Instead of hunting down a fax machine the next time you need to send or receive a fax, consider an online fax service, such as RingCentral Fax. This service is an excellent, if pricey, choice if you’re in the market for a vanity fax number or plan on doing a lot of faxing each month.
We like its sleek web and mobile apps, too. However, RingCentral does not support international numbers and it lacks digital signature tools. For the online fax category, Fax.Plus and HelloFax are our Editors’ Choice picks.
How Much Does RingCentral Fax Cost?
RingCentral Fax offers two pricing tiers. The Fax 1500 plan costs $22.99 per month and lets you send or receive up to 1,500 pages per month. We much prefer services, like RingCentral, that offer a pool of faxes, rather than those that enforce separate limits on how many faxes you can send and receive. The per-page overage fee at this tier is 4.9 cents.
Previously, Ring Central offered a more economical $14.99-per-month plan that allowed you to send or receive up to 750 fax pages. Note that you may actually end up paying more than these rates for your fax number. In testing, RingCentral’s various fees and charges brought the monthly cost close to $26.
The Fax+Phone+Video (Office) plan costs $49.99 per person per month, but this plan includes corporate-friendly features (such as administration of multiple users, VoIP, and team messaging) that most individuals don’t need. There are no limitations on sent or received faxes at this range though.
You can save money by paying annually for these plans. The annual Fax 1500 plan effectively costs $17.99 per month (approximately $216 at checkout before taxes and fees), while the annual Office plan effectively costs $34.99 per person per month (approximately $419 at checkout before taxes and fees). Additional local fax numbers cost $4.99 per month; if you want an additional toll-free or vanity number, you need to pay a one-time fee of $30.
RingCentral’s base plan is more expensive than all the other fax services we tested, including eFax, which costs $16.99 a month in addition to its $10 one-time setup fee. Despite that high upfront cost, however, RingCentral offers the best per-page value ($0.015 per page) of any service we tested. That rate edges out Nextiva vFax ($0.018 per page) and MetroFax ($0.020 per page), which respectively charge $8.95 and $9.95 per month for 500 combined pages. SRFax is the cheapest of the paid services we reviewed (in absolute terms); it only costs $3.29 per month for 25 combined (sent or received) pages. Fax.Plus is a more reasonable low-cost option, because you get a pool of 100 pages for only slightly more ($5.99 per month).
(Editors’ Note: eFax, MetroFax, MyFax, and SRFax are owned by j2 Global, the parent company of PCMag’s publisher, Ziff Davis.)
If you want to send a fax to a location outside the US, Ring Central Fax charges you an extra fee per page. So, for example, sending a fax to Ireland will cost you 3.9 cents per page. HelloFax and Fax.Plus use a system in which a number of extra pages are deducted from your totals depending on the fax destination. We much prefer the latter pricing structure, since it means you don’t need to pay more money on top of your monthly subscription for international faxes.
If you are looking to send faxes for free, HelloFax and mFax are good options, though your pool of free faxes to send does not automatically replenish. In other words, once you reach your allocation of sent faxes, you need to start paying. FaxZero is a completely free solution; it is barebones, but the fax limit resets daily. RingCentral Fax offers one of the stingiest free trials; you need to enter a credit card to get access and it only lasts for seven days. Most other services offer 30-day trials.
Getting Started With RingCentral Fax
The RingCentral Fax sign-up process requires more information than any other fax service we tested. Along the way, you need to add your credit card information and a valid phone number. RingCentral uses your phone number to send a verification code.
Despite its length, the process is mostly painless, and the service feels rock-solid, even from this early stage. We’re also pleased that RingCentral Fax clearly takes password security seriously. With RingCentral, you not only need to verify your account with an automated code, but also create a PIN and set up a strong password afterward. Unfortunately, RingCentral Fax does not include any two-factor authentication options.
For each plan, you can choose between a local, toll-free, or vanity (that is, a number you choose yourself) fax number. Local and toll-free numbers do not cost extra (apart from the potential taxes and fees we mentioned), but there is a one-time, $30 fee for activating a vanity number. You can also port an existing number to RingCentral Fax, but you must contact their support team to do so. Note that RingCentral Fax doesn’t provide fax numbers outside the US, which is something that eFax and MyFax, both offer.
RingCentral publishes mobile and desktop apps that include faxing capabilities, and we discuss those in more detail later. Other fax services, including Biscom 1-2-3, Fax.Plus, and MetroFax, also offer mobile apps, but not all do. We much prefer services with mobile apps as they make on-the-go faxing possible.
A big point in RingCentral’s favor is its integration with RingCentral’s other business services for calls, meetings, and business messaging. You’ll have to upgrade to RingCentral Professional to get all those features, though.
