December 5, 2010
by Gregory A. Sanders for toponlinefax.com
Popfax (www.popfax.com) is a Paris, France based company offering online fax capabilities. Popfax has a pricing and plan structure that is somewhat unique among online fax providers. Also, because the English site is translated from French, some of the phrasing is a little awkward.
Popfax.com seems to be a solid provider with presence in over 50 cities worldwide. If you are comfortable with their prices, you should look into their free trial period to see if their service model fits your needs.
Popfax Plan and Pricing System
When you sign up with Popfax, the fee you pay establishes a credit in your account that you use up as you send faxes. The plan duration you choose when you set up your account is actually how long your credit is available to you. This is somewhat different from the way most U.S. based online fax companies do things.
All plans are based on a unit of measure called a Pop Unit. One pop unit is roughly a one-page fax, which also translates to one minute of transfer time. The one-page equals one-minute ratio is pretty much the norm among online fax providers. For U.S. customers, one Pop Unit costs 6¢.
For instance, if you select a one-year subscription from the ‘Send-Only’ category for $24.99, you can send 100 pages of faxes any time during that year. In order to send more pages, you will need to purchase additional pop units. There is no mention of any credit for unused pop units.
International rates are charged against your account in pop units rather than in currency amounts. For instance, faxes sent to Mexico from the U.S. are charged at 2 pop units per page. The Popfax.com site has a tab labeled Tariffs which gives you a very nice way to determine your cost for sending faxes to locations around the globe.
Send & Receive – The basic plan or subscription is the Send & Receive plan. With this plan you get unlimited inbound faxes to a number provided by Popfax. (You can port your existing number to Popfax if you have one.) There are two billing options: $23.99 for 3 months with 20 pages of outbound included, or $62.99 for one year with 50 pages of outbound faxing included. Additional fax numbers are $3.75 per month extra per line.
Send Only – If you do not need to be able to receive faxes, you can opt for the Send Only plan. There are five levels of service ranging from 1 week at $7.00 which includes 20 outbound pages, to 1 year at $179.99 which includes 3000 pages. The Send Only plan includes the Option Pack described below.
The Option Pack
The following capabilities are included in the Send Only plan, but are not in the Send & Receive package. You can add these capbabilites to the Send & Receive plan for an additional $2.50 per month.
- Email to fax
- Fax storage
- SMS sending (13¢ per message)
- Contacts groups
- Personalized outbound fax
- Registered fax service
- Multiple email addresses for receiving
Registered fax is a unique service offered by Popfax. It provides legal proof that the document was transmitted unaltered and was received. This is accomplished by a combination of encryption and digital signing. For more details, click here.
Popfax’s Popcompanion application is a unique background application that interfaces your computer with your Popfax account. The program runs on Windows, Linux and OSX. Using Popcompanion you can easily send faxes and/or SMS messages to anyone in your addressbook. You can also view and manage faxes that are currently on the Popfax server. Viewing your faxes using Popcompanion saves them on your local hard drive, so this is a simple and convenient way to provide permanent storage for your faxes. You can download the Popcompanion software on the Popfax.com site.
Popfax.com also has a printer driver you can download and install on your Windows computer. They also have a mobile website that makes managing your faxes from your smartphone simple.
Flexibility – If you don’t find an exact fit for your faxing needs, Popfax advertises their willingness to work with you to find a solution. You can add unlimited sending, bulk fax campaigns, SMS text sending, for example. The company offers corporate solutions and partner programs as well.
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