The fax machine has been around for a long time. And until the more easy electronic mediums for sharing information took over, it was a crucial piece of equipment that could not miss from any office. Nevertheless, these devices have not been completely forgotten, and nowadays, there are still many in use. Also, the implementation of fax machines in All-in-One printers have given them a new life.
But in the way of progress, not even this iconic device can stand. And thanks to the developments brought on by the electronic age, the fax machine has moved from the physical world to the virtual one. Traditional fax machines can now receive information from computers also, making them much better suited to integrate in this new era.
How to send fax from a computer?
If you think that sending fax using internet is something complicated that can only be done by IT specialists, you are very wrong. The fact of the matter is that the process is not too different from sending an email. There are lots of tools that can help you send a fax from a computer with minimum efforts and in next to no time.
Today we’ll be taking a look at these internet faxing tools and by the end of this article you will have at your disposal a number of ways to send fax from your PC. We will be looking at both integrated solutions within the OS as well as some cross-platform dedicated tools for internet faxing.
Windows Fax and Scan
Windows offers users a way to send faxes from their computer very easy, but in order to do so, the user must be connected to a phone line from their computer or they are connected to a network that has a fax. Otherwise, this method will not work.
The Windows Fax and Scan feature is integrated in all versions of Windows (XP and higher) and it works by relating the document to a faxing service, either connected to the network, or via a telephone line. The setup is simple to do, and anyone who meets the required criteria can set it up in a few minutes. In order to do so, the users must open the Windows Fax and Scan tool (click on Start and search for “Fax”) and from the main window, select “New Fax” and follow the setup wizard.
Internet Fax Services
There are a few tools that integrate with other services and allow users to send faxes from their computers. One of them is PamFax, which integrates with a number of web-based services, such as Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive, SkyDrive and even Skype. Furthermore, this service can be used on Mac OS X as well, making it a great cross platform tool for sending fax from Mac and Windows clients.
Another such service, comes in the form of Interfax and it provides integration with Outlook, Outlook Express, Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail or any other email program as well as with Google Docs.
GinzaFax is also a pretty useful internet faxing service that integrates seamlessly with both Google Docs and Gmail and allows users to send documents to any fax machine anywhere in the world. Of course, there are some charges that apply, but most of these web services are pretty cheap and they have attractive plans for those who send multiple files.
Faxing via email is also possible with Digital Island. This service is dedicated to transfer all your incoming faxes to your email client in pdf format. Also, users can opt to use it the other way around and send faxes from their email account.
Dedicated services to fax from a computer
Apart from the internet fax services mentioned above, which are great solutions that integrate with multiple other web based services, these dedicated tools will allow users to send faxes directly from a web page to any other fax machine in the world. Also, some of these services are free to use, but they do implement ads and other promotional materials.
For those that find them convenient, they can opt for a premium plan that eliminates all ads from the faxed content and allows users to send even important documents in a manner of seconds. These services have the advantage of not having to install any additional programs and they work pretty much like an email client.
Of course, such services are always on the rise, and there might be other ones out there. For some other examples of great web faxing services, this list might be of assistance. Also, if you are an user of a web faxing service that was not featured on our list, please let us know by leaving a comment.