Fax over IP in the US

Trying to find the best option for sending faxes over my high speed internet connection. I have internet through my cable service so speed is not an issue. I have a cell phone as my primary phone and therefore do not have a home/land based phone. I need to send faxes a few times a week and have seen all kinds of services online that offer this service but I really am looking for some unbiased opinions of them. If I could buy a Magic Jack or even use Skype those would be preferable because the cost for a yearly subscription is relatively low compared to something like Vonage. It appears Magic Jack is cheaper by virture of the fact you actually get a phone number to receive calls as well as make them, I know Skype offers this also, but it is a higher cost. I’ve used Skype before so quality of voice is not a big issue for me. The Magic Jack seems nicer because I could hook up my cordless phone to it and not be tied to my PC. I’m just wondering if I purchased a fax machine to hook up to it if that would work. I’ve seen online that it will possibly work but officially it appears not to be a supported feature. They all use VoIP so there shouldn’t be any noticeable quality issues between those I’ve mentioned. Sending faxes is what I really need but the ability to receive them would be nice too. I can see the advantage of Skype or Magic jack is that I could also use those to make voice calls if I wanted (I have a prepaid Net10 phone and anything that helps me save minutes would be nice, but this is not a requirement). Just looking for mainly the best/most cost effective option for Fax over IP. If anyone has personal experience with this I would appreciate some input. All options are open, but please have personal experience for any reccomendations. Thanks!

I use Trustfax… www.trustfax.com …it works fine for me. Just go there and look at the requirements.

I use www.faxitnice.com. It’s possible that you might find something cheaper if you fax that often. I use FaxItNice because the credits never expire and I can go months without faxing anything.

Faxaway.com for me. But your fax number is only in the 206 area code*, so if you’re not in the Seattle area, it isn’t quite as useful. Otherwise, it’s just 1 a month to maintain the account. Incoming faxes are free; outgoing faxes are .10/minute.

  • Of course, it would be possible to get an 800 number through another service and point that to your faxaway.com number.

Don’t use Vonage or MagicJack for faxing. I have Vonage for all my voice lines, but get very inconsistent results when I fax. On good days, about a third of faxes succeed. On bad days it doesn’t work at all.

The reviews I’ve read on MagicJack say it’s even worse than Vonage.

Thank you, dracoi.I guess that was the main thing I needed to know. One follow up question about faxing through Vonage: Do you know when your faxes fail or only if someone tells you they didn’t receive it? Is there a report generated of some kind that tells you the fax did not go through? I may still purchase a magic jack just because it’s only $20 for a year and I can still make voice calls with it. I’m wondering if I hook it up to my fax/modem will that work to send faxes or if I may actually need to run the line through a regular fax machine. Guess I’ll just tinker with it and see what happens.

Thanks for all the replies. I may go with the faxitnice since the credits don’t expire and you’re only charged when you actually send a fax. Most weeks I only have one fax to send but it can be 20-30 pages in length. Since it’s invoices for my business I need to make sure they go through because that is how I get paid.

It sounds like you don’t need to receive faxes, only send them. In that case, do you absolutely need to connect to a fax machine on the other end, or could you just scan the pages into a .pdf file and e-mail it to the receiver? Even if you need to connect to a fax machine, I suspect scanning it in and then having some service fax the .pdf file for you might be cheaper and easier than hooking up a fax machine to your computer.
(I can both send and receive faxes as image files with my large employer’s e-mail system, but that system is probably not a solution for a home office).

Seconding scanning the files and sending them as PDFs. You can get a scanner with an ADF for a song nowadays. Faxes under the best circumstances are terrible. Over IP? Its more headaches than its worth.

The fax machine will generate an error based on its programming - there’s no message specific to Vonage. My fax says that it is a COM ERR 01 (i.e. “communication error”) and briefly displays the message. I could have it print an error confirmation page, but turned that off to save paper. When I looked in the troubleshooting manual of the fax machine, it says that the error is generated when there’s too much noise on the line such as might result from bad wiring.

And, yes, I have tried replacing the wiring along with every other suggestion I could come up with. Vonage actually settled in a class action suit because of false claims about fax compatibility and I got a $24 portion of that. :slight_smile:

On the idea of e-mailing invoices… that may or may not work. I find that a lot of my invoiced e-mails don’t get to customers. Either they’re pretending to not receive them or they’re losing the invoices to spam filters.

You would think I could email them considering the company I fax them to uses a fax service and actually receives the faxes via email. But that isn’t the case and at this time is not an option for me. So I must fax them. The problem with IP faxing makes sense so I think I’ll try one of the services mentioned in this thread. The most important thing is reliability since it is a matter of me getting paid. Thanks for the responses.