When you upgrade, you leave some things behind. Floppy disk drives have been clinging to life by fragile USB cables, long since given the boot by laptop and desktop manufacturers. The same is starting to happen to optical drives, as software and content distributors want you to download everything.
As my father recently discovered when he replaced his ancient desktop computer, the modem is another relic of a bygone age. He rarely used it except, apparently, to send electronic faxes from time to time. He even had the bright idea to transfer the modem to the new PC, but alas, even the expansion slots were incompatible. One possible solution was a $40 USB modem and he could keep doing what he’d always done, but for just the occasional fax, there are better ways.
Like, free ways. Free is good, right?
• FaxOrama.com: Of all the totally free services, this one provides the most versatility and best value. You’re allowed up to two free faxes per day to anywhere in North America, and each can be up to five pages. You simply upload the document you want to transmit; it accepts DOC, DOCX, RTF, GIF, JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, XLS, XLSX, TXT, PNG, BMP and WPS formats. If you need to transmit something else, it even offers a free conversion to PDF. The only catch is that the FaxOrama.com logo is added to the cover sheet.
• GotFreeFax.com: Don’t want any advertiser logos? This is the one for you. You still get two faxes per day, but only to the U.S. and Canada, they can only be up to three pages and you can only upload DOC and PDF formats. But shoot, wasn’t there a free PDF converter at the last site? You bet there was. There’s also a rich text editor so you can create the page you want to fax right there on the spot.
• FaxZero.com: Pretty much identical to GotFreeFax.com, but they do add their logo to the top of the cover sheet and can accept DOCX as well as DOC and PDF file formats. Their website is the prettiest of the three, though. That’s something.
• FreeFax.1888USA.com and TPC.int: These two services have the same coverage area, but they haven’t been updated in years, so tread with caution. They only support plain text, but if their list is to be believed, you can fax for free to Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa and 25 other countries. There’s no explicit limit on pages or number of faxes per day.
For more intensive faxing, as well as getting your own virtual fax number that delivers documents to your e-mail, you might want to sign up for a paid account somewhere. As many as there are, there seem to be just as many charts comparing them online. No point in replicating that here, since I can just point you to those websites, especially since I’m sure all the services have paid handsomely to be included. Check out FaxCompare.com, TopOnlineFax.com, SendFaxFromPC.com and Online-Fax.ChooseWhat.com.
At these sites, you’ll see some subset of RingCentral, eFax, MetroFax, MyFax, Nextiva, eXtremeFax and RapidFax services in simple comparison matrices. They all offer free trials, usually 30 days, so you don’t have to commit for at least seven months. Have fun faxing!
If, on the other hand, you live in the 21st century, visit twitter.com/CitizenjaQ .