You know that joke where somebody is wearing out-of-date clothes, or they say an out-of-date expression, or they’re using something that’s just a total anachronism, and you say, ” Hey, 1980 called and they want their hair cut back” or something like that?
Well, I think the first time I ever used that joke was when my wife had to fax something to her boss when she was home sick one day. You see, we used to have a fax machine here in my home office. I think I got rid of it probably about six years ago. (I guess she doesn’t pay close attention to what’s going on in my office.)
Anyway, the reason why I got rid of it is because it’s just as easy — no, what my saying? — it’s much, much easier to just use a virtual phone/fax service rather than having to deal with yet another “box” on the shelf or my desk, let alone one that needs constant supplies, has to be plugged into a phone line, and takes up another outlet in my already overloaded power strip.
I’m sure you know how I feel, since you’re here reading this now. You want to find the easiest and the best — and probably the least expensive — service that allows you to fax over the Internet, to receive faxes and send faxes by e-mail, and maybe one that has one of those fancy-pants virtual receptionist features as well.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. While there are a ton of these services out there right now, they’re definitely not all created equal. Some are much better than others, some offer a lot more features than others, and some charge a heck of a lot less than others.
In fact, in just his second I’m going to tell you about two of the most popular services — and I also happen to think that they’re two of the best services — and where you can try them both out for a full 30 days for free just to make sure that you like them.
By the way, as an aside, if I come across any kind of virtual fax or virtual phone service that doesn’t allow a free trial, I’m clicking away from that website so fast that sometimes my mouse bursts into flames. Any site that asks for an upfront payment before you try it out is a big no-no.
Also, besides a free trial, I always look for a complementary toll-free number. This is a really nice bonus that allows you to send and receive faxes — especially receive faxes — without exposing any kind of personally identifiable information. Not that I’m trying to hide from the world or anything, but it’s just nice to have a separate number for this kind of thing.