There’s no way of denying it, no one can ignore it: faxing does sadly have one disadvantage, and that’s the fact that it always require either a fax machine or a dedicated faxing service to transmit messages. It’s just necessary to have a machine – or access to one – that is capable of printing messages sent over fax lines. And this could cause a major headache for occasional users who don’t want to maintain a clunky device or subscribe to a service just so they can send and receive faxes from time to time.
Thankfully, these aren’t the only options that occasional users have; in fact, they can simply visit a local fax center or choose an online fax solution that doesn’t need subscription.
Option A: Local Fax Centers
One of the biggest advantages of local fax centers is that they are usually located in places like shipping or office supply stores like UPS Store, FedEx Office, Office Depot, and Staples. As such these stores can be found in virtually all bigger cities in the county, so finding the nearest place with a fax center is just a matter of seconds – especially when using the online store locator of these services.
The process of sending a fax using this kind of service is just as easy as if it was done from the comfort of your home, the only difference is that there will always be a store clerk to help you out should there be a problem. In addition to that – and unlike many fax services – local fax centers are capable of handling all kinds of fax transmissions, whether that be local, long distance, or international. And if that’s not enough, these fax centers are even capable of receiving faxes in addition to extra services such as free cover pages and a printed receipt confirming the success or failure of your transmission.
Although walking in to a shipping or office supply store to send or receive a fax can indeed be convenient for some people, it’s far from being a perfect solution. For one thing it may still be quite a journey for some to find a store with a local fax center in it. But a bigger issue is that such a service for inbound faxes isn’t safe at all, since nothing will guarantee that your fax won’t be read or stolen.
Another problem is the prices. Don’t get us wrong, faxing via these fax centers aren’t too expensive – with charges ranging between $1 and $2 per page for local faxes – but the exact price of using the service depends on a number of various factors, particularly the location of the fax center and the recipient.
Option B: Online Faxing Services
Local fax centers can be helpful in many cases, but if going to a store for such a service just isn’t worth it for you, then it’s better to think beyond the fax machine and go for an online service. Unlike fax centers, online fax solutions can be used any time from anywhere, whether that is at the office or in the user’s home. However, just like local fax centers, online fax services come in many different shapes and forms.
In that regard, there are free online faxing solutions like FaxZero or GotFreeFax that can send faxes right away after providing an attachment, the recipient’s name, and the fax number. Although these free services are incapable of inbound faxing and are gravely limited when it comes to the number of daily transmissions and fax pages, for those users who only need to send short fax messages on an occasional basis then these options are more than enough – especially since they don’t cost a dime.
The other option is to opt for a professional online faxing service and either try them for free for a limited amount of time via a money-back guarantee or look for a solution that offers cost-friendly pricing plans. MetroFax, for instance, provides both a risk-free trial and modest prices. Its cheapest plan – which comes with 500 free fax pages – is available for $7.95 per month, which can even be reduced to just $6.63 per month if paid annually. There’s also the added benefit of the fact that any of its subscription plans are available to be tested risk-free for 30 days.