Fax services - opinions
Thread poster: Alexander Chisholm

Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Nov 20, 2011

Hi there.

I don't need to send and receive many faxes but I do occasionally have to have that facility.

I'm trying to get a feel for all the options available.

Now, with the current trends in PC architecture and operating systems, I find myself without the abuility to routinely send and receive faxes. For example, I have one laptop with Vista business (fax SW included) but no built-in fax modem, and I have another laptop with a built in modem but with Windows 7 home intalled (no bundled fax software). Is this a trend?

I'm in the process of moving all my PCs to Macs. For my Macbook Pro, I can get a USB fax modem (around € 60) and so would need software to send faxes. Does anyone have an idea of free or cheap software that will send documents this way?

I've had a look at some online services.
I don't like the idea of having to pay between €9-€12 a month for services like eFax (since the final volume sent/received will be low) as this would amount to €100 to send receive perhaps 20-25 pages a year!!
Searching the web, I found Pamfax which appears to work with Skype and has no monthly fee, you simply pay for the faxes you send/receive - so even though its not the cheapest per page service, in terms of what I will spend in a year it seems a good idea.
I tried to download the Pamfax SW and install it but it won't load without crashing - I note the SW if for Mac OS X versions up to snow leopard, therefore perhaps no guarantee of it working with Lion. I tried searching for Lion versions but with no luck.
Does anyone know of fax software that works in a similar way (ie no monthly fee just pay as you go) and will work with OS X Lion?

Finally, is there any way I can use my iPhone (either connected to my MacBook or by itself - perhaps uploading the documents to the iPhone via iCloud) to send receive faxes?

Any suggestions or thoughts are most welcome.


Germaine  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:25
English to French
+ ...
2 options Nov 20, 2011

I had a fax machine for years, but now, I send and receive all faxes through my printer (Aficio MP171 from Ricoh) directly to my computer. I was reluctant at the beginning, since I didn't like the idea of loosing all at the same time the printer, the fax and the scanner should there be any problem with the machine, but the advantages are worth it: I don't have to print every pages if I don't need to (In fact, for installing a second screen, I don't have to print at all); I can enlarge the image, "ocr" with a right click, archive the document, resend it by fax or by email. I simply love it!

This said, for sending 20-25 pages a year, I would simply go to the nearest accommodation store offering the service and ask them to send or receive the fax. But if you ever need to replace your printer, the fax option would be one to look for.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:25
English to German
+ ...
Why would you want to deal with fax software? Nov 20, 2011

Buy a fax machine, they are cheap these days. You plug it in whenever you need it, to send signed contracts, NDAs, agreements and such. If you don't need to send faxes, it will serve you as a copying machine. Or as a scanner. Neat! No monthly fees.

Edited for typo

[Edited at 2011-11-20 16:45 GMT]


Natalie  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:25
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Hi Alexander Nov 20, 2011

I also need this service rather rarely, a few times per year.

I have used the following services (I have no preferences):
EFax http://en.efax.com/
PamFax http://shop.skype.com/extras/business/pamfax-win/



Monica Paolillo
Local time: 02:25
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Pamfax Nov 20, 2011

Hallo Alexander,

I use Pamfax on Mac OS Lion, it works perfectly. I am very happy with it. You can also buy a real local number (with your country and area code) to receive faxes for a reasonable annual fee. You can send faxes wherever you are on the go or in your office.




Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Thanks. Nov 20, 2011

Hi Germaine and Nicole

Regarding sending the faxes, I don't care how they're sent, but for receiving I would prefer to receive an image file rather than have paper output. This is so that if I have to translate the document, I can OCR it and import it into word for use with Trados. If I receive a paper document (usually poor image quality) running that through OCR would probably result in an unreadable document.
I like the idea of your fax machine Germaine - the fact that you can receive the image and then decide whether or not to print and even use OCR. Is this an option that also applies to the cheaper faxes Nicole is talking about?

Regarding Monica's post:I would prefer to avoid the cost of eFax and so I was trying to install Pamfax - this sounds the best solution I have come across. The trouble is I am having problems installing the software on my Mac (with OS X Lion) - the version I found on the internet for downloading was for OS X snow leopard. Does anyone know if a Lion version is available?


Monica Paolillo
Local time: 02:25
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
YES! Nov 21, 2011

Alex as I said I am using Pamfax on Lion. I simply downloaded the new version from www.pamfax.com and it's perfectly compatible. Good luck!


Local time: 03:25
Fax services to consider Nov 30, 2011

There's also a fax service called Interfax. They're relatively new, as far as I know, but it's supposed to be quite simple and cheap. Might be relevant for you. It requires no installations and everything gets to your email.


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