These days, who needs a fax machine? That's the question posed by Web Worker Daily, which argues that faxes are barely necessary in the modern business world, and when they are, you can usually turn to Internet alternatives. An excerpt:
The precursor to the modern fax machine was patented in 1843. Business fax technology caught on widely in the mid-1970s. So why, thirty years later, are those of us on the cutting edge still wasting our time wrestling with (and paying for) ways to hook into this last-generation network for sending around images of paper documents?For the most part, I agree. I never send a fax when an e-mail will do. For documents that require my signature, I paste in a digitized version (as David wisely suggested yesterday). I don't have to devote a phone line to a fax machine because I now receive faxes via e-mail (thanks to eFax, the granddaddy of Web-based fax services). In short, I almost always find a way around traditional faxing. If you want to do likewise, check out eFax, FaxZero, K7, and Send2fax.com, all of which offer at least some free faxing capabilities. Then pop into the Comments and tell us which fax-machine alternatives you prefer, and why.