Recently announced at October’s ITEXPO West in Anaheim, IAFax is one of the newest companies on the faxing scene. This fax-only company has built its brand around “Internet awareness” and employs an HTTPS connection to ensure all users’ faxing needs are met. The primary difference between IAFax and other Internet fax companies is that IAFax actually sends and receives faxes through the Internet directly to and from other fax machines.
What It Does
IAFax’s service is designed for companies that either already have or plan to purchase an on-premise (premise-based) fax server like the ones IAFax’s partner company, FaxBack sells. This type of fax service is designed for companies that send and receive a lot of important faxes and need extremely high reliability and security. Faxes sent and received using IAFax are sent over the Internet, but unlike cloud fax services that enable online faxing by allowing their customers to upload the fax to their servers then deliver the document to the designated fax number, IAFax sends the fax directly to the fax number without the document ever being stored on a third party server.
With IAFax, the user’s on-premise fax server hooks up to the IAFax cloud by means of HTTPS-based communication. IAFax has chosen HTTPS over T.38 (the other standard for sending faxes over IP), because it is less likely to be interrupted by temporary latency (slow speeds) in your Internet connection, uses less bandwidth and has built in security. Another favorable aspect of HTTPS is the welcome absence of the firewall issues that typically crop up with the alternative, session initiation protocol (SIP). IAFax users also have the freedom to choose between WiFi, satellite, or cellular data connections. For those concerned about HTTPS security, keep in mind that your fax is not stored anywhere at any point during the whole transmission, which does mean HIPAA compliance. Protection is further enhanced by secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption, which securely links with the server with the email client of your choice. IAFax also promises to personally monitor your server. Internet connections for your faxing needs are provided by Level3, Verizon, and X5, and users are not limited to the single carrier they use for calls.
Who It’s For
As previously mentioned, this service is overkill for the casual fax user. IAFax’s focus is on extremely high reliability and security, so, for those companies willing to pay a premium for those attributes, IAFax is a good option. Due to the point-to-point delivery of faxes through IAFax, the service is HIPAA compliant, which makes it ideal for medical professionals in need of a secure and reliable fax service. For those who aren’t familiar, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires all organizations that handle protected health information to ensure certain levels of security. Of course, this secure connection can benefit pretty much any other business fax user interested in privacy like lawyers and bankers. The diversity of data connection options also means that IAFax’s service extends to on-the-go users who heavily rely on phones in order to conduct their business.
Who the Competitors Are
IAFax’s primary competitors are the company’s that use the T.38 standard to directly (no third party servers acting as intermediaries) deliver and receive faxes over the Internet using. The most notable of these is t38fax.com. IAFax is also not the only fax service provider to use HTTPS instead of T.38. FaxSIPIT is another notable HTTPS option.
What It Costs
If you and your small business would like to give IAFax a shot, you can start with the Small Business Starter plan, which clocks in at $39 per port/month for a two-port bundle and totals at $959 per year. The plan includes two simultaneous fax channels, 5 DIDs, a fax number port, and more. The two tiers above the starter plan both cost offer two or four ports, respectively, as well as provisions for increased fax traffic. The two-port SMB Plus plan is $1,550 per year, and the 4-port Enterprise plan is $3,100. Those who need more than 4 ports are welcome to call IAFax and inquire about the custom High Density plan, which ranges in price.
IAFax’s specialization benefits those who operate a fax-heavy businesses, as there is consequently greater investment in providing the best possible connection. IAFax also boasts a focus in customer support, so users who had bad experiences with other companies might consider giving this one a chance. However, in our brief interactions with the sales team and tech support trying to get basic questions answered, we encountered considerable delays and incomplete answers. If you’ve experienced the downsides of SIP T.38 faxing—high bandwidth consumption, interrupted faxing, an absence of built-in security, and so on—IAFax and the HTTPS connection may be an option, but you may want to test the customer service before making a commitment.