lewisedge

Sending/Receiving FAX Wirelessly From RV

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For many years prior to retiring, selling my house and traveling/living full-time in my motorhome beginning in March 2017, I had a FAX machine in my home.  Although FAX is an old technology and my machine did not get heavy use, it was an especially convenient way to quickly and securely communicate with those who were unwilling or unable to use email.  On vacating my house I lost that convenience and particularly missed it when, during my travels, I had to use an office supply store or mailing/shipping facility to send/receive FAX messages.

Even wireless printers and FAX machines need a conventional phone line to send and receive FAX transmissions which, until recently, was unavailable to me as a full-time RV traveler.  There are, of course, Web-based services that will convert email messages into FAX messages and vice versa, but their monthly charges usually range from about $8 to $17.  Free FAX services severely restrict the number of pages and quantity of FAX messages that can be sent or received.

Here is the way I was able to recently obtain a conventional phone line that operates wirelessly.  An OBi200 1-Port VoIP Phone Adapter with Google Voice and Fax Support for Home and SOHO Phone Service can be connected to an Internet router with a standard CAT-5 cable.  After it has been configured with Google Voice, unlimited phone and FAX calls can be made via the OBi200 using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) anywhere in North America without any monthly or calling fees.  Recently I was introduced to the Obihai Technology OBIWIFI5G 2.4/5GHz Wireless 802.11AC Adapter for the OBi200 which allows me to use my cellular hotspot for the VoIP Internet connection.  Like most RV owners, I don’t have an Internet router in my coach.  Those who do will not need the wireless adapter.

Amazon, Newegg and other on-line sellers sell the OBi200 for about $50 and the OBIWIFI5G adapter for about $25, making the total investment for having a conventional phone line in my coach with unlimited calling and FAXing for less than a year’s cost of the cheapest Internet FAX service.  Here is a word of caution; VoIP does of course consume data.  My data plan with Verizon is unlimited but if yours has limits you’ll need to take VoIP data consumption into account when considering costs.

My campground’s office kindly allowed me to use one of their hard-wired Internet connections to configure my OBi200 and wireless adapter, but once that was done their connection was no longer needed.  For my needs I used the FAX tool already available in my Windows computer and a modem connection to the phone line.  If I’m sending a document from paper, I use my portable scanner, which I already owned.  Otherwise I can FAX documents that already on my computer as easily as I can print them.  Received FAX messages pop up on my screen which I can view, save and/or print as needed.  Conventional FAX machines can now be bought for as little as $25 on-line.

Since my installation, I’ve been able to FAX documents thousands of miles across North America and locally as reliably as I could with the land-line that I had in my home.  Frequent boondockers can run the OBi200 directly on 12-volts DC or with its included 120/240 volt AC adapter.

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I can count on one hand how many faxes I have send and received in the last 12 month and I would have fingers left over.  I use e-fax to receive faxes at no charge for up to 20 faxes per month and I let everyone I know that I can't send them a fax.  Surprise, they all have e-mail access!

Let's say they don't, however.  This has not happened to me in the last 5 years, but let's still say they don't.  It costs about $2 to have a fax sent from one of the many local options available.

As an aside, your unlimited Verizon data plan is not unlimited "high speed".  It's 22GB of 4G and then it's unlimited data at whatever speed Verizon deems to be available.

I am glad that you found a solution that works for you but if I read this correctly, you paid $50 for hardware and another $25 for an adapter and then you still need a scanner to make it all work.  I guess we live very different lives as I have been working and living in my RV for over 17 years and a fax machine is required pretty much never.  If you do want the option to receive faxes then e-fax is a great option but I still get fax spam and that counts against my monthly limit as well.  Strangely enough, I haven't exceeded 20 faxes/month in.....maybe ever!?

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5 hours ago, BillAdams said:

"I can count on one hand how many faxes I have send and received in the last 12 month and I would have fingers left over.  I use e-fax to receive faxes at no charge for up to 20 faxes per month and I let everyone I know that I can't send them a fax.  Surprise, they all have e-mail access!"

