Faxes are original email (that is, if you count telegrams as the original text messages). Originally invented in 1846, faxes were first used to send documents over phone lines in 1924, and became the default business communication tool in the late 1960's and early 1970s after Xerox introduced commercial fax machines.
Email arrived around the same time—but took a couple decades to become a commercial success. Even as email became the default way to communicate and share files, fax held on. It's still a tool businesses, governments, and financial institutions use to send signed documents and more.
You could still keep a fax machine around—or you could use a tool like Phaxio to send faxes directly from your apps. It's a bit like a printer or fax machine: instead of tapping a button to send a fax, you connect it to your software and use Phaxio's API to send your documents as faxes.
When you create a Phaxio account, you'll first need to get a new private phone number for your business to use for faxes. Phaxio offers fax numbers for $2 a month in a wide range of US and Canadian area codes, so you can get one that's a local call for your customers. Or, you can get multiple phone numbers to organize your faxes or reach people in other areas.
Then, you'll use Phaxio's API to connect it to your apps. It includes libraries to help you add fax support to your internal apps easily, or you could use the
curl command in Terminal to send faxes right from your computer with little extra work. Another option is to use Phaxio's Zapier integrations to send faxes right from your favorite apps—you could, say, add a fax number and link to a document to a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and Phaxio would send the fax automatically. Phaxio doesn't actually include button to send faxes directly from the app, so you'll need to set it up with your apps to send faxes easily.
Phaxio lets you send standard Word documents, PDF files, images, and plain text files as faxes. It can even send HTML files or web links, and will format them to look great as documents. You can send files that are up to 20MB—with up to 200 pages—as a fax with Phaxio.
Receiving faxes is a bit easier. Once you have a Phaxio fax number—or have ported an existing number—you can receive faxes directly in Phaxio's web app. There, you can see the details of the fax, preview its first page, and download the fax as a PDF. That way, if you only need to receive faxes, you could make an account with Phaxio and do that without using its API or integrations.
You could also receive faxes and have them routed to the person you want without getting an extra phone number. Just make a PhaxCode—a barcode generated by Phaxio—and have your contacts include it in the fax when they send it to your Phaxio number, and Phaxio can then include metadata to send the fax to the correct app, integration, or person automatically.
Fax doesn't have to be complicated—in fact, it could fit into your app workflow as easily as email. All you need it a bit of time to connect Phaxio to your apps, and you can send and receive faxes right from the apps you use for the rest of your work.
- Learn how to send and receive Phaxio faxes with Phaxio Documentation
- Add Phaxio support to your app easily with Phaxio Client Libraries for Node.js, PHP, Python, .NET, Ruby, and Java
- Send faxes without coding directly from Google Sheets, email, Slack, and other popular apps using Phaxio's Zapier integrations