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The nonprofit org. I'm involved with has three phone lines, one of which is a dedicated fax line. They have to move offices in the next three months, and are looking into ways to cut costs. One thought was to eliminate one phone line by subscribing to one of the digital fax services, like j2.com or efax.com (these two are related) or onefax.com .<br><br><br><br>
Has anyone ever used a digital fax service? What was your experience like?<br><br><br><br>
Another, perhaps unrelated set of questions: Did anyone ever use the "fax" facilities on a fax modem when you were on dial-up? (I never have because I could never get the fax software to work properly, rarely faxed, and had a fax capability built into my old printer, so found it simpler to use that.) But if you were using the "fax" capabilities of a fax modem on dial-up, what did you do when you switched to broadband? In other words, is there any way to use broadband to send or receive faxes, apart from using a digital fax service?<br><br><br><br>
I am just curious about the latter.<br><br><br><br>
MY non-profit has DSL service now, and I assume they will get the same thing in the new offices.
 

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Hmmm.<br><br><br><br>
I will describe more choices below but here is what I usually do. To receive faxes without scheduling when, with the sender-person, I use a free e-fax j-fax telephone number that I got from them (via their web site). (E and J seem to be the same co). Works very well. I have a free phone number (but not in my local area) and I can receive faxes at that number. They send the faxes to me by email. You can also use a program that they supply that will read your faxes on-line, or on the web, but it has adware. I think you can also have WinFax pro dial them up and have the fax forwarded to you by fax transmission over your pots (plain old telephone) line. You can print out the faxes, or just look at the tif file with Windows image previewer or most any graphics program.<br><br><br><br>
To <i>send</i> faxes, I use my single pots line, my scanner, my computer, with a fax-modem, and Symantic Winfax. I use the pro vs, but there is a lite vs too, tho I don't know if it is still being distributed anywhere - i got mine on a 1.2mbyte floppy so I can email it to you if you want it. Came free with an fax modem, about 8 years ago. You can also load the fax program that is on your windows xp cd (or any version). You can use any free fax program and <i>any</i> telephone line (pots line) to send and receive faxes with a computer and fax-modem. So if you have one line that you use for voice, you can use it to send and rcv faxes too — just not at the same time you are making a voice call. There is, however, an electronic device you can plug into your phone jack which can tell if you are getting a fax machine (or fax-modem) calling you, or a voice call, and if it is a fax call the device will send it to the fax machine to answer, if it a voice call, the device will send it to the answering machine, or perhaps not answer at all, I'm not sure. CallSoft pro will also do this, supposedly, route a call to a fax-receive inbox or a voice-mail inbox, depending upon whether it hears a fax tone or not, tho I'm not sure how reliably it works. There is a check box that says "detect faxes automatically" and the help files (which aren't always the most clearly written) seems to say that this is what the program does. Here is exactly what the help file says
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><b>Detect fax call automatically:</b> If checked Call Soft Pro will answer a call with a greeting, but if a fax tone is heard will begin receiving the fax. The ability to auto detect a fax may vary from modem to modem. If you don't want Call Soft Pro to try and detect faxes ever don't check this button.</div>
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If you want to give me a call I can see if it works. I'll send you my phone # in an email. If you send a fax CallSoft Pro should have the fax-modem answer, and then start reading the fax; if you make a voice call, you call, CallSoft pro should have the fax modem answer the call, and send it to the voice-mail in box, where you can announce yourself, and then I can decide whether I want to answer, or let you leave a message. There is even a choice to send a fax by send-button (rather than automatic routing to the fax inbox). That is, the person makes a voice-call, CallSoft Pro will answer with a voicemail greeting, then you will be prompted to press a key on your phone to route the call to the fax inbox, and then to press your Send button on your fax device after the fax box gives its greeting.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Did anyone ever use the "fax" facilities on a fax modem when you were on dial-up? (I never have because I could never get the fax software to work properly, rarely faxed, and had a fax capability built into my old printer, so found it simpler to use that.) But if you were using the "fax" capabilities of a fax modem on dial-up, what did you do when you switched to broadband?</div>
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So yes, I use my fax-modem all the time, for incoming and outgoing. For incoming, I tell people to call back in 5 minute and then I set WinFax pro to answer automatically. After I get the call, I turn off automatic fax answering. You can also have Winfax, or a fax machine, answer manually. They press a Send button, you press a Receive button, on your f-machine or on WinFax. WinFax light works very well as does CallSoft pro tho Call Soft has less fax-file-mangement features.<br><br><br><br>
No you can't send a fax over broadband, but you can send an email attachment, instead. These are much clearer too if you scan in at more than the 200dpi standard which faxes use. Just scan in your document at 300-dpi or whatever. And printout at 300 or 600 dpi - very clear this way.<br><br><br><br>
Actually, i do think there is some way to send a fax by broadband but it involves a paid subscription. Also, of course if you have VoIP, you can send and rcv faxes on that, but VoIP has a monthly fee that is even larger than that for subscribing to a fax-receiving service.<br><br><br><br>
If you wanted to use your fax modem to receive faxes at any time without the caller calling ahead, you'd have to leave your computer on all the time, or at least in have it in stand-by all the time, with the fax-modem set to be woken up and wake up the computer. You can't turn your computer off, or put it in hibernate. From the control panel choose "phone and modem options." Somewhere a few dialogs-boxes below there is a check box for most fax-modems that says "allow this device to bring the computer out of standby."<br><br><br><br>
Here is what I usually do: for people that want to send me a fax without telling me when, I give them my free e-fax j-fax number whose only problem is it is in another state with another area code. People local to me have to dial an out-of-state area code. But it is absolutely free, to me. You can get a number in your state for a monthly fee. If people don't want to fax to an out-of-state number, they have to arrange a time with me.<br><br><br><br>
In short, sending faxes requires only a phone line and the correct hardware and software. Receiving them on a shedule - the same. Receiving them when you aren't home or too busy to answer the phone or turn on automatic reception temporarily - you either get a dedicated line, a free out-of-state line, a paid local line, or a device which discriminates between voice and fax, on your single pots line. Or I think their is another solution for diverting faxes to your pot line to a computer server before your pots line even picks up, and then getting that fax by web or email attachment or straight into winfax pro. But I'm not sure.<br><br><br><br>
I hate faxes. I ask people to use email attachments whenever possible. If they want privacy, I advise them I tell them I have an encryption program like PGP and advise them to get one too.<br><br><br><br>
If you have several computers networked together, to send and receive faxes only one of them needs a fax-modem. A fax program on any of the computers can use the fax-modem on the computer that has it.<br><br><br><br>
Before I had my flat-bedder scanner, I used my fax machine only as a scanner. I disconnected my fax-modem from the phone line, hooked up the fax machine to the computer (with a 9v batter connected properly) and used the roller-scanner on the fax machine as a scanner to send a fax to WinFax. Then I disconnected the fax machine from the computer, reconnected the computer to the telephone line, and sent the fax with the fax modem. I never used my fax machine to actually dial the call or answer the call. It was a junky old fax machine with a thermal printer. But its 200 dpi scans were as good as any 200 dpi scans.
 

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And yes, if you receive a fax on your computer you can forward it by email. Some fax programs use tif files, so you can send that right out to anyone. Others use proprietary fax files, however they generally provide a conversion utility, to convert these to tifs. Once you convert to tif you can use one of zillions of free graphic conversion programs to convert to anything anything else.
 
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