Not everyone can afford a fax machine, or justify the expense, especially if they only receive a fax or two a month. But, occasionally, it's going to come up. Someone will want to fax you something to sign and fax back, or you need to send a time-sensitive document right away, and the post office is going to take way too long.
In fact, even if you do receive a high volume of faxes each month, email fax services may still be more cost effective when you consider the money spent on fax supplies, a dedicated fax line, and maintenance or repairs. Email faxing offers several advantages over traditional fax lines, is less wasteful, and much less frustrating.
When using an email fax service, you will be given a "fax" number that people can use to send you documents from their fax machine. As far as the sender's fax machine is concerned, it's just sending a document to another fax machine, as there is absolutely no difference in transmission. However, once the fax is sent, it is transmitted to your email address instead of a fax machine. That's it. If you need a paper copy, simply print it out. Memos and other documents that don't require printing, though, can be kept or forwarded via email, which means no paper is wasted on documents that require no hard copy.
Aside from convenience and savings, one of the biggest advantages of email fax services is its portability. No longer do you need to be in the office standing by the fax machine so you don't miss important documents. They'll show up anywhere you can access your email. That means, especially, in this age of smart phones and tablet computers, you can literally receive a fax no matter where you are, via email faxing.
There are several companies that provide email fax services for a monthly or pay-per-fax fee, so doing a bit of homework on the different companies and services will help you find the best rates available that will work for your faxing needs. Plans can be found for as low as a few dollars per month, for those who don't do a lot of faxing every month, up to $30 or so for larger companies or corporations that do a lot of business over fax.
So, before you consider fixing your old fax machine or buying a new one, look into email fax service options to see if it might work for you.