Fax direct from computer


I have a client who asked me to look at setting them up so they can fax directly from a pc. This is the 1st time i will have implemented such a system and am just looking for a bit of advice if possible. I’m also a bit green in general with faxing, i’ve never had the need to fax previously and email has always been fine for me!

From having a look around i see that there appears to be two main routes to take with regard to the faxing direct from a pc. The 1st is to install software and plug into a phone line via a modem. The 2nd is to use a hosted solution via email such as eFax or jConnect

There are a couple of points i’m particularly interested in if anyone is has experience of this type of scenario.

Is there a much difference in value between using installed software and a modem against a hosted solution?

Does anyone know of any free hosted solutions or free installation software?

The client currently has fax facilities (physical fax machine) and a fax number. It would be preferable if this fax number could kept?? not sure if thats possible with moving to a software / hosted solution?? any thoughts?

If anyone wants to throw out any other considerations feel free.

Thanks James

Take note that porting out cost in some providers as well as porting in.

So you might get charge twice if you are porting out from a provider that charges porting out and then get charge again for porting in to your new provider.

So, if you move to a new provider…can you take that fax number with you?

Kinda like if you have a regular phone number you can take it with you when changing service providers.

Sorry, but that’s not true in the US because I can take my phone number with me at no additional cost at all due to FCC rule that say my phone number belongs to ME not to any phone service provider.

I know for a fact that there are people all over the US taking their phone number with them and they don’t pay any more than if they were a new sign-up getting a new phone number.

I agree but there are other providers that accepts free porting like Onesuite. I ported mine last year and it’s free but some providers charges between $10 to $25.

I formerly traveled extensively, and found eFaxing fantastic. It would be good in an office. I could prepare a report on my computer and fax it from my car, or from Starbucks.

The report never wasted a piece of paper unless the recipient chose to print it.

The software installs as a printer driver, and all you need to do is tell the program to print the page and select the printer, you are presented with a dialog that asks to select a number from your saved numbers or input a number to fax to.

I would run it in parallel until they got some experience with it and then choose.

Another nice thing about it, is you don’t waste a lot of paper. Review the incoming fax, file it electronically, print it or delete it.

I had a fax number connected to a regular fax machine/printer, too. After I got a computer with a built-in fax modem (surprisingly, those come standard with some relatively cheap PCs), the set-up was pretty easy.

  1. Take the phone line out of the fax machine and plug it into the modem’s phone input that is on the back of the PC.

  2. Use software like:


And it works relatively easily. When you start the program, it should be on yellow light for a while, and eventually turn green (on “receive”). As long as the program is running and the PC is on, it should receive (barring phone/power outage). When it receives a fax, it saves it as an image in a folder of your choosing. You can then open it, print it, archive it, whatever. The important part is that it doesn’t break down like a fax machine, doesn’t need paper and doesn’t use ink/toner. It’s cheaper and easier to maintain. Obviously, you can still print any faxes you need physically.

Sending is just as easy. Type up a document, save it in a familiar format (I think .doc or .pdf will do), and select it to be sent. Cover pages can be programmed and sent automatically along with each fax.

Don’t forget to buy a UPS to make sure a power surge or short-term blackout doesn’t shut off your computer. Other than that, the most difficult part is finding a PC that has a fax modem.

Thanks for the reply’s guys.

i contacted efax via their online chat facility and found the advisor extremely painful, between every comment as i typed out my question i was constantly bombarded with sign up now, i give you discount, sign up now, i walk you throw sign up now - even though i had started by saying i was just researching it for a client??

i won’t be using them as i was furious before i got the info i wanted!!

I did find another company with the same service however, myfax. They are cheaper too and seem as if they will provide a more professional service?

Good post, however I prefer to use the combo printer-fax-scanner to send and receive faxes. I just don’t link the winmodems that come with computers, I usually disable them and don’t load their drivers.

I think they are just extra, obsolete resource hogs.

Good point on the UPS, don’t need to be faxing to benefit from it.

I haven’t seen a pc that didn’t come with a fax-modem, usually built in to the motherboard

I’d go with the online service - the modem/software option ties up a phone line and requires a physical fax machine - not a problem if you already have those set up - but still inconvenient if you ask me. If you already have a fax machine and old phone line with a modem, and really need to keep the number, that might be your best option. But the online fax services are really cheap - so you get cost effectiveness if you don’t already have the physical fax machine and modem/phone line. I personally would go with the online fax services, because it saves paper, and you get everything delivered straight to your email. You can also send faxes directly from applications like Word - say goodbye to printing/scanning!

ive only ever used WinFax Pro and an old Conexant 56k dial up datafax modem, this was years ago but it still works :tup: sending and receiving no problem

I have tried faxing from computer using zerofax.com and it was very nice easy and simple.