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Ways to Send Faxes from Your Computer Using Internet and Email Services

written by: Halahblue•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 2/4/2011

Using email instead of a fax machine is beneficial in so many ways. Fax machines use paper, ink, electricity usage, and repair costs. It's a little different at first, but the benefits for the environment and your pocket far outweigh the low level of difficulty in implementing the change.

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    Environmental Benefits

    Sending an email requires only the energy your computer is already using. No paper, no ink, no repairmen driving gas guzzling vans to come to you. You get the idea. Fax machines require double the paper, at least, per sent document. The energy expended by fax machines and fax servers creates carbon monoxide. In cartridges that aren’t recycled are piling up in landfills, along with old, broken fax machines that aren’t recycled. The chemicals used to whiten paper for fax machines are dangerous, too.

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    How it Benefits You

    Beyond the personal benefits of a greener office, there are significant immediate benefits you can enjoy. Getting rid of your fax machine(s) means one less electronic item plugged in 24/7. That can add up to a decent savings in energy expenses for large companies and individuals alike. Your paper and ink expenses will also decrease significantly. Sending a fax via email, especially large batches, is much faster than using a traditional fax machine. That saves time, increases productivity, and lowers expenses. If you want to know more, check out this deeper analysis of fax versus email.

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    Sending a Single Fax

    For small businesses, home office workers, and anyone who only needs to send single documents, a program like Fax Machine will work well. To fax papers, scan and fax through fax machine. You can also print to fax from any application that supports printing, which will require no paper at all. Fax Machine also allows the forwarding of faxes by email. Most options are as easy as sending an email to faxnumber@provider.com.

    If you use your fax machine often or for huge batches of documents, you’ll want something a little heftier than Fax Machine. There are two main options: Desktop faxing that is application-based or Internet faxing that is website based.

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    Desktop Faxing

    Applications that mimic a fax machine allow you send faxes straight from your desktop. These follow the same principle as Fax Machine. For a slightly higher cost, you can get more flexible, stable, nice looking software. eFax offers a 30-day free trial and has a fantastic package. This option requires that you download software.

    It is also possible to send a fax with Microsoft Word using the Fax Wizard option.

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    Internet Faxing

    This option requires no software downloads or installation. It is complete web-based faxing from your email. Green Fax touts servicing big clients like Bank of America and Miller Brewing. Green Fax offers packages as small as send-only all the way up to corporate service plans. Websites like Green Fax are a solid option for individuals, too. In this case, email faxes would be sent to faxnumber@greenfax.com.

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    Using Both for More Faxing Options

    Some products, like Click Fax, are Internet-based faxing that offer an application download as well. This serves to allow you even more versatility when faxing. Click Fax’s software is free when you have a Click Fax account already established.