Nextiva Online Fax Service Review

Review Summary:

Nextiva has built a product in both the VoIP and faxing markets that translates into minimalist approach on the faxing side, but one that is built on a solid foundation.

The lowest cost brand name provider in the online faxing market, Nextiva provides good value for people looking for the minimum when it comes to faxing, and an upgrade path to a full business telephone suite for companies looking to grow.

Pros:

  • Core functions (email and web based faxing) run well
  • Lots of file formats supported
  • Brand name in the VoIP market
  • Experience with Large, Corporate level clients
  • Best Priced of “Tier 1” Providers
  • Receive notification to 5 different email addresses
  • Certified Carbon Free

Cons:

  • Not a whole lot of “extra features”
  • Faxing from Canada & USA to other International locations can be pricey
  • Limited to 1 email address to send from
  • No ability to send a fax directly from a scanner or receive directly to a printer
  • No Canadian or International (Non-USA) based Numbers
  • Compatible file formats are limited (but cover the most popular ones)

Table of Contents

Supplements to our Nextiva Review

Nextiva Comparison Reviews

Nextiva vFax Internet Faxing Full Review

Nextiva is primarily a telephone Voice over IP provider, however has built a virtual (online) Fax product that runs well for everyone from entry level users through to a more advanced corporate setting.

While Nextiva is short on “extra” features compared with some of its rivals, it makes up that deficiency when it comes to what it provides for the price of the service.

In this review, we will measure Nextiva’s internet faxing service against other services in the industry by putting every single detail to the test.

Read on to find out if this fax service is for you.

Our Nextiva vFax Plan Specifications:

  • “Single User” Plan
  • $4.95 / month
  • Send and Receive 500 pages free each month
  • Additional Pages within faxing zone 3c each
  • Toll Free Number or Local Numbers
  • Faxing Zone in USA & Canada. Extra long distance charges to other countries.
  • Microsoft Office and Outlook Integration

Core Online Faxing Features:

This category includes an evaluation of the basics of sending and receiving faxes and core features of the Nextiva vFax service.

Sending a Fax with Nextiva

Nextiva delivers the ability to send through email or a web browser.

With a minimalist approach, Nextiva brings some of its telephonic talent as a VoIP provider to the world of fax.

Sending a Fax through Email

Much like other online fax services, the send fax from email function of Nextiva is fairly straightforward.

As a user, all you need to do is open a new email, address it to the fax number you want to send it to by putting it in the “to” field and adding [email protected]”. (This way the fax number is entered at [email protected]) in the email to field.

Screenshot of Sending a Email to Fax with Nextiva - Inputting Information
Send an email to a fax machine with Nextiva by sending the email to the fax number “@nextivafax.com” – Nextiva’s servers will take care of assembling the files and turning them into a format a fax machine can understand.

Once this has been entered, enter the subject line into the email (that will be translated over to the subject line of the cover sheet of the fax) and the body of the email (that will be translated over to the body of the cover sheet of the fax).

Attach any documents you want to send just as you would an email attachment, and Nextiva’s server will do the job of changing that information over to a fax document as it is sent to the receiving party.

Screenshot of attaching files to a fax to be sent by email
Attach files to your email that you want to send as a fax.

 

Screenshot of Sending a Fax over Email - Multiple Fax Numbers
Send a fax to multiple fax numbers by adding them as separate email addresses. You can also send the same message to email recipients as well.

 

Sending a Fax Through the Web Interface

The web interface for Nextiva functions very much like sending an email through a web based service.

Load up the web interface, add information such as the fax number and who it is addressed to, then attach the files that you want to send as a fax.

Screenshot of sending a fax with Nextiva's internet fax interface
Send a fax over the internet with Nextiva’s web based interface – enter the fax information such as name and number, subject and body of the cover page, and Nextiva’s servers will take care of assembling the fax for you.
Screenshot of attaching files to an internet fax with Nextiva's online fax interface
Attach files to the fax by uploading them to the server.
Screenshot of more options for Nextiva's online fax interface when sending a fax.
Finalize the fax on the more options screen – send the fax to multiple people or email addresses, and add notes and a designated folder to save the fax to for your future reference.

The web interface is quick and minimalist, and quick to send a fax with.

Receiving a Fax with Nextiva

Nextiva’s features for receiving a fax are also straightforward. With a minimalist approach, there is not much involved in the function of receiving a fax.

Receiving a Fax through Email

Nextiva’s fax service will take a fax that you are sent turn it into a PDF file (or TiFF if you prefer) attached to an email sent to your registered email address.

Screenshot of receiving a fax with Nextiva over email
When you are faxed, you will receive a copy of the fax in your email inbox. Information about the fax is in the email, while the fax is attached as a PDF document.

This will also include all the necessary information (such as time and date stamp). Once you’ve received the fax in email format, you can treat it just like any other document – save it to your desktop, print it, fax it somewhere else, or forward it as an email.

Receiving a Fax through the Web Interface

Nextiva also allows you the ability to receive a fax through its web interface.

Screenshot of Nextiva's online fax interface for receiving faxes.
Nextiva offers a web interface that lets you see faxes you’ve received.
Screenshot of fax received in Nextiva with internet fax interface
View your faxes inside of the online interface, where you can edit and rotate them (in case they were faxed upside down). You can also download the fax to your computer.

The web interface lets you see and manage your faxes, with tasks available such as printing them, downloading them, and forwarding them. Orientation and other settings can also be adjusted within the web interface.

