Different Types of Online Fax Service
Whereas traditional means of sending a facsimile (fax) replied on a fax machine connected to a phone line, there are now several means of sending, and receiving, fax communications using the internet. Online fax services are ideal if you don’t have a landline telephone, or do not want to allocate office space to a fax machine. Space-saving ideas come in particularly handy in the case of a home office.
Many businesses are actually using other electronic services as a way of relaying information as opposed to relying on faxes; these may include sending items by email, sharing a Google Document, Attaching a document in a Skype conversation, uploading information into a shared folder, using shared cloud storage, etc.
Here are some of the various types of online fax service:
Fax Server / Gateway
One of the most-used types of online fax service, faxing in this way removes the need for both a phone line and a fax machine, with many businesses upgrading their fax technology to this. Documents are converted between faxes and emails using a fax server / gateway that is connected to the internet. Advantages of this type of service include the fact that faxes can still be received when the computer is turned off, in contrast with traditional fax machines that had to be switched on for a transmission to occur, money is saved on resources like paper, ink etc, it is available on any computer with an internet connection anywhere across the globe, there is no need for additional software as communications are made via the Web interface, multiple faxes can be sent and / or received at the same time, and the fax is more secure, being delivered right to the desired recipient’s email inbox.
Fax Using VoIP
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is possible to connect a standard fax machine to your computer using a VoIP adapter and gateway. Whilst you still need a fax machine, this online fax service removes the need of a second phone line. Received faxes are still sent to a regular fax number, printing out as normal on the recipient’s fax machine.
Some businesses have an iFax machine, which allows faxes to be sent as email attachments. The fax machine communicates with the computer, transmitting the message via the internet. A disadvantage is that you still need a specific type of fax machine, and both the sender and receiver must have an email address.
Benefits of Internet Faxing
Online faxing can reduce communication costs, especially in the case of long-distance transfers or lengthy messages. No extra hardware is needed and communications are generally very secure. It’s ideal for offices who want to be more environmentally friendly too, as it reduces the amount of paper used in the course of business. Crucially, online fax services can be sent from, and received on, any device that has an internet connection, such as a smartphone and tablet. Your office can be completely portable! This is often a big consideration for people who work remotely or use virtual office services as opposed to working from a traditional office environment. An online fax service is another tool that brings people closer to having a flexi office. Instant offices are easy!
For completion, whilst not an online fax service, as it still requires a phone line, computers can be used to send faxes, rather than relying on a fax machine. Sent by way of the computer’s modem, the fax is printed to the computer’s software and then sent.