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The First SMB IT Buyers' Guide: Internet Fax Services
By Oliver Rist
April 27, 2006
Took me a little while to compile this chart, but here 'tis: The first SMB IT Buyers' Guide. Today, boys and girls, we've compiled you a fine summary of Internet Fax Service providers, their features and basic pricing.
There are more fax services out there than the twelve I've managed to summarize here, but I thought these were either the best known or the best suited to the SMB set. Also, I've got a finite attention span for this kind of thing, and figuring out 57 features for 12 products tends to bring out my ADD demons. I kept them at bay with an adventurous dosage of gin, tonic, chocolate chip cookies and background TV, but I've got limits.
Of the 12, the two I liked best are highlighted in green: InterFAX and Venali. Of the two, I rate Venali as somewhat ahead of InterFAX and certainly ahead of the rest of the field.
Venali may not have the desktop client platform breadth of some of the other services (they love Microsoft), but they definitely have the best business feature set of the bunch and an excellent price to boot. Better, where the others tend to top out at the small business level, Venali can take you from small to medium and right on up to enterprise.
An interesting one is the Phone Company's Remote Printing Service. This is basically a collection of open fax servers worldwide that you can use to send a fax from your browser in a pinch. Not something you'd base even a small business' entire fax functionality upon, but an interesting development--and definitely a utility worth knowing about for when the fax gods are angry with you.
I tried to convert this thing into a PDF, but Adobe has always hated me; so download the link below only if you've got Microsoft Excel or something compatible. I'll keep dancing with Acrobat and get that version up as soon as I find someone smarter than me. (Short search, I know.)
Also, anyone has any corrections to this chart, please post in comments and I'll add after verifying.
Download Fax Buyers Guide.xls