The best deals for sending faxes online

Becky waring By Becky Waring

Online fax services let you ditch your landline and fax machine and fax from anywhere via e-mail or the Web.

The paperless office is not quite here, but three services in particular offer low-cost solutions that save a forest full of trees.

Free fax service is severely limited

I recall the day several years ago when my fax freedom started: My fax machine had run out of expensive toner for the umpteenth time, largely thanks to junk faxes offering me low, low prices on that very same toner.

I signed up with eFax, the biggest online fax provider, because the service lets you receive faxes for free via e-mail. Receive-only works for me, because I transmit most of my documents via e-mail, so I rarely need to send a fax.

On those rare occasions when I do need to fax something, I simply plug in my ancient fax machine, which has been tonerless since that fateful day.

(The fact that I still have a landline for the fax machine at all is another story. I’ve retained the landline because it is used by my DSL link, TiVo service, and burglar alarm. The total cost for all three of these services is cheaper than the price of cable service alone. Essentially, faxing doesn’t cost me anything, and that suits me just fine.)

If you’re like me and still have a landline for sending faxes, eFax’s free Limited Account is a perfect fit. Signing up for the free service is quick and easy. Once you receive your number, you can start faxing to it right away.

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Becky Waring

About Becky Waring

Becky Waring has worked as a writer and editor for CNET, ZDNET, Technology Review, Upside Magazine, and many other news sources. She alternates the Best Software column with Windows Secrets contributing editor Scott Spanbauer.