May 9, 2023 | Matt Gerchow If you thought faxing was as outdated as disco pants, hold onto your hats, folks! Yes, we're talking about that grumpy old machine sitting in the corner of your office that probably hasn't seen action since 1998. But faxing, believe it or not, has actually been given a 21st-century makeover. Welcome to the world of digital faxing, where you don't have to fight with jammed papers or ink shortages anymore!Digital faxing is all about sending documents over the internet. So, instead of wrestling with a piece of paper to feed into a machine, you simply hit ‘send' from your device. Pretty cool, right? It's like waking up one morning and realizing your favorite sandwich can now be delivered straight to your mouth.The Great Faxing Comeback: Why It Might Be Your Next Best FriendOkay, now you might be thinking, “Alright, Matt Gerchow, that's all neat, but why on earth would I need to send a fax in this day and age? I've got email and WhatsApp!” Well, let me enlighten you, dear reader.Even though it's a bit old-school, there are still plenty of times when faxing comes in handy. Maybe you're dealing with a company that hasn't quite caught up with the digital age (yes, they exist!). Or perhaps you need to send a legal document that requires a signature. In some cases, faxed signatures are considered more legitimate than those sent via email. Can you believe it? The Stone Age still has its perks!But most importantly, sending a fax can sometimes be more secure than sending an email. This is especially true if you're sending sensitive information like medical records or your secret cookie recipe. Because the last thing you want is your grandma's secret oatmeal raisin cookie recipe falling into the wrong hands, right? Trust us, digital faxing can be your stealthy partner in crime.So, there you have it. Faxing is not the dinosaur we thought it was. It's evolved, upgraded, and ready to roll in the digital age. Next time you're stuck with an important document to send, don't forget about your old friend, the fax. It might just be the superhero you didn't know you needed!Sending a Fax Without a Fax Machine: Your Modern Day SuperpowerDifferent Ways to Fax: It's Not All Buttons and Buzzes AnymoreYou might think that sending a fax means messing with a clunky old machine that sounds like a constipated robot. Well, we're here to tell you that it's no longer the case! You can now send a fax without a fax machine. It's like magic, but without the bunny or the hat.Firstly, you've got the online fax services. These are websites or apps where you upload your document, type in the fax number, and voila! It's sent. It's like sending an email, but instead of going to an inbox, it ends up in a fax machine somewhere.Secondly, there are computer programs. They work similar to the online services, but you install them on your computer. Some even let you send faxes directly from programs like Word or Excel. Handy, huh?And lastly, you can fax right from your email. Yes, you read that right. Certain services allow you to send a fax just by sending an email. All you need to do is address it to the recipient’s fax number, followed by the fax service's domain. It’s like giving your email a secret faxing superpower.Online Fax Services vs. Fax Machines: The Ultimate ShowdownNow, let's look at the pros and cons of using online fax services compared to traditional fax machines. It's like a boxing match between a jetpack and a pair of old sneakers.The Pros of Online Services:Convenience: With online faxing, you can send and receive faxes from your computer, phone, or tablet. You don't need to be tied to a big chunky machine. It's like being able to teleport instead of walking!No Extra Hardware Needed: No more dealing with paper jams, ink shortages, or a noisy machine. All you need is an internet connection.Environmentally Friendly: You're saving trees by not using paper. And who doesn't want to high-five Mother Earth?The Cons of Online Services:Cost: While some services offer free trials, you'll typically need to pay a monthly or annual fee.Dependence on Internet: If your internet is as slow as a sleepy snail, you might have issues sending or receiving faxes.The Pros of Traditional Fax Machines:Tangible Proof: You get a physical copy of what you sent or received, which can be useful if you need a paper trail.No Tech Knowledge Required: If you can feed a dog, you can probably use a fax machine.The Cons of Traditional Fax Machines:Space and Maintenance: Fax machines take up space and require upkeep. They're like needy pets that don't wag their tails.Limited Accessibility: You can only send and receive faxes when you're near the machine. It's like being tied to a very boring leash.In the end, it's all about what works best for you. If convenience and eco-friendliness are your jams, then online fax services might be