May 25, 2023 | Matt Gerchow Brief Explanation on the Need for Faxing in Today's Digital AgeLet's face it, most of us haven't seen a fax machine since we last visited our grandma's house. It's like stepping into a time machine! You're probably wondering, “Why would I ever need to send a fax in this day and age? I've got email and WhatsApp!” Well, you might be surprised. Some companies, government bodies, and businesses still prefer getting faxes. So, like a squirrel stashing nuts for winter, it's good to know where to send a fax if the need ever arises.Challenges of Faxing without a Fax MachineNow, imagine you need to send a fax, but all you've got is a microwave and a toaster. It's like trying to catch a fish without a fishing pole. Tough luck, right? Well, faxing without a fax machine does seem like a pickle. But have no fear, because our man Matt Gerchow, who once tried to fax a sandwich (just for laughs, of course), has some neat tricks up his sleeve!What is Online Faxing?Now, don't let the term ‘online faxing' scare you. It's just like sending an email, but instead of it landing in someone's inbox, it lands in their fax machine. It's as if your email decided to go on a vacation, dressed up as a fax, and landed in some exotic fax machine. So, with online faxing, you can send a fax from your computer or smartphone without needing to buy, borrow or build your own fax machine (trust me, that last option is tougher than it sounds).Benefits of Online FaxingSo why should we jump into this online faxing bandwagon? Well, think of it like being able to eat your ice cream without worrying about it melting all over your hand. It's clean, it's easy, and it's super convenient. You can send a fax from your comfy couch, your favorite coffee shop, or even the top of Mount Everest if you have internet (although I wouldn't recommend that last one, it's a tad bit chilly).Can I Fax from Google for Free?Overview of Google FaxingNow, who doesn't love free stuff? Especially when it comes from our good old friend, Google. They've got something called Google Fax. It's not quite like Google Maps, so it won't help you find the nearest pizza place, but it can help you send faxes!Process to Send Fax Using GoogleFirst, you need to get an online fax service that works with Google. Once you've got that, you type up your document, attach it to an email, and send it to a special email address that your fax service gives you. It's like sending your document on a secret spy mission to the land of faxes.Overview of Free Online Fax ServicesThere are plenty of free online fax services out there that are just waiting to help you send your documents across the globe. They're like little digital mailmen, ready to deliver your messages, come rain, shine, or internet outage.Limitations and ConsiderationsBut, as the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch. These services might limit how many faxes you can send per month, or they might put ads on your faxes. It's like getting a free hotdog, but it comes with extra mustard when you didn't want any.Explanation of Email-to-Fax ServicesEmail-to-fax services are pretty nifty. You just type up an email, and it gets sent as a fax. It's like your email putting on a fancy suit and pretending to be a fax. But can it be 100% free? Well, let's find out…Options for Free Email-to-Fax ServicesThere are some services that let you send a few faxes for free, but there might be some catches, like ads or limited pages. It's like getting a free ride, but you have to listen to someone else's favorite tunes on the radio. It might not be your jam, but hey, it's a free ride!Options for Free Email-to-Fax Services (continued)Alright, let's keep the ball rolling and look at another service that just might tickle your faxing fancy – aFax.aFax: With a name like that, you know they mean business. aFax offers a trial service where you can send a few faxes for free to test out their system. It's like a test drive for your faxing needs. But, like all good things, this free ride does have a limit. If you want to send more faxes, you'll have to trade in a few coins from your secret treasure chest.There you have it! With these services, your email can put on its fax disguise and zoom off into the world. But remember, each service is like a different superhero – they've each got their own superpowers and their own weaknesses, so choose wisely!Introduction to aFaxIn the bustling metropolis of online fax services, aFax shines like a skyscraper in the night. What is aFax, you ask? Well, let me paint you a picture. Imagine if a top-class messenger service and a fax machine had a baby – that's aFax! It's a fully online fax service, taking your documents from your computer or smartphone and delivering them to a fax machine near you (or far away, it's not picky). Whether you're lounging on a beach or trapped in a stuffy office, as long as you have internet, aFax can send your documents on a magical journey to Faxland.Pricing and Free Options in aFaxNow, the million-dollar question (or hopefully less) – is aFax free? Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Like getting free cheese samples at a fancy restaurant, aFax offers a free trial. This lets you send a few faxes on the house, like a little taste of what they have to offer. But once the samples run out, you're going to have to start ordering from the menu. aFax has different pricing plans depending on how many faxes you need to send, so make sure you pick the one that suits your appetite (and your wallet)!Top-Rated Online Fax ServicesReview of Top-Rated Fax ServicesBut wait, there's more! The world of online faxing is like a giant candy store, and we've only just walked through the door. Let's take a look at some of the top-rated online fax services, the crème de la crème, the superheroes of the faxing world.There's RingCentral, which is like the swiss army knife of online services, offering phone, video, and yes, you guessed it, faxing! Then there's Nextiva, which not only lets you send faxes but also helps you manage your business communications. It's like having a personal assistant for your business.Comparison on Cost and FeaturesWhen choosing your online fax service, it's important to remember that not all candy is the same. Some are sweet, some are sour, and some are a little bit of both. Similarly, different fax services come with different features and different price tags.For instance, RingCentral offers a lot of extras like video conferencing and phone services, but that comes with a higher price tag. It's like ordering a sundae with all the toppings. Nextiva, on the other hand, has a more focused