Fax Software – Convert a computer to a fax machine

There are three main types of fax software available.

The first kind is an online or internet based fax service. This service is accessed through the internet (typically over email, a web interface, an app, or a program installed on a computer).

The second type is a program that is installed on a computer that turns the computer into a replacement for a fax machine. This be a small desktop (or laptop) computer to a larger enterprise server that many users depend on.

On this page

  • Type 1 – Online software and services
  • Type 2 – Installed software
  • Type 3 – Fax servers (Enterprise)
  • External sources & resources
  • More resources

Type 1 – Online software and services

An online fax service acts like a virtual fax machine that is accessed through the internet.

The fax service manages all the fax “infrastructure” (such as phone lines and software).

Type 2 – Installed software

Software can be installed on a computer to have it “imitate” a traditional fax machine – the computer is plugged into a phone line and connects to another fax machine through the phone network.

Both Windows and Linux have options for fax software. Mac OS X does not (as there is no longer a fax modem available since OS X 10.7).

In the case of Windows, Windows Fax and Scan (Fax Console on Windows XP) is included with the operating system. There are also a number 3rd party options that can give added functionality.

In the case of Linux, there are a number of open source options for fax software – everything from smaller fax clients (like Windows fax and scan) to software that is used to power enterprise level systems.

Type 3 – Fax servers

A fax server is typically used in an enterprise environment and administered by an IT specialist (or department).

From a user perspective, fax servers work very much like an online fax service (allowing users to send and receive faxes over email or a software program), however all the fax infrastructure is managed through the organization.

External sources & resources

More resources