your best bet. But if you like the idea of having physical proof and don't mind the maintenance, then traditional fax machines might still hold a special place in your heart.Online Fax Services: Your Personal Magic CarpetUnderstanding Online Fax Services: The Genie's Lamp of CommunicationYou might be thinking, “What's the big deal with these online fax services?” Well, let's pull back the curtain and reveal the magic.Online fax services basically take your document, turn it into a format that fax machines can understand, and then send it over the internet. It's like they're fluent in both human and fax machine language. When a fax comes in, they do the opposite. They take the fax machine language, translate it back to a document, and then deliver it to you over the internet.And the best part? You can use these services anywhere, anytime, as long as you have internet access. It's like having a personal fax machine genie that lives in your pocket!Popular Online Fax Services: The Superstars of the Faxing WorldNow that you're up to speed on what online fax services are, let's check out some of the most popular ones. These are like the rock stars of the faxing world. They're reliable, easy to use, and have some pretty cool features.aFax: This online service is all about making faxing as easy as sending an email. You can send and receive faxes directly from your email, your online aFax account, or their mobile app. It's like having a Swiss Army Knife of faxing!iFax: iFax is another popular service that lets you send and receive faxes from your computer, phone, or tablet. It's easy to use, and they even offer a handy app. Plus, they've got some cool features like the ability to add electronic signatures to your faxes. It's like having a little faxing superhero on your device!Others: There are plenty of other online fax services out there too. Some of the notable ones include RingCentral, MyFax, and eFax. They all have different features and pricing, so you can pick the one that fits your needs best. It's like going to a buffet, but instead of food, you're choosing fax services!So, there you have it. With online fax services, you can send a fax from the comfort of your own home, the beach, or even from the top of a mountain (as long as you have internet, of course!). It's a whole new world of convenience and versatility. Just remember, just because you can fax from the beach doesn't mean you should forget the sunscreen!Truly Free Fax for Computer: The Loch Ness Monster of the Digital World?Free Fax Services: The Hidden Treasure or a Pirate's Trick?In the world of faxing, “free” can sometimes sound as mythical as unicorns or a calorie-free cheesecake. But, free fax services do exist! However, just like a pirate's treasure map, there might be a few catches along the way.Many online fax services offer a free trial period, where you can send a certain number of faxes for free. But once the trial period ends, you'll need to start paying. It's like getting a free sample of chocolate, but then you have to buy the whole box if you want more.Some other services let you send a few faxes for free each day. But these typically include advertisements on the cover page of your fax. It's like sending a letter, but with a big billboard attached to it. Not always the most professional look, right?Finding the Right Time for a Free Fax Service: Timing is EverythingDespite these catches, there are times when a free fax service could be just what you need. Let's say you only need to send a fax once in a blue moon. In this case, using a free service might be your best bet. It's like taking a bus instead of buying a car when you only need to make a trip once a month.Or, if you're a small business just starting up and every penny counts, a free fax service could save you some cash. Just remember, the ads on your fax might not be the best look if you're trying to impress a client.So, are truly free fax services for computers a fact or a myth? Well, it's a bit of both. Yes, they exist, but they might come with a few catches. But if you only need to send a fax occasionally, or you're looking to save some cash, a free fax service could be just what you're looking for. Just be sure to read the fine print first!Sending a Fax via Email: The Secret Faxing SuperpowerThe Basics of Email-to-Fax: Turning Your Email into a Faxing WizardReady for a bit of magic? Sending a fax via email is one of the coolest tricks in the digital faxing book. It's like teaching your pet parrot to order pizza for you – useful and a bit mind-blowing.Here's how it works: With email-to-fax, you send an email, and it arrives as a fax. You simply compose an email, attach the document you want to fax, and then send it to the recipient's fax number followed by the email-to-fax service's domain.For example, if you were sending a fax to the number 1234567890 