Content Table How to fax on Windows XP How to fax on Windows Vista How to fax on Windows 7 How to fax on Windows 8 How to fax on Linux How to fax on Mac OS X How To Send a Fax On Windows XP Windows XP is no longer supported by the Microsoft, but the methods for faxing previously used should still be valid. This guide covers those methods but be advised that as new generations of fax machine models and fax modem models roll out, there may be driver compatibility issues. There are three ways Windows XP supports sending and receiving faxes – through online fax services, where you use a virtual fax machine to send and receive faxes as you would an e-mail. The second method involves a fax machine or a multipurpose machine with faxing capabilities which is connected to the PC. The third and final method is through a fax console, which, combined with a fax modem card, turns your PC into a replacement for a fax machine. Online Fax Services All online fax services are compatible with Windows XP, and as long as there's full browser support for this operating system (and there will be support for foreseeable future), you will be able to send and receive fax messages from a Windows XP running PC with no issues at all. Online fax services do not require you to have a fax machine or even a land line, you're managing the inbox of a virtual printer, and you're able to set up an account from your Windows XP PC and use it from whichever platform you want, as long as you have a working internet connection. You can see our guide for sending and receiving fax messages from Windows Mobile devices here. Messages sent and received this way with act as e-mail with an attachment – received messages will be in the form of a PDF format, and it's recommended that you send messages using that format as well. Messages sent and received this way with act as e-mail with an attachment – received messages will be in the form of a PDF format, and it's recommended that you send messages using that format as well. Windows XP and Fax Machines/Multifunction printers Now, here's a faxing method that is going to run out of date pretty quickly if you intend to use one of the latest models of fax machines or multifunction printers. Windows XP is no longer supported by Windows, and there will be issues regarding the drivers for the latest fax machines. However, if you're using one of the older models that hit the shelves while the Windows XP was still fully supported, you're going to be able to use it with no hitches or issues for a while yet. Windows XP is no longer supported by Windows, and there will be issues regarding the drivers for the latest fax machines. However, if you're using one of the older models that hit the shelves while the Windows XP was still fully supported, you're going to be able to use it with no hitches or issues for a while yet. This method involves using a regular fax machine connected to your PC, allowing you to send and receive messages without having to step away from your PC. You don't even have to print the incoming fax messages; most fax machines allow you to download the digital copies of the incoming faxes directly to your hard drive, without wasting paper on printing them out. You don't even have to print the incoming fax messages; most fax machines allow you to download the digital copies of the incoming faxes directly to your hard drive, without wasting paper on printing them out. Specific details may vary depending on which model of fax/multipurpose machine you use, but these devices usually come with the software suites that let you set everything up and use them from the PC. You can check if the machine supports Windows XP by checking the original box – models supported are usually listed. Using Fax Modems and Fax Console in Windows XP If you plan on using your PC as a replacement for a fax machine with a Windows XP system installed, you will be using a fax console. First, you need to plug your First, you need to plug your fax modem into your PC and install the appropriate drivers from it (they usually come with the fax modem, or you can use generic Windows drivers) Now you need to install the Fax Console protocols for Windows XP: Click start button, select “Run” option and type in “appwiz.cpl”, click Ok. Select the “Add/Remove Windows Components” and start the Windows Component Wizard”, selecting the “Fax Services” option from the list. The installation process will begin, and it may require you to insert the Windows XP CD. Once the installation is done, hit finish. Fax protocols have been installed, now you need to configure them: Click the start button, select “All Programs/Communications/Fax” and select Fax Console option, you will be allowed to set your fax page details and set up additional faxing info like area code etc, select the fax modem you will be using and ensure that you can send and receive faxes. Two things to be aware of when you're using a fax modem board for sending and receiving fax messages with Windows XP. You will need to keep your computer on if you want to receive documents, as the fax modem doesn't work while the computer is turned off, and you need to have your landline connected to the correct socket to be able to send and receive faxes. How To Send a Fax On Windows Vista Windows Vista is not that different from Windows XP, as it is only a functional upgrade of the system, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that using Windows Vista for sending and receiving fax messages is very similar to using Windows XP. There are still three main methods you use, online services, using a fax machine and using a fax modem. Online Fax Services This method of sending and receiving faxes has been getting more and more popular over the last few years, and Vista is a decent operating system for sending and receiving faxes. As long as you have a browser and an internet connection, you're good to go. There are differences between online fax service providers, but all of them will offer their basic functionality of sending and receiving fax messages through their virtual fax machines if you are using Windows. Other than an internet connection, sending and receiving fax messages using online fax services requires you to have some money on your bank account – most services offer bulk fax credits that allow you to send 10 faxes, 50 faxes, 100 faxes or more. This method may be more expensive than regular faxing, but it's a great solution for small offices that are trying to save space and for situations where it's not easy to get a fax land line to the office. Windows Vista Fax Machines/Multifunction printers As far as drivers go, Windows Vista is not the best-supported Windows out there (even comparing the Windows XP, which is no longer supported by the Microsoft Corporation), but still, most modern fax machines will be quite ok if you're using Vista. Some older models and some obscure manufacturers may have issues with compatibility, but they too will offer at the very least basic compatibility. If you know how to use a fax machine, once you connect it to the Windows Vista running PC you'll be good to go with just a few clicks. Using Fax Modems with Windows Vista Here's the first major difference from faxing in Windows XP – Vista comes with all of the fax protocols already preinstalled, and setting up and using a fax modem is pretty much the same as using a fax modem in Windows 7. How To Send a Fax Using Windows 7 Windows 7 is fully equipped to deal with sending and receiving faxes, and there are several different methods that it can deal with that task. Three main methods are online fax services, fax machines connected to the PC and using fax modem boards to turn your PC into a small faxing station. 