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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1244. Fax online

Diane asks: Although I don't use faxes as much as I used to, I still need to send the occasional fax. I don't even have a fax machine any more. Is there some way to send a fax online?

Boy, talk about your technology from the last century! Fax machines have certainly fallen by the wayside. Wouldn't it be easier if you could just scan a document and then email it to someone? Isn't that the normal way to do things in this century?

That is what we try to do, and any vendor that doesn't allow us to do that often gets the boot. But if you find that you can't avoid faxing, you can easily scan the document and email it to one of the many online fax services, and have them fax it to the receiving party.

In other words, the fax service takes the document and faxes it behind the scenes to a fax machine somewhere else. All you have to do is provide the service with a scanned document (or even a text document, in most cases--the services can generally handle plain old text as well as scanned documents).

Once upon a time, there were many free faxing services--eFax was one of these, and we both used their service for years. They have since made the "free" service virtually undiscoverable, and if you do, you won't like the restrictions placed on the free faxing service. A recent search for a faxing service revealed a lot of web sites that looked vaguely illegal, and no free services that anyone should be willing to trust.

Ken's favorite current service is HelloFax.com . Hellofax.com gives you 5 free fax pages outbound and if you recommend the service to a friend who then signs up, you get 5 more free outgoing pages.

Check out Hellofax.com, as they make it easy to scan, email, and fax to people that won't accept documents any other way.

Receiving faxes is, unfortunately, a little more complicated. You need an incoming fax number to make that happen. Hellofax will be happy to supply you with an incoming fax number (and they'll email received faxes to you as email attachments), but they will change you for that privilege. Check out their site for more information.


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