Despite the advances in technology, there are companies out there which still require you to fax documents to them. Naturally, fax machines take up space, and it would be easier to just send a document digitally. But there are ways to send a fax from a computer, for free, and you can learn how to do it right here and now. Of course, all of this can be done from your home, on your PC, at no cost.
The Ins and Outs of Fax Machines
If you’ve ever seen a fax machine, you know that it can’t work without a phone line. Most standard fax machines call the number you need. The other end of that number will also have a fax machine, expecting that call. Whatever document you have will get transferred in this way between two fax machines linked to two different phone numbers. No wonder people want to send a fax from a computer.
Naturally, the internet came along and made these machines obsolete. Of course, you could still type up something, print it, scan it and send it via fax, and someone else would scan the received file and save it as an image. However, you’ll agree that it isn’t the best way to send documents. After all, the picture would look bad and you’d have to spend a lot of time on the scanning process. On top of that, sending files via fax isn’t really that much safer than other methods. For example, anyone with your number can intercept a fax and ruin your business.
Can’t I Connect a Fax Machine to the Internet?
In a word – no. Each fax machine needs a telephone line, so you cannot exactly link it to a USB cable and fax away. You might need a gateway that can take documents from the Internet and send them to the machine directly. Luckily, there are multiple services online that can call up a fax machine and send documents via the phone lines. If you want to send faxes without the actual machines, you ought to give these services a chance.
Do I Have to, Though?
Of course not. If you’re using Windows, you might have noticed a Fax and Scan option. You can send faxes with this little program. However, you will again need to have a dial-up fax modem connected to the computer. Even if you have DSL or similar internet connections, your phone line will be busy when you’re faxing documents. A landline telephone is also required. These details are important, as your phone will be busy and it can affect your home or office.
Anyone who is faxing things often should get a dedicated phone line for faxes. If you’re one of those people who constantly receive faxes, this will help you greatly. Naturally, it’s not the best solution. In fact, this entire option is rather complicated and even costly. You can choose to do all of this only if you’re someone who sends lots of faxes daily. If, on the other hand, you’re someone who just occasionally sends a fax or two, it’s better to avoid this step and save your money.
Document Scanning and Using a Pre-Made Digital File
This title says it all. A written digital document will not require scanning. However, if it’s a physical document, get your scanner ready. You can buy cheap, even used scanners for this option – they aren’t too expensive and can work perfectly for written documents. If you cannot afford a scanner, simply use your smartphone and scan the paper. You might even get a higher quality this way than you would with a used scanner.
That digital document is what you will be sending to an online faxing service. Make sure it looks good and legible before you do that, though, and if necessary, scan it again and again until you get what you need.
Free Online Fax Sending
Before you head out into online faxing, first figure out how often you will send faxes. Furthermore, you should know what kind of documents you will be faxing, and what particular features you will require to do so.
Once you have all of those figured out, you can start using an online fax service.
Most people who want to send a fax from a computer nowadays fall under this category. You came across a company that really wants you to fax something, and so you need a quick service to do so. Luckily, there are websites out there that can do just that, and one of them is MyFax.
This website, in particular, can let you fax ten pages per month. Normally you’d have to send far fewer faxes than that in an entire year, but even if you need more pages faxed, that’s not a problem. All you need to do is upgrade your profile on MyFax’s page to a regular plan and you’re good. Also, be prepared to confirm your email before sending any faxes, as it is a requirement.
There are people out there who work for companies which require regular faxing. As such, you might need a service like RingCentral Fax that lets you send more than one fax from a computer per month safely, and that has more than one fax line and can allow for multiple different users.
RingCentral Fax usually integrates well with popular platforms such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, and Outlook, so you don’t need to scan a document to fax it. Naturally, it has lots of decent security protocols and features. You will never worry about sensitive information leaking out online.
Even services like RingCentral Fax can be used for sending less than a couple of faxes. Simply pay for their cheapest plan and quit after a few months. You’ll be losing nothing in doing so.
It’s worth noting that these types of services also offer a toll-free number, in case you need it during faxing.
Getting a Fax
This is a tricky part because you won’t be able to do it without paying. Most of the services mentioned above have paid packages which you can use. Once you buy them, you’ll get a dedicated fax line number. Some of them, like RingCentral Fax, even offer up to a month of free trial, which means that you can quit using them if you’re not satisfied and not lose a dime.
Whether you’re sending an occasional fax from a computer or faxing away regularly, you can do it for free with a proper service. But if you want to receive faxes, you’ll most likely have to pay. However, it still beats having to hook up an aging fax machine and connect your PC to a landline. Give these a shot and see how easy it is for yourself.