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Faxing with Skype

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/14/2010

If you don't have a fax machine, share a fax machine, or have been running out to the copy shop when you need to send a fax, fret no longer. You can save time and money by learning how to fax with Skype. Learn how to use this communication tool to send information across the Internet efficiently.

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    You Can Fax with Skype?

    In short, yes, you can use Skype as a method to send faxes. Doing so does not require extra equipment (think of all the desk space you will have with the absence of a fax machine in the corner), running an errand (you won't have to battle traffic to send a fax on your lunch break), or sharing (you don't have to wait for Melvin to fax pictures from his last party to his friends in Zombieland). Of course, like with anything, you will have to do a little work to get Skype to work for you as a fax machine. But, because Skype has been shown to be a program that reduces business expenses, you won't mind that at all, now will you?

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    How to Use Skype as a Fax Machine

    In order to fax with Skype, you will need to first download a software program that will turn your Skype program into a virtual fax machine. Set aside for a moment the programs that allow you to fax with Skype, and let's focus on how this is possible. In order to use Skype as a fax, you will need to be sure you have a printer hooked up to the computer you are using and an Internet connection. You will not need to have a fax machine, but depending upon what you will be faxing with Skype, you may want to have a scanner in your possession. You will then, using the selected add-in, follow the directions for the program and send your fax. You can fax with Skype to another Skype user, receive faxes, or send faxes to traditional fax machines.

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    Programs Allowing Skype to Fax

    Because Skype doesn't have built-in faxing capabilities, you will need to download another application in order to be able to use Skype as a fax machine. Here are the top 3 programs stating that they allow you to turn Skype into your own personal fax machine haven:

    1. PLUSFAX for Skype (https://extras.skype.com/486/view) is published by the makers of Skype. This program allows you to use Skype as a fax machine and send faxes using your Skype credits (if you are sending to a traditional fax machine) or fax for free (if you are sending to another Skype user). You can send faxes to Skype, email, or fax machine and you can receive faxes on Skype, email, or your iPhone. PLUSFAX is free software.
    2. PamFax (http://www.pamfax.biz/en/) is software for Skype that allows you to send faxes from the Internet through Skype. PamFax is not a free service, however it is a very popular service for sending faxes through Skype. When you sign up, you will receive a free fax number and 3 free send pages. The data is encrypted, so that you know if you are sending sensitive information, it will be delivered securely to the intended recipient. In using PamFax, you will be able to send faxes even from Microsoft Word. Finally, while PamFax will cost you money, it won't run advertisements, meaning that you will be able send professional looking faxes.
    3. Skax for Skype (https://extras.skype.com/636/view) is also proprietary software that will use Skype as your fax machine and that allows for you to set up your faxes with their program. The program is still in beta testing, however, so unless the other two options do not work, you may want to avoid potential security breeches and bugs by going with either PLUSFAX or PamFax as your plug in.
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    The Benefits of Faxing with Skype

    By using Skype as a fax machine, you can take advantage of a program you most likely already own. You can save money sending faxes through Skype, and you may even get an immediate response. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using Skype as a fax machine is the paper you are likely to save. No longer will you be producing extra paper on the receiving end of your fax (unless you send directly to a fax machine). By faxing with Skype, you can keep a commitment to having a paperless office.