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MetroFax Review 2021

Forget hunting down a dedicated machine the next time you need to send a fax. Instead, try an online fax service. MetroFax is one affordable option lets you send and receive faxes via a web interface, your existing email client, or its modern mobile app. That said, its web interface needs a refresh, it doesn’t offer international numbers, and it lacks digital signature tools. We also noticed some security and fax quality issues in our testing. Our Editors’ Choice winners for the online fax category are Fax.Plus and HelloFax, because both offer more intuitive and full-featured faxing experiences.

(Editors’ Note: eFax, MetroFax, MyFax, and SRFax are owned by J2 Global, the parent company of PCMag’s publisher, Ziff Davis.)

How Much Does MetroFax Cost?

Like most other online fax services, MetroFax offers multiple pricing tiers. The Essential plan costs $9.95 per month (up from $7.95) and offers an allocation of 500 sent or received pages. The next tier up costs $12.95 per month and raises the number of monthly pages to 1,000. The highest tier, called Professional, offers 2,500 pages for $35.95 per month. The annual rates for each plan are slightly discounted. If you exceed your page limit, MetroFax charges an extra fee of three cents per page.

MetroFax’s 1,000-page plan is the best value of any fax service we tested, viewed purely in terms of the price-per-page metric. Nextiva vFAX offers the same number of pages as MetroFax’s base tier, but it charges slightly less ($8.95 per month). RingCentral Fax is another option for people who need to send a ton of faxes; it starts at $22.99 per month for a pool of 1,500 pages. The cheapest for-pay service we tested (in absolute terms) is SRFax. It charges $3.29 per month for an allotment of 25 pages. Fax.Plus also offers a low-cost faxing option; for $5.99-per-month, you can send or receive up to 100 pages.

We appreciate MetroFax’s pricing scheme, which groups sent and received pages into a single pool, as opposed to those that set limits on sent and received pages separately. Pools of pages provide more flexibility in how you can use your subscription and make it less likely you’ll encounter pesky overage fees.

If you’re not sure about MetroFax, the service offers a 14-day free trial. However, you have to create an account and enter your credit card information to use it. Biscom 1-2-3 offers a free trial that doesn’t require your credit card information. There are completely free fax solutions available, too, though most have serious limitations. For example, Fax.Plus and HelloFax both offer free, send-only tiers, but your allocation of pages does not replenish over time. On the other hand, FaxZero is a bare-bones service that lets you send five faxes per day at no cost.

Sending a fax to an international number (not including Canada) costs extra with MetroFax. The service charges an extra fee per page sent. So, for example, if you send a fax to an Australian number, MetroFax will charge you between 10 and 40 cents, depending on the carrier and number type of the recipient. We much prefer HelloFax’s and Fax.Plus’s international pricing systems. Both services deduct a certain number of pages from your total based on your fax’s destination. A one-page fax to Australia, for example, would deduct two pages from your total. With this pricing scheme, the user can avoid paying extra fees.

Get Started With MetroFax

When you sign up for MetroFax, it generates a dedicated fax number in the area code of your choice. You’re limited to US and Canadian numbers, however. If you need something outside of North America, you should consider MyFax or eFax. You can, however, choose a toll-free number with MetroFax for no additional charge. Alternatively, you can port your existing fax number, which is useful for those who want to preserve an existing number. You can’t opt for a vanity fax number, an option RingCentral Fax offers. A vanity fax number is a custom fax number that you can personalize for your needs. For example, 1-800-DOG-WLKR would be an apt fax number for a dog-walking business.

MetroFax inbox

Once you create an account, MetroFax generates a four-digit passcode you use to log in to the web interface. A four-digit passcode is woefully inadequate from a password-strength perspective, but we are more concerned that the service emails you this passcode in plaintext, which is insecure. On top of that, MetroFax does not offer any two-factor authentication options. If someone hijacks your account, they can send faxes as if they were you, which could be disastrous. You should change your MetroFax password immediately after you create an account and use a password manager to secure all your logins.

The MetroFax Web Experience

MetroFax’s interface is identical to those of eFax and MyFax, which means that it’s overdue for an upgrade and looks like a throwback to last-decade webmail. It’s functional, but it’s far from a pleasure to use. HelloFax’s and mFax’s modern interfaces are much more intuitive.

MetroFax account details

To send a fax, you open the Send Fax pane and enter the pertinent information. Addresses can be added on the fly or stored in the MetroFax address book. Once you address your fax, you fill in the subject line and body text, both of which appear on the fax cover sheet. You can then attach up to 10 documents or 20MB worth of attachments, whichever comes first. MetroFax supports most common document and image file types, so you should have no trouble attaching a file to your fax.

