Fax machines are relics of the past, but you still may need to fax a document for some reason or other. An online fax service, such as mFax, may be just what you need for those situations. Documo-owned mFax is an intuitive service that transforms faxing into a modern experience. However, it lacks key features of top competitors, such as two-factor authentication and the ability to sign documents digitally. We also would like to see dedicated mobile apps, even though the web interface scales nicely to mobile screens.
How Much Does mFax Cost?
mFax’s prices have increased since our last review. The Solo plan now costs $12 per month (up from $9 per month), which gets you a pool of 250 fax pages to either send or receive. If you pay for a year up front, your monthly cost decreases to $10 per month. More frequent fax users can opt for the $29-per-month team plan, which offers 500 fax pages per month shared by up to five users. The $59-per-month business plan offers 1,000 pages per month for up to 15 users. mFax’s top-priced Infinity plan costs $119 per month for a whopping 2,500 pages and up to 50 users.
The overage fee starts at 10 cents per page and gradually decreases with the more expensive plans. The cost per additional user and number follows the same pattern. mFax offers a 14-day free trial if you want to try out the service; I appreciate that it doesn’t require a credit card.
All mFax users get 1GB of mDrive (Documo’s cloud storage solution) storage for free. Documo also lists a document signing tool, called mSign, on its site. A representative from mFax said that all of these services should be integrated and fully available early in 2021.
mFax is not the most cost-effective service I’ve tested. That honor belongs to RingCentral Fax, which offers 1,500 fax pages for a $22.99-per-month fee. The cheapest service I tested (in absolute terms) is SRFax, which charges $3.29 per month for a pool of 25 pages. Still, if you are looking for a low-cost option, Fax.Plus‘s 100-page pool for $5.99 per month is a more realistic option.
mFax’s plans cover faxes sent to numbers in the US and Canada, but you need to pay a per-page fee for other international destinations. For example, faxes to Ireland cost an additional 10 cents per page. mFax’s international pricing page notes that international faxing “is in beta and offered on a ‘best efforts’ basis.” A representative from the company clarified that outbound faxing is available for all plans, but that the ability to receive inbound international faxes is not.
I much prefer the way that HelloFax and Fax.Plus structure their international pricing. Instead of requiring you to pay an extra per-page fee for international destinations, these services deduct a number of pages from your total depending on the destination. So, for example, sending a one-page fax to a recipient in Ireland deducts two pages from your monthly total. In this scenario, the end user does not need to pay fees on top of their existing monthly subscription.
If you want to fax for free, you do have some options. Both HelloFax and Fax.Plus offer free send-only option with a limited (and non-replenishing) allocation of pages. FaxZero is more flexible in offering a plan that lets you send up to five free faxes per day (each of up to three pages).
Getting Started With mFax
Signing up for mFax is pretty simple. You just need to enter your name, an email, an address, and a contact number. Finally, you have to create a password. mFax will automatically generate a toll-free number for your account and send you a confirmation email. This method is better than that of eFax and MetroFax, which send you a four-digit account login passcode in plaintext. mFax does not support two-factor authentication, which is disappointing. HelloFax integrates this feature.
(Editors’ Note: eFax, MetroFax, MyFax, and SRFax are owned by j2 Global, the parent company of PCMag’s publisher, Ziff Davis.)
Unfortunately, mFax is much less flexible during the account signup stages than some competitors. Other services let you specify a desired zip code or region during this process. That said, you can request additional numbers in a specific region once you are signed up for the service. A representative from the company confirmed that users can sign up for vanity numbers by contacting the company during the account sign-up process. RingCentral Fax is another fax service we’ve tested that allows you to sign up for a vanity number. A vanity number is useful for making your fax number memorable or for the sake of novelty. For example, 1-800-PET-WLKR, would be an excellent name for your new pet-walking startup.
Unlike Biscom 1-2-3, eFax, Fax.Plus, iFax, MetroFax, and MyFax, mFax does not offer any mobile faxing apps. Mobile faxing apps greatly extend the functionality of online fax services, since they allow you to, for example, take a picture of a document and fax it off without needing to use your desktop at all. That said, mFax’s website is responsive and usable on a mobile browser. mFax’s email-to-fax capability within your favorite email app is another option on mobile. eFax, iFax, and RingCentral Fax all offer dedicated desktop apps as well.
Using mFax on the Web
One of mFax’s greatest strengths is its modern and effective web console. The interface is easy to navigate and clad in a visually pleasing mix of aquamarine, gray, and white elements. You can also now select between light and dark themes. Only HelloFax competes with mFax in terms of interface design.
mFax’s main screen puts the faxing experience front and center, displaying all the tools you need to send a fax. Simply enter a fax number, write any notes in the cover page, and choose an attachment. Additionally, you have access to a file converter (in the rare case your attachment is not a format that mFax supports) and intuitive tag management features. Notably, mFax lets you send a fax to a group of up to 10 contacts. Each fax attachment is limited to 100MB, with a 500MB total limit per fax.
Down the right-hand side of the screen in the main faxing section, you can view your fax history and easily sort entries between inbound and outbound faxes. You can also choose a default cover page or upload your own. The Reports section is useful for generating account usage records for a specified period.
mFax’s team management features are divided across two menu sections: Users and Departments. You have the option to either create users from scratch or send out invites to team members. Creating a Department is straightforward, and it’s a great way to organize fax users across a company. mFax also allows you to add contacts by uploading CSV files.
At least until mSign launches, mFax is without a document-signing tool. This capability is useful for corporate users and consumers alike. eFax and HelloFax offer a way to sign documents digitally, but HelloFax’s method is vastly more intuitive. Fax.Plus offers a similar feature via its mobile app.
From the settings section of the web interface, you can update your profile details, configure notification and password settings; enable international faxing; and edit billing details. Power users and administrators can also apply branding, access the service’s API keys, and view logs of all activities in this area. mFax makes it easy to cancel your account from the web interface. Other services are much less helpful and require you to either call or email the company directly.
If you want to avoid the web interface, you can also use mFax to send faxes via email. To address the message, start with the recipient’s 11-digit fax number and add “send.mfax.io” to the end of it. The subject and body of the email respectively populate the Subject and Comments fields on the fax cover page. To send a fax attachment, simply attach the document as you would with a regular email message.
For evaluating the quality of online fax services, PCMag used to test services using an actual fax machine. However, there aren’t any fax machines in PCMag’s offices anymore. Now, we test fax services by sending two PDFs (a graphics-heavy one and one that is mostly text) between services.We then compare the processed version of that PDF with the ones that the other services produced.
mFax handled the graphics-heavy PDF quite well. Both the graphics and text on page appeared sharp and it didn’t lose a significant amount of gradient detail. It also performed well with the text-heavy PDF, though the text appeared slightly fainter than it was in the original document. In any case, you can rest assured that mFax can send legible attachments to your intended recipient.
Well-Designed, But Still Missing Features
mFax is a solid online fax service that lacks some of the top-tier features of competitors. We appreciate the service’s clean web interface, good fax quality in testing, and fax scheduling features. However, it currently lacks mobile apps (although its web interface is responsive), document-signing tools, and the ability to set up international fax numbers. Our Editors’ Choice winners for the category, HelloFax and Fax.Plus, offer more flexible pricing and a better range of features.