we saw prices as low as 3 cents a page.
Some fax software companies charge one-time setup fees when you open an account with them, though we didn't find this to be a common practice. Be sure you understand the costs associated with the fax software you choose upon signing up with the company.
Laws Regulating Fax
Like other forms of communication, faxing has laws that control how and when you can contact consumers. Breaking any of these regulations can incur lawsuits from consumers and trouble with the FCC, including paying fines to the FCC, which wouldn't include any damages you might have to pay in a lawsuit with a consumer you've faxed. The fines from the FCC have a minimum liability of $500 per page – not per fax – that you send.
It's a good rule of thumb to simply not send unsolicited faxes, or junk faxes. However, there are some instances where you're allowed to send unsolicited faxes:
- If you obtain the fax number as part of an application or contract
- If you find the fax number on an advertisement or directory, as long as the material does not say that the contact doesn't accept unsolicited fax
- If you have made sure that the person to whom you're sending the faxes consented to have their contact information listed on the directory
If these criteria are met, you may send unsolicited faxes. However, you must have a cost-free way for the consumers you're faxing to opt out of future faxes. This must include a notice and your contact information on the first page of the fax you send. If someone opts out of faxes, you must comply within 30 days of receiving the notice.
The above described regulations are binding throughout the United States, but more than 30 states have their own additional fax laws. Be sure you understand the laws in your area concerning fax and other types of communication.
If you want an easier way to send secure information via fax, fax software is worth looking into. The best fax software programs overall are RingCentral Fax, OnlineFaxes.com and MetroFax, though others may be better suited for your business depending on your needs.