Once a trusted and much-used piece of office equipment, the traditional fax machine has seen its revered position, as one of the most important office tools, change considerably in the last decade. Today, office workers only need a laptop and a smart phone to do business. Whether they’re in the office or on the road, they’re always business-ready.
Previously, fax machines were the only tools available to people when they needed to instantly send information and important documents across different locations. During the 70s, 80s and 90s, fax played a pivotal role in business communication and the transferal of information.
Due to fax’s proven reliability and increased security benefits, many industries – particularly medical and financial companies – still rely heavily on fax for everyday business. But how does fax fit in with the modern business environment?
More so than ever, businesses need an integrated and cost-effective fax solution that’ll suit their needs as well as increase productivity and cut costs. This is where cloud faxing comes to the fore. Cloud faxing is a fax-to-email solution, which enables offices to send and receive fax messages as email attachments.
Being able to send faxes from your desk, means staff can carry out their daily tasks without the interruption of queuing to use the fax machine. It also means a significant reduction in your administration costs, as your faxing procedures move to a paperless solution.
But with so many cloud faxing providers out there, which is the best for you and your business? We’ve compared the UK’s three leading providers (FaxZero, HelloFax and eFax UK) to find the best one for you, both in terms of price and features:
Of all the major internet faxing services available in the UK, FaxZero is undoubtedly the most stripped-down option which forgoes additional features in favour of a simplified user interface. A ‘back to basics’ type service, users can use FaxZero to send faxes, but aren’t able to receive them through email.
If your company regularly sends large fax messages, it is important to note that a maximum of three-pages-per-fax can be sent with FaxZero. Additionally, a maximum of five free pages are allowed to be sent per day. If you need to send a larger document, you will have to pay for any additional pages, as priced below.
Faxes sent through this service are also visibly branded with the FaxZero logo, which may be deemed inappropriate for communications within certain business verticals.
Customers are entitled to five free faxes per day with FaxZero. Surplus faxes are charged at a rate of $1.99 per page.
With FaxZero, paid-for faxes will have priority over free faxes, meaning these surplus fax pages are likely to be delivered quicker than free pages.
When both free and paid-for faxes are taken into account, FaxZero users can send a maximum of 25 pages per day.
HelloFax customers can avail of a range of different price plans. However, product features are limited based on what price option you choose. With HelloFax’s free service, users can send up to 5 pages per day, but cannot send or receive faxes via email. Sending surplus faxes cost 99 cents per page.
As HelloFax is based the in the USA, all billing is done through US dollars. For some companies, this will increase the accounts department’s workload.
One notable and useful feature which HelloFax offers is an e-sign function, which allows users to sign any document with a legally binding electronic signature.
As previously mentioned, HelloFax offers a free, but somewhat limited, option. Paid plans start from $9.99 a month and go up to $39.99 a month, with a range of features available depending on the plan you choose.
For $9.99 a month, your business is entitled to 300 free pages, for $19.99 the limit is increased to 500, while the most expensive plan ($39.99 per month) includes 1,000 pages per month.Other Considerations
Potential customers can sign up to a 30-day free trial of HelloFax before making the decision to commit to the service.
It is also worth noting that HelloFax doesn’t provide a phone-based customer support service, which may not be an ideal situation for businesses who lack their own IT support should technical issues arise.
Signing up to an eFax UK account is a fairly straight-forward process which will enable a business to send or receive faxes via email and through the eFax mobile app.
eFax UK also provides a range of extra features, some of which aren’t available from any other fax service provider operating in the UK market. eFax makes use of SSL and TSL encryption, e-signature functionalities, a mobile app, a minimum of 400 free fax pages per account and local fax numbers, as well as numerous other features.
With a service like eFax, the transition from legacy faxing technology to internet faxing is a straight-forward process. Incoming fax messages will arrive in your email inbox as an attachment. This ensures that all important documents are safely and securely stored in your email account, and are easily accessible when needed.
Unlike most other cloud faxing providers, eFax UK customers will be assigned a local fax number when they sign up to the service, which allows them to receive faxes without the need for a traditional fax machine.
eFax UK offers a range of competitively priced plans, ranging from £11 to £25 a month. For £11 per month, your business can send and receive 400 faxed pages, while for £25 per month this limit increases to 1,000 pages.
If your company needs more than 10 fax numbers assigned to one account, you can also switch to eFax Corporate, who can give your business a quote based on your specific faxing needs.
eFax UK provides customer support services via both email and telephone. For telephone customer support, there’s a range of local helpline numbers available to customers.
While there are several good options available to UK businesses when it comes to choosing a fax provider, it is our opinion that an eFax UK account offers the best overall experience and value for money thanks to its wider variety of features, competitive price plans and dedicated customer support services.
For those unconvinced, or those who simply wish to try out eFax without having to pay, there is a free trial available which can be cancelled at any time as there’s no long-term contract involved or obligation to purchase an ongoing plan.