Fax-to-Email for Canada


Let us start out by saying that finding a fax-to-email solution that met our requirements was a chore.  Most people we asked for advice told us, "Faxing is archaic.  Forget that and use email instead!".  We agree, but as long as people insist on sending us important things by fax, we will need a way to receive them.

Allow us to introduce you to a telecom company called AcroVoice.  AcroVoice is based in Victoria BC and provides business and residential VoIP service, and also wholesales Canadian VoIP 9-1-1 and American E911, 411 Directory Assistance, Caller ID Name / CNAM Lookup, and of course, it also provides fax-to-email.  Keep reading to find the criteria with which we evaluated their fax-to-email service, and how AcroVoice performed.


Number porting


Few fax-to-email providers will allow porting of numbers in and out, but AcroVoice allows both.  Our port was fast, involved no downtime, and was generally uneventful.

Security


The most common reason we hear for using a fax machine is security.  Many people feel more secure knowing that there is a phone line between them and their destination, rather than the public internet.  AcroVoice provides an excellent alternative that we haven't seen anywhere else: if you wish, they'll encrypt the email based on a public key that you supply.  In order to decrypt the email, you may install your private key in an email client such as Thunderbird, and the encrypted fax will arrive just like a regular email.  Additionally, their mail servers use encryption when communicating with other SMTP servers that support it.

Reliability


Fortunately for us, reliability is something that AcroVoice has not overlooked.  AcroVoice not only has equipment in Victoria BC, but also Montreal QC.  If a network or hardware issue should arise with equipment in one facility, the other will still be able to receive faxes.

Efficacy


The most important criteria is: does it work?  We're delighted to say that AcroVoice outperforms every other fax-to-email service we tested, to the point that in the six months we've been using them, we haven't ever had a problem.  In case you missed that, let us say it again: every single fax that we've ever been sent in the past six months has arrived exactly as our customer intended.  We're delighted with AcroVoice's high standards - and, frankly, astonished!

You may ask how we are able to claim we've never not received a fax.  One useful feature that AcroVoice offers is notification of calls to your fax number that fail for any reason.  Though we haven't yet encountered any faxes that do not arrive, (except when we simulated such a case to test this feature) we have discovered that a LARGE number of our customers accidentally dial our fax number first before calling our main line.

It may be worthwhile to describe the tests we performed before selecting AcroVoice as our fax provider.  We assembled a collection of fax machines made by five of the most popular manufacturers.  (In no particular order: HP, Canon, Brother, Toshiba, and Ricoh.) Then we sent test faxes using multiple combinations of these machines and phone lines from five different carriers - a mixture of traditional POTS and cable phone, both local and long distance.  We also sent several faxes to our AcroVoice number using five other popular internet fax services.

Then we received an email from AcroVoice inquiring about the "bazillion test calls to Mango's line".

Pricing


AcroVoice fax-to-email service costs $15/month, or $10/month in a bundle. Number porting is available in many Canadian rate centres.

Conclusion


As with all of the posts on this blog, we don't participate in referral programs or otherwise receive compensation of any sort from any of the companies mentioned here, including free service.  We make a point of knowing what works for our own purposes, and feel that this information should be shared.  Our verdict: AcroVoice provides the only Canadian fax-to-email service that we can confidently recommend.  Thanks for reading!
 

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