Converting a Fax line to Internet/email?

Is there any good way to convert a Fax line to receive by Internet/email? It seems wasteful to pay for another phone line each month when most of what is received is junk faxes.

The limiting factor here is that I’d like to keep the same fax number.

The technology must exist, because years ago my company started sending me my faxes through email as a pdf attachment. And humans weren’t involved.

The phone line is just the phone line, there’s nothing special about a fax line except that it’s plugged into a fax machine. Plug that line into the modem of fax server (a computer that’s got software on it that lets it function like a fax machine), and you’ll be all set to go.

Many phone service providers who also do voip offer a service generally known as ‘fax2email’ or virtual faxing. Your fax number gets pointed to a server that behaves like a fax machine, as far as the incoming caller is concerned, and then converts the fax image to a pdf to be emailed.

Sending faxes from email is a little more complicated, and not all providers that offer the fax2email service support outbound faxing as well.

In Canada, all phone numbers are now portable, meaning you can sign up with a new service provider and authorise them to take over your phone number from your current provider. This is an option if your current provider can’t offer fax2email, although whether your number is portable may vary by which state you’re in. I’m not up to date on U.S. Telecom regulations.

That’s the sort of thing I was looking for. Maybe this is more IMHO, but does anyone have any positive experiences with that sort of service?

You can check out, I use it and it works as advertized. It’s a service I wish I didn’t need anymore, but sometimes people still send me faxes.

I have used FaxAway ( for many years. The monthly fee is only $1 and you pay only for outgoing faxes ($0.10 a minute). Since I receive ten times more faxes than I send, this is perfect for me.

The biggest drawback is probably the fact that they offer numbers only in the 206 area code and can’t use your existing number. (206 is Seattle and I live here anyway, so that’s not a drawback to me.)

I have heard good things from clients about eFax.

So now hear some bad things about efax.

I used efax before switching to smartfax, efax’s service was not the best, some outages (no one could fax to my number) and the cost got outrageous over time. IIRC the cost was about $5/m then it increased to $9/m or so, I called and found I could still get the $5/month if I paid on a annual basis (about $60/yr). Then as time went on they wanted something like $16/m which was at the time the same cost as a second phone line. Upon calling to cancel they did say that a lower rate was available, but I had it with their tactics and told them I had moved on.

I would not recommend efax.