How Fax Machines Work

Portable Fax Machines

New technnology allows users to receive faxes directly to their e-mail inboxes.
New technnology allows users to receive faxes directly to their e-mail inboxes.
Photographer: Andres Rodriguez | Agency: Dreamstime

As long as fax remains an essential part of doing business, every office will have a fax machine. But what if an essential part of your business is not being in the office? How are you supposed to send and receive faxes from the road? E-mail and Internet fax technology have been a boon for road warriors, but some people still like to have that piece of paper in their hand. That's where portable fax machines come in.

As of this writing, only one company sells a truly portable, wireless, self-contained fax machine. The Greta GSM Fax and Printer by Possio is essentially a big cell phone that doubles as a fax machine, scanner and copier. Weighing a little over two pounds and measuring 11 inches by 6 inches, the device contains a GSM card that allows it to send and receive cell phone voice and data calls. It also comes with a 50-foot roll of paper for printing out approximately 50 fax pages.

To send a fax, you feed your document page by page into the slot scanner. Then you dial your destination fax number and press send. To receive a fax, the machine simply needs to be powered on and within range of a cellular signal. While GSM is the standard in Europe, coverage in the United States is still catching on and could be spotty.

Portable fax machines like the Greta could also be helpful for their mobile printing, scanning and copying functions. Even if you use Internet fax, you can use the Greta to easily scan paper documents to send as e-mail attachments.

Portable fax machines would be particularly useful for salesmen, real estate agents, lawyers, truck drivers and anyone else who spends a considerable amount of time away from the office.

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