Hands On With RingCentral Fax
RingCentral Fax’s interface is modern, with a clean and easy-to-use layout. It rivals HelloFax and mFax in this regard. Other services, such as eFax and MetroFax look like old webmail homepages, which doesn’t inspire confidence.
However, it’s clear that the RingCentral web interface isn’t solely intended for faxing. Instead, it appears to be the regular RingCentral dashboard with fax features shoehorned in. For example, the Overview tab, where you start each time you log in, shows inbound and outbound calls—not faxes. The Messages tab does show the faxes you’ve sent and received, but you have to download the files manually to see them. RingCentral Fax also features a Call Log section, which replicates much of what’s in the Sent Faxes area.
Rounding out the features are a contact book, which works fine for managing your fax recipients, and a settings page, which includes options that don’t apply to faxing, such as for Caller ID and Blocked Calls. You can, however, configure the information that appears on the fax cover page, and change notification preferences. By default, RingCentral Fax sends you an email with your received fax attached as a PDF, but you can also opt to receive SMS alerts when you receive a fax. Nextiva vFax can also alert you of faxes via SMS. RingCentral Fax now allows you to cancel your account directly from the web interface.
Yet another sign that the RingCentral Fax interface isn’t just for faxing is that the button to send faxes is tucked in the upper-right corner. It’s not labeled and is easy to overlook. Click it and you can enter your recipients, select and write a cover page, and attach a file (up to 200 pages or 20MB total). RingCentral Fax supports just about every file format you can imagine. We are disappointed that RingCentral doesn’t support drag-and-drop file attachments or show document previews, but we do appreciate that it lets you connect your Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Office accounts.
Once you’re ready, hit the Send Now button to send your fax immediately. Alternately, you can click the Enable box under the Schedule heading and set a time for your fax to send out. That’s handy if you issue bills via fax and it’s a feature we haven’t seen on most other services.
Apart from the web portal, RingCentral lets you send faxes via email, as is the case with most of the other fax services we reviewed. Just enter the recipients’ fax number in the format [NUMBER]@rcfax.com and press send. We had no trouble sending and receiving faxes in this manner.
Desktop and Mobile Apps
RingCentral has added faxing capabilities to its main desktop (macOS and Windows) and mobile (Android and iOS) apps, which means you don’t have to search for the older RingCentral Phone app. This is a substantial improvement. I tested these apps on a laptop running Windows 10 and a Google Pixel 3 running Android 11. We had no issues sending faxes from either app.
The RingCentral desktop app is quick to install and looks sleek. After you sign in, click the Phone icon on the left-hand menu to find the faxing section. Here you will find all of the same faxing options as on the web interface, including access to a contact book. eFax and iFax also offer standalone desktop apps.
Similarly, RingCentral’s mobile app has an intuitive design and is quick to navigate. The app features three navigation icons in a bottom menu: Message, Fax, and Contacts. The Fax section has all the same capabilities as you get on the web interface.
One thing that RingCentral Fax is missing on all of its platforms is the ability to digitally sign documents. Biscom 1-2-3, eFax, Fax.Plus, and HelloFax all offer this capability on at least one platform.
Fax to the Future
PCMag no longer has any fax machines at our office, so we test fax services by sending files between two online services. To evaluate their performance, we test how well each service processes and transmits both a graphics-heavy test PDF and one that is mostly text.
RingCentral Fax had no problem sending or receiving faxes in our tests regardless of the platform we used. RingCentral Fax did an excellent job with the graphics-heavy test document. The text was clear, and the processed document retained all the color gradients, despite some minor artifacting in the background. RingCentral didn’t have any problems with the document that was mainly text, either. The text appeared sharp and and all the minor design details were present.
For High-Volume Faxers With Deep Pockets
If you regularly send or receive several hundred faxes over the course of a few weeks, it’s hard to beat RingCentral Fax’s generous allocation of 1,500 pages per month, despite the high base cost. We appreciate that RingCentral Fax offers toll-free and vanity fax numbers too, even if it lacks the ability to use fax numbers outside of the US. The mobile and desktop apps are intuitive as well. Our Editors’ Choice winners are HelloFax and Fax.Plus. HelloFax offers a better user experience and top-notch features, such as digital signatures, while Fax.Plus excels for its cheap monthly price and excellent mobile apps.
The Bottom Line
RingCentral Fax offers lots of pages per month and a modern multi-platform experience. However, the upfront subscription cost is high and the service is missing some top features, such as digital signatures.
RingCentral Fax Specs
|Price Per Month||$22.99|
|Pages Per Month||1,500 Pages Sent or Received|
|Overage Charges||4.9 Cents Per Page|