Faxes? We’re talking about faxes? In 2009? Yes. Yes we are. Just because many, if not most businesses and individuals have switched to a Web-based means of communication doesn’t mean everyone has. Some individuals and businesses prefer the use of fax, especially when it comes to tasks like sending and receiving signed contracts. Did you know that you can do this with your BlackBerry? Today we’ll go over the process for sending and receiving faxes with your BlackBerry.
Find a fax gateway service
If you’re a BES user, check with your administrator to see if your company has the fax gateway software and service necessary to perform these tasks. If they do, you can probably get it set up for your BlackBerry fairly quickly. If you’re a BIS user, you’re going to have to sign up for a service, and that won’t be free. The two most common sites I’ve seen mentioned are eFax and Faxaway. Faxaway provides an a la carte service, whereby you pay per minute of faxing, in addition to some nominal monthly fees. eFax is a subscription model, charging between $14 and $20 per month and providing a certain number of free messages, depending on the tier of service you sign up for.
Pick up Mail2Fax
Yes, this is another cost involved with BlackBerry faxing. The application is called Mail2Fax, and it’s how you send out the faxes. You can pick up Mail2Fax from the BBGeeks Store for $12.95. It allows you to select a message from your BlackBerry which you will fax. The setup for Mail2Fax is easy if you’re using one of the above fax gateways. It has settings built in for eFax and Faxaway, so you’ll have minimal work to do on your end. That won’t be the case if you have a fax gateway from your IT department, though, so be sure to pay a visit to your administrator when you want to set up Mail2Fax.
Sending a fax
This is quite simple. Go to your Messages application and select the email/SMS/whatever you want to send. Click on it, and then click the trackball while in the message. You’ll see an option for Mail2Fax. Once you click that you can enter the recipient’s number, and off goes your fax. Yes, it’s really that easy.
Receiving a fax
When you sign up for eFax or Faxaway you’ll receive a fax number, which contacts will use when sending you a fax. When you sign up, provide the gateway with an email address which is attached to your BlackBerry. This way, faxes going to your fax number will now forward to your email address as a PDF attachment. When you get a new fax, it will show up like a new message with an attachment. You can use PDF-viewing software like BeamReader to get a better view of the fax. Or you can just print it out from your desktop email. The worst part of the faxing process with BlackBerry is the price. Otherwise, it’s a relatively simple process. Also learned while writing this: I’m sick of the word fax.