using a fictional service called FaxMagic, you'd send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's like sending your document on a secret mission. You send it out as an email, but it sneaks into the recipient's fax machine.Choosing Your Email-to-Fax Sidekick: The Popular ServicesNow, not all email services are born with this faxing superpower. You need a special email-to-fax service. Here are some that have been doing their superhero push-ups:aFax: Remember our friend aFax? Well, they're not just an online fax service. They're also an email-to-fax service. So you can send your fax straight from your email with them.RingCentral: RingCentral is another service that offers email-to-fax. They have a lot of other features too, so you might think of them as a kind of faxing superhero with a utility belt of tools.MyFax: MyFax is another handy service that lets you send faxes via email. They're easy to use and also offer other features, like the ability to send faxes from your phone.So, there you have it. Sending a fax via email is like giving your email a secret faxing identity. It looks like a normal email, but it's got the power to transform into a fax. Pretty cool, huh?Faxing from Within Office Applications: The Hidden SuperpowerSending a Fax from Microsoft Office 365: The Secret Faxing AgentEver wish you could just zap a document straight from your Word or Excel file to a fax machine? Well, with Microsoft Office 365, you can do just that! It's like having a magic wand that turns your documents into faxes.To do this, you'll need an online fax service that integrates with Office 365. Once you've got that, you can simply choose the “Send to Fax” option in your application. It's like baking a cake and having it deliver itself to a party.You type up your document in Word or whip up a spreadsheet in Excel, then instead of printing or emailing, you choose the “Send to Fax” option. It's like having a secret faxing door in your office applications.Other Office Applications with Faxing Capabilities: The Secret Faxing SocietyNow, Microsoft Office 365 isn't the only office application that's been hiding a faxing superpower. Many other applications also let you send faxes directly from the program.For instance, Google Docs, through Google's Business Suite, can integrate with certain online fax services. This means you can send a fax directly from a Google Docs document. It's like turning your Google Doc into a mini fax machine.Other applications like OpenOffice and LibreOffice can also integrate with some fax services, giving you the power to fax right from the application.So, faxing from within office applications is like discovering your favorite book has a secret chapter. It takes something you already know and love and gives it a new superpower. Next time you need to send a document, don't forget about this hidden capability. It might just save you some time and make your faxing life a whole lot easier!Faxing from Windows 10: The Built-in Faxing GenieHow to Use Windows Fax and Scan: Your Own Faxing WizardDid you know that your Windows 10 computer has a built-in fax genie? It's called Windows Fax and Scan, and it's ready to grant your faxing wishes. It's like finding out your old broomstick can actually fly.To use Windows Fax and Scan, first, you need to connect a phone line to your computer using a fax modem. If your computer doesn't have one, you can buy an external one and plug it into a USB port. It's like attaching a magic carpet to your computer.Once you've done that, you just open the Windows Fax and Scan program, compose a new fax, attach your document, and hit send. It's as easy as making a wish (well, almost).Limitations and Considerations: The Genie's RulesNow, just like any genie, Windows Fax and Scan has a few rules.Firstly, it only works with a phone line and a fax modem. So, if you're thinking of sending a fax from your laptop while sipping coffee in a cafe, you're out of luck. Unless, of course, you're carrying a fax modem and a phone line in your backpack.Secondly, while it's free and built-in, it doesn't have all the features of some online fax services. For example, you can't send a fax via email or from an office application. It's a bit like a genie that can make you a sandwich but can't whip up a three-course meal.So, faxing from Windows 10 using the built-in Windows Fax and Scan is a neat trick, but it does have its limitations. Still, in a pinch, it could be just the faxing solution you need. Just remember, this genie comes with a few rules.Faxing from Printers: The Secret Agent HP FaxThe Fax Function in HP Printers: Your Printer's Secret IdentityYour HP printer might seem like just another piece of office equipment, but did you know it has a secret identity? Hidden under its calm exterior is a powerful fax function. It's like discovering your quiet neighbor is actually a