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Though e-mail has been round for a lot of, a few years, some organizations nonetheless require faxes to carry out their enterprise. Nevertheless, utilizing fax doesn’t essentially imply that organizations want to make use of and help these considerably cumbersome and antiquated faxing machines. Most have moved away from conventional analog and digital signaling and towards Fax over Web Protocol (FoIP) with out having to depend on bodily modems or fax playing cards. Transferring to FoIP can permit firms to leverage their present telephone infrastructure if they’ve a Voice over Web Protocol (VoIP) telephone community that helps FoIP, however this isn’t even required.
An answer that helps organizations use fax with out all the standard tools is GFI FaxMaker. It permits customers to ship and obtain faxes electronically via an internet interface or e-mail, even with attachments. GFI FaxMaker is simple and versatile from deployment and administration views, nevertheless it nonetheless ensures safety and compliance with laws. For instance, it addresses the widespread safety points with misdialed numbers and faxes unnoticed within the open unretrieved.
On this product evaluation, I take an in-depth have a look at GFI FaxMaker 20.2 (construct 20190926). Being such a strong and full product implies that I can solely cowl its most important options briefly on this evaluation.
GFI Software program additionally supplies a cloud model of this software program, named GFI FaxMaker On-line, which is not going to be reviewed at the moment.
As most options these days, GFI FaxMaker will be virtualized. Nonetheless, it’s good to be certain that the system meets or exceeds sure necessities. When it comes to working system, it helps a variety of 64-bit Home windows OS, from Home windows 7 to Home windows 10 Professional or Enterprise (please observe that faxes and SMS can’t be despatched by way of an SMTP mail server when GFI FaxMaker is put in on Home windows 7, eight, or 10), from Home windows Server 2008 R2 Commonplace or Enterprise to Home windows Server 2019 Datacenter, Commonplace, or Necessities.
As for , set up GFI FaxMaker on a server with at the very least an Intel Pentium or appropriate 2GHz processor, 1GB RAM devoted to FaxMaker, and 500MB of storage for FaxMaker set up alone, plus some further storage if archiving and backup are used (amount will rely upon the quantity and dimension of faxes processed).
Different required elements that have to be preinstalled embrace Microsoft .NET Framework four or newer, and the IIS SMTP service when putting in GFI FaxMaker on a server that’s not a Microsoft Trade server.
IIS WWW service can be required to entry the GFI FaxMaker internet interface, however it’s mechanically put in by GFI FaxMaker throughout set up if it’s not already put in.
When it comes to mail servers, GFI FaxMaker will be put in in an setting with Microsoft Trade Server 2010 or newer, hosted mail companies like Trade On-line (Workplace 365) or Gmail, Lotus Notes/Domino, and different SMTP/POP3 companies.
A very powerful requirement is, clearly, fax transmission. GFI FaxMaker requires at the very least one medium that allows sending and receiving of faxes. This may be:
- A fax system, resembling knowledgeable fax modem class 2, 2.zero or 2.1 utilizing both the Microsoft or the GFI fax modem drivers like Brooktrout TR 1034 or Trufax fax board, a Dialogic Diva Professional/Server fax card or an AVM lively fax card;
- Fax over IP. You should utilize a supported FoIP implementation to transmit faxes over the IP community, resembling to a VoIP PBX, Media Gateway, or a SIP trunk supplier. Supported FoIP implementations embrace TE-SYSTEMS XCAPI and Dialogic Brooktrout SR140;
- An account with a supported on-line fax supplier.
For this evaluation, I might be utilizing the final possibility with GFI On-line Fax Providers.
Putting in GFI FaxMaker is simple and simple. All it’s a must to do is obtain the GFI FaxMaker installer, and launch the set up wizard (for brevity causes, I’ll solely point out an important steps):
- If you’re putting in GFI FaxMaker on an Trade server, set up each elements. Since I’m putting in it on a separate server, I choose solely GFI FaxMaker Fax Server:
- Select the IIS web site the place to host the GFI FaxMaker digital listing and enter a reputation for the digital listing, which by default is Faxmaker. Click on Subsequent:
- Click on End as soon as the set up completes:
After the set up completes, the GFI FaxMaker Configuration Wizard is mechanically launched that can assist you configure fundamental settings (once more, for brevity causes, I’ll solely point out an important steps):
- The GFI FaxMaker Shopper and different Internet Providers API functions connect with GFI FaxMaker over HTTP port 8555. If this port just isn’t open, click on OK to have GFI FaxMaker mechanically open these ports:
- When GFI FaxMaker just isn’t put in on the identical machine operating Trade, configure the mail server choices. In my case, GFI FaxMaker will combine with Trade and GFI On-line Fax Providers, so I chosen the primary possibility:
- Specify mail server particulars the place GFI FaxMaker forwards obtained emails to:
- Subsequent, we choose the fax gadgets to make use of with GFI FaxMaker:
- Brooktrout by Dialogic: Choose when utilizing a number of Brooktrout gadgets or SR140 fax software program.
