Fax Software – Turn a computer into a fax machine

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

There are three main types of fax software available.

The first kind is an online or internet based fax service. The Internet is used to access this service (typically over email, a web interface, an app, or a program installed on a computer).

The second type is a computer program that turns the computer into a replacement for a fax machine.

The third type is a fax server – typically used in enterprise environments.

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 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).

With Windows, the operating system includes Windows Fax and Scan (Fax Console on Windows XP). There are also a number 3rd party options that can give added functionality.

In the case of Linux, there are some 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