Even though this is 2010, some people still use fax machines. There will, inevitably, be a point in your life where you have to fax something to someone. More and more people are accepting scanned documents and eSignatures, but it’s simply unavoidable. You will have to fax something.
When that time comes, it’s best to have some easy way to send a fax without having to keep some big clunky machine on your desk for the once every two year occasion you have to send a fax. First things first, what do you want to do?
Send a fax via email
Also known as “I need to send a fax but I don’t have a fax machine,” this one is really easy to fix. Well, it’s easy as long as you have a scanner. You don’t have a scanner? How are you going to send a fax? Take yourself to the nearest postal store and pay to send your fax. Ok, the rest of you have a scanner. Scan your document or whatever into a .DOC, .DOCX, or .PDF file. Then take that doc to faxZero, type in all the info, and send your fax – for free!
Receive a fax
Also known as “I need to get a fax but I don’t have a fax machine,” this has a couple of answers. First and easiest, is to go to K7.net and sign up for free. This is a free fax and voicemail service, but you can check the ‘fax tone only’ option and your number will only be answered with a fax tone. The only tricky part to this is it has (for some reason) a Washington state only option where you can only receive faxes and calls from inside Washington state. Obviously pick the other one, unless that’s you. This actually works! I got my confirmation email in a minute or two, and lo and behold you don’t have to verify anything and the number was already working! I sent myself something from faxZero and it went right through, maybe a minute and a half before I got the with the attached fax.
Now while these two options will get you through a once in a while fax scenario (for FREE!!!), they are not the most professional. The best and cheapest service online is eFax. If you get on to chat with their service reps you can pretty much get any kind of fees waived and get to their minimum $4.95 charge per month. Also, if you just have a temporary need for faxing, they have a 30 day free trial which can be canceled at any time without any charge to you.
Here is a transcript of a conversation I had with a sales rep of theirs:
You are now chatting with ‘Alexandra’
Chris: Hello I heard there was a free level of servide with eFax but I can’t seem to find it? Does it still exist?
Alexandra: yes we have a free 30 day trial Chris
Chris: Ok do I get a fax # for that 30 days? And do you need a credit card?
Alexandra: and yes
Alexandra: Pricing depends on your usage. Can I ask how many pages you plan to send and receive per month?
Chris: just a handful, that’s why I was asking about the free service.
Chris: maybe 2-3
Chris: If I sign up for the demo and cancel before the 30 days is up is my credit card charged?
Alexandra: no, there is no contract service is month to month
So the bottom line is if you need to just send or receive a one-off fax every once in a while, there is no need for an extra phone line or clunky fax equipment. Send faxes for free with this guide, be sure to share with your friends.