Build a computerized fax receiver
March 3, 2004 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Electronic Fax Receiving. My company has 4 fax machines running full speed during the summer. We are now ramping up, and I would like to switch to an electronic solution for receiving faxes. [more inside]

Using just e-mail is not an alternative, unfortunately. We are tied to this machines, whether we like it or not.

I would like to build a server (not a problem) but I need software to do it. I would like the server to accept minimum 4 lines (4 modems?), maybe up to 8 lines. I would like to do this as inexpensively as possible (of course). It can not be an e-fax Internet solution, either, due to confidentiality issues. Can anyone recommend software? Are there any open source solutions (Linux + Open Source fax software to accept multiple modems and lines installed). Or maybe there is a piece of hardware to do this that I haven't seen?
posted by benjh to Technology (6 answers total)
In the past, i have worked at several companies with fax solutions. For a linux solution, Hylafax looks pretty good. if you need to be able to recieve faxes, because thats what your client uses, there are places that outsource fax to email services for fairly cheep. I dont remember the names of them now, but quick googleing should turn them up. The problem that you will run into is that the fax cards (if you want the 4 lines per card models) are fairly expensive.
posted by Davidicus at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2004

I'm curious about why you feel an efax solution wouldn't be secure enough.

We use the services of Easylink. They provide a fax to email solution that works very well for us, charging for a minimum number of pages + a per page charge thereafter. This along with a toll free number for incoming faxes. In addition, the incoming messages arrive in either TIF or PDF format.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:16 PM on March 3, 2004

Well we already have 800#s, and we need to use the same lines. In addition, it is simply company policy that we can't use an Internet fax solution.

I don't mind paying out some money to get this done. If there is a Microsoft solution, that would be good too, but I haven't found one.
posted by benjh at 12:59 PM on March 3, 2004

We use this product at work and, while we only have one line, it has proven to be an excellent performer.
posted by dg at 6:44 PM on March 3, 2004

I recommend the free and excellent Hylafax. It exists for exactly what you're looking to do. I've worked with it fairly extensively. It's a a mature, popular, client/server application. Hylafax sends and receives faxes, and happily works with multiple phone lines, and will run on your basic Linux box. There are lots of clients available for free, plus commercial ones (like that integrate with Microsoft Exchange), that run on any platform that you might want to use.
posted by waldo at 9:19 PM on March 3, 2004

Couldn't you just drop 4 fax/modem cards in any old Linux or Windows box?
posted by signal at 6:41 AM on March 4, 2004

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