If you were in business in the 90s and early part of the oughts (early 2000s), you probably remember the fax machine. As a matter of fact, if you worked in an office during that time, you probably remember the fax machine. Technological advances like scanners (not to mention email, texting, Facebook, Twitter – in fact, the internet in general) have made the fax machine pretty much obsolete.
However, they’re still around. And sometimes you can’t avoid them – maybe a client or other contact insists that you fax them a document instead. And some people consider them more secure than email, although that’s probably not the case. We get patrons who ask that very question – we offer the scanning option, but they either have been told to fax or simply don’t have an email address to use.
What to do? Fortunately, there are options. You can scan a document (we have scanners at the Central Library if you need them) and fax it online. There are services that will enable you to enter an actual phone number, upload your document and fax it to a fax number.
What does it cost? It depends, as different sites have different terms, but generally you can fax a few pages for free, and you can do that a limited number of times. The service we’ve used (not allowed to advertise) will let you fax three pages (plus a cover). And you can send five of these short faxes per day for free. They do brand the cover page. Or, you can pay for the service ($1.99 in our example) and get a couple of dozen pages without branding. Some services also have subscription options.
The process is fairly easy. The service we’ve used (and tested by sending a fax to the library fax machine) has you upload the scanned pages, type information for a cover page and enter the sender / receiver information. You’ll need to include your own email address, as they send you an email with a confirmation link.
From the other end of the equation, receiving faxes is trickier. There you may have to use a paid service or check out a local business centre. But if you only occasionally have to send out a fax, online fax services are good options.
Just Google “online fax” and you’ll see some options. How to Geek did a write-up a few years ago as well. Happy faxing!