approach with less fluff, making it a more budget-friendly option. It's like a straightforward scoop of your favorite ice cream.So, before you choose your service, think about what you need. Are you just looking to send a few faxes, or do you need a whole suite of business tools? Choose the service that fits your needs (and your budget) best!Fax Services Available in Public SpacesIf you're not ready to jump into the world of online faxing, or if you're out and about and need to send a fax pronto, don't panic! There are still some good ol' fashioned places you can go to send your faxes. It's like finding a payphone in the age of smartphones – they're out there if you know where to look!Local LibrariesDid you know that your local library is not just for books, but also for faxes? It's true! Many libraries have a fax machine tucked away somewhere between the mystery novels and the cookbooks. So, the next time you need to send a fax, why not swing by your local library? You might even find a good book to read while you're there!Office Supply StoresNow, you might think office supply stores are just for picking up pens, paper, and that chair you've been eyeing for your home office. But many of these stores also offer faxing services! Next time you're in a store like Staples or Office Depot, just stroll up to the counter and ask if they can send a fax for you. It's that easy!Shipping CentersLastly, we can't forget about shipping centers. Places like FedEx and UPS are in the business of sending things, and that includes faxes! They've got all the equipment right there, ready to send your document flying across the globe (digitally, of course). Just be prepared to pay a small fee, it's like buying a ticket for your document's big journey.So there you have it, even without a fax machine or an online service, you can still send a fax. It's just a matter of knowing where to go!Additional Options for Sending a FaxNow, let's say you're in the middle of the desert, or maybe on a boat in the middle of the ocean, and you've got to send a fax. There's no fax machine in sight, and you can't find a library or office supply store. What do you do? Well, here's where modern technology swoops in to save the day!Fax Software for ComputersBelieve it or not, your computer can be turned into a super faxing machine. And no, you don't need a toolbox or a degree in computer engineering. All you need is some fax software! There are plenty of options out there, like eFax or FaxFresh, which let you send faxes right from your computer. It's like giving your computer a new superpower. Just type up your document, hit the ‘send' button, and your fax is off on its digital journey.Faxing from a SmartphoneBut what if you're not near your computer? Maybe you're at a beach, or maybe you're hiking up a mountain. Well, as long as you've got your smartphone with you, you can still send a fax! With apps like Tiny Fax or Simple Fax, your smartphone can do the job of a fax machine. It's like having a tiny fax machine right in your pocket. Just open the app, upload your document, and send it off into the faxing universe.So even if you're far from civilization, as long as you have your computer or smartphone, you can send a fax. It's like being able to send a letter from anywhere in the world – the possibilities are endless!Considerations Before Choosing a Faxing MethodHold your horses! Before you rush off to send a fax from your phone, computer, or nearest shipping center, there are a few things to consider. Sending a fax is a bit like choosing the right tool for a job – you need to make sure you're picking the best option for your needs.Security ConcernsFirstly, let's talk about security. Your faxes might contain sensitive information, like your secret recipe for grandma's famous apple pie, so you want to make sure they're safe. Online fax services usually have encryption, which is like a secret code that keeps your faxes safe from prying eyes. If you're using a public fax machine, make sure to collect all your documents after you're done to prevent any pie-thieves from getting their hands on your secret recipe.Volume and Frequency of FaxingNext, think about how often you'll be faxing and how many pages you'll be sending. If you're only sending a fax once in a blue moon, a public fax machine or a free online service might do the trick. But if you're sending faxes as frequently as grandma bakes her pies, you might want to look at paid online services or even getting a fax machine of your own.Cost-Benefit AnalysisLastly, consider the costs. While some services might seem cheap at first, they might end up costing you more in the long run. It's like buying a cheap pair of shoes that you have to replace every month. On the other hand, investing in a pricier option might save you money over time, like buying a sturdy pair of boots that last all year. So take a moment to do a little math before making your decision.Remember, the best way to send a fax depends on your needs. It's like choosing the right pair of shoes – you need to find the one that fits just right!Recap of Available Options for Faxing without a Fax MachineWell, folks, we've journeyed through the realm of faxing without a fax machine, and it's been quite an adventure! Let's take a quick peek in the rearview mirror:We saw the sparkling city of online faxing with options like Google, free online services, and email-to-fax services.We gave a special nod to aFax, RingCentral, and Nextiva – three glittering stars in the online faxing universe.We took a detour to the local library, office supply stores, and shipping centers, where you can still find good ol' fashioned fax machines ready for action.Then we veered into the future with fax software for computers and fax apps for smartphones, giving our devices the superpower to send faxes from just about anywhere.Final Thoughts and RecommendationsSo what's the best way to send a fax if you don't have a fax machine? Well, it's like asking Matt Gerchow to choose his favorite joke – it really depends on the situation!If you're looking for convenience, an online service or smartphone app might be your best bet. If security is your top concern, look for an online service with top-notch encryption. If you're trying to save some pennies, your local library or a free online service could be the answer. And if you're sending faxes all the time, you might want to consider a paid service or even getting your own fax machine.Remember, the best option is the one that suits your needs (and your budget)! So take your time, consider your options, and happy faxing!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.