3 Ways to send a fax using Windows 7 Online Fax Services There are online fax services offering you the use of virtual fax machines for the purpose of sending and receiving fax messages available, and all of them are supported by Windows 7, for both their core functionality and their advanced features. The main benefit of using these services is the fact that you do not need to have a landline connected to your PC or a fax machine, as long as you have an internet connection you're good to go. All online fax services can be accessed through a web interface, while some allow for the use of installed suites that offer stand-alone functionality. You can send and receive faxes in pretty much the same way you'd be using an e-mail with one of these services. Windows 7 and Fax Machine/Multifunction printers The box for your fax machine or multi-function printer should have a sticker saying that it is Windows 7 compatible – there are very few devices that don't work with Windows 7. Connecting your fax machine to the PC allows you to send documents without having to have them printed, and to receive documents directly as a scanned PDF document. You still have the option of printing everything, if you want to have a physical copy. These fax machines require a landline and need you to set them up properly so they save the received faxes while the PC is turned off. Using Fax Modems with Windows 7 Older iterations of Windows required you to install fax protocols separately, but those protocols are now a standard part of Windows 7 and allow you to start immediately sending and receiving fax documents using internal or external fax modems. You can access the settings of your fax machine through Tools > Fax Accounts option of your start menu. You can add your fax modem to the list of modems there, and configure all of the additional settings as if you were setting up a fax machine – number of rings before the pickup, cover page, TSID and CSID info, everything. Sending a new fax is done using Windows Fax and Scan application, found on the toolbar. It will guide you through a basic setup process the first time you try to send a fax, after that it will let you change those settings but will use them as a default setting. One thing to remember is that using fax modems means you will NOT be able to receive fax messages while your PC is off, these calls will be missed! Also, you will not be able to set up your Windows 7 fax connection with a VoIP line; these technologies are not compatible – read more on that here. How To Send a Fax on Windows 8 The same faxing options available to users of Windows 7 are available to users of Windows 8 as well. There are three methods of sending and receiving fax messages using Windows 8, and those are online fax services, connected fax machines and fax modems through the Windows 8 “Fax and Scan” function. Top 3 methods to send a fax using Windows 8 Online Fax Services Online fax services offer all of the functionality of sending and receiving fax messages without having to own a fax machine or to move away from your computer. The very best thing about using online fax services to send and receive messages is the fact that it's completely multi-platform – as long as you have an internet connection and a browser, you have access to the basic functionality at the very least. Of course, some of the software suites developed by online faxing companies require full installation to give access to all features, and Windows 8 is one of the most supported platforms. Connected Fax Machines/Multifunction printers Driver support for fax devices is great for Windows 8, and you should have no issues at all connecting the fax machine, installing the software suite that comes with the fax machine and getting the whole system up and running. Of course, like with every fax machine you will need a landline to connect to your fax machine so everything works, even wireless fax modems use a wireless connection to connect to the local network for the purpose of remote control, not for the purpose of sending and receiving faxes. Fax Modem Fax modems or modem boards turn your PC into a fax sender/receiver without having to have a fax machine connected. This is a method that has been falling in popularity with the onset of online faxing services, but there are still fax modems to be found, and your Windows 8 is perfectly set up to deal with them. There is a Windows Scan and Fax utility on the toolbar that allows you to configure things like cover page and additional details, letting you send and receive faxes using a standard Windows interface. How To Send a Fax From Any Linux OS Sending fax messages from a Linux machine does not differentiate that much from sending and receiving fax messages through Windows. The software is a bit different, and, generally speaking, you need a higher degree of knowledge to set everything up, but once everything has been set up, it's easy to use. Three main methods of sending and receiving fax messages using Linux systems are: Online Fax Services (compatible with Linux) Using a Fax Machine Using a Fax Software Method 1: Online Fax Services for Linux Users Most online fax services operate through a web interface alone, so if you've got a Linux PC that can connect to the internet, you have everything you need to send and receive faxes. Before you subscribe to a fax service, make sure they are using web interface only! Some of the online fax services have pieces of software they require you to download and install them, for a separate inbox interface, and those are usually not compatible with Linux!!! Once you have an account with an online fax service, you're good to use it from any other device you have that can connect