I personally prefer email over facsimile to send and receive document. But in government, business and financial sectors, facsimile is still frequently used. Various solutions exist to address the need of people who don't have access to a fax machine and/or service to send/receive faxes. Many companies offer numerous fax services on the Internet. Most operate by converting email to fax for fax-sending and fax to email for fax-receiving. On my part, I would like to share my experience when using a practical solution, that's using my Bluetooth phone as a fax modem.
These are the requirements:
- a Bluetooth enabled phone
- a fax service subscription, already activated by your cellular operator
- a laptop or desktop PC running Windows XP SP2 (Home or Professional)
- a fax software (there is one that comes with Windows, that's the Fax Console)
Here are the step-by-step guide:
- Install your Bluetooth phone on your computer, find the detailed instructions on this link. If your installation succeeds, you'll see Standard Modem over Bluetooth link on the Device Manager and Phone and Modem Option.
- Open Printers and Faxes on Windows Explorer (Control Panel>Printer and Faxes)
- Right-click Fax icon, select Properties to open the Fax Properties window
- On Fax Properties, go to the "Devices" tab. Select Standard Modem over Bluetooth link, click Properties.
- On the modem Properties window, on the "Send" tab, you can specify your fax-sending settings, i.e. TSID and fax-sending number of retries.
- On the "Receive" tab, you can specify your fax-receiving settings, i.e. CSID, manual or automatic answer, fax-printing, and fax-backup.
- The settings you've defined in the fax modem Properties window, will appear on the "Devices" tab of Fax Properties window.
- Click Apply and OK.
Now you are ready to send and/or receive faxes using your Bluetooth phone as a fax modem.
You can send a fax using Windows' Fax Console (start > All Programs > Accessories > Communications> Fax > Fax Console) or via other Windows applications (File > Print).
I'll compile the screenshots. When they are ready, I'll put the link here. In the meantime, happy bluefaxing...
FYI: If you are planning to upgrade to Windows Vista, you can only find built-in fax software (i.e. Windows Fax and Scan) on Vista Business and Ultimate. You can't find it on Home Basic and Home Premium.
Bluetooth FAX Profile