With MetroFax, you can tag any faxes in your inbox, which is important, considering that MetroFax stores all your faxes indefinitely and that the search is dependent on those tagged terms. Unfortunately, MetroFax relegates the preview window for attachments to a small sliver at the bottom of the inbox by default—though this window is at least resizable.

HelloFax includes good editing and digital signature tools, which make it easy to work with any document. eFax supports digital signatures, though its implementation is less intuitive than HelloFax’s. Fax.Plus’s digital signature tool is currently limited to its mobile apps, but works well. MetroFax lacks digital signature tools entirely. The company notes that its owner, J2 (which also owns PCMag, as noted above) recently launched a new document signature service, called jsign, which you can try for free. This is a completely separate service, however, and MetroFax users do not get any special access to it, however.

MetroFax via Email and Mobile

If you don’t want to deal with the web interface, you can also use MetroFax with your existing email client. Simply type in the full fax number of the recipient(s) and append @MetroFax.com to the end of each number. We like the email-to-fax feature, since it turns any device capable of sending an email into a workable fax machine. This feature only works with the email account you used to sign up for the service, as well as any others you associate with your MetroFax account in the settings.

MetroFax Android App

MetroFax offers an Android app and an iOS app. We tested the Android version on an Android 11 device. The app looks nearly identical to eFax’s and MyFax’s mobile app, which is not a bad thing, given its clean and efficient design. We did not experience the performance hiccups we noted in our last review. Fax.Plus’s mobile app outclasses every other faxing app we tested because of its elegant design and digital signature tools.

From a hidden left-hand menu, you can access all your inbox folders, your contacts, and the app’s settings. In the Settings section, you can change profile information, toggle notification settings, and open up the app’s FAQs. MetroFax allows you to create folders for organizing your faxes via the mobile app, too.

To send a fax, tap the circular compose button in the lower-right-hand corner. As with MetroFax’s web interface, you can add a cover page and any other attachments you want to send along. We didn’t run into any problems when sending faxes from the mobile app.

While MetroFax’s app is good, Fax.Plus’s mobile app outclasses every other faxing app we tested because of its elegant design and digital signature tools.

MetroFax does not maintain any dedicated desktop apps, which eFax, iFax, and RingCentral all do.

MetroFax’s Fax Quality

In the past, we used a physical fax machine for testing these services. However, PCMag no longer has any fax machines in our office. Furthermore, we’re all working from home now, just like so much of the rest of the world. We now test fax services by using another fax provider as a stand-in for the physical machine. We send two test documents (a graphics-heavy one and one that is mostly text) to evaluate how well a service processes and transmits them.

MetroFax handled the graphics-heavy document with few issues. It preserved all the grayscale gradients and produced clear text. The only problem was a bit of wavy artifacting in the page’s background. MetroFax did not do as well with the mostly-text document. It condensed many lines of text to the point of overlap and the text looked a little light, too. This inconsistent performance does not inspire confidence. We contacted MetroFax about the overlap issue and a representative confirmed this issue is being resolved. At the time of this review, this issue has not been resolved.

Affordable, But Limited

MetroFax’s 1,000-page plan offers the best price-to-page value of any online faxing service we tested and we also like its modern mobile app. However, it does not include digital signature tools and its web interface becomes comparatively more antiquated each year we test it. Further, it doesn’t offer international fax numbers and needs to revamp how it handles password and account security. Other faxing services are simply getting better, while MetroFax has remained largely stagnant.

HelloFax and Fax.Plus are our Editors’ Choice picks for online fax services. HelloFax’s web interface and features are excellent, while Fax.Plus is a great value and offers an impressive mobile app.

Cons

  • Dated web interface

  • No international fax numbers

  • No digital signature tool

  • Problematic password-handling during account setup

  • Lacks two-factor authentication option

  • Some quality issues in fax transmission testing

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The Bottom Line

MetroFax is a simple, affordable online fax service, but it’s missing international fax numbers, digital signature tools, and two-factor authentication. We also noticed some fax quality issues in our testing.

MetroFax Specs

Price Per Month $9.95
Pages Per Month 500 Pages Sent or Received
Overage Charges 3 Cents Per Page
Free Setup Yes
International Numbers No
Toll-Free Numbers Yes
Mobile Apps Yes
Digital Signature Tool No

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