Fax seems like an archaic way to send documents in the age of emails, instant messaging, and social media. But certain industries still require faxing, such as healthcare, finance, legal, real estate, and insurance, just to name a few.
The rise of internet fax services paved the way for these businesses to send and receive faxes from computers without a fax machine.
Do you need to send a document via this technology? Learn how to fax from a computer with this easy-to-follow guide. You’ll also discover other aspects that will help you understand how online faxing works.
Table of Contents
- Fax From a Computer: How It Works
- Can You Send a Fax From Your Computer?
- Can You Send a Fax From a Computer for Free?
- How to Set Up Your Computer to Fax
- How to Fax from a Computer: Send and Receive Documents Online
- Can You Fax From a Computer Without a Phone Line?
- Can You Fax From a Laptop?
- How to Fax From a Computer on Windows 10
- Can You Fax From a Computer Using Gmail?
- Should You Fax From a Computer or a Fax Machine?
- Why Send Faxes From a Computer Instead of a Fax Machine
- Frequently Asked Questions: Sending a Fax From a Computer
Fax From a Computer: How It Works
Faxing from your computer is a way to send a fax without using a stand-alone fax machine.
Previously, you could only transmit documents using a fax machine that required a dedicated telephone line. In the late 1990s, the emergence of the internet, along with emails, smartphones, and file-sharing apps, seemed to herald the end of faxing.
However, it was soon evident that some industries still required faxing, especially those that dealt with contracts and other confidential information. That’s why this failed technology quickly evolved to allow people to digitize and transmit important documents through the internet.
Developers came up with fax software, efax apps, and integrated online fax services.
Can You Send a Fax From Your Computer?
Yes, you can. Online fax is possible for anyone who owns a computer and has access to the internet.
There are two ways to send a fax using your computer. The first one is purely web-based through an online fax service that lets you fax from a web app. The second one requires installing a desktop application or electronic fax software.
An online fax service lets you transmit documents in three ways:
- An online platform or a web application that you can easily access with any web browser.
- An application that’s readily available for mobile and desktop.
- Email to fax that lets you send a fax via your preferred email client like Gmail or Hotmail. You must have a subscription to an online fax service to use this method.
Using an online fax service is probably the easiest way to send a fax from your computer. There are many different services available, but they all work basically the same way:
- You create an account with the service.
- Use their website or app to upload the document you want to send and enter the recipient’s fax number.
- The service then transmits the fax for you.
Finally, if you have to send faxes in bulk, you may want to install electronic fax software on your computer. This process allows you to send a fax directly from Microsoft Office or other programs without using an online service or email. However, this option requires more preparation and is generally more expensive.
Can You Send a Fax From a Computer for Free?
You’ll need a free online faxing service to send a fax from your computer without any charges. This is ideal for sending one-time faxes or if you’re only faxing a few pages.
Some online faxing services limit their free faxing service to a certain number of pages and let you only send to local numbers. You must pay a fixed amount per fax if the recipient has an international number.
It’s rare to find an electronic fax service that lets you send a fax from a computer for free without any strings attached. Good thing that the iFax freemium plan is one of them. You can efax five pages per month for free without paying additional setup fees.
How to Set Up Your Computer to Fax
You cannot use a computer to fax without setting it up first. Fortunately, this isn’t a complicated process.
First things first, you need to connect your computer to the Internet. Once it’s connected, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Sign up for an iFax account. iFax is an online service that lets users fax from their computers.
Step 2: Get a free fax number. You need a fax number to start receiving faxes without a phone line. We have an in-depth tutorial on how to get a fax number using iFax.
That’s it! Setting up your computer only takes two steps. Once you’ve signed up for a fax service and have acquired your fax number, you’re ready to send and receive faxes from your computer.
How to Fax from a Computer: Send and Receive Documents Online
It doesn’t take an expert to send and receive faxes using a computer. All you need is to do the following steps properly to make it work. Please note that the steps below will only apply to Windows computers.
How to send a fax from your computer
Step 1: Download and install the iFax software (app) for Windows.
Step 2: Launch the iFax on your computer.
Step 3: Log in to the app using your existing iFax username and password. Otherwise, you’ll need to create an iFax account before you can send an efax.
Step 4: To send a fax, go to the left panel and click New Free Fax. Doing so should open the Compose window.
Step 5: Fill out the required fields. Make sure you provide the correct fax number.
Step 6: To attach a document, drag and drop the file from a folder on your device to the iFax dashboard (Drop an attachment here). You can also select the documents manually by clicking the Add document button. If you click the three dots next to this button, it will let you remove the cover page and logo from the documents.
Step 7: Click Send. You will then receive a pop-up notification saying that your fax has been successfully delivered.
How to receive a fax on your computer
Assuming you already have an iFax account, receiving faxes is pretty straightforward.
Step 1: iFax will notify you of incoming fax via email. Click on the link.
Step 2: On the iFax dashboard, the new fax should appear as unread. You’ll know if a fax is unread because it will have a blue dot right next to it.
Step 3: Just click on the unread fax to view it on your iFax dashboard.
There you have it. Fortunately, there’s nothing complicated about sending and receiving faxes from your computer. You may even find it more convenient than using a fax machine. Now, you can send and receive faxes in minutes.
The steps are so simple that it’s almost like sending an email. So why not use emails to send documents instead of using electronic faxing?
