We used to use free programs like eFax for receiving faxes and FaxZero for sending faxes.
For a couple of years now, we’ve been using Ring Central instead. It’s not free like eFax and FaxZero are. But, in our opinion, Ring Central is the best option for small business owners like us.
We use it all the time. Here’s why…
Why We Like Ring Central:
I save the Ring Central URL in my bookmarks and go to it every time I need to send a fax.
And, when we receive a new fax, we get a notification in our toolbar (the lower right corner of the web browser).
To send a fax, you just type in the fax number, attach a file (you have to have a scanner to scan documents and save them as images), type what you want to say on the cover letter, then hit send.
To receive a fax, you just click on the new fax that appears in your Ring Central control panel (the URL for Ring Central you have bookmarked).
You get a permanent fax number.
Ours is a tollfree fax number, so anyone can fax us from anywhere — with no long-distance charges applied to them.
You can also get a permanent toll-free phone number, if you like.
That way, other people can call you from anywhere, without paying any long-distance charges.
You get a generous number of toll-free minutes that can be used each month. If you go over, then a small per-minute fee is applied to your monthly bill — just like with a cell phone plan.
It’s relatively inexpensive.
You can choose from a number of different per-minute plans. The more minutes you buy, the lower the per-minute rate. It’s similar to a cellphone plan. We pay $119.90 for 12 months at a per-minute rate of 6.7 cents. (Their plans start at $9.99 a month.)
The minutes are based on the time it takes for Ring Central to send all of your outgoing faxes, receive all of your incoming faxes, and record all of your incoming voicemails received at the toll-free number. On average, our voicemails are typically 2-3 minutes apiece. Our faxes, depending on the number of pages being sent or received, can range from just under a minute to just over 3 minutes.
The control panel (or dashboard) is simple to navigate.
You can view your inbox, outbox, sent items, and deleted items — just like a regular email box. Only these are all of your faxes and any voicemails that came in to your tollfree phone number.
From there, you can also click on any of the faxes you’ve sent or received, as well as any of the voicemails that have come into your toll-free phone number. That’s how you can “view” a fax or “listen to” a voicemail. You can even forward a fax to someone else via email, or forward the digital audio file that contains the voicemail via email.
There is also a fairly sophisticated address book for storing the phone numbers and/or fax numbers of all your contacts. This makes it easier to fax one of them again in the future, or call them via Skype, if you also have that. (We do, but we hardly ever use it.)
Another similar program is eVoice. Choose your own local phone number to use as a virtual phone number… Get your voicemails via text or email… Create multiple voicemail boxes for employees or departments… and more.
More Great Phone & Fax Options For Small Businesses
- Is Your Business Dealing With Telephone Issues? Try Ring Central
- Using Skype And Ring Central Together
- Ring Central: How It Works
- How To Send & Receive Faxes For Free
- Reasons To Try Ring Central
- Get A Virtual Phone Number