Weekend Gadget Guidance: Send a fax for free -- digitally

If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's the fax machine.In a world of e-mail and attachments and PDFs and perfect digital copies easily archived, the fax machine is a painfully archaic reminder that everyone hasn't quite hopped on the digital bandwagon just yet.

Drop.ioIf there's one thing I cannot stand, it's the fax machine.

In a world of e-mail and attachments and PDFs and perfect digital copies easily archived, the fax machine is a painfully archaic reminder that everyone hasn't quite hopped on the digital bandwagon just yet.

Well, no more, folks: Drop.io, a fairly innovative file-sharing service, sends and receives faxes for free.

It works like this: to send a fax, upload a document to Drop.io. Enter the fax number and click "Fax." Boom -- no beeps to haunt you in your sleep. On the receiving end, Drop.io will generate a cover sheet you then e-mail to the sender. As long as they use your cover page on the fax, it will end up in your Drop.io account as a PDF.

Now wait just a second, you say -- this isn't the first online faxing service. And you'd be right. But most of those free services impose certain limitations; say, restricting a send to two pages, or adding advertisements in the fax cover sheet, or lacking rich text support.

Drop.io supports Word documents, PDF files and even Excel spreadsheets. You can send an unlimited number of faxes without registration, there are no ads attached to the fax sheets and each fax document can have up to 20 pages. And, like most of the site, faxing services are free -- no registration required. (Photo courtesy Digital Inspiration)