What You Need to Know about How to Send an Internet Fax
As much as modern technology has caught up with most of the world, a large percentage of businesses or government agencies still use fax machines to send and receive information. Many offices simply have them around specifically for vendors or customers who still rely on faxes. For the majority of us, we will probably need to send a fax at least once in a lifetime to one of these offices, whether we are looking to submit an application or a resume.
However, the average person probably does not own a fax machine at home, nor would he or she go out and purchase one for the sole purpose of sending a fax. That leaves us at the mercy of Kinko’s and Staples where they can charge us for more than a dollar per page faxed. If you are submitting a 10-page document, that could come out to a hefty sum.
Not to mention that most of us type our documents on the computer now, and sending a fax that way would require us to print it out first, make a run to the printing store, and then feed it through another machine. All this effort still does not guarantee that your fax will go through either. But it is a good thing that there’s Internet faxing available nowadays, which makes life a whole lot easier.
Internet Faxing: What You Need
Here are all the basic things you need to fax a document over the internet:
- Internet connection
- E-mail account
- Scanner (only if you have a hardcopy that you need to fax over the internet)
- Internet Fax Service
Finding an internet fax service online is very simple. With growing competition, there are a number of internet fax services that offer free faxing. Popular online companies such as Efax, MyFax and FaxZero allows you to send faxes for free, but with conditions of course. For example, FaxZero allows you to send up to two free faxes a day, with a maximum of 3 pages per fax. However, there will be ads placed on your cover sheet.
Depending on the importance professionalism to your intended recipient, the free fax might or might not be a good option for you. You can also pay a fee of $1.99 per fax, with a maximum of 15 pages and no ads, which is still cheaper than your typical print and copy shop. This is the best option for people who rarely need to fax.
If you find yourself faxing documents on a daily or weekly basis, then you might want to consider paying for a monthly service. Fax, Efax, and MyFax all offer services with a monthly charge of $9.99 and up. Depending on the plan, you are allowed a certain number of unlimited faxes each month. You are also given a number to which you can receive faxes via e-mail with this option.
For the self-employed, paying for a monthly internet fax service is probably the best option. Now there are promotions where you can sign-up for a free one-month trial at www.fax.com and www.send2fax.com.
How to Send a Fax over the Internet
When you use a one-time internet fax service like FaxZero, all you need is an e-mail account. First you will need to log on to their website www.faxzero.com where you will be asked to fill out some basic information on yourself and the recipient. Once you type in your name, e-mail address, and company, as well as the receiver’s name, company and fax number, you will need to upload your document. Your document has to be a word document (.doc or .docx) or pdf file in order for it to work.
If you have a hardcopy of the document, you will need to scan it into the computer and save it as a pdf file before you upload it. Finally, you might need to type in a confirmation code depending on the Internet service (just to verify that you are human). Once everything is ready, you will then receive an e-mail confirmation telling you where to check the status of your fax. If there is a busy signal, the Internet fax service will keep trying every 10 seconds or so until the fax patches through. Any failures in delivery will be notified by e-mail. Unlike traditional faxes, you will not need to stand in front of the fax machine and manually resend it each time it is busy.
If you sign up for a monthly plan at websites such as www.fax.com, www.myfax.com, or www.efax.com, then you will be assigned a fax number. This number belongs to you as long as you are paying for the service, and will be linked to an e-mail account that you designate. To send a fax, you will just need to open up your e-mail program. In the address box, type in the recipient’s fax number and then the internet fax service’s company.
For example, if you are using my fax it might look like firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach any documents to the e-mail that you want to send over fax. The cover sheet will be the body of your e-mail. Finally, hit send and the internet fax service will send the information in the e-mail over a telephone network, which allows the recipient to receive it via fax.
You are also allowed to send the same fax to multiple recipients as well. Similarly, if someone wants to send you a fax, he or she will need your assigned fax number. The information from the fax will then be converted to an e-mail attachment, which you will receive via your e-mail account from the internet fax company.
Internet faxing has made the antiquated process of faxing a lot quicker and easier. In addition to the amount of time and money you save over going to an actual shop, you are also doing the environment a favor by reducing waste and saving trees. Until everyone on this planet decides to do away with faxing, internet faxing is the way to go.
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