Take a look at the market for faxing service providers and you’ll notice a theme with each of them, with many of them being founded before 2000. MyFax, on the other hand, had barely started its life when, only one year after it opened its doors in 2009, was acquired by j2 Global, owner of two other existing online faxing solutions, eFax and MetroFax. Due to this acquisition, MyFax had the usual j2 overhaul, resulting in a brutally simple yet perfectly reliable service.
With a MyFax subscription you’ll get everything you might expect from a modern faxing service. The online account is a true joy to use thanks to its straightforward design and clever fax organization options, which includes customizable folders and message tagging. Much like its j2 Global brothers, outbound faxes can be sent via email, while incoming messages can arrive at the default mailbox or the super simple MyFax app – meaning everything fax related can be used without accessing the account or owning a faxing machine. And since MyFax can be tested for 30 days without the need to pay, it’s simple to find out how it compares with the rest of the j2 Global family.
While MyFax is a good solution for sending and receiving faxes, since there is no option to add digital signatures – and the service lacks a desktop version – it automatically offers less than its j2 brother, MetroFax. However, in every other aspect these two faxing services are like identical twins, with only minor differences between them.
We won’t say that this perfect similarity is a bad thing, though, as the logical layout of the online fax manager that all j2 faxing services include is definitely the main strength of MyFax, too. One of the most important features of the service – aside from the option to download and forward a message via fax or email – is that all faxes can be organized into different folders, regardless of whether those folders are the default ones provided by the manager or were created by yourself.
To complement that, no matter how many custom folders are added and how many faxes arrive into the account, there is no need to worry about storage: just like every j2 faxing solution, MyFax also allows users to make use of unlimited storage as long as they remain subscribed to the chosen company’s services.
Aside from the folders, faxes can be organized according to custom-made tags, too, which helps in making both incoming and outgoing messages easier to search via the convenient search bar. However, searching is a little finickity, so it’s highly recommended to study the search tips before doing an individual search to avoid coming up empty handed.
Sending and Receiving Faxes
Despite providing the bare necessities, MyFax’s performance when it comes to sending and receiving faxes is something to be praised. All incoming messages arrive into the Inbox folder, but there can be up to five email addresses attributed to the account – any of which can be set up to each receive incoming messages. As a matter of fact, providing additional email addresses for outbound faxing enables one of the best features of MyFax, namely fax by email, which allows you to send faxes from your email client even without accessing your MyFax account.
Using the regular method to send faxes is just as convenient as faxing by email, if not even more convenient due to the fact that a single message can be sent to between 1-50 different users in total. A fax message can be composed of up to ten documents or a total amount of 20MB in data, as well, regardless of the attached file’s type . And, as the best addition into the mix, there is also the option to adjust the overall quality of the message in order to either maintain the attachment’s highest quality or to speed up the sending process as much as possible.
Online Fax Management and Apps
As already discussed, managing faxes from MyFax’s online account is ridiculously easy, especially when considering the likes of customizable folders, tagging and the search bar. However, the option to import and even export contact lists via .CSV files is an easily overlooked lifesaver.
In fact, this is the only way to import contacts from any desktop email client – such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird – or lesser-known webmail providers. There are two exceptions that don’t require uploading a .CSV file, however, web-based email services Gmail and Yahoo Mail with which contacts can be imported into MyFax directly.
Contacts won’t be a problem in the application either: in fact, the iOS and Android app cleverly separates the device’s own contact list from that of the MyFax account, but still allows users to send a message to a contact from either list. But when it comes to everything else, the MyFax app is basically a miniaturized version of the online account, except with one crucial difference: the app can send push notifications the moment a fax message arrives to the online account, a very handy feature.
As should have been expected from a j2 service, setting up a MyFax account is quick and easy, especially when starting from scratch. There is the option to port a number over from another service provider, but doing so requires the creation of a new account with a temporary fax number anyway. As is typical with a j2 Global service, there are no installation fees for creating an account or fax number, not to mention that the first month of use is also free of charge – but only if the cheapest pricing plan is chosen.
