I’m not really the type of person that sends faxes all that often. There may be an occasion or two when I have to forward information to my insurance company or the Human Resources department at work, but those times are very few and far between. However, since I don’t fax very often, whenever I do have a need to send a fax I used to scramble to find an available fax machine. After I started writing for MakeUseOf, I decided to reassess this occasional need and come up with a solution that would make use of available free online technologies and resources. I started looking for an answer to the question, “Can I send an email to a fax machine?”
And so began my quest into the world of free online faxing. The only requirement that I set when I started this search was that the resource must be free, it must allow, at a minimum, a full textual document to be sent over the Internet. The ability to send formatted documents would be a plus, but since most of the time I just need to send over information, the ability to send an text email to a fax machine is really all I usually need.
Online Services – Free Faxing With Ads
So, you’re in a crunch and you really need to fire off a quick text document to a fax number. In this article, I’m going to cover 5 free services that let you send an email to a fax machine, but the three most common are in this first batch. The following three services are about as simple as they can get. Without any registration of any kind, you can simply visit the website, upload the file that you want to fax, type in the fax number and fire it off. The service simply faxes your document to the recipient you entered. Sound to good to be true? Well, it’s not. It is paid for by ad revenue on both the website and by placing ads on the cover page of your fax as well.
Using GotFreeFax is about as easy as it gets. Just enter your information as the sender, enter your recipient’s information and Fax number, and then either upload a PDF or DOC file, or paste your email (which can even include formatting) into the rich text box. There’s even the option to maintain an Ad-Free cover page. GotFreeFax is one of the few free services that allows this option.
FaxZero is almost identical to GotFreeFax in terms of how it works. You enter the sender and receiver information and then upload a DOC or PDF file, or insert the text message you want to fax into the text box. The free version of this online app does insert an ad onto the cover page, and you’re limited to two free faxes a day with a max of three pages per faxed document. For a $1.99 fee, you can send up to 15 pages per document without any ad on the cover sheet. Unfortunately, this service as well as GotFreeFax only works to send faxes in the U.S. and Canada.
PopFax, just like the previous two sites, asks for receiver and sender information, and then lets you upload a file or insert your text message. Just like the others, the services is quick, easy, and
best of all free offers free trial option.
Can I Send an Email to a Fax Machine?
Now, when it comes to the question of literally sending an email to a fax machine, the next services easily takes the cake. By configuring the recipient email address in a specific way, you can deliver an email directly to any fax machine of your choice for absolutely free.
The service is called TPC Fax and it’s absolutely brilliant. Simply by formatting the section of the email address after the “.” with specific formatting, you can format the cover sheet. Since “_” is converted to a space and “/” is converted to a new text line, you could easily format three or four lines that describe the contact information of your recipient. The section after the “@” is where you insert the FAX number. The service is very simple and only for faxing the text within your email – but there’s no faster and easier free way to send an email to a fax machine than this very cool service.
Using Drop.io to Receive Faxes
I know I said I would provide 5 services that let you send an email to a fax machine, but this last resource is actually one that will allow you to receive Faxes in return. Often, the recipient of your fax may want to fax information back, and while there are some online fax services that will send for free, just about all of them charge some kind of fee to establish a Fax number where you can retrieve faxes online. All, that is, except for Drop.io, which David covered earlier. If you don’t have a Drop.io account, sign up for one now – it’s free and you get 100MB of storage.
To get your Drop.io fax number, from your main Drop.io page, just click on “Add.”
On the “Add” page, click “More” and then select the “this coversheet” link in order to see what your fax number is (it’s printed right on the coversheet. All you have to do is email the coversheet to the person who wants to send you a fax, and they can send the fax to your Drop.io box so long as they make sure to use the coversheet first, and according to Drop.io it’s also best to set the fax machine to the highest resolution settings. As far as I know, this Drop.io service is one of the few (if not only) truly free services where you can receive a Fax at no cost.
Do you know of any other free and useful online tools that you can use to send or receive a fax? Share your own resources in the comments section below.
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