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Faxing Software Versus Online Fax Services

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There are a few different ways to fax from your computer. You can of course use an online fax service, which for a monthly fee, allows you to send, receive, and manage faxes anywhere you have Internet access. Another way is to use fax software. This software uses a landline to essentially turn your computer into a replacement of a physical fax machine.

When you use fax software, you’ll need a few things before getting started: most importantly, you need to have a phone or fax line. You’ll also have to be able to connect your computer to that line with a modem or fax board.

Windows users can use programs like Windows Fax and Scan. It allows you to send and receive documents just as a standalone fax machine would, and lets you custom design cover pages. Here’s a simple step-by-step overview of how to use Fax and Scan.

Unfortunately for Mac users, the USB fax/modem that Apple used to offer is no longer compatible with OS X, which means you cannot use fax software with the system.

Online fax providers offer a different faxing experience than you would get if you downloaded software and used your computer. Because they offer the ability to fax directly from the Internet, you don’t need a dedicated phone line to use them. Online fax services also let you manage faxes from a number of devices, like tablets or smartphones, and will assign you a number.

Downloading software can be a good choice for small businesses using PCs that don’t want to pay for a subscription and don’t have frequent faxing needs. For larger businesses that need more constant access to fax services, an online fax service is probably a better fit.

image via Creative Commons