No Fax Machine? No Problem! Send a Free Fax

Category: Fax

Old-school fax machines are obsolete, but sending a fax from your computer is a convenient, money-saving way to communicate with people who insist on paper documents. There are several ways to send a fax right from your computer, even if you don't have a fax machine. Here's how you can start faxing from your PC, Mac or mobile device...

Send a Fax From Your Computer - For FREE

Back in the 1990s, I had to travel to a local print shop to send or receive a fax. It was expensive, time-consuming, and completely lacking in privacy. Later, I bought a fax machine and discovered that fax spam is a thing. Paper jams, toner spills, and the expense of a dedicated phone line convinced me to ditch it.

Even though we live in a digital age, there are still plenty of faxes whizzing back and forth over the wires. If you deal with doctors, lawyers, banks, accountants, insurance companies, or almost any office that deals with lots of paperwork, you will occasionally need to send a fax.

But what if you don't have a fax machine? You could drive to the nearest copy shop or office supply store (if they're open) and pay them to send your fax.

Send Fax From Computer

Fortunately, you can send a fax right from your computer or smartphone - no fax machine required!

The first and best option in most cases is to try one of the many free fax servers to be found on the Web. FaxZero is one these free fax services. Just enter your name, email address, and optionally your company or fax number. Add the fax number and name of the intended recipient. Upload a file in PDF, DOC, or DOCX (Word 2007 and higher) format. If you have hardcopy pages that need to be faxed, you'll need to scan them into PDF format first (or take a picture of the document with your phone).

You can type a short message in the form to accompany your fax, or skip the attachment and just send the text. The form allows for basic formatting (bold, italic, underline, justification, and headings). You can fax up to three pages (plus cover page) five times a day for free.

Faxzero and most other free fax services have subscription-based plans for higher volume customers. Faxzero charges $1.99 for priority delivery of faxes up to 25 pages. See my list in Free Internet Faxing for more options. If you're often on the receiving end of faxes, my article Get Your Free Inbound Fax Number will show you how to funnel all that paper into your email inbox instead.

If you use an iPhone or iPad there are apps you can use to send a fax from your mobile device. Look in the Apple's App Store for PC-FAX (offers one free page per day) or on Google Play Store for Android devices.

Desktop Faxing Solutions

Why not just buy a cheap fax machine? The short answer to that question is that they're not really so cheap when you factor in all the costs. See my article Seven Reasons to Trash Your Fax Machine and join my crusade to stamp out fax machines in our lifetime! :-)

Let's start with the Fax and Scan utility built into Windows 7, 8 and 10. To start Fax and Scan, click Start, type WFS, and press Enter. If Fax and Scan is not installed on your system, click Start, Control Panel, Programs, Turn Windows Features On Or Off, then Print And Document Services. Check the box next to Windows Fax and Scan and click OK to install Windows Fax and Scan services. All modern versions of Mac OS have fax sending capability built in.

You can send a fax using a standard fax modem, if your computer has one. Just plug your phone line into the telephone jack on the back of your computer, and you should be good to go. Windows Fax and Scan lets you compose a text-only fax on the fly, or you can send any file, such as a Word document, a spreadsheet, a photo, or a scanned page to a remote fax machine. Cover pages are also easy to create with this program. On a Mac, open the document, click File/Print, click the PDF button, then choose "Fax PDF" from the pop-up menu.

Modern Macs and PCs may not have an internal modem, because the age of dial-up Internet is largely over. If your computer lacks a fax modem, you may already own an "all-in-one" printer/fax/scanner that will do the job.

Third-party fax software for Windows is preferred by some users, and some of these programs offer features that Windows Fax and Scan lacks. Electrasoft offers a shareware program that can print incoming faxes, forward them to your email inbox, or use your cellular phone to send a fax. A bit of Googling with reveal that there are plenty of free and low-cost fax programs with different features to suit every taste.

Enterprises which send lots of faxes each month can benefit from an in-house fax server. Such a server is a network-connected computer equipped with special telephony cards into which multiple phone lines can be plugged. Software handles receipt and queuing of digital fax documents from users on the network, and the transmission of faxes through multiple phone lines. A fax server can also store sent faxes, allowing users to quickly find, view, and print copies of what they sent.

Have you ever sent a fax from your computer? Tell us about it, or post your own comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "No Fax Machine? No Problem! Send a Free Fax"

Posted by:

Robert
13 Apr 2020

All that is fine for some people but I will just continue to use my HP 8710 all in one printer for faxing. I don't send or receive many faxes but it's suits my needs. Of course I can't just set in my chair at my computer and send a fax like the article states. I have to walk 3 feet to the printer, but I need the exercise anyway. Thanks for the great articles Bob, you the man!


Posted by:

Lucy
13 Apr 2020

Have been using eFax for years after one of Bob's earlier articles. Was able to cancel the dedicated fax phone line and started saving right away.

Now we don't even have a land line we cannot use an All in One printer/fax machine so eFax is invaluable for that occasional fax to send or receive...and it is FREE to send and free to receive if you don't receive too many, 10 a month I believe.

It is great that inbound faxes come straight to my inbox, saves on ink and paper ... and we have NEVER had a SPAM fax like we used to.


Posted by:

RandiO
13 Apr 2020

I wonder if there are any security implications (man-in-the middle attacks) with any of these eFax (software-based) services, when transmitting personal/sensitive information.
It has been 25+ years, yet Adobe was never able tot obliterate the need for faxes with their original PortableDocumentFormat (aka pdf).


Posted by:

Renaud Olgiati
13 Apr 2020

If you do not have a fax-modem, there are many USB fax-modems for a very reasonable price, like the Trendnet TFM561U I have been using for over ten years, mainly to send once a year SWMBO's tax return to the Infernal Revenue Service.


Posted by:

BaliRob
14 Apr 2020

I found what was probably the last fax machine in Bali and then it was unable to send the message to the US which was no surprise of course - they being so outdated.

My bank here often sends me documents by SECURE CODED EMAIL ATTACHMENTS - perfect copies everytime.
Why FAX I ask ?


Posted by:

Steve Toomey
25 Apr 2020

If someone wants me to send or receive a fax, I respond "fax machines were great in the 80's and 90's, but that was 1/4 of a century ago. Get with it....
They ALWAYS find a way. Your article was a great trip down Memory Lane, but get with it....


Posted by:

Vicky Bair
22 May 2020

I had to fax some documents to the Census for my military preference status because their onboard upload data max was not enough for the pdf file I need to send them. So I had to go to my local bank to get it done. So thanks for the info!


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