From Traditional Fax to Online Fax

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The fax machine that has been the staple of many offices for much of recent history is on its way out, just like the telex and the mimeograph. Eventually, all high technology joins the ranks of the obsolete and forgotten when a suitable replacement comes along. In the case of fax machines, the suitable replacement comes in the form of online faxing. Some may wonder whether sending faxes by Internet is just another gimmick to support antiquated technology. However, the fact is that faxes are still an important part of doing business in much of the world, one that comes with certain drawbacks; online faxing provides solutions for many of the fax machine’s disadvantages.

How Online Faxing Works

In practice, sending an online fax is similar to sending an email. A document that is to be faxed by Internet will first be converted into an image file before being sent to the fax service. The fax provider’s server will then send it to the recipient’s fax number. Faxes may be received via the Internet as well. The sender's fax machine will send it to the fax provider's server where it will be converted to an image file before being sent to the recipient's account to be viewed online. Alternatively, it can be attached to an email and sent to their inbox.

Benefits of Internet Faxing

  • Easy Transition
    One of the big problems that crop up when a business decides to switch to new technology is the effect on customers. Not all attempts to upgrade go smoothly. How will the transition affect the service provided to them? With Online faxing, the effects are minimal. A business may continue to use their old fax number, therefore customers may not even know that change a has taken place.

  • Saved Space
    Fax machines are bulky and can take up space in an office. Online faxing removes the need to have a fax machine, thus freeing up desk space.

  • Saved Money
    There is no need for businesses to have dedicated phone lines just for their fax machine since online faxing uses their broadband Internet connection. In addition to not paying for an extra line, they can also reduce their spending on paper and ink. No, paper will not be completely removed from the office; however, it can be greatly reduced.

  • Greater privacy
    Internet faxes are sent via encrypted connections, so the danger of outside parties intercepting faxed confidential messages is considerably reduced. They can be sent to email addresses; this means that the fax is viewable only to the sender and to the recipient. Compare that to the standard office fax machine where faxes sent to different recipients may sit in a tray for all to see.

  • The Ability to Easily Manage Faxes
    With a traditional fax machine, a fax is sent and the recipient gets a printed sheet of paper in their fax machine. That is all there is to it, there is no control over the fax for either the sender or the recipient. With Internet faxing, there are tools available to have the faxes downloaded or forwarded; they may even be printed out if necessary. Users are also able to archive faxes that they may need at a later date.

  • More Avenues to Communicate
    A business can use more than one fax number and thus give their customers more ways to reach them. Local numbers may be used to reduce the cost to customers. There is flexibility for the recipient as well; because online faxes may be converted to email, recipients are able to read them on mobile phones and other portable devices.

  • Fewer Lost Faxes
    A fax machine needs to be on constantly or there is a significant chance of a fax being lost, this is not a problem with Internet faxes since they are sent to the fax provider’s server and downloaded from there.

Fax technology may be old, but it is still widely used. The improvements brought by online faxing serve only to make the fax a more useful way to communicate.

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