Vista Fax Software

Q: Where is the fax software in Vista Home? Is there anything better than Vista’s built-in fax software?

Fax software was omitted from the Home versions of Microsoft Vista. Perhaps Microsoft figures families don’t need to fax, or (more likely) it doesn’t want business users “cheating” by buying the cheaper Vista Home versions of its operating system. In any case, you need third-party software to send and receive faxes using Vista Home.

Essential Fax used to be known as RKS Fax. It has a reputation as a highly reliable, easy to use, and inexpensive fax application for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. It works with all versions of these operating systems, including Home versions. You can send and receive faxes; view them; and print them. You can forward faxes to another recipient; send faxes in batches to many recipients selected from a built-in address book; even export faxes to PDF files. You can download a trial copy and pay just $19.95 to register it when the 30-day trial period is over. Registration includes a license to run two copies of Essential Fax, one on a desktop computer and another on a notebook.

BVRP Phone Tools is totally free fax software for Vista Home and all other versions of Windows XP and Vista. It’s provided by USRobotics, maker of fine fax modems for many years. You can download BVRP Phone Tools via First you will have to select your country/language.

The fact is, if you buy a fax modem, fax machine, or multi-function printer that does fax, it will probably come with fax software that works with nearly every version of Windows back to 98, including Vista Home versions. Visit the support Web sites of various fax equipment vendors and see what free fax software they make available for downloading.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.