Using a fax machine at home may not be practical if you do not use it often. The cost of a fax machine is an additional expense, and unless you really need one at home, then you might have to find a cheaper way to send and receive fax at home. If you will be faxing only a few pages once in a while, then you may already ask permission from your office to use the fax machine. This can be viewed as an employee benefit. Just make sure that any long distance fax transmittal will be charged to you. At least you only have to pay for the actual bill, with no extra charges.
However, if you have a business or if you need to regularly send and receive faxes, and trying to use the company fax machine will get you into trouble, then you can consider buying a cheap fax machine that is also a copier and a printer, or you can subscribe for Internet fax with a minimal monthly cost.
When you buy a fax machine, you can buy brand new or second hand ones. Of course, second hand gadgets are always cheaper. Check it out first before buying because you might end up with a defective device with no value at all. It is good if the seller provides for a trial period wherein you can return it if it turns out to have problems. Also consider how much its paper will cost. If it uses fax paper, it will be a regular expense you have to budget for, and fax paper is quite expensive. You may opt to buy a fax machine that prints documents on ordinary paper using ink. In this way, you can use scratch papers for incoming faxes, which will save you on paper expenses.
When buying brand new fax machines, you should already choose the one with the most features – built in copier and printer. Make sure it has at least one-year warranty so if you have any problems with it, you can have it repaired or replaced.
If you choose to use the new technology of sending and receiving fax though the Internet, then find out how it works and how much it will cost you. Basically, Internet faxing service can cost you nothing if you first use the free trial that online faxing service providers offer their potential clients. This is to give you a chance to try their service at no cost, and for you to be able to assess their service better. Online faxing is basically like email, since you are able to save the files, and you have the option to print the document or not. At least this saves you paper and ink, especially if the message sent is only a notice that you need not print out. There are several options you can choose from, some packages provides a maximum amount of fax transmittals per month for a fixed fee, and an additional charge for every page in excess. There are also services wherein you are charged for only the number of pages transmitted and a minimal monthly fee.