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I have been asked to get a replacement Scanner and Fax machine. Can anyone recommend any?

Also should I get separate units or are multifunctional devices that do everything just as good?

Must be easy to use and setup and the cheaper the better. Ideally with network capability as well.

Thanks

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migrated from serverfault.com Sep 22 '09 at 18:06

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

    
A multi-purpose device would disable the multiple functions if it breaks down. With multiple single-purpose devices you will only have downtime on one function, not all of them... –  Wim ten Brink Sep 22 '09 at 13:15

3 Answers 3

Did you consider some online service? There are many providers who will provide you with a fax number, then receive faxes for you and email them to you, and conversely fax stuff you email to them (PDF etc.).

You'll probably need a provider from your country, to get a fax number from your country, so I can't recommend any. Just google for "online fax". In Germany, some freemail providers even offer fax reception for free (e.g. web.de).

Advantages:

  • saves you the hassle of maintaining your own hardware
  • lets you integrate faxes into an email workflow
  • you don't need a dedicated telephone line for the fax machine
  • you can (usually) send & receive as many faxes in parallel as you want

Of course, if you need the faxes on paper anyway, a hardware device might be better.

See e.g. http://superuser.com/questions/88571/electronic-fax-sending-services and http://superuser.com/questions/73692/online-fax-services

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As CarlF said, it really depends on your needs.

If you are sending over 10 pages a day, you may want to get a bog standard cheap fax machine.

If you are sending over 100 pages a day, you will probably want to get some big fast fax machine.

If like me, you send a fax, a handful of times a year, just use an old pc with a 56k fax modem along with a scanner and use the built in tools for sending a fax.

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I you send a fax a handful of times a year, an online service is probably easier & cheaper. –  sleske Jan 29 '10 at 9:40
    
@sleske, I haven't looked for ages, but when I last looked, the only providers I found want a monthly subscription and lock you in for a minimum of a year - I only send about 2 faxes a year and when I receive (last year was 3), I get told in advance so I can prepare. –  William Hilsum Jan 29 '10 at 12:30
    
Hm, in Germany there's e.g. web.de which offers fax reception (free, I believe), and sending for 30 (Euro)-cent per page. No subscription, no recurring fees. There must be similar services elsewhere... –  sleske Jan 31 '10 at 22:33

The right answer depends on your needs. For me, a person who scans or faxes maybe once or twice a month, and a person who has little space on his desk, a multifunction device (which is also my printer) was the perfect solution. If you fax 1000 pages a week, not so much. Give more information.

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