iFax is a powerful application for OSX that allows you to fax from Mac. iFax allows you to both send and receive faxes and supports several other features to help you manage and receive faxes on your desktop.
iFax performs a similar function to popular cloud-based fax apps like eFax, MyFax, or RingCentral, except it’s all done through a desktop app. It supports importing of a wide range of documents including those in PDF, TIFF and JPG format.
iFax allows you to attach and send any type of document that you’ve scanned, and even to crop them and adjust brightness or sharpness to improve the quality for faxing. This is sometimes important in order to brighten backgrounds or darken text foregrounds because darker images for example will not appear clearly in a fax and text that’s too light simply won’t appear properly either.
Looks like a real fax machine
The iFax interface emulates the look of a real fax machine. The home screen is a fax machine with a display telling you how many faxes you’ve received and a blue incoming light to alert you to incoming faxes. If you click on the green button, you’re taken immediately to the fax composing page where you can write a new fax.
Along the left-hand margin are the various different features of iFax, where you can also compose a new fax and create a cover sheet using the iFax Wizard. You can also view incoming faxes under the Activity tab and view any drafts in progress by clicking on the Drafts tab.
To subscribe or not to subscribe?
Although the iFax app is free, it requires a subscription in order to get your own fax number in order to receive faxes. However, if you just want to send faxes, you can pay on a per fax basis without the need for a subscription. If you’re a heavy user of faxes you’ll need unlimited inbound faxing, although this is only available in specific regions. Currently you can get your own local or toll-free iFax number in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel, and Turkey.
If you subscribe to get an incoming fax number, you’re also entitled to the iPad and iPhone app which supports push notifications and allows you to receive fax notifications on iOS. You can also get fax sent and received confirmations to your email address with follow-up updates of their current status.
Customize your faxes
iFax also includes a number of customizable cover page templates to make your faxes look more professional. These also allow you to insert your company logo, add a cover note, or just add your signature to the cover page. If you’re sending highly confidential company faxes then using services such as iFax can be risky as your data is being uploaded to a server. However, the developers of iFax assure that they are using highly secure HIPAA-compliant, enterprise-grade fax technology – although it’s not clear if this includes encryption or not.
How you pay for faxes depends on what you need iFax for. If you just want to send faxes, it’s cheaper than if you need to receive them too. If you just need to make occasional faxes it’s ideal because outgoing faxes can be paid for on a per-fax basis. You simply make an in-app purchase when you need to send a fax and the cost is determined by the number of pages and destination. There are also fax sending plans for up to 20 outbound faxes which works out cheaper than paying on a per fax basis.
To receive incoming faxes is more expensive however and requires plans starting from $12.99/month for unlimited inbound faxes. The plans are also limited in time and are available for 1, 3, 6 and 12 month periods. The cost again depends on the subscription period you choose, the location of the fax number and any toll-free options you require. Note that subscriptions are automatically renewed unless you cancel them at least 24-hours before they expire and you cannot get a refund for cancelling a subscription that’s currently in force.
Faxing may be a little old hat now, but there are still occasions in business where it’s needed. iFax represents an easy to use and cost-effective solution whether you’re a serial or occasional faxer. It integrates well with both Mac and iOS platforms, though it’s worth investigating whether a cloud-based fax software might be more appropriate if you intend to fax across multiple operating systems.