Ever since they were invented in the 1960s, faxing was, and still is, one of the fastest, most reliable ways to send information across the country or around the world. It is a must-have for companies with multiple branches, or businesses that rely on frequently communicating with other firms and their offices on a daily basis.
With the rise of the Internet, a new method of sending and receiving faxes has quickly gained popularity as a more convenient, secure, and efficient way to communicate: online faxing.
If you ever wondered what internet faxing is and how it works, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of online faxing, as well as lay out some of its main advantages.
Online Faxing 101
The main premise of online faxing services is doing away with the heavy, loud fax machines that used to be required to communicate via fax by moving this form of communication into the digital world. When you send faxes online, you can have them reach another online faxing service user, or a traditional fax machine in the blink of an eye. The best part about it? With online faxing, you:
- Don’t need a physical fax machine
- Don’t need a dedicated fax line
- Don’t need to waste ink
- Don’t need to print and store your messages
All in all, online faxing is the next logical step in the evolution of office communications: by providing a way to integrate traditional fax machines with devices such as smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers, it makes transmitting important documents easier and more efficient.
How Does Internet Fax Work?
Internet or online faxing works much like traditional faxing. You still send faxes to someone else’s fax number. You still receive faxes to your own fax number.
However, when you subscribe to an online faxing service, you’ll receive a permanent fax number attached to your account rather than purchasing a dedicated phone line. In some cases, mainly the free tiers of such service providers, you will get temporary, disposable numbers which are active for a limited time or until you exhaust your fax limit.
In either case, the number you receive can be linked to your email account and/or the dedicated faxing app. From there, you can compose a fax by attaching files, adding a personalized cover page, as well as signing documents.
The very best online faxing services have both email-to-fax and fax-to-email support, which enables users to use their email account (instead or in addition to the app) to send and receive faxes. This full integration with email makes faxing a breeze, and is certainly much more convenient than having to walk up to a machine every time you need to send an important document!
The Main Advantages of Online Faxing
Using an online faxing service can truly revolutionize the way your company goes about most of its communications. In spite of being an aged technology, faxing doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon – reducing your reliance on clunky fax machines all the while retaining the ability to make use of facsimile communication can make your life a whole lot easier. If you need more convincing, read through this list of the main benefits of online faxing.
This is a big one. With online faxing, you and your employees will no longer have to print out dozens of pages’ worth of documents, walk up to the fax machine to send them, and then walk up again to receive a response. Internet fax technology condenses all of these steps into a task you can do in five minutes from your smartphone, not unlike sending a simple email with attachments.
If money is your concern when looking at online fax subscriptions, consider how much of it you will save in the long run on all the electricity bills. Furthermore, fax machines are often the only reason why small businesses still keep paying for a landline – with online faxing, you can take that expense out of the equation, too! When you compare the costs of an online faxing service like FaxBurner with how much money you need to spend on keeping multiple fax machines operational, internet faxing will always emerge as the clear winner.
Granted, fax machines are considered to be one of the most secure means of business communication because they do not connect to the Internet, but that does not mean they’re without vulnerabilities. Malicious actors can still tap a phone line to intercept your confidential faxes, and machines can accidentally be accessed by the wrong people who will gain access to information meant to be read by another person.
Online faxing ensures that every faxed document always gets delivered to the right person. Furthermore, services like FaxBurner use advanced security protocols to make sure that no hacker gets access to your important documents.
Faxing documents via the Internet doesn’t only save you money; it also saves you plenty of time. You might not think about it on a regular basis, but the frequent walks to the fax machine can actually interrupt your workflow and make you less productive. With an online fax service, sending documents becomes an afterthought, something as intuitive as text messaging.
If you’ve used a fax machine at your office for a while now, chances are that you’ve already faced having to fix this piece of equipment at least once, or worse yet, have a technician come and fix it for you. It’s a costly, annoying ordeal, and can set your work back, as without a machine, you’re unable to send and receive faxes.
Online faxing gets rid of that problem once and for all – your profile information and fax number is stored in the cloud, so even if your primary device is broken or dysfunctional, you can still log into your account from a different one, and easily continue to fax away.
Have you ever been in a situation where you remember a fax that you had to send before the end of the work day when you’re already halfway on your drive home? We certainly have! If it’s particularly time-sensitive documentation, you’d normally have to drive all the way back to the office to send it. With a service like FaxBurner, all you need to do is pull over to the side of the road, whip out your smartphone, and send the forgotten document!
Online faxing is incredibly versatile and flexible – you can use it from anywhere, on virtually any device with email functionality.
Should Your Business Switch to Online Faxing?
If you’re wondering whether or not online faxing is the right choice for your company, there is really only one question you need to answer: do you use a fax machine on a regular basis? If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you know everything you need to know in order to make the decision.
Online faxing is superior to traditional fax machines in almost every way. It improves the efficiency of the workflow at your company, it’s easily scalable, you don’t have to worry about the environmental cost of faxing through reams of paper every single day, it can be done from anywhere, and most importantly – e-faxing is cheaper in the long run!
Take Your Faxing Into the 21st Century with FaxBurner
As a business owner looking to streamline your work processes, opting for online faxing is one of the best steps you can take to do just that. With FaxBurner, you’ll get access to a permanent fax number that you can use to take care of all your communication needs by simply linking it to your email account. We offer full fax-email support, a dedicated smartphone app, and up to 2,000 outbound and inbound pages per month.
Don’t just take our word for it – try out our service for free and find out for yourself!