What’s the cheapest way to send multi-page faxes from my PC?

Joe Videtto May 13, 2012
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Hi all,

Joe, the guy who works in an elementary school – with a new question about faxing more easily and cheaply.

In my school, we have lots of documents to fax – not 1 or 2 pages, but often as much as 10 or 20 or more.

Currently, the school owns 1 fax machine connected to a phone line – but there is sometimes a line for the machine, and often you have to wait for the receipt to truly know your fax went through.

The online fax services I’ve seen are pretty expensive. I’ve read that you can fax for free through google voice, but that faxing over IP is not reliable for more than a page or 2.

I’d love to be able to fax from my PC and get a confirmation directly on my PC or through email.

3 questions:

1.) What’s the cheapest online faxing service for multi-page documents (both per-page, and monthly service)

2.)I have FIOS at home – Is there any way to ‘hack’ a server together that will let me fax from my home PC, through the phone line, for ‘free’, just the cost of the hardware, assuming I have the old hardware already and an unlimited talk-time phone service from my Internet provider (FIOS).

3.) How do the Internet based ‘triple play’ (phone, internet, cable) providers (FIOS, RCN, Optimum) enable reliable multi-page faxing services when their services are primarily internet based ?

Thanks in advance,
Joe

  1. FaxAuthority
    May 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Joe,

    Congratulations - you're in the middle spot of faxing

    Too big to go with a conventional office fax, on a bit of the small side of volume (and likely budget) to move up to a full time server system like rightfax.

    Here's some quick answers:

    1) Online fax services would be a good alternative, and range from free (windows fax and scan comes with vista and windows 7, as well Hylafax and Hylafax+ are linux fax servers that are open source) to more expensive (RightFax is a commercial fax server) as well as online based (RingCentral, eFax, MyFax, Nextiva, etc.) For a high volume range you're looking at maybe 1-3 cents per page over the aggregate.

    2) "Yes, But"

    Let's say you had a normal non-FIOS line - our answer would be Windows 7 / Vista Fax and Scan or HylaFax / Hylafax+ if you knew you way around linux. We've got a guide to Windows 7 Fax and Scan at http://faxauthority.com/windows-7-fax/

    The "But" is the FIOS. "Next Generation" phone lines have moved to digital that in many cases are scrambling fax transmissions - there's no direct answer - generally, if you can run a fax machine over the line you can run one of these programs. But check before heavily investing your time.

    3) they're usually running a similar operation to the online fax providers like RingCentral, eFax, etc. You connect to that online fax system through the web, and then the system delivers it through the phone network. Most of the triple play providers are connected to the broader phone network in one way or another.

    Personally, we'd also suggest looking at either a multifunction device with fax on it that lets you forward those faxes to email (and send from email or the print driver) (just make sure it can operate the fax while running a large print job) or a dedicated fax machine that will let you do the same. We used to work in the industry, and the Canon LC710 was a great machine for this. Expensive up front, but usually the costs justified when you could consider how much in toner and paper could be saved.

  2. Viksn
    May 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hi,

    You should try Popfax.com. It is a cheap and reliable service - the bigger pack you have, more faxes you can send and more money you have. And also they have a mobile version (http://m.popfax.com) so you can send faxes from smartphone, not only from your PC.

  3. Daleks
    May 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I use http://www.trustfax.com. It's about $5 a month, and the service is owned by Comodo, a popular trust authority.

  4. Rene Raggl
    May 15, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Hi there,

    I use http://www.interfax.net for my online faxing needs. I find the prices to be reasonable and can fax from any e-mail client. Works great for me.

    Regards,

    Rene

  5. James Peat
    May 15, 2012 at 2:43 am

    I've been using Pamfax for years and love it as I can access it from any pc and Skype. Costs me about .12c per fax.

    • Joe Videtto
      May 16, 2012 at 1:25 am

      Is that 12c per fax regardless of the number of pages - or 12c per page ?

  6. Jay Kusnetz
    May 15, 2012 at 1:46 am

    First result for googling fios+fax is http://www22.verizon.com/Support/Residential/phone/homephone/general+support/fios+voice+service/fvs/121154.htm
    which says a fax is supported.
    Simplest is to get a cheap modem for your home computer, then set up the Windows 7 fax service http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/install-the-windows-fax-driver-or-service-to-use-internet-fax-in-office-2010-HA010385340.aspx
    This allows you to "print to fax"
    Then use something like logmein.com to access your home computer to send the fax. Use google drive, dropbox, etc to transfer files from school to home.
    Anything set up at school (multifunction machine, etc) would likely require a dedicated POTS line which may be a couple of hundred per year.

  7. Oron
    May 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    For your school, you may be better off with a networked Multi Function Device (printer/copier/fax) which can be used for faxing over the network. There are different ways of doing this, but some models allow you to set up a fax "queue" which is like a printer queue but which prompt you for a phone number. Incoming faxes can either be stored within the MFD's internal hard disc or forwarded to given email addresses.
    I'm not going to recommend any specific products here, but companies such as Canon, Ricoh, Samsung and others have many products of this type.

  8. ha14
    May 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    there should be free trials that you can test yourself to find which is better choice
    Fax87
    http://fax87.com/

    10 Best Free Online Fax Services
    http://savedelete.com/10-best-free-online-fax-services.html

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