© Jan Jasper; 2001-2012
E-mail has mostly replaced the fax machine, but there are times when only a fax will do. You may need to fax something
that doesn't exist in your computer. And contracts often need to be faxed, not emailed. Occasionally you may come
across people who prefer receiving faxes to emails.
Sending Faxes via the Internet
There are computerized faxing software programs that use your computer's internet connection. The first such product was
WinFaxPro,* which I found worked very well way back when, but unless you still have a Windows XP machine, you can't use it.
This allowed you to send a file directly from your computer to the recipient's fax machine.
Recent versions of the Windows operating have included Windows Fax and Scan* which is similar to WinFaxPro.*
Of course, faxing from your computer doesn't work unless you have the document in your
computer. If you've only got hard copy you'll need to scan it first, and if have a scanner in
a multi-function machine, you have a fax machine right there.
Receiving Faxes via the Internet
A great way to receive faxes is via the Internet, with a service such as eFax.* Faxes arrive as email attachments. The only
software required is a free, easy-to-use program that you download from efax.com.* (For heavier users there is a modest monthly fee.)
This allows you to retrieve your faxes anywhere you have access to e-mail, and, since it arrives as email, your computer need
not be turned on. It's invisible to the sender who doesn't know
that you're not receiving their fax on an actual fax machine.
Internet Faxes Are Easier to Handle and Store
This is a great help when you're traveling or working from more than one office, for 2 reasons: You don't have to give people a
different fax number for all
your different locations. And even if you never leave your office, instead of handling and storing paper
faxes, you store them in your computer just like any other digital file.
Aother plus of receiving faxes digitally is the ease with which you can share them with others. You simply forward the
e-mail attachment, which is much faster than stuffing the paper back into the fax machine, punching the number, getting the
usual busy signals, then waiting to make sure your fax goes through. Bear in mind, however, that if you're sending something
you do not want widely distributed, this method makes document sharing rather too easy.
*The usual disclaimers apply. My mentioning these products is not a guarantee of any sort.
Obviously, you should not change anything until you've completely backed up your files.
You already do that, right?
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