Online Fax Interface and Software Usability:

Software Ease of Use

Overall, Nextiva does what it does fairly well – there is not a lot involved with the service, and it is fairly minimalist – users of other online fax services will find that their experience almost seams like something if missing – however that is not a bad thing as Nextiva appears to do a good job of limiting the steps involved with faxing.

Integration with other Systems

There is little integration with Nextiva to other computer systems, primarily because it is a “online based” platform.

As the service is mostly “web based” there is little that needs to be integrated, however the ability to send a fax directly from a Microsoft Office product would be a nice extra.

Operating System Support

Nextiva is purely web based, and technically should be compatible with any operating system that has internet access.

As there is no software to install or configure, Nextiva is technically compatible with any operating system.

One thing to note is that Nextiva’s compatible file formats are limited primarily to a Windows based experience, so users of Mac’s iWork or Suites such as Open Office may have to convert their documents that are to be faxed over to a format such as PDF.

Extra Online Faxing Features:

Receive to 5 Different Email Addresses

Nextiva gives its user the ability to receive faxes to up to 5 different email addresses. This is useful for a small office or household.

Fax Machine Connector

Nextiva offers a connector for sale to attach a fax machine to the service, letting you send and receive faxes directly through Nextiva’s online fax service, operating just like a regular fax machine would.

This is an interesting twist on online faxing as it makes it easier to connect and replicate the functionality of a hardcopy fax machine.

Smartphone Applications

Nextiva does not currently offer a Smartphone application for its vFax product.

That being said, the majority of Smartphone applications in the online fax market do not do much more than allow a user to see faxes sent and received in their inbox and sent folder of their faxing account – and in many cases, users still send and receive faxes through their associated email account.

Nextiva will work through any email systems that are able to be attached to a Smartphone, whether that phone is based on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm OS, Windows Phone, Symbian OS, or another operating system.

Customer Service and Support:

Resources and Availability

Customer Service and Technical Support Availability

Customer service resources are available 6am – 6pm Phoenix Standard Time (Mountain Time (Denver) in Winter, Pacific Time (Los Angeles) in Summer), Monday to Friday.

Online Resources

Technical support includes a full FAQ and ticketing system. As Nextiva is a full-fledged VoIP operator, a lot of the interface is built to support the larger Voice over IP system, and that translates well into supporting their fax operation.

Nextiva also features a full support forum where users can ask questions and also find questions that have been asked previously.

Online Customer Service Reputation

As we consider it impossible to truly “gauge” an organization’s reputation, (customer ratings and reviews can be inaccurate or easily faked, and are often more tilted towards customers venting), we prefer to look closely at the major “themes” that we see across comments of a provider. This is a summary of some of them.

Better Business Bureau

At the time of writing this review, the Better Business Bureau has Nextiva isted as an A+ on a scale of A+ to F.

Nextiva’s history with the BBB is overall positive. Of the 24 complaints filed, 0 were in regards to Advertising / Sales issues, 2 in regards to billing issues, 0 regarding guarantee / warranty issues, 20 regarding a problem with the Product or Service, and 2 in regards to Delivery.

Epinions

Epinions has no listing for the Nextiva service.

Ripoff Report

There are no reports at Ripoff Report filed for “Nextiva”.

Awards

Nextiva’s awards have primarily centered on product quality.

List of Awards given to Nextiva:

  • Internet Telephony Magazine 2008, 2009 and 2010 Product of the Year
  • #1 Best Business Provider by MyVoipProvider
  • 2008 Product of the Year Award and Editor’s Choice Award by VoIPReview.org

Pricing:

Base Pricing

Single User

  • Send and Receive a Total of 500 Pages a Month
  • Includes Fax Number
  • Free Setup
  • 30 day Trial
  • $4.95 / month
  • Additional Pages $0.03 / page

Extra Faxes

Nextiva includes Canada as well as a number of other countries in their local calling area, and extra pages sent or received above the monthly free volumes are at 3c per page. Faxes to countries outside of this “local calling area” are at Nextiva’s posted rates per page.

Hidden or Extra Costs

We have found no extra or hidden costs associated with Nextiva’s service.

Home User Scenario (Light User)

Home user scenario: 10 pages a month sent, 15 pages a month received. For a small volume home user, this minimum volume would stay well under the monthly minimums, and would most likely pay the minimum each month. This user would budget approximately $4.95 / month.

Consultant (Medium User)

Consultant Scenario: 200 pages a month sent, 50 pages a month received. For a consultant (medium user), mostly sending signed contracts back and forth, the monthly volume would be still be well under the monthly minimum. This user would budget approximately $4.95 / month.

Health Professional (Heavy User)

Health Professional Scenario: 250 pages a month sent, 250 pages a month received. For the high volume user, they would just at the plan’s allotted free faxes volume for the month, bringing the monthly total to $4.95 for the month.

International Salesperson (International User)

International Salesperson Scenario: We can find no information on fax rates to international locations, and therefore have no data for this situation.

Conclusion:

While not mentioned as frequently as other online fax services, we think that Nextiva should be serious consideration from all markets.

While seriously lacking in some of the extra features that other providers bring to the table, Nextiva makes up for it by offering great pricing and a customer service reputation that is so absent from complaints that it is almost creepy.

Individual Ratings:

  • Core Online Faxing Features   4/5
  • Extra Online Faxing Features  1/5
  • Online Fax Interface and Software Usability  4/5
  • Customer Service    4/5
  • Pricing    5/5

Final Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

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