How to Send an International Fax

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International Dialing on a Traditional Fax Machine

Sending an international fax by using a facsimile machine is as easy as adding the country code prefix to the regular phone number before dialing.

Step 1:

If you work in an office with a dedicated phone switch and normally dial a prefix to access outside lines, use that first. Dialing  ‘ 9 ‘ is a common code.

Step 2:

Next, you need to add ‘011’ which is the international dialing prefix in the U.S. International dialing prefixes vary by country and carrier.

Note: Countries that are a part of the North American Numbering Plan can be dialed by simply using “1” as you would in the United States.

Step 3:

Now put the country code of the country you are wanting to reach. Look up country codes for every country.

Step 4:

Add the local phone number you want to dial. If the number starts with a ‘0’ — drop it. The zero is only used when dialing a number from within the same country.

This is the long format: [9 if necessary]-[international dialing prefix]-[country code]-[local phone number].

If dialing from the U.S., your number will now look something like this: 011-[country code]-[local phone number].

Still not sure? You can get the exact dialing string for how to send a fax internationally.

Dialing Tricks

If you are dialing from a computer with a fax modem, it may be necessary to insert a pause after the exchange and country code to give time for the phone switch to catch up. To insert a pause when dialing from a computer, add one or more commas ( , ) between the first number and the country code. On a regular fax machine, an asterisk ( * ) may substitute if there isn’t a button for “pause.”

Because the telephone line is used, you will be charged for long distance locally and will also pay international tolls which can get expensive. When dialing developing countries or over bad connections, it may be necessary to lower the baud rate on your fax machine to ensure that the transmission survives pops and static on the phone line.

How to Send an International Fax Online

Sending a fax internationally with software or an online fax service is much easier and will cost you no long distance.  In fact, the telephone line can be eliminated completely or used for other things. Regardless of the country, you simply attach your fax as a Word document, spreadsheet, PDF, or image file to an email which serves are the cover sheet.

You send that email to the address provided by your online fax service and it is then sent to your recipient’s fax machine.  For instance, if you intended to send a fax to 123-4567 your email would appear to go to “1234567@efax.com”. Many of the online fax sites will let you send a few free faxes or unlimited for a low monthly fee (much less than the cost of a phone line and long distance charges).