Thank you Bill Adams for your perspective after reading my post.  Since I already owned the OBi200 VoIP device, my scanner and my laptop computer, my only investment in this capability was buying the wireless adapter for about $25 and my setup time.  We each have our own lives and needs.  Although you apparently can manage just fine without in-coach FAX convenience, I've found it quite useful without incurring any ongoing expense or receiving FAX spam.  My objective in posting what I wrote was to let FMCA members know how to achieve what I did, not to sell or convert anybody to old FAX technology.  I've never found a physician or medical facility, for example, that will send or receive medical documents via email.  I've also encountered some business enterprises that require either signed FAX documents or hand-delivery of the documents.  My stock broker uses email but recently requested a signed FAX document.  I could have sent the document by snail mail which would have taken several days.

I've had my Verizon unlimited plan since this past March and have never had my 4G speed throttled except when I encountered daily limits while traveling in Canada.  Each morning the full speed was restored.  My understanding of Verizon's throttling policy is that as long as I'm in area where there is plenty of available bandwidth, my data speed will not be reduced no matter how much data I may have used during the month.  Thus far my experience appears to bear that out.

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Well the socalled unlimited data from Verizon turned out to be a joke, the 22 gig is 4g service really fast speed, and for the first two months it cruised well at 17 to 35 mbs and when reached the 22 gig threshold didn't seem to slow down that bad. But after the first 2 months my one hotspot reached 10 gig  and then 3g kicked in. Well I called Verizon to complain, I thought that I had 22 g on 4g, no only 10 gig per hotspot, then 3g, and 3g really is bad here, I'm on the same hilltop as the Verizon tower 300 yards away (900 feet), so I ordered a second hotspot, whoopee, 4g on it, I streamed for 15 minutes and I got a text that my 10 gig was almost used up on the new hotspot, down on 3g after only two days with no appreciable up or downloads. My cycle renews at midnight tonight and I will be able to surf again. I ran an Ookla speed test 10 minutes ago, and .4 mps down (that is 4/100 of a mps) and upload would not even run, errors out. Lewisedge, I was typing while you were, I wish the Verizon on this side of the Rockies were as forgiving as yours,:o. And I never went over 12 gig before the Unlimited plan, I'm not doing anything different now than before, but since I topped out two months ago, they claim that my bucket has a hole in it. Here is a copy and paste of the Verizon notification. Sorry but the date did not show with the C&P, but this was on July 28/ 2017. Oh yes, please be aware that all that 3g "super slow" data that you are using on a single hotspot that is limited to 10 gig counts against the 22 gig Unlimited, before slowing down to 3g on all hotspots.

 
 
Update about your 10 GB 4G LTE data allowance
Mobile number ending in #6838
 
 
Hi Kay,
Your 4G Internet with mobile number ending in #6838 has reached its 4G LTE data allowance. Your monthly data allowance will reset on the 13th with your next bill cycle.

What happens next?
Your 4G Internet will be switched from 4G LTE speed to 3G speed for the rest of your bill cycle. For more information, visit our FAQs.
blocked.gif
 
 
 

Thanks for choosing Verizon Wireless.

 

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Keep in mind that a document that is scanned and e-mailed is exactly the same as a faxed document.  Many folks already carry a printer/scanner in their coach.  I am lucky that I don't need to see a doctor so hopefully by the time I get old enough to need regular medical follow-up the doctors will be up-to-date enough to take my scanned e-mail.

My current employer required everything be faxed from the office.  I just refused and kept scanning and sending e-mails as this not only got the same result but I had a record of what was sent, when and to whom.  They now have dropped all fax requirements and do everything via e-mail.  The fax machine just spits out spam every now and then.

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BillAdamsUnless a document, scanned or not, is encrypted before it's attached to or included in an email, its contents can be intercepted along the way and/or stored on someone else's server.  That is not the same as FAX.  I suspect that is why medical professionals will not email sensitive records but will do so via FAX.  I've also found that many otherwise competent office workers have no clue how nor do they have the software that is capable of encrypting sensitive documents.  FAX is an old communications technology but it is simple for even an untrained worker to use and it does not get intercepted, hacked or transmit viruses and malware.  Once again, the purpose of my post was not to persuade anyone to use FAX technology but rather to provide a solution for motorhome owners who can benefit from it.

