The Easiest Way to Send a Fax

Billions of faxes are sent still sent and received each year. Read about the easiest way to send a fax and what fax software services are available today.

Many consumers only think of fax machines when they overhear the term used during a visit to a physician’s office or other medical facility. In fact, many consumers believe faxing is an antiquated technology supplanted by email, Bluetooth, or the cloud. This is not true, however, as billions of faxes are sent still sent and received every year.

Traditional fax machines are still commonly used but online faxes are also used with significant frequency. Popular fax software is available for both personal and business use. Some fax systems are more secure and therefore better for business and medical use than others. Read ahead to learn the easiest way to send a fax and what fax software services are the best on the market today.

The Continued Importance of Sending Documents by Fax

Fax machines might seem like ancient technology to some people but are still a highly common method of delivering important messages and documents. Depending on what year you were born you might not be familiar with fax systems at all. Sending faxes in various forms predates the first email sent by nearly one and one-half centuries, although the first commercial fax machine was only released in 1966. The importance of sending documents by fax in modern times continues unimpeded by alternate technologies, and with good reason.

Online fax software and services are used for personal and business use. Traditional fax machines are used more commonly for business purposes, especially those involving patient medical records and overall transmissions between medical providers and insurance companies. Fax systems with advanced security features are used to send HIPAA-compliant documents, contracts, and a wide variety of important, private information. Printable confirmation pages are generated, which verify receipt of all sent documents. Isolating fax machines from the internet is also possible, which enhances document security even further. Sending documents by fax also creates a simple interface between two companies, which is easily accessible and separated from an inbox full of countless emails. Additional reasons fax systems are still important today include:

  • Compatible with the internet as needed.
  • Quicker access for many businesses.
  • Expedites receipt of important signatures.
  • Removes anonymity of email systems.
  • Reduces communication to include only essential wording, thus saving time.
  • Isolated communication method means only important messages are received.
  • Signal-to-noise ratio is minimal.
  • Capable of Korean, Chinese and Japanese characters.
  • Popular for businesses with international divisions.
  • Offers legal familiarity.
  • Open addressing compatible.

Sending a Fax, the Traditional Way

Sending a fax, the traditional way, is still common for medical facilities, law firms and other businesses around the world. Online and email fax software is increasing in popularity every year. Old-school analog systems are also increasing in popularity again, but many doctors, lawyers and businesspeople never abandoned them. The traditional fax machine remains the hub of office communication for important private, legal, and signature-related documents. Therefore, it is important to learn how to both send and receive a fax the traditional way.

Sending Traditional Faxes

Traditional fax machines are analog and use electricity and a phone jack (also referred to as a modem port). Therefore, the first steps to using them are to make sure they are plugged into both a source of power (via power cord) and a fully functional phone jack (via RJ-11 cable). Once fully connected, the next step is to power on the machine. Faxes are sent to fax numbers, which look exactly like regular telephone numbers. Make sure you know the fax number to which you are sending your document(s). Insert the documents you are sending into the fax machine in the order you intend for them to be received. Place a cover sheet in front of all other documents, which includes:

  • Name of recipient plus his or her fax and phone number.
  • Your name, fax, and phone number.
  • Name of office or alternate sender (if sending on behalf of a doctor or lawyer, etc.).
  • Number of documents sent.

Now dial the recipient’s fax number on your machine’s keypad and push the fax or send button. Wait for the handshake tones after all documents are scanned to confirm a connection is made. Also wait for a digital confirmation message on the fax machine display screen or a printed confirmation report (varies per machine).

Receiving Traditional Faxes

Receiving traditional faxes involves the same cable connections and power-up scenarios. Make sure the ink and toner cartridges are full and enough paper is loaded. Wait for the handshake tones to confirm the connection is made. Pages are printed automatically, including the cover sheet. Count your documents then compare your count to the number of sent documents listed on the cover sheet. Contact the sender if any errors or omissions occurred or to verify the correct receipt of all documents as a common courtesy.

How to Send and Receive Faxes in Minutes

Many popular methods of sending and receiving faxes in minutes are available. FaxBurner offers free fax numbers for Android, iPad, and iPhone devices. RingCentral also lets you choose a free 800 fax number, download its app, and start faxing within minutes. Countless methods of generating fast faxes are available but you first must learn how to send and receive your faxes online.

How to Send and Receive a Fax Online

Sending or receiving a fax online is possible through Wi-Fi compatible devices and systems. For example, computers, iOS, and Android devices are all fax compatible. Online faxes are also generated through Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and multiple email services. Sending through a computer requires fax software service such as Fax.Plus by Alohi. Fax.Plus and most other similar providers also offer apps for smartphones and tablets, which work from your phone or alternate device instead of your computer. Google Fax allows fax generation from Google Drive, Docs and Sheets. Microsoft provides the HIPPA-compliant iFax app for use with PCs, mobile devices and its Microsoft Surface Hub.

Popular Fax Software

Some fax software is better suited for business use and others is perfect for convenient personal faxes. How do you know which fax software is right for you? Below is a handy list of the most popular fax software available today, including the best use for each program:

  • HelloFax (free or affordably personal faxes).
  • SRFax (best for business use).
  • eFax (fast signature-stamped faxes).
  • Nextiva (user-friendly interface for U.S. faxes).
  • HumbleFax (unlimited faxing for $10/month on multiple devices).
  • RingCentral (best for cloud-based faxing).