Tag Archives: fax

Can You Send a FAX For Free?

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Yes, I was trying to send you a FAX. I don’t know if you have a machine that can pick it up. If you don’t, I’m interested to see what happens when you pick this up! Anyway, there are times when you need to Fax something, and don’t have a machine of your own. Luckily, there are free services that let you send them without installing anything – or without having to buy a machine.

Using MyFax, you can send up to two facsimiles per day – absolutely free! Enter the To and From information, and attach your FAX (.pdf, .doc, etc). Enter an additional message, such as an Attention name, or similar instructions. That’s it – your FAX is ready to send.

It doesn’t get easier than this, and you certainly won’t find a cheaper service than this. I absolutely love coming across things like this. If you know of other excellent (and free!) services to help us with our daily lives, please pass them along!

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Vonage FAX?

TSgt Mark Hansen emailed the other day from halfway around the world:

Hi Chris, I saw your webpage about Vonage and am asking for your help. I am in the Air Force stationed in Korea, and all Vonage users here are banned from using Vonage equipment on the ISP’s network, who offers their own VoiP service. They do this by blocking all port 50 traffic on their network. So basically, all bases in South Korea have this ban in effect. I went with Skype instead…

Anyways, I am trying to FAX a copy of my orders to Vonage so they can release me from the account and reimburse me. (I’m not holding my breath) I spoke to account management the other day and was given 1-732-528-2669 to fax it to them, but this is not a FAX number. I have a suspicion that theyre going to use the excuse that I never sent my orders in… how could I when the number they gave me isn’t a working FAX number?

I was curious to try FAXing over a Vonage line, but certainly never had to deal with FAXing something to them. He followed up almost immediately:

I got another one from Acct. Management… 1-732-834-0189. I havent verified reciept and closure of the account yet, I have to wait 72 hours, then call back to their wonderful customer service staff and verify…

I actually made the rep stay on the line to ensure it was a working FAX, so I called the wife on the calling card and asked her to call the number to see if it was an actual FAX machine… (remember, I havent verified they actually received it, once I do, I’ll let you know).

If you’d like, you can publish it on your site once verified to assist other Vonage victims… er, customers) They said I had to FAX it to them because they don’t have email… Multi Billion corporate entity and they don’t have email… Hmmm.

Anybody else have any experience(s) with Vonage FAXing?

How to Fax over VoIP on the Internet

Brightstar wrote: “I keep hearing about how hard it is for faxes to work through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). I’ve prepared a top five list of things you can do to make sure your faxes have the best chance of going through.”

  • Set your baud rate to 9600 and turn off Error Correction Mode. The slower your fax goes, the more likely it is to go through without errors. Most VoIP providers are unable to support the default baud of 33600 baud due to the amount of data that has to go through. Error Correction Mode was designed for faxing PSTN to PSTN. Voice over IP often has extra noise added due to jitter instabilities in the connection as it travels from one fax to another. This causes false positives for Error Correction Mode because it will cause the fax to loop over and over trying to fix these noise errors, when it can’t be fixed. This will end in a communication error usually.
  • Use a provider that supports T.38 – T.38 is an audio codec designed for faxing over VoIP. it allows for more detail and better looking images as well as stability by creating redundancy in the RTP stream.
  • Set your packetization to 10 milliseconds or less. The more header there is in the stream, the less likely jitter and instabilities in your internet connection are going to cause a synchronization error. (You may need to contact your provider to make this happen if your box is locked, such as if you use Vonage.)
  • Keep on top of your ISP. Stability in your Internet connection are paramount in making sure that faxes are successful. Speed tests can help you track this. Look for an advanced speed test that offers more than just and upload and download speed. A personal favorite of mine is located at MyVoipSpeed (Note: An up to date Java version is required) which is really nice because once you’re done, you can click on the detailed analysis link and then call up your ISP and give them the URL for the test so they can see what’s going on.
  • When all else fails, call your VoIP provider. There may be issues in the routing of your calls that are causing problems. Only your VoIP provider’s call processing team will be able to fix this kind of thing. Have your provider test from a PSTN line and then their own VoIP line. If they can send through PSTN but not their own VoIP line, it’s a routing issue on their own end.
  • Bonus Tip! Don’t even think about faxing using Voice over IP on a satellite or wireless connection. These kinds of connections are too unpredictable, and add a huge amount of latency that will make it impossible for fax machines to sync up properly.

Scanning Documents with OCR

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – I received an email the other day from someone wondering why documents they scan into their computer rearranges the text and doesn’t retain formatting. Well user-whose-name-I-can’t-pronounce, what you’re asking about deals with OCR.

OCR, or Optical Character Recognition software allows you to scan a document and edit it. If the OCR software isn’t very good, then it probably won’t retain the layout that the original document had. You are probably using whatever software came with your all-in-one machine, and I don’t know what brand that is.

The problem is, you’re not really going to get really good OCR software unless you pay virtually hundreds of dollars. Probably the best I know of is OmniPage. OmniPage Professional 16 is the fastest and most precise way to convert high volumes of paper, PDF and forms into files you can edit and search.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any open source or cheaper software titles that are on the same level with OmniPage. Do you? If you use something that works just as well, without the price tag, I’d love to hear about it. I’m sure that user-whose-name-I-can’t-pronounce would love to hear your suggestions, as well.

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Fast FAX Facts

I’m back on Windows XP now – and there are certainly things I miss about Vista already (DWM, in particular). Still, it’s nice to have access to all of my hardware and software services again. Mind you, Vista is still on this machine – on a different drive. I installed Launchy, and while it’s not perfect – it’s a near-perfect replacement for Vista’s Start Menu (at least, in terms of the way I used it). Copernic Desktop Search is back on my PC, although Outlook 2007 has already informed me that it needs Windows Desktop Search for full search functionality (oh god, please don’t make me use Windows Desktop Search again). I don’t think I’ll head into Vista again until I know that HP has updated its software for the LaserJet 3052 – and my “IP FAX” software is equally as important. Dunno. Seems FAX is taking a beating in Vista all the way around (and I’m not referring to the ghastly ‘FAX and Scan’ tool). Graham Neill just blasted me:

I just finished watching your rant on Windows Vista Ultimate. You brought up a few good points. However I am an survivor who is really interested in upgrading to Vista Ultimate. My only hold-back is whether Windows Fax & Scan supports V.34 (Super G3 or 33.6 kbps) faxing. All my equipment is supported under Vista and I have an ATI card so I don’t have the worry about the NVIDIA nonsense. I do, however, have a Multitech MT5634ZPX-PCI-U modem which is Super G3. I send out a lot of faxes for my business and this feature is very helpful in speed. For example, a 5 page fax can take up to 4 minutes to send with a regular modem but will only take 1 minute and 12 seconds with Super G3. I do possess a Vista driver for this modem. The Phone Tools software that I have been using is being discontinued…a major error in judgement as it is the best in the market…and will not be updated to support Vista. There are millions of alienated WinFax users who need software to a) import their WinFax data and fax records and b) give them the ability to migrate and move to updated software. Symantec really dropped the ball on this one. Avanquest could easily pick up these millions by simply supporting them, giving them an easy migration, and supporting Vista. With your connections, can you find out, before I spend CDN $300 on Vista Ultimate Upgrade, whether I am making the right move? Does Windows Fax & Scan support V.34 (Super G3)?

BTW, I’ve gotta send my thanks to SubWolf (Rob) and Sean for healing our servers today. At least our hosting provider didn’t ask us to submit requests by FAX. Of course, I’m now set up to send ’em again.