In an era of e-mail and instant messaging, fax still plays a critical role in many industries. Fortunately, there are ways to send a fax from your computer without needing a fax machine.
Online faxing services allow you to quickly send documents to any fax from computer or mobile device. All you need are a few simple steps.
Get a Fax Number
A fax number looks almost the same as a phone number but is connected to a fax machine, a fax server, or an online fax service. It’s a reliable and trusted method for sending and receiving important documents.
Many government agencies require faxes from their constituents to process applications, sign contracts, and other essential paperwork. Some examples include:
In addition to local departments, federal agencies also receive faxes from citizens needing assistance or services. These can include requests for veterans benefits, nominations to US military academies, and more. It can be difficult for senators and representatives to sift through the high volumes of e-mails from special interest groups, so faxing is an effective way to reach these elected officials.
To get a fax number, you can get one from a telephone service provider or use an online fax service. There are benefits to both options, including the ability to use a fax app on your smartphone or tablet and access your faxes from anywhere.
Set Up Your Computer
Faxing from your computer is an easy and convenient option. But, like any device, you’ll need to set it up before you can begin sending and receiving faxes.
The good news is that all Windows computers have a built-in faxing program, and you can purchase an inexpensive USB fax modem online or at some tech stores. You’ll also need a stable internet connection.
Once you have everything in place, faxing from your computer is as simple as sending an e-mail. Enter the recipient’s fax number, add your document(s) (which can be uploaded from your desktop or another location), and click the paperclip icon to send your fax. If you want to include a cover page, you can also do so by selecting the corresponding option.
For a more advanced option, you can use an online fax service that offers a feature called “E-mail to Fax.” This allows you to fax documents using your Gmail or Microsoft Outlook account. These services typically require a monthly subscription. But, they offer a more reliable and secure faxing method than traditional fax machines.
Select a Fax Service
Faxing may seem archaic in the age of e-mail and instant messaging, but some industries still need it for important documents. For example, health care, finance, real estate, and legal require faxing for secure document transmission.
An online fax service is an easy way to manage incoming and outgoing faxes without needing a fax machine or phone line. Most internet fax services also allow quick uploading of files to be sent and received, reducing paper waste.
When selecting an internet faxing provider, it is important to research and compare the various options available. Look at the features and fee structure to find a solution for your business needs. Some things to consider include:
Most faxing solutions offer a web portal that works like an e-mail program. The user enters the recipient’s fax number, the fax subject, and any required attachments and then sends it. Once the fax is sent, the sender will receive a notification that the fax was successfully transmitted. It will also be stored in a digital archive for later access or reference.
Attach Your Documents
Even though it’s considered an archaic form of document transmission in this age of e-mail and instant messaging apps, many industries still require faxing. These include the legal, medical, insurance, real estate and business fields. Thankfully, the rise of online fax services has made it easier than ever to fax documents from your computer.
To send a fax from your computer, open the online fax service’s application and upload the document you want to fax. Then, fill out the information on the fax form. The information can include your name, fax number, recipient’s fax number, cover page information, etc.
You can even attach a file with a digital signature that allows you to sign your document instantly. After entering all the information, click the “Send Fax” button, and your fax will be sent! Most online fax services will notify you when your fax has been delivered to the recipient’s fax machines. Some will also offer text or e-mail notifications customized to your preferences. This way, you can reduce errors or miscommunications.
Send Your Fax
Once upon a time, people used to fax important documents by printing them and scanning them into their machines, then sending the document over the phone line. This archaic process — still employed by some businesses — is not as efficient as it sounds, and it can lead to a lot of wasted paper and lost image quality.
Instead, you can use your computer to send a fax using an online fax service. Fortunately, this method is much simpler and less costly than purchasing a fax machine or modem. You can even fax documents from your smartphone!
Harper Harrison is a reporter for The Hear UP. Harper got an internship at the NPR and worked as a reporter and producer. harper has also worked as a reporter for the Medium. Harper covers health and science for The Hear UP.