Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Try Internet Fax For Free

In these days of hyperactive texting, fax machines may seem a bit quaint to the uninitiated. But fax messages are a staple of business and used to exchange contracts and other important business documents. So, does that mean you need to buy an armada of dedicated fax machines and run to the office when you need to send or receive a fax message? No way. You can do it all online from wherever you happen to be. That is, if you have the right fax plan.

What’s better than a fax machine in this business environment is a fax service plan. A fax machine is a one task dedicated piece of equipment that sits in a designated space, tethered to its own phone line. A fax service plan lets you receive and send faxes by email and online account. It works on your desktop PC. It works on your laptop computer.

Oh, I know. You remember those early fax software programs that ran on your computer. You needed a special fax modem and they tied up both your computer and your phone line. This service is nothing like that. You don’t need a fax modem or even a phone line. This is an Internet-based fax service that you access over your broadband Internet connection like other online applications.

Here’s what you get when you sign up for a RingCentral Internet Fax Service Plan or take the free trial offer. You get your own toll free or local phone number. What’s that for? It is so people can send fax messages to you. Remember that fax machines send and receive messages over telephone lines. RingCentral gives you a virtual fax machine, but it still needs a number for those other fax machines to call. Those incoming messages will be stored in your online account and sent to you via email. You can even get text messages on your cell phone or PDA alerting you to new faxes so you never miss an important message.

How about sending faxes? You can send a fax right from email. Your email message becomes the cover sheet. The attached documents become the fax pages. That’s the simple way to fax. You also get a free software application that adds a fax button to your Microsoft Windows applications, such as Outlook and Word. Click the button and you can send your document out as a fax message. You can electronically sign faxes using a bitmap of your signature. No need to print documents, sign them with a pen, and then scan them back in as you would with a standard fax machine.

The RingCentral Internet Fax is as powerful as a large dedicated fax machine. You can create groups of contacts and easily send faxes to the whole group from your computer. You don’t tie up any phone lines. You’ll be notified by the system when your faxes have been sent. Both the software app and online account let you create custom cover sheets. Over a dozen different page styles are included with the service. If you are having a problem with junk faxes, you can block those so they won’t come in.

By the way, your computer doesn’t even have to be on for you to get a fax message. The sender never gets a busy signal when someone is on the phone, either. Remember, this is a virtual fax machine that is hosted online.

How much does it cost for all this faxing goodness? Plans start as low as $7.99 a month for 300 pages with a small charge per page over that. If you regularly deal with high fax volumes, other plans will push that up to include 2,500 pages per month. That includes your toll free or local fax number. You can pay that much just for a toll free number from other suppliers.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter