I’ve never really liked fax machines, and don’t find it worth keeping one around. But once in a while, you have to use one.
Often this involves something which needs a signature.
Making all of this cheap and easy is HelloFax.
HelloFax is an online fax service. It allows you to upload a document, edit and sign it right on your computer, and then send it off. You can also sign up for plans which provide you with a telephone number for receiving faxes online. You get 5 free faxes to start (10 if using this link) so try it if you’d like, or read on for my review.
Sending A Fax
The most basic feature in HelloFax is sending a fax online. When you login, you see this screen:
There’s very little messing around – it’s so simple they have space for a comic on the right.
You simply enter a fax number (or an email, we’ll talk about that later), upload the file you want to send, and hit “Send it now” to get the fax on its way. While writing this review I uploaded several file types, including .pdf, .doc, .xls, and more – the only thing it failed with was a huge .csv file, and a .pdf over 20 megabytes. So for any normal Word doc or PDF file you should have no problem, although complicated Word formatting sometimes moved around a bit.
Faxing is easy enough that there’s not much to say. Let’s take a look at the optional step.
Editing & Signing a Fax (Or Email)
In the past, I’ve printed out documents, signed them, and then scanned them. Or I’ve used some cumbersome methods of sticking an image into a .pdf file. Not exactly slick.
HelloFax solves this problem. After uploading a document, hit the “Edit & Sign” link (in the previous image), and you’ll see:
Using the buttons at the top, you can do three things:
- Create a text box – Allowing you to add comments or notes to the document
- Add a check box – Which inserts a re-sizable checkmark, very helpful if you are filling out a form
- Add a signature – Which allows you to insert your signature in a number of ways.
You have a few options for entering a signature, including:
- Draw it in – You actually use your mouse to write the signature (which I can’t do at all, maybe this works better on a touchscreen?)
- Upload image file – Upload your signature from a scanned document.
- Smartphone – Sign a piece of paper, take a picture of it with your smartphone, and email that picture to a special address they give.
- Use saved – This is the great one, once you’ve got a signature in there, it is saved and can be used over and over. When you insert it into the document, you can resize it easily so that it always fits.
Receiving A Fax
HelloFax also makes receiving faxes more convenient. With the purchase of a premium plan, you receive a local phone number. People can fax to that local number, and the fax magically pops up in your email attached as a .pdf.
You can also have any faxes you receive (along with those you send) appear in your Dropbox, a service I’ve previously reviewed, if you desire.
One of the great things about Hellofax, especially compared to some of its overpriced competitors, is that it is inexpensive, and has plans that accommodate occasional use.
The basic plan is free. You get 5 incoming faxes (again, 10 if you use this link) and beyond that the price is $1 per fax. You can use the service for signing emails as much as you want (for free).
The premium, monthly plans all include a local phone number for incoming faxes. They charge based on the number of pages – $5, $10, and $70 for 50, 500, and 2000 pages respectively.
As you can probably tell, I really like HelloFax. It makes online faxing simple, solves the ongoing problem of signing documents and editing .pdfs, and it offers a no-minimum pricing plan that allows you to send just an occasional fax. If you need to receive faxes, $5/month to get them right in your email inbox is not a bad deal either.
You get a few outgoing faxes free, and there is a 30 trial on the monthly accounts – so there’s no downside to giving HelloFax a try.
Full Disclosure – Links in this article are affiliate links. If you signup through one of them, I’ll be compensated (although in this case, it’s just with a few free faxes). You can probably tell I really like the program and would recommend it either way. I’d ask that you help support the site by using these links. Thanks!