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Leslie Walker's .com column

  Free Faxing Services on the Web

By Leslie Walker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 22, 1999

Here is a partial list of companies offering facsimile services that use the Internet to send or receive faxes:

Receive Faxes for Free offers free phone numbers that forward incoming faxes to any e-mail address you choose. The numbers are not necessarily in the state where you live, and the sender of faxes pays toll charges. The free service is funded partly by advertising, which appears on the image of an envelope that pops up for about six seconds when you first call up a fax. In May, will roll out a two other premium services such as sending faxes from a Web browser and converting faxes into word processing documents. The company also makes facsimile hardware, including a Hewlett-Packard machine that has the capability of faxing directly to e-mail accounts. also offers free inbound faxing and assigns telephone numbers for free. also has announced it will soon offer free phone numbers that will receive voice mail messages and transform them into e-mail. The company also offers a $12.50-a-month unified messaging service that allows a person's e-mail box to receive e-mail, faxes and voice mails. Those messages are retrievable by telephone as well as on the Internet.

This company's free "FaxWave" service assigns free phone numbers for receiving faxes in e-mail baskets.

Send Faxes for Free

This Web sites offers a simple form for composing a fax or adding a document that you have already created and e-mailing for free to any fax machine in the United States. The faxes carry advertising in the margins. You can add multiple recipients for each message, allowing you to "broadcast" fax to e-mail addresses. A premium service to send faxes abroad is coming soon. SwissClick: HotCorp.'s SwissClick service allows you to send a free fax (up to 25 lines) directly from your Web browser to any fax machine in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. You can only send to three e-mail addresses at the same time. The fax images carry limited advertising.

Founded last year, People Fax's ad-supported free outbound fax service limits transmission to three pages. If someone wants to send more pages, the company offers an elaborate "credit" plan that requires people to earn credits by clicking on advertisers' sites.

This Pennsylvania company offers free faxing. There is a 25-line limit per fax and cap of three pages that can be sent to any single fax machine. Some of the faxes carry ads.

Free Fax and Voice Mail
One of the tiniest startups, this company has been running some of its services in "beta" with only five employees. It plans a full launch of its services in June. Chief executive Nader Rahimizad said Telebot quietly launched a free Web fax service last August. Now, in addition to offering free phone numbers for receiving faxes, Telebot is advertising an offer of no-cost , personal 800 toll-free numbers that it claims will convert up to five voice mail messages to .wav sound files and transmit them to your e-mail address. Rahimizad declined to say how many subscribers Telebot has, but said, "It's gone way beyond our expectations." The site is confusing, and I couldn't find the free form for sending faxes.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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