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Free Faxing - Send and Receive A Fax Free

Send and receive a fax free using your PC or laptop computer modem, that's what we call Free Faxing. Free Faxing as you will soon learn can not replace a good internet fax service. While free is free, a great price to send and receive a fax, only an internet faxing service can give you instant access to a unique fax number, receive and send a fax by email, and provide global internet faxing solutions. Using your PC or laptop computer to receive and send a fax is much like using a stand alone fax machine or outdated free fax software. Enough said, let's send a fax absolutely positively 100% free using Microsoft Windows XP and your computer modem.

Send a Fax Free — 100% Free Faxing

Microsoft Windows XP buries a free fax software controller called Fax Console in your computer's Accessories folder. There are actually three ways you can initiate the sending of a free fax from Microsoft Windows XP, all of which ultimately lead you to what's called the Send Fax Wizard. Try all three methods below, which takes just a few minutes and is a good chance for many to get familiar with their PC or laptop computer and modem. You can plug your computer into a phone line now or after you test things out. If you don't connect your computer modem to a phone line the send a fax will fail, not a big deal.

Send Fax Free Receive Fax Free Free Faxing
  1. Fax Console — To open the free Fax Console software, click your Windows XP Start button (lower left of most computer screens), select All Programs, Accessories, Communications, Fax, and finally Fax Console. A somewhat plain looking window will open with the words Fax Console on top, and a folder list under Fax: Incoming, Inbox, Outbox, and Sent Items. Use the top menu to select File, Send a Fax. The Send Fax Wizard will appear, click Next, and you will view the Recipient Information input screen. Cancel the wizard and close (X) the Fax Console for now, and try accessing the Send Fax Wizard by methods 2 and 3.
  2. Control Panel — Click your Windows XP Start button, then click Control Panel or Settings, Control Panel. What comes next depends upon whether you are in Classic View or Category View. Switch to Category View using the left side menu for now, then click the category Printers and Other Hardware. Next click Printers and Faxes (which is the name of the Classic View icon as well). Look to the top of the left side menu under Printer Tasks for Send a fax and click. You have initiated the Send Fax Wizard. Cancel and try method 3, which might be the method you use most often to send a free fax.
  3. Print to Fax — Instead of selecting Print, why can't you just select Fax? You can do just that from Windows XP. Open Microsoft Word 2002 or higher, I'm using 2003 for this example. Type in some gibberish then from the top menu select File and Print. The Print dialog box appears, and you must use the drop down to change the Name box to Fax. If you have other fax software installed on your computer, be sure to select the correct one. After you select Fax, you will notice the Type: Microsoft Shared Fax Driver, Where: SHRFAX or something similar as a clue. Click OK, and you have initiated the Send Fax Wizard. Keep the Send Fax Wizard open and continue below.

All three ways to initiate the Send Fax Wizard end up in the same place. Let's continue where we left off in method 3 above. You wrote gibberish into a Microsoft Word document then printed to Fax, to open the Send Fax Wizard. Remember that when you send a fax using your computer modem, you are in essence making a phone call. Large faxes to long distance numbers may incur additional charges on your phone bill.

 Free Faxing Send and Receive A Fax Free
  1. Fax Recipient — To continue, click Next, then enter the Recipient Information. The Microsoft Office Address Book (Outlook) is available here, a good place to store fax numbers. Dialing Rules relate to your business or local phone company features. If you are sending a fax from home, look inside your local phone book for how to disable call wait when faxing. Businesses might need to enter a special sequence to get an outside line. Add, Remove, Edit recipients as needed. Next to continue.
  2. Fax Cover Page — Select or deselect the fax cover page option. Sender Information is your information, which can be edited here, and a few stock fax cover page templates already exist. You can play around with these options later when you have some time. Next to continue.
  3. Fax Schedule — To send a free fax now, select Now. Priority is generally used by Windows XP to decide which fax should go first, should you create a pileup while scheduling multiple faxes. Next to continue.
  4. Send Fax — Use the Preview Fax button to make sure you didn't mess up! Sending a love note by fax to the wrong person could be embarrassing. Your default fax viewing software will present itself if you decide to preview your fax. When you are ready to send your fax, click Finish. Fax Monitor will pop up and keep you informed as to the status of your fax.
  5. Fax Send Status — Fax sent OK or NG? Between the Fax Monitor, notifications and Windows XP fax software icons popping up here and there, it's difficult to lose track of your fax status. Return to your Fax Console at any time to view what is in your Outbox or Sent Items. You can view, resend, or delete faxes in your folders by use of the top menu or clickable icons in the Fax Console.

That's how to send a fax absolutely 100% free using Microsoft Windows XP and your PC or laptop computer modem. Now let's learn how to receive a fax free absolutely 100%, using the same free faxing software you have already explored.

Receive a Fax Free — 100% Free Faxing

Microsoft Windows XP has one additional free fax software utility that we did not discuss in the Send a Fax Free how to above. The additional free fax software utility is called the Fax Configuration Wizard. Using the Fax Configuration Wizard you can request that your computer modem automatically receive a fax after a specified number of rings. Automatically receiving a fax works well if you need to leave the house, to work on your garden for example, or prefer to keep your computer on for lengthy periods of time. We recommend that you never leave a computer on longer than you have to. As with all electronic devices, it's just a matter of time before they burn out. Using a $2,000 laptop computer in place of a $50 fax machine seems like a waste or resources. Below we discuss the manual method of receiving a fax. Sometime soon we will post the automatic method as well.

Send Fax Free Receive Fax Free Free Faxing
  1. Receive Fax — Open the Fax Console as you did above to send a fax. When the fax call comes in, click the Receive Fax icon which looks like a phone handset on top of a fax page, a phone receiver if that helps make it stick. Alternatively from the menu, select File, Receive a fax now. Your computer modem will attempt to communicate with the sending fax machine.
  2. Fax Monitor — Another way to receive a fax is to open up the Fax Monitor tool. Use the Fax Console top menu and select Tools, then Fax Monitor, click Answer now. You will notice a few other Tools are accessible from the Fax Console as well, check them out when you have time.
  3. Fax Receive Status — Use the Fax Console folders listed on the left to review the status of incoming faxes. Expand the Fax folder if it is closed, to review the folders Incoming, Inbox, Outbox, and Sent Items. Incoming will show faxes that are in the process of being received. Inbox will contain faxes that have been received. Similarly, Outbox contains those faxes scheduled or in the process of being sent. Sent Items have already been sent. Double click to view fax documents inside the Inbox and Sent Items folders. You can also right-click a fax and select Properties to view the fax status.

And that's how to receive a fax absolutely 100% free using Microsoft Windows XP and your PC or laptop computer modem. See also our Fax Q&A blog which is updated regularly with questions and answers, questions we receive from web site visitors who submit a question to us.

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