Ditch Your Fax Machine

It's rare these days that I need to send or receive a fax, but it does happen. However, you won't find a fax machine on my desk--I rely on Web tools for all my faxing needs. Here's how you can do likewise:

  • eFax Free I've had the same free eFax number for as long as I can remember. Seriously, it's probably been 10 years. When you sign up for one of your own, you get a randomly selected fax number. Inbound faxes arrive in your e-mail inbox; eFax's software lets you open, view, save, and print them.
  • FaxZero Need to send a fax? eFax charges for the privilege (you need a Plus or Pro account), but FaxZero lets you send faxes for, well, zero. Just enter the recipient's name and fax number, then browse your hard drive for any Word document or PDF. (Use your scanner's scan-to-PDF option if your document is still in analog form.) Documents must be no longer than three pages, and the recipient will find an ad on the cover page--but the price is right. For $1.99, you can fax an ad-free document of up to 15 pages.

There are other freebie fax services out there, but I've had great luck with these two. Mostly, of course, I just e-mail everything. What about you? Still using a fax machine, or have you consigned it to the scrap heap?

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