Faxing is somewhat more problematic over VOIP than landlines.It will help if your VoIP provider and hardware support the T.37/38 protocols. VOIP is overall definitely wqrth the plunge!
Anonymous noted: "Faxing is somewhat more problematic over VOIP than landlines. It will help if your VoIP provider and hardware support the T.37/38 protocols."True enough, some VoIP providers don't support faxing. My provider, http://www.voip.ms, does. Per its online documentation, just be sure to select the G.711u codec only for the fax line's subaccount. Importantly, you'll need an analog telephone adapter that supports faxing. The PAP2T-NA that I use for our home phone system doesn't really do so, though I'm told it can be made to work, if slowly. Fortunately there are alternative adapters that don't cost much more which fully support faxing. Again I refer to Mango's informative post at http://tinyurl.com/65v3vkh ...a quick spot check shows that the Linksys/Cisco SPA-2102 costs less than $10 more than the PAP2T-NA on Amazon, and it supports faxing.But you can use the full eFax service for less than the cost of a traditional dedicated fax line. You can even get a free eFax number to receive faxes for free via email: http://home.efax.com/s/r/efaxprint ...the following Google search identifies more fax-over-Internet possibilities, too: http://tinyurl.com/62b4m4x
As usual two factors are left off in these comparisons. First a landline can accept collect calls, VoIP can not. Second landlines are held to a higher standard of reliability, while VoIP's standard is best-effort.
1) The "as usual" was a bit uncalled-for... Let's be civil. VoIP is an option. For me it's the best option, and it saves me 90% of my former phone bill every single month. For you, maybe something else is a better approach.Personally, I cannot recall the last time I had occasion to accept a collect call. In my case the inability to accept a collect call is a feature, not a bug. It's also a trait mostly shared by cell phones, from what I've been able to determine, though at least some cell providers allow you to accept a collect call at outrageous prices (e.g., http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB101811&cv=820#fbid=HHug-Efb3Uw)If collect-calling is a typical need for your usage, then as with most things VoIP, the technology's inherent flexibility provides a host of potential workarounds. Depending on the circumstances (kid at college, spouse in prison, family member in military service overseas, what-have-you), one solution or another might be optimal, but all offer far lower cost than accepting even a single typical collect call:o There are services like http://3gcollect.com oro You could set up a prepaid account of some sort, oro You could use a cheap calling-card or maybe some trick of Google Voice, oro You could set up a specific DID (dial-able number) in a specific area code ($0.99/month at www.voip.ms) or country, or o You could even set up an inexpensive 800-number ($0.99/month).......That's by no means an exhaustive list. Lots of options, and lots of savings. Write back if you have a specific use-case in mind, and I'll see if there's a particularly great solution.2) I have addressed the issue of VoIP reliability elsewhere on this blog. For credible VoIP providers like www.voip.ms and Callcentric, the reliability is terrific. After all, many very substantial companies increasingly rely on VoIP for their mission-critical telephone and fax communications, and the massive savings flow right to their bottom line.And landlines aren't 100% reliable, either... In my personal experience, I'd rank my VoIP setup's reliability as equal to that of my former landline, meaning very reliable indeed. Certainly, in my family's case with two lines, the reliability has been superb, despite the 90% lower cost vs. our former landlines.
UPDATE: I just checked the rates for 3Gcollect.com ...ouch.