How to Fax Without a Fax Machine

Submitted by Byanka Ramos on Fri, 07/05/2024 - 12:29
A fax machine sitting on an office table

Do you need to send an important document to a hospital, government office, or legal firm? Chances are they’ve asked you to fax it. But like most people today—you don’t own a fax machine. This is a common dilemma, especially for younger generations who might never have used one. Despite the world going digital, faxing remains a secure way to send documents, particularly in sectors like government and healthcare. It’s not likely to go away anytime soon.

At Strategic Technology Partners of Texas (STPT), we’ve been in the printing industry for over 35 years, long enough to remember when fax machines were a common office staple. We understand that the average person wants convenient and quick ways to get things done. Today, we’ll leverage modern technology and show you how to fax without a fax machine.

What Are Fax Machines and Why Are They Still Used?

Fax machines have an interesting history and enduring relevance. In 1964, Xerox introduced the first commercial fax machine, revolutionizing document sharing.  It worked by scanning a document, converting it into a bitmap, and sending it through a telephone line to another fax machine, which then printed the image on paper. This technology was groundbreaking at the time, providing a quick and reliable method for transmitting documents.

So, why are fax machines still around in this digital age? Despite seeming outdated, fax machines offer a level of security and immediacy that emails often lack. This is particularly crucial in sectors like government, healthcare, and legal industries, where sensitive information needs to be shared quickly and securely. In these highly regulated industries, faxing allows for better compliance with regulations such as HIPPA.

Ways to Fax Without a Fax Machine

The good news is you don’t need a traditional fax machine to send a fax. If you own a computer, tablet, or smartphone and have internet access, you can send a fax in minutes. Here are some ways to do so:

1. Online Fax Services

Online fax services allow you to send and receive faxes via the Internet. Services like eFax and MyFax let you upload documents from your computer or mobile device and fax them to any fax number. These services often provide a secure platform and can handle various file formats such as PDF and DOC.

2. Email to Fax

Some online fax services offer an email-to-fax feature. You can send an email with the document attached to a specific email address provided by the service. The service, which acts as a virtual fax machine, then converts the email and attachment into a fax and sends it to the recipient's fax machine.

3. Fax Apps

Several mobile apps, such as Genius Fax and iFax, allow you to send faxes directly from your smartphone. These apps are convenient for quick, on-the-go faxing and often include features like document scanning, cloud storage integration, and electronic signatures. You can easily take a picture of the document you want to fax and use the app to send it.

4. Fax Software

If you need to send faxes regularly, consider installing fax software on your computer. Software like Windows Fax and Scan or third-party programs like FaxTalk allow your computer to send and receive faxes using a connected telephone line or an online fax service.

Internet faxing is especially convenient for those who travel often. However, it's important to note that these services or software usually come with a cost. They typically charge per document or fax or offer monthly plans based on your faxing frequency and needs.

5. All-in-One Printer

While not as convenient as virtual fax services, multifunction printers (MFPs) are another way to fax without a dedicated fax machine. Most modern all-in-one printers have the ability to print, scan, copy, and fax. Here's how you can fax using an MFP:

Step 1: Connect your MFP to a phone line.

Step 2: Place the document you want to fax into the scanner.

Step 3: Use the printer’s interface to enter the recipient’s fax number and send the document.

To get more accurate instructions on how to fax on your specific printer, refer to your printer’s manual.

Offline Methods

What if you don’t have internet access and prefer not to use your phone or laptop? You can still send a fax by visiting places such as:

  • Office Supply Stores: Stores like Staples or Office Depot offer fax services.
  • Libraries and Shipping Centers: Many libraries and shipping centers offer free or low-cost access to fax machines.

What About Free Online Faxing Services?

For those who don’t need to fax often, free online faxing services are a great alternative. Here are some noteworthy options:

♦ FaxZero

A popular free fax service that allows you to send a limited number of faxes without a subscription. It offers a limited number of free faxes per day, making it ideal for occasional use.

♦ FaxBurner

A free faxing option where you can send and receive faxes through your email or the FaxBurner mobile app. You get a temporary fax number to receive faxes for free, and you can send up to 5 free pages per month.

♦ FaxBetter

A free faxing service that allows you to receive up to 50 pages per month at no cost. You get a dedicated fax number, and your received faxes are stored online for easy access. However, to send faxes, you’ll need a paid subscription. Still, it’s a great option for those who primarily need to receive documents.

These free online faxing services provide convenient solutions for occasional faxing needs, allowing you to send and receive faxes without the hassle of owning a fax machine.

What Are the Limitations to Faxing Without a Fax Machine?

While faxing without a traditional fax machine offers many conveniences, there are some limitations to consider:

  • Security: Uploading documents to online fax services can pose security risks if the service provider is not reputable. Always ensure you use trusted services to protect sensitive information.
  • Reliability: Free fax services often limit the number of pages or frequency of faxes you can send. Paid services generally offer more reliable and comprehensive solutions.
  • Accessibility: If you frequently need to fax documents, investing in a multifunction printer with fax capabilities might be more efficient and secure in the long run.

The Multifunction Printer (MFP) Solution

Faxing is still an important way for many businesses to communicate. Modern alternatives to traditional fax machines make the process more efficient.

For those who frequently send faxes, a multifunction printer (MFP) with fax capabilities can be a game-changer. As we stated earlier, MFPs combine printing, scanning, copying, and faxing into one device. This makes them a powerful and efficient solution for office communication.   

For more information on the benefits of MFPs, check out our blog on 9 Multifunction Printer Myths Explained and Debunked.

Streamline Your Faxing Needs with STPT's Solutions

At Strategic Technology Partners of Texas (STPT), we provide solutions that enhance productivity and reduce costs. We offer a range of Xerox multifunction printers that are perfect for businesses of all sizes. These printers can manage all your faxing, printing, scanning, and copying requirements.

Ready to upgrade your office equipment? Use our product configurator to find the perfect Xerox multifunction printer for your needs. Whether you need color or black and white, single-function or all-in-one, we have the right solution for you. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote. Let STPT help you streamline your office productivity and manage your faxing needs efficiently.