Thanks to this simple installation, the system is ready to be used as soon as the account is created. Although you’ll be able to send and receive faxes immediately – but not from physical fax machines since they are not supported – it’s best to customize the service to your needs first, such as importing contacts from email clients and selecting which email addresses should be used for sending faxes from the email client or receiving inbound messages in an email format.
MyFax is a carbon copy of MetroFax in almost every regard, but the selection of fax numbers, however, is the biggest difference and one of the areas that MyFax beats its brother by a considerable distance. New clients can enjoy a wide variety of local numbers, with choices to be based in the U.S., Canada or virtually anywhere in the world.
Additionally, if selecting a U.S. or Canadian fax number then there is also the option to pick a toll-free number instead, including a true 800 number. However, note that these numbers are only available within the continental U.S., and toll-free numbers cannot replace international virtual numbers.
Number porting is also an option provided that a temporary faxing number is purchased and MyFax’s staff are contacted via phone. Thankfully, the process is entirely free of charge – unlike porting out the fax number, which is a whopping $40.
Despite the similarities of j2 Global’s different fax services, there’s a good bit of variety between the pricing plans of each of them. MyFax falls right between MetroFax – the cheapest of the ‘j2 triplets’ – and eFax, the service that offers the most expensive but most complete package.
As is the case for the two sibling services, MyFax has a very logical pricing structure with three plans that, aside from having rather straightforward names, only limit the total number of faxes that can be sent each month – though admittedly there is the option to exceed that number by paying $0.10 for each additional page sent.
The default and cheapest plan is Home Office User at $10 per month, containing 100 inbound and 200 outbound fax pages for free per month. This is the only subscription plan available for a 30-day free trial, but it’s also the only plan where the monthly payment can be swapped for an annual subscription. In this case, the price drops to $9.17 per month ($110 per year), meaning a meagre 9% discount on the base price.
The other two plans, Small Business User and Power User, provide more pages for free with the former offering 200 inbound and 200 outbound free pages – the same amount eFax’s top plan does – while Fax More raises that number to 400 incoming and 400 outgoing pages.
Sadly, the prices are not on par with the offered services: Small Business User is $20 each month, while Power User costs a whopping $40 per month. And to highlight just how much MyFax is out of its league, consider that MetroFax’s top plan provides a massive 2,500 free pages each month and still asks $4 less.
The customer service of MyFax is an interesting case: despite being based in Canada, the staff is at your disposal 24/7 whether contacted via phone, email inquiries or live chat. As a matter of fact, chatting with one of the staff members proved to be a lifesaver: due to a server error we were unable to load anything into our account’s inbox, but thanks to a quick chat with a MyFax member the issue was solved in a short amount of time. Too bad that the email confirming that the issue had been successfully solved arrived 11 hours after we first encountered the problem…
Other support options are a little more hit and miss: while the company’s social media pages are rarely updated, there are some good options for static assistance, such as the two FAQs – one on the site and one accessible from within the account. And, as a nice addition, users can report spam faxes, download various fax cover sheets in .DOC format, read the detailed user guide or turn to video tutorials.
We would be lying if we said that MyFax doesn’t seem like a typical case of the third wheel. Admittedly, MyFax provides a lot of features to make faxing more convenient like a straightforward online interface, the option to organize faxes into folders, add tags to them for better searchability, and compose a fax using an associated email client. Unfortunately, however, MyFax doesn’t do much to make its high cost worthwhile, especially when compared to MetroFax, the j2 Global comrade that provides the same service .
As such, seeing as MyFax is basically a carbon copy of MetroFax except even more expensive, you might be asking: “Is there anything that MyFax can present that is unique?” Actually, there is one area in which MyFax is unbeatable, its customer service. Not only is this always available, but it is ready to solve any issue with the utmost professionalism.