- ISDN /CAPI gadgets: TE-SYSTEMS XCAPI Fax over IP instructs GFI FaxMaker to make use of the TE-SYSTEMS XCAPI Fax over IP resolution. Different gadgets instructs GFI FaxMaker to make use of a tool that’s not TE-SYSTEMS XCAPI Fax over IP.
- Fax modems: Choose to mechanically detect fax modem drivers. GFI FaxMaker makes an attempt to detect Microsoft Fax drivers and different modems already put in on the server.
- Fax companies: Choose to make use of a web-based fax service.
- Since I’m integrating with GFI On-line Fax Providers, I enter my account particulars so the wizard configures the combination for me:
- Subsequent, select Energetic Listing so as to add customers from AD, or GFI Listing to put in and handle customers in GFI Listing:
- Specify the GFI FaxMaker customers and directors. Since I chosen AD, FaxMaker connects to AD to allow me to decide on customers. After including directors, chances are you’ll click on Add customers so as to add fax customers, or click on Subsequent to proceed:
- The Wizard can check the mail server settings at this stage. Click on Take a look at to ship a check e-mail to the configured fax directors, or Subsequent to proceed:
- GFI FaxMaker then begins all of the required companies:
- Lastly, click on End to finish the configuration of GFI FaxMaker:
When customers ship fax or SMS by sending an e-mail to [email protected], the mail server should route this e-mail to GFI FaxMaker. To allow this performance, we should configure routing connectors on Trade (or no matter mail server we’re utilizing) that route all emails addressed to *@faxmaker.com and *@smsmaker.com to GFI FaxMaker. As I didn’t set up GFI FaxMaker immediately on the Trade server, I have to carry out this extra step to configure mail connectors to route fax and SMS to GFI FaxMaker:
When putting in GFI FaxMaker immediately on an Trade server, Trade is mechanically configured to permit processing of faxes and SMS. The setup creates a Overseas Connector and a Obtain Connector named GFIFaxMaker, and no additional configuration is required post-installation.
To configure connectors manually when putting in GFI FaxMaker on a separate server, we will both configure them utilizing the PowerShell instructions offered within the GFI FaxMaker on-line handbook or we will run the GFI FaxMaker setup on the Trade server. When selecting the elements to put in, disable GFI FaxMaker Fax Server and choose Microsoft Trade SMTP connector:
Within the subsequent display, specify the IP deal with or server identify of the GFI FaxMaker server:
Click on Subsequent to proceed with the set up. The setup creates a Obtain Connector and a Ship Connector (proven within the subsequent screenshot) named GFIFaxMaker:
Integrating GFI FaxMaker with Workplace 365 could be very related.
As talked about earlier, I might have used the Configuration Wizard to configure my fax line, however I made a decision to not. So, let’s see how we will do this with out utilizing the wizard. Step one is to open GFI FaxMaker Configuration console:
The primary impression is that it seems to be a bit outdated, with a type of Home windows Server 2003 really feel. Nevertheless, it’s because it makes use of Microsoft Administration Console (MMC), which hasn’t modified a lot all through the years. Nonetheless, every part we’d like is on this well-organized console. As we will see from all of the configurable settings, GFI FaxMaker is a really succesful and highly effective resolution that ought to meet the necessities of most, if not all, organizations when it comes to faxing.
I already configured GFI On-line Fax Service utilizing the wizard, so there’s nothing else for me to do beneath Fax Providers:
Nevertheless, I nonetheless want so as to add my fax line offered by GFI On-line Fax Service. We achieve this beneath Strains/Units. If you’re aware of faxing options, this needs to be very easy.
On this part we will configure a large number of choices such because the fax decision, if we wish to settle for incoming and/or outgoing faxes, and retry operations:
We are able to additionally configure a location to backup obtained and/or despatched faxes (and through which format, like PDF):
Beneath Customers, we specify which customers are allowed to make use of this explicit line to ship faxes:
In Licensed customers we stipulate which customers or teams can ship faxes utilizing GFI FaxMaker. Customers that may additionally ship and obtain SMS will be added via the SMS Customers display.
The final step, for a fundamental setup that’s, is to configure what occurs to incoming faxes. For instance, when a fax is obtained on a selected DID (quantity), who ought to it’s despatched to? That is carried out beneath Routing choices and, right here, I’m specifying that any incoming taxes to the road I configured beforehand, needs to be delivered to the customers Admin and Nuno:
We are able to even have incoming faxes printed mechanically or configure one other folder to again up our incoming faxes:
Sending and receiving faxes
There are numerous methods for customers to ship faxes utilizing GFI FaxMaker:
- By way of e-mail.