superhero.Many HP printers have a built-in fax function. This means they can send and receive faxes, just like a dedicated fax machine. It's like having a phone, a printer, a scanner, and a fax machine all rolled into one sleek device.To use the fax function, you just need to connect your HP printer to a phone line. Then, you can send a fax directly from the printer or from your computer using the HP software. It's like having a secret faxing hotline right in your home or office.The Cost of Using HP Fax: The Superhero SubscriptionNow, you might be wondering, “Is this fax function free?” Well, yes and no. It's like asking if a superhero's powers are free. Sure, they don't have to pay to fly or lift cars, but they do have to buy those flashy costumes.The fax function is built into the printer, so you don't have to pay extra to use it. However, you do need to have a phone line, and that usually comes with a monthly fee. Plus, you might have to pay for each fax you send, just like making a phone call.So, while HP Fax isn't exactly free, it can be a cost-effective way to send faxes, especially if you already have an HP printer and a phone line. It's like finding out your superhero neighbor can also fix your car. It might not be free, but it sure is convenient!Faxing a PDF for Free with iFax: The Magic Trick of the Faxing WorldHow iFax Handles PDF Faxing: The Faxing MagicianDo you have a PDF that needs to be faxed? No problem! iFax is like a magician that can take your PDF and magically turn it into a fax. It's like turning a bunny into a dove – different form, same magic.iFax can handle PDFs with ease. When you send a PDF with iFax, it takes your file and converts it into a format that a fax machine can understand. It's like having a translator that speaks both human and fax machine language.Send a PDF Fax with iFax: The Magic SpellNow, let's learn the magic spell to send a PDF with iFax. Don't worry, it's not complicated. No need to wave a wand or say any hard-to-pronounce words.Open the aFax app: This is where you'll find your magic portal to the faxing world.Choose the ‘Send Fax' option: This tells iFax that you're ready to perform some magic.Enter the recipient's fax number: This is like telling your magic spell where to go.Attach your PDF: You can do this by choosing the ‘Attach File' option. This is like giving your magic spell the bunny that it's going to turn into a dove.Hit ‘Send': This is the final step, like waving your magic wand and saying the magic words. Your PDF is on its way to being transformed into a fax!So there you have it. With iFax, sending a PDF as a fax is as easy as a simple magic trick. It's fast, it's simple, and it's a pretty cool trick to have up your sleeve. Plus, with their free trial, you can send your first few faxes for free! Now, that's some real magic.Wrapping It All Up: Faxing Without a Fax Machine for DummiesRecap: A Whirlwind Tour of Faxing Without a Fax MachineSo, let's rewind and go through the highlights of our magical faxing journey. We've traveled through many different landscapes of the faxing world, each with its own charm (and quirks).Online Fax Services: Think of these as the all-in-one Swiss army knife of faxing. They can handle most of your faxing needs, often right from your computer or phone.Faxing from Email: This is like giving your email a secret faxing superpower. It looks like an email, acts like an email, but BOOM! It's a fax.Faxing from Office Applications: Did you know that your office programs are secretly superheroes with the power to fax? Yep, that's right. They can turn your documents into faxes with just a few clicks.Faxing from Windows 10: Your computer might be a secret faxing genie, ready to grant your faxing wishes (with a few rules, of course).Faxing from Printers: Surprise! Your printer might have a hidden fax function. It's like discovering your car can also make you a cup of coffee.Faxing a PDF with iFax: With iFax, you can turn a PDF into a fax. It's like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.Choosing the Right Faxing Path: Pick Your Magic SpellNow, which of these methods should you use? Well, that's like asking which magic spell to use. It all depends on what you need.If you send faxes all the time, an online fax service might be your best bet. But if you only need to send a fax once in a while, a free fax service or your built-in Windows Fax and Scan might do the trick.If you've got a PDF that needs to be faxed, iFax could be your magic wand. And if you're already using an HP printer or Microsoft Office 365, why not take advantage of their built-in faxing powers?So, that's the magic of faxing without a fax machine. It's a world full of possibilities, each with its own unique charm. So, pick your path, cast your spell, and let the magic of faxing begin!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.