Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Send and receive faxes without a fax machine

At the desk today, I got a question about where students might be able to send and receive faxes. Since we don't have any fax machines on campus that students can use, we usually refer students to nearby copy shops to fax services. With the student today, I showed her a new free web service called Drop.io that allows you to send and receive faxes.

Roughly, the Drop.io service works like this:
  1. You create a user name that Drop.io uses to build a unique, personalized URL for you. I entered sfrancoeur to create mine.
  2. You upload the files you want to fax.
  3. You decide if you want to password protect your Drop.io site
  4. Once you've created the site and uploaded a file (or files), you go to your personalized page and click the "Send" link under the file you want to fax. From the list of send options (fax, email, etc.) you select fax, enter the fax number, and click send.
Receiving faxes looks like it is a bit more complex. Instructions can be found here.

If you don't password protect your Drop.io page, then anyone can download your files, which might be a good thing if you are a student working on a document for a group assignment. Students could also use this service to save things like papers they are working on. If they don't have a flash drive to save their work, they could upload it to Drop.io so they can retrieve it later.

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