The fax machine was once the primary means of business communication. Documents, contracts and information could be sent almost instantly to anywhere in the world over a telephone line. Despite the rise of e-mail and easy file transfer, faxing hasn't completely disappeared. In some cases, sending a fax is even required. However, since you may no longer have a real fax machine, we can point you to a number of companies that offer fax services for free or for a small fee.
Method 1 of 3: Faxing with a computer
Step 1. Prepare your documents
If you are going to use your computer system as a traditional fax machine connected to a telephone line, you can use specially designed computer software for this.
Step 2. For Windows 7:
- Click Start, All Programs, Windows Fax and Scan, then press Enter. This will open Windows Fax and Scan.
- Click New Fax in the top left corner of the toolbar. Follow the wizard to connect to the phone line.
- Complete the fax form by entering the recipient's telephone number and your message, and attaching your documents.
- When you're done, click Submit.
Step 3. For Macintosh:
- Open the document you want to fax. Make the necessary changes.
- From the File menu, select Print.
- Click the PDF button, and choose Fax PDF from the pop-up menu.
- Enter the recipient's fax number in the To field and, if necessary, add numbers for outside line selection.
- In the Modem box, choose Internet modem to send your fax.
- If you want a cover page, select the Use cover page option, and fill in as needed.
- Click the Preview button to review the fax before sending it. When it's ready, click Send.
- Note: Some versions of Mac OSX do not have the Fax command.
Method 2 of 3: Fax using a fax service
Step 1. Choose a fax service
There are a number from which you can choose and that is why we have already made a pre-selection. While there are certainly others, these are some of the best providers.
- MyFax. MyFax is an internet fax service that lets you send and receive faxes via email, the web or a smartphone. The monthly fee is quite low (currently $10 USD), and for this you can send 100 pages per month and receive 200. Although it's linked to your email, MyFax also gives you a real fax number, so customers who still work the old way can still reach you - including the traditional high-pitched beep and the necessary interference noise. That brings back memories, doesn't it?
- eFax. Just like other services linked to your e-mail, quite cheap and including fax number for those who still live in the last century. The first month is free. You also get storage for your faxed documents.
- FaxZero. How about free faxing? Welcome to FaxZero, where you can send 5 free faxes per day. FaxZero puts an ad on your cover page, so it's not really free. If you don't often send a fax, this is a very handy service.
- hello fax. If you are in the United States, you can send your first faxes for free within the United States. User-friendly but with mandatory registration for a free account linked to your email address.
Method 3 of 3: Create a fax machine using existing devices
Step 1. Replacing your fax is easy
Think about what makes a traditional fax machine: a simple black-and-white scanner, an electronic connection from one location to another-that is, a telephone line, and a thermal printer that was ancient technology as far back as 1984. If you still have the following items lying around in the office, you have a fax machine on steroids: a computer, a color inkjet printer, a flatbed scanner and broadband internet.
- Maybe you don't have a printer-there aren't so many things to print these days, so why buy one? But a printer does have advantages. With the quality they deliver and the correct paper, your photos are worth framing.
- The same goes for a scanner. If you never need to scan a document, don't buy a scanner, but they'll come in handy for things other than faxing-scanning old photos of yourself for Facebook, making 'coastal' scans of your face that you pressed against the glass, etc. They are also useful for scanning your signature or valuable old documents.
- If you print and scan a lot of things, a multifunction printer can do everything you need: print, scan, and even fax the old way-via a telephone line! (Assuming you have a phone line).
- Most online fax services have mobile apps available on Google Play and Apple App Store. So you can fax from wherever you are, as long as you have internet access. Here is a list of the available mobile fax apps with links to download them directly to your phone: faxing with mobile apps
- If you don't have a multifunction printer or don't want to buy one, using a digital camera is also an option.
- You can convert a scanned image to a PDF file, or edit it with Photoshop.
- When you scan a document, do so in a resolution of 300 and in standard letter size.
- Recycle your old fax machine.