to the internet – from a tablet, smartphone, whatever – as long as you have an internet connection you're good to send and receive fax messages. Our guide to online faxing has a list of services that are compatible with Linux, so you may be interested in checking it out. Method 2: Using a Fax Machine Most of the modern fax machines and multipurpose fax scanners can be used with Linux, but before you make a purchase make sure the device is Linux compatible. Some of the manufacturers simply don't include Linux drivers with their devices, or, even if they do, their functionality is severely limited, allowing only for the basic sending and receiving of fax messages without allowing any of the advanced features (setting up covers, sending header and footer info). Specifics vary from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer, so think about which features you need the most and do your research on which fax machine you will connect to your Linux PC. Just like faxing with a Windows PC, you need to connect your fax machine to a landline for it to be able to operate, as faxes still can't be sent purely through the internet (except by using online faxing services, which is almost cheating). This goes for wireless and Bluetooth models as well, the wireless part is just the method PC communicates to the fax machine, fax machine itself still needs a landline to another fax machine to be able to send and receive faxes. You can not send faxes through VoIP lines!!! As to why you can check out our article on why VoIP lines and fax machines are not compatible. Method 3: Fax from Fax Software Sending and receiving fax messages from a Linux PC is even easier when you have a PC that's got a fax board or a fax modem connected, as all you need is appropriate software suite. Most modern Linux distributions come with at least one by default, often having alternatives available on installation disks or in the online depositories. All you need are a PC running a Linux OS, a fax modem with drivers compatible with Linux and a landline for your fax modem, and you're good to go. One thing to keep in mind when using Fax Modem with a Unix machine to send and receive fax messages is the fact that your PC needs to be on to be able to send and receive messages. Any calls received while the PC is off will be missed and you will have no notifications of them being missed!!! The most popular suite for sending and receiving messages on Linux is Hylafax – an open source project for sending and receiving facsimiles through Linux. It's a robust and reliable system with ease of use and stability in mind. It requires some configuration, but it supports advanced features like multiple modems and advanced faxing functionality. There are open source alternatives, as always, but Hylafax is one of the best options. If you want to check out alternative you might check out MessagePlus/Open. How to Send and Receive Fax Messages Using a Mac OS X Sending and receiving fax messages while using any of the Apple products used to be a complicated task when that company started going big, but they implemented a lot of what a good OS needs to allow for quick and easy faxing of documents. There are three primary methods you can use to send/receive fax messages using Mac OS X: Online Fax Services Fax Machine or a Multifunction Printer Apple Fax Modem Method 1: Online Fax Services The best thing with using online fax services to send and receive fax messages is that they are completely multi-platform – as long as you have an internet connection and access to a browser, you will be able to send and receive fax messages with ease. Once you setup your account from your Mac OS X system, you can access it from your smartphone, tablet, or any other computer. The process is pretty similar to sending and receiving e-mail messages, and the cost associated is lower than the cost of running an actual faxing landline and buying a fax machine. The thing to take note of is that while most online fax services will perform their basic functions well, some of the more advanced functions may be unavailable from the Mac OS X. Keep an eye out for “Mac friendly” or “Mac compatible” tags on the fax service advertisement pages – fax friendly allow basic functionality, Mac compatible let you use all of the functions. You can read up on some of the most popular basic services and their Mac OS X compatibility on our detailed online faxing services guide. Method 2: Fax Machine or a Multifunction Printer Most modern and many of the older generations of fax machines and multi-function printers are able to link up with a local PC and to send and receive messages that way. Mac OS X is fully supported, and, while the options of faxing vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the interface for sending and receiving faxes is the same as for faxing from a PC. You will need a computer running Mac OS X system, a set-up fax machine (or a multi-purpose scanner/printer with faxing capabilities) connected to a land line (faxing can not be done through the internet alone or through VoIP lines if you're using fax machines) and a document you want to send and you're good to go. As with faxing from a PC, check what happens with the fax message if your computer is off at the time the message is sent to you – do you get a notification that you have a message that didn't get received, do you get informed at all, or is it just a call you missed. Some fax machines are listed as “Mac compatible” but have only the basic functionality, check with the seller before you invest in a fax machine for Mac OS X computer. Method 3: Apple Fax Modem Please note that this is an OUT OF DATE method of faxing, as from Mac OS X 10.7 this method is no longer supported by Apple – the drivers are no longer updated with new OS X iterations. As with regular fax modems for PC, all you need to do is hook up the external fax modem to the Mac OS X PC, set up the drivers, connect the landline and you can access the faxing interface from the print menu. Received faxes are sent to the scanner's folder as PDF documents, and you would have to have the document you want to fax as a digital text or PDF document. The downside of this method is that no messages are sent or received while the computer is shut down!!! You'd need a dedicated fax land line to connect to the fax modem, your regular line or VoIP line wouldn't do the trick. Additional resources: Faxing in Open Office How to set up Debian Linux Fax Server Fax With any OS Using Our #1 Pick For Faxing Online! Matt GerchowMatt Gerchow is an author, marketer, inventor, husband, father and yoga enthusiast. He enjoys travel to distant lands , fine wine, time with his family and dinner with friends.