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What is internet fax? Get to know this new concept from zero to one hundred

In this age of ultra-modernity and digitization, it seems that it is time to say goodbye to the fax machine and paper and pen. But faxing cannot be abandoned so easily because it is an important part of business and the exchange of administrative documents (such as legal contracts). So, it is better to change its shape according to the current conditions, and this change is the process of internet faxing.

Internet fax is a relatively new concept that has gained many fans in this short period. Internet fax does not have many of the problems of old faxes and it is much easier to work with it. In this article, I want to explain what Internet fax is and how it works.

What is internet fax?

Thanks to the digitization of the world around us, today you can fax your documents anywhere and anytime you want through a simple computer without the need for a fax machine. Internet fax is a new product in which instead of using switched telephone networks or fiber optic land lines, it uses the global IP network.

Any document can be sent by internet fax, including Microsoft Word documents, PDF files and scanned images. Internet fax is a hosted service, which means that there is no need to purchase and install fax servers, modems and special software. Depending on the provider you choose for internet faxing (also known as online faxing or cloud faxing), you’ll have a wide range of tools and services at your disposal that can make the job a lot easier.

How does online fax work?

You don’t need any special equipment or software to use internet fax. You just need to register to be a member of a third-party online fax sending service, and with this, it will convert your outgoing emails to fax and your incoming faxes to email for a fee. To send your first fax online, you need three things:

  • Internet connection
  • Ability to receive and send email
  • Online fax subscription

The fax receiving model is no different from the old method and you can receive them in the same way as before. The subscription service you sign up for will give you a fax number for a fee. The sender will take your number to send you a fax as usual. When the online fax service receives the fax, it converts it into an email attachment and sends it to you. You may not believe it, but doing this is really that easy.

Different methods of sending and receiving faxes online

Remember that in order to send and receive faxes via internet fax, the sender or receiver or both must have a valid internet fax subscription. You can easily send faxes to any fax machine or server with your online fax account. There are different ways to send this fax, which we will briefly explain below:

Web Faxing

In this method, you can use a desktop or web-based application to send a fax. All your documents are stored in the cloud and you only need a personal computer or laptop connected to the Internet to access your archive. Usually, when sending a new fax in the inbox, you will be notified by email or push.

In this way, your Android or iOS phone or tablet becomes a fully functional fax machine, and you can even use your phone’s camera to scan physical documents and turn them into documents that are ready to be sent via fax.

Send e-mail

In this way, sending a fax is as easy as sending an email. You can send fax from any server including Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook to any fax machine or internet. On the other hand, your received faxes will also be received in your emails.

Fax API

Programmable fax programming service helps you do all your faxing from any program, software or system.

Advantages of internet fax over old fax

Some of the advantages of Internet fax compared to the old fax are as follows:

No need for equipment

One of the differences between regular fax and Internet fax; Additional equipment is required. For legacy faxing, you need a fax machine and a landline. Meanwhile, for internet faxing, you only need to have your laptop with you, then you can send the fax from wherever you want. It does not need very high speed internet. Low speed internet can also run your cartoon. So far, you can see that internet fax is more economical.

Saving paper

The next issue is saving paper. In the old fax method, both sender and receiver must use paper. This work is very beneficial for the environment and in the long run, you can save a lot of paper by using internet fax.

Less cost

You need a monthly fax account for internet faxing. It means that after you have chosen the right server, you have to pay a monthly fee as a subscription fee. But don’t worry; These costs are much lower than the cost of providing a fax machine, ink, paper and landline.

Electronic signature

In Internet fax, you have the possibility to use electronic signature, which is much more up-to-date than old signatures and reduces paper consumption.

High safety

Online fax is also secure and its host uses encryption systems such as OpenSSL for secure data transmission. So you don’t need to worry about corporate documents being leaked. With the help of this encryption system, no one except the person who sends the fax and the person who receives the fax can read the contents of the fax.

Online fax problems

Of course, Internet fax, like all other technologies, has problems, some of these problems are mentioned in the following list:

Redundancy or stuffing

Many jobs, such as doctors and legal jobs, always require real signatures, and their signatures must be manually affixed to documents and documents, and are not valid electronically. This means, these and other similar businesses can never fully rely on internet faxing and have to use the same old fax machine. If you are one of these businesses, at least for now you have to stick with your old fax machine and don’t register for internet fax because it will only cause additional costs.

Technological problems

Of course, in the age of technology, we don’t expect communication problems anymore, but this is inevitable anyway. It has happened before and it will happen again. Both general power outages and internet outages can prevent the use of these services. It is true that old fax machines also need electricity, but they do not depend on the existence of the Internet and you can use them.

Storage capacity

Saving sent and received faxes is important and you, as a business owner, should be able to save them to have a detailed record of your correspondence. In the case of online fax, it is important which service provider you use, because this host controls and limits the volume and duration of your storage.

Of course, this problem has a simple solution. In the internet fax system, there is a cloud service for permanent storage and easier access, but using it requires paying a fee, and many businesses may find that paying such a fee may be unnecessary and the volume provided by the host is sufficient.

Monthly subscription

A standard monthly subscription is not a big deal for most large businesses that send and receive a significant amount of their correspondence via fax each month. Most online fax providers offer packages of around 300 pages per month, and at this level, setting up an online fax account can be a real cost-saver. However, if your business relies on fax communication for most of its day-to-day operations, you may have to pay a lot for this. So, before registering in any of these hosts, it is better to research whether using these services is cost-effective for you according to your monthly sending and receiving volume.

It needs research

Just like signing up for anything else online, you need to do your research on the service you’re using and what you’re paying for before signing up. To make sure you’re spending your money wisely, we recommend doing some cost-benefit analysis and comparing different plans to make sure your business is getting exactly what it needs. If you sign up for hosting that doesn’t meet your needs, or pay for services you don’t need, you’re just wasting your money.

Special Features of Internet Fax

Depending on the provider you choose for your Internet fax, you may be offered different features and services. But in the continuation of this section, we brought some of the most important features of Internet fax services. When you are going to choose a provider, you should make sure that it offers you these features:

  • Fast transmission and fax quality
  • Safe and reliable sending and receiving process
  • Available for web, Android and iOS devices
  • Having a super easy user interface
  • Having cloud storage
  • Possibility of using electronic signature
  • Having a built-in scanner to scan documents
  • You can send faxes to numbers that require internal dialing
  • Sending faxes to fax machines
  • Scheduled delivery
  • Sending faxes to multiple contacts at the same time
  • HIPAA compliant

The last word

In general, using Internet fax can be very useful. All you have to do is measure yourself and your business and do the basic analysis. In general, for companies that receive less than 300 faxes per month, online faxing can be a cheaper option that offers other benefits such as the ability to send faxes online from anywhere in the world through a smart device.

However, if your company is one that has to exchange hundreds of faxes per month or requires handwritten signatures to conduct business, using an old fax system may be more useful. Your decision to send an Internet fax ultimately depends on you and your business needs.

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