- By means of the GFI FaxMaker web-based consumer.
- By means of the GFI FaxMaker consumer (which is being phased out in favor of the online consumer).
- Utilizing the NetPrintQueue2Fax printer driver.
- Utilizing APIs via third-party instruments.
- By way of multi-function gadgets.
Sending faxes by e-mail couldn’t be simpler as licensed customers can ship faxes immediately from their e-mail consumer. This methodology is accessible for all e-mail customers (current within the Licensed Customers checklist mentioned above), with no set up of different software program or customized configurations required. The primary web page of the fax comprises the recipient’s identify, sender’s identify, e-mail topic, and e-mail physique. If the e-mail contains attachments, these are included in subsequent pages of the fax. Sometimes, customers will ship the e-mail to deal with the e-mail to email@example.com, the place faxnumber is changed by the recipient’s fax quantity. For instance: [email protected] The identical fax can be despatched to a number of fax numbers, utilizing the identical format for every and separated with a semicolon.
Sending a fax utilizing the browser couldn’t be simpler both. GFI FaxMaker customers can log in to the online interface to entry the online consumer to ship faxes and SMS. This methodology is accessible for all GFI FaxMaker customers, with no further software program on customers’ machines. AD customers and directors can log in to the online console utilizing their AD credentials. To load the GFI FaxMaker internet console, merely navigate to HTTP://<GFI FaxMaker server identify or IP>/FaxMaker.
All that customers should do is fill within the recipient (both by manually typing the fax quantity or by choosing the recipient from the deal with e book), enter a topic and the primary physique of the fax, add any attachments and configure settings resembling precedence, decision and whether or not to ship the fax instantly or to ship it at a selected date and time.
As soon as despatched, customers obtain a affirmation by e-mail that the fax was efficiently despatched:
The e-mail features a fax report in addition to the fax itself (plus any attachments additionally despatched):
On the receiving finish, customers will obtain faxes in a format depending on the configuration admins selected. For instance, customers may obtain an e-mail with an OCR (optical character recognition) of the fax within the e-mail physique:
Or admins can change the settings in order that incoming faxes are obtained in a special format, resembling PDF, for instance:
On this case, customers obtain an e-mail notification, with the fax itself hooked up in PDF format:
Admin internet interface
We already had a quick have a look at FaxMaker’s internet interface from a consumer perspective, which supplies a straightforward methodology of sending faxes and SMS. Directors can use GFI FaxMaker Monitor to trace and handle fax and SMS utilization, transmission, and queue operations. To entry the Monitor, login to FaxMaker internet console and click on the required dashboard from the Monitor tab within the prime menu bar. Solely fax directors have entry to Monitor.
Monitoring fax strains
GFI FaxMaker Monitor can be utilized to trace the exercise of fax strains and gadgets in real-time. The Fax Strains dashboard shows all of the configured fax gadgets and their present transmission state, plus data concerning the variety of faxes nonetheless pending to be processed and added within the queue for transmission, the present exercise of e-mail to fax converter, and the newest attachment processed by the fax service:
From this console, directors may also take numerous actions to handle fax strains, resembling setting the time interval to refresh the information, restarting the GFI FaxMaker Fax Server service, initialize a fax line, or terminate a fax transmission.
Monitoring faxes in queue
The Queued Faxes dashboard permits directors to trace faxes which are queued able to be transmitted. It may be used to go looking faxes within the queue, view fax data, take away a fax from the queue, or restart the GFI FaxMaker Message Switch Agent (MRA) service.
Monitoring SMS gadgets and queue
The final dashboard is SMS, which is used to trace the exercise of SMS gadgets and SMS transmission.
GFI FaxMaker permits directors to entry and generate stories that present helpful perception on fax and SMS utilization. To entry these stories, log in to the GFI FaxMaker internet console and click on the Experiences tab from the highest menu bar:
Past the seven out-of-the-box stories, admins can customise these stories into preconfigured stories with customized knowledge filters:
It is usually doable to generate stories on a predefined schedule to automate their technology regularly. Scheduled stories are despatched by way of e-mail to a customized checklist of e-mail addresses at an outlined frequency:
Fax and SMS exercise can be exported to a CSV file. That is helpful to trace fax and SMS utilization in a separate device like Excel or Energy BI.
Experiences usually are available a graphical abstract format:
Or in an in depth desk format:
GFI FaxMaker is a really succesful and highly effective resolution that ought to meet the necessities of nearly all organizations when it comes to faxing. There isn’t a purpose to nonetheless depend on fax machines with bodily modems or fax playing cards. FaxMaker makes it really easy to maneuver towards Fax over IP with out shedding the options that conventional fax deployments present. Fairly the opposite, you’ll probably have the ability to make use of recent options! We give it four.5 stars, which is a Gold Star award.