By Bob Rankin
Dump your fax machine, the Internet has made this dinosaur obsolete. Think of the savings on toner, paper, and time when all you really need these days is a cell phone, PDA, or PC. I have a big list of sites for you that offer free Internet faxing services. Some of them are completely free, while others offer free or limited trials. Pick the online fax service that suits you best…
•FaxZero lets you send free faxes from a simple web-based interface. Just enter the sender and recipient info, type in your message, and hit the “Send Free Fax Now” button. You can also fax a DOC or PDF file from your hard drive. And yes, it’s really free to send a fax to anywhere in the USA or Canada. You can send two free faxes per day, each with a maximum of three pages. To make this free service possible, a sponsor ad will appear on the cover page of your outgoing fax. I’ve written more about FaxZero in my Send a Free Fax article.
•Sign up with K7, a messaging system that will send free faxes and voicemail to your email address, with an option to view or listen to your messages via the web. You get a free fax/voicemail number which you can give to your family, friends, and business buds. Just sit back and wait for the faxes to start dropping into your inbox as email attachments. My companion article Free Inbound Faxing goes into more detail about Faxaway, an almost-free service that forwards incoming faxes to your email.
•The site Drop.io is for those who want simple. Set up a private space and drop files by fax, email, Internet, phone or widget, then share with your friends and family. Drop.io recently added the ability to send faxes from a drop or receive faxes into a drop. But some glitches have resulted in a (hopefully) temporary scaling back of the service. Currently, Standard (free) drops can receive faxes only, while Premium (paid) drops can send and receive faxes. The cost of a Premium account is $10 per gigabyte per year, so that seems like a pretty low price for a bunch of faxes. Most of my faxes are under 100KB, so that works out to over 10,000 faxes in a GB. If you include a lot of images, the size of the fax will be much higher.