Fax technology is indeed ancient, yet it is still relevant in many business situations nowadays. Sending a fax is cheap, simple and quick. It also requires little hardware, basically just a fax machine and a telephone landline. The problem is, landlines tend to disappear in favour of cell phones, and this makes it all the more difficult to send faxes. There are at the moment two options to make a fax machine wireless: using an existing landline and wireless phone jacks; or simply do without the landline entirely, and use the internet.
Using a wireless fax machine on an existing landline
If your home or office is still equipped with a telephone landline, you may nevertheless need more mobility from your fax machine. If you often redesign your work space, or if the phone plug is inconveniently located, a wireless fax machine will quickly become an essential piece of equipment.
Instant wireless fax machines with wireless phone jacks
Using a small device called a “wireless phone jack” is the easiest way to get a wireless fax machine: you simply connect the phone jack’s transmission unit to the existing phone plug and an AC outlet; then, plug the receptor, or “extension unit”, in any other electrical outlet; finally, plug your fax machine to this extension unit. Your wireless fax machine is now ready! You can use as many extension units as you wish, making it thus possible to use a phone, fax machine and computer modem anywhere in your house or office. Of course, all extension units can be relocated and reset. For example, the RCA RC926 only costs around £50, including the transmission unit and one extension.
Wi-Fi multi-function printers
If your office is equipped with a multi-function printer (MFP) with a built-in fax machine, then you may not even need a wireless phone jack. As a matter of fact, modern MFPs often come with Wi-Fi connectivity, so if your landline is connected to a Wi-Fi modem, then your MFP can be used as a wireless fax machine.
Transmitting faxes via the internet
If you don’t have access to or don’t want to use a legacy landline, then new technologies can help you send and receive faxes anyway. VOIP allows phone calls to be made over the internet without the need for a telephone landline, so it can also obviously support fax transmission. You just need an internet connection, and some dedicated hardware. So if you have a Wi-Fi machine, you’ll have a wireless fax machine!
Most telephone companies and internet providers offer VOIP services, with unlimited calls for a monthly subscription fee. Business solutions, tailor-made to any company’s needs, are generally also available. VOIP offers good bandwidth efficiency and low costs, which explains why it has since the 2010s become the technology of choice for most businesses. Moreover, VOIP allows communications and data to be run over a single network, which reduces infrastructure costs. VOIP has evolved into a unified communication system, where phone calls, emails, voice mail and of course faxes, can be delivered.
What equipment is required?
To use a VOIP service, you will of course need to subscribe to one, or use Google Voice, a free VOIP service. Don’t hesitate to shop around, as most internet providers in the UK offer business solutions. You will also need a computer, preferably with Wi-Fi connectivity. Finally, a dedicated interface such as the £40 Obi 202 VOIP Adapter T.38 Fax will help: it works with Google Voice, and allows phone calls to be made over the internet, but also faxes to be sent or received, generally using a Wi-Fi MFP, although a regular fax machine will work too.