The thing with email is that it poses a security risk because once you send it, it will pass through different intermediaries and multiple servers. In addition, you don’t have full control of how the recipient handles security measures when receiving documents.
Meanwhile, if you fax from a computer using iFax, you’re guaranteed that all your fax transmissions are encrypted. iFax uses 256-bit military-grade encryption, a security measure that is extremely difficult to break.
Can You Fax From a Computer Without a Phone Line?
Yes, you can. One of the best things about faxing from a computer is that it doesn’t require a telephone line. There’s no need for a fax machine, phone service, or any plug-in device. All you need is your computer and a stable internet connection.
This is an advantage because there’s no need to pay for monthly phone service. Plus, faxing from a computer is hassle-free since you no longer need to clean the scanner bed, maintain the parts, or refill the ink supply of a fax machine.
Can You Fax From a Laptop?
Yes, you can fax from a laptop. It’s even more convenient than faxing from a desktop computer since you can take your laptop with you wherever you go. Even if you’re going on vacation or an overseas trip, you can still send and receive faxes. It’s like having a portable fax machine.
Imagine the convenience and accessibility. Plus, the process of setting it up is the same. Simply follow the step-by-step guide above, and you’re set.
The best part? Just install iFax for Windows on both devices, and it will automatically sync your fax records.
If faxing from a computer or laptop isn’t enough, you can also use your mobile phone or tablet as a fax machine. With mobile faxing, you can transmit important documents from anywhere and even sign them using your smartphone.
Note: If you are using a MacBook or Mac computer, you’ll need to refer to this efax guide for Mac users.
How to Fax From a Computer on Windows 10
If your computer runs on Windows 10, you must ensure that the fax app meets the minimum system requirements. Some fax apps can only run on older Windows versions.
Fortunately, iFax supports Windows 10. As long as you’re using iFax, you can efax from any computer running on Windows 10 without any problem. The process for sending and receiving faxes on a computer running Windows 10 is explained in detail in the step-by-step guide above.
Can You Fax From a Computer Using Gmail?
Yes, you can. Faxing from a computer using Gmail is not a problem as long as you use iFax. If you have already installed the Gmail app on your desktop, installing the iFax software (app) is unnecessary.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Instead of putting the email address in the Recipient (To:) section, you need to address the message to email@example.com.
Step 2: Put the recipient’s fax number in the Subject field in the correct format.
Make sure the number:
- follows the correct format
- includes the area and country code
- has no spaces
- has no extra characters
Then, type in specific instructions such as “Please review within the day” in the Message field.
Step 3: Go ahead and attach your documents. It’s the same as attaching files when sending regular emails. Click “Send” and wait for the email notification saying that your message has been delivered. It’s that simple.
Sending a fax using Gmail consolidates your documents and provides a better way to filter out spam. Plus, faxing from Gmail lets you schedule your fax messages.
Should You Fax From a Computer or a Fax Machine?
When it comes to choosing between faxing from a computer and using a fax machine, the first option is the obvious winner.
Fax machines used to be the go-to option for faxing. However, that’s no longer the case. Nowadays, people prefer to transmit faxes from computers and mobile devices.
Compared to a fax machine, a computer is more compact. It doesn’t take up as much space. Plus, a computer can process multiple tasks simultaneously. This multitasking ability is something that a conventional fax machine lacks.
Why Send Faxes From a Computer Instead of a Fax Machine
Here are more reasons to fax from a computer instead of using a fax machine:
- You no longer have to deal with paper jams and leaking ink
- There’s no need to replace expensive ink cartridges
- Going paperless helps save the environment
- Annoying junk faxes are a thing of the past as iFax has a fax number-blocking feature that controls spam
- You can get your faxes almost instantly
- Faxing from a computer streamlines your workflow as you only require one device
- You can fax more pages without worrying about the paper or ink supply
Frequently Asked Questions: Sending a Fax From a Computer
How much does it cost to send a fax from my computer?
The cost of sending a fax from your computer will vary depending on your chosen method and vendor. If you use an online fax service, you will typically pay a monthly fee or a per-page charge for each fax you send or receive. Some services like iFax lets you send a fax from a computer for free when you send up to five pages per month. If you regularly fax, the upgrade only costs $16.67 per month billed annually.
What kind of equipment do I need to send a fax from my computer?
If you’re using an online fax service, all you need is a stable internet connection and your computer. There’s no need for specialized equipment to send an efax. You can download the fax software to your computer or log in to a web-based fax app. You may also send a fax using a web browser.
How do I know if my computer is compatible with an online fax service?
Most online fax services are compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. In addition, most online fax services can be accessed via a web browser, so you should not have any problem using the service regardless of your computer’s setup. However, it is always a good idea to check the provider’s terms of service.
Are there any security risks when sending a fax from my computer?
There are always some security risks when sending sensitive information over the internet. However, you can minimize these risks by using a secure online fax service that uses encryption technology, just like iFax which complies with data security standards like HIPAA and GLBA.
Learning how to fax using a computer is a task that anyone can master. If you find it convenient to send an email, then sending a fax from your desktop PC or laptop is just as easy.
Do you need a better way to fax? Turn your computer into a fax machine using iFax.
iFax is a secure and convenient online faxing service that can turn your computer or laptop into a fax machine. You can set up and send a document in a matter of minutes.
Sign up for a free iFax account and experience a whole new level of faxing.