- HIPAA/PHIPA compliance
- Safe and secure
- Reasonably priced
- Variety of different plans
- U.S. and Canada only
- No digital signature
- Lack of mobile app
The best kind of online fax services are dependable, flexible, and safe – and that’s exactly what you get with SRFax. The Canadian company has been offering its service since 2004, and with two different kinds of encryption coupled with a strong security policy, you know that any sensitive data will be protected. SRFax offers local and toll-free numbers from all across Canada and the United States, and you’ll be able to send faxes to anywhere in the world. Conveniently, you’re able to port over your existing fax number. There is a huge variety of tiers available, from personal and business to enterprise use. On top of these, there are some plans aimed especially at healthcare providers, thanks to SRFax’s HIPAA compliance. You don’t have to take our word for it though: SRFax offers a lengthy 60-day free trial so you can find out for yourself.
What SRFax prides itself on most is its security, earning it HIPAA compliance as well as PHIPA compliance for Canadian users. Indeed, SRFax will sign a Business Associate Agreement with you to ensure its commitment, and is the only fax service providing this. Of course, this is great for any business in the healthcare industry, but for anyone else, it’s still reassuring to know that the service is so trustworthy. In addition to utilizing SSL encryption, SRFax offers additional PGP encryption, which is recommended when sending any sensitive information.
SRFax is ideal for anyone wanting to take advantage of its API to add integration to existing software. The website offers a lot of help on how to do this, providing official C#, PHP, and VB classes and hosting classes developed by the SRFax online community for Ruby and Python.
SRFax doesn’t have the kind of dedicated desktop application found in other fax services, but there is a small Java-based client that you can download for Mac and Windows, though it will only give you access to faxes in your inbox and outbox. Windows users also get access to SRFax Xfer – a basic program that automatically downloads received faxes into a specific folder.
Sending and Receiving Faxes
Sending faxes through the SRFax website is an easy process, although the interface could use an upgrade to reposition the inputs, which feel a little unnatural. Additionally, we’d like to see the introduction of a text box for writing faxes, like one that already exists for inserting a cover page. Instead, any text has to be attached as a document. The attachments are well done though, with just about every file format you’ll ever need being supported, and a 50MB maximum limit for each file. As of yet, there’s no way to add attachments from cloud services. Faxes take just a few minutes to send and have remarkably good quality. You also have the option of sending faxes to as many as 50 recipients simultaneously.
Received faxes can be viewed in a popup from your fax inbox, and from there you’re able to download, forward, or delete them. You also have the option to forward any received faxes to an email address in either PDF or TIF format. Any nuisance numbers can be blocked and there’s a separate junk mail page to avoid inbox clutter. Additionally, the inbox has a filter option enabling you to search by number, name, or ID. One glaring omission: there’s currently no way of using a digital signature with your faxes – a possible deterrent to some.
Online Fax Management and Apps
Managing SRFax is fairly straightforward. As soon as you log in to your account, you’re taken to the account summary page showing all the details of your SRFax plan, like your balance and monthly usage. From the account menu, you can access user administration and all of your account details. Although the website is easy to navigate for online faxing beginners, there are times when it can become clunky with some of the buttons overlapping.
Unfortunately, SRFax doesn’t have a dedicated app for Android or iOS. These were planned, but the idea has since been abandoned. There is a mobile SRFax website which does improve the experience, though it doesn’t quite provide the smoothness provided by a dedicated app. There’s no true desktop app either, but as mentioned there are alternatives like the SRFax Client. However, this is just a simple Java tool that doesn’t fully recreate the experience of having a dedicated mobile or desktop application.
Setting up SRFax is a simple process. After inputting your payment details you’ll be given a chance to choose a number, and from there you’ll be ready to start sending and receiving faxes immediately. Porting your existing number can take a couple of weeks to process, but we’ll go into that in more detail in the next section. Happily, there are no installation fees, but setting up is a little tricky if you intend to use the SRFax client. Thankfully, the website’s guides are there to help you through that process step by step.
There’s also SRFax Printer which allows you to send faxes from any program. The program is only for Windows currently, but similar features can be found in the Mac version of the SRFax client. Using SRFax Printer allows you to send faxes straight from the source without having to log in to the SRFax website or use email.
The range of fax numbers available with SRFax is limited to the United States and Canada, but SRFax does offer local numbers from every state and province with a large variety of cities in each to choose from. However, SRFax doesn’t offer any customizable numbers, so you will have to select from the provided list of numbers.
If you’ve already got a fax number, porting to your SRFax account is a simple process. First, you’ll need to confirm that your fax number is portable, then provide SRFax with the latest bill or invoice showing the correct address and number as well as a signed letter of authorization. After emailing these to SRFax, you’ll have to wait between 10 and 15 days for your number to be converted. Note that if you’re doing this while on the free trial, it will end.
There’s no shortage of pricing options for whatever your fax needs may be. The cheapest way to get SRFax is by choosing the Basic package, which comes with 25 free pages and unlimited storage, and costs $3.29 per month, or just $3 a month if paid annually.
Users can upgrade to the Basic Plus ($5.50 a month annually) all the way to the Standard Professional package ($38.60 per month annually). Each of these packages comes with an unlimited number of users and a 60-day free trial but differ in the number of free pages every month.
SRFax offers specialist plans for enterprise-level businesses that provide between 5,000 and 10,000 pages per month, depending on your needs. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a pay-by-page plan. There are options available specifically for healthcare solutions too, as SRFax is HIPAA complaint.
Payment can be made through any of the major credit cards, and SRFax has a referral scheme. SRFax will credit $20 to your account for every referral you make, provided that the new user’s account remains active for more than 30 days.
There is an impressive variety of customer support options to choose from. The Canada-based team is supposedly available 24/7, yet when we sent an inquiry through the general inquiries live chat, our only response was a thank-you message, and we never received an answer to our question. The team can also apparently be contacted either over the phone through their toll-free number or by filling out a ticket on the support page.
The support page hosts the SRFax community, where you can either post questions in the forum or browse the archives to see if your answer is already there. Additionally, it is possible to get support over the SRFax Facebook page, but it’s better to go through the more conventional channels. The knowledge base is impressive, with guides to get you started with every aspect of the service as well as an informative FAQ section. The guides are well-written with screenshots to guide you every step of the way.
SRFax is a very flexible platform, and just about everyone will be able to make the most of the multiple tiers offered, from individuals who fax infrequently to large companies that have to rely on the service constantly. Indeed, businesses can get the most out of SRFax, thanks to its API integration and PGP encryption. And its HIPAA and PHIPA compliance should make it the number one choice for anyone in the healthcare industry. However, it isn’t the most user-friendly experience with its lack of apps for desktop or mobiles, and with only some very basic alternatives like its Java client. But if this doesn’t trouble you, then not only can you find a plan that suits your needs perfectly, but SRFax is very well priced for what you get.
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