 

kaypsmith:

Your experience with Verizon must be nightmarish.  My wife and I have traveled more than 11,000 miles since March through the USA and Canada, use our smartphones as hotspots and have not run into the problems that you've experienced with data caps and slowdowns.   Perhaps you need to elevate your complaint to a higher level.  We did find, while we were camping at Yellowstone NP's Fishing Bridge campground, that data speeds there were excruciatingly slow.  But it was slow for everyone even with four bars of 4G signal.  It appears that Verizon's data pipeline into that area is inadequate.  Once we were out of the park we got normal speeds again.

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Medical professionals do not have to email reports they now have PORTALS. The VA has a portal, and Houston Methodist has a portal and I use them both. They are great.

In 10 years I think I had to fax something one time when I was on the road. I just went to Office Depot and they faxed it for me - for a very small cost at that time.

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tiberiom   
On 8/13/2017 at 4:07 PM, lewisedge said:

For many years prior to retiring, selling my house and traveling/living full-time in my motorhome beginning in March 2017, I had a FAX machine in my home.  Although FAX is an old technology and my machine did not get heavy use, it was an especially convenient way to quickly and securely communicate with those who were unwilling or unable to use email.  On vacating my house I lost that convenience and particularly missed it when, during my travels, I had to use an office supply store or mailing/shipping facility to send/receive FAX messages.

Even wireless printers and FAX machines need a conventional phone line to send and receive FAX transmissions which, until recently, was unavailable to me as a full-time RV traveler.  There are, of course, Web-based services that will convert email messages into FAX messages and vice versa, but their monthly charges usually range from about $8 to $17.  Free FAX services severely restrict the number of pages and quantity of FAX messages that can be sent or received.

Here is the way I was able to recently obtain a conventional phone line that operates wirelessly.  An OBi200 1-Port VoIP Phone Adapter with Google Voice and Fax Support for Home and SOHO Phone Service can be connected to an Internet router with a standard CAT-5 cable.  After it has been configured with Google Voice, unlimited phone and FAX calls can be made via the OBi200 using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) anywhere in North America without any monthly or calling fees.  Recently I was introduced to the Obihai Technology OBIWIFI5G 2.4/5GHz Wireless 802.11AC Adapter for the OBi200 which allows me to use my cellular hotspot for the VoIP Internet connection.  Like most RV owners, I don’t have an Internet router in my coach.  Those who do will not need the wireless adapter.

Amazon, Newegg and other on-line sellers sell the OBi200 for about $50 and the OBIWIFI5G adapter for about $25, making the total investment for having a conventional phone line in my coach with unlimited calling and FAXing for less than a year’s cost of the cheapest Internet FAX service.  Here is a word of caution; VoIP does of course consume data.  My data plan with Verizon is unlimited but if yours has limits you’ll need to take VoIP data consumption into account when considering costs.

My campground’s office kindly allowed me to use one of their hard-wired Internet connections to configure my OBi200 and wireless adapter, but once that was done their connection was no longer needed.  For my needs I used the FAX tool already available in my Windows computer and a modem connection to the phone line.  If I’m sending a document from paper, I use my portable scanner, which I already owned.  Otherwise I can FAX documents that already on my computer as easily as I can print them.  Received FAX messages pop up on my screen which I can view, save and/or print as needed.  Conventional FAX machines can now be bought for as little as $25 on-line.

Since my installation, I’ve been able to FAX documents thousands of miles across North America and locally as reliably as I could with the land-line that I had in my home.  Frequent boondockers can run the OBi200 directly on 12-volts DC or with its included 120/240 volt AC adapter.

Hey sir I have a question for you. I have the obi200 with the wifi adapter and I have it all set up with google voice. I'm trying to set it up to be able to fax over voip for my mother. She is a RN and will be working from home or the road as we will be traveling the US. I can send faxes all day but I am unable to receive any. I was wondering if you would be able to guide me through the process a little bit. It would be greatly appreciated sir. I am using a brother all in one fax machine . It has to be something simple that I'm missing here and it's really racking my brain lol. If you could please respond at your earliest convience it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and have a great day!

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