Sending and receiving fax can be done online even without the use of fax machines. This is one way to go about digitizing your business. With online fax services, you can increase the efficiency of your business operations. They can also give you an edge over your competitors. Read on to learn more about what online fax can do for you and your enterprise.
How Does Online Faxing Work?
Online faxing is similar to traditional faxing in that you can send documents to and receive files from a fax number. However, instead of a fax machine, you only need the internet and a mobile device, laptop computer, or desktop computer. That’s why it’s more cost-efficient and flexible than conventional fax.
Generally, providers of online fax services assign you a ‘fax number’ you can use to send or receive documents.
Benefits Of Online Fax Services
After acquiring your unique fax number from an online fax company, you can now start exchanging documents in a cloud system. This means that the faxes are done online and placed in cloud storage instead of being kept in a physical space. With this system, you get to enjoy the following benefits:
1. Ease Of Use
One advantage of the online fax service is its ease of use. You don’t have to purchase and install a fax machine if you prefer not to. Moreover, you can send or receive faxes in the following ways:
- Send Via Email: When you subscribe to online fax services, you can choose from various file formats available to save and convert your document. Then, use your device to open your email account. If you’re using Gmail or Google Workspace, you can turn to Google Fax Service for convenience and efficiency. Next, you have to enter the recipient’s fax number along with the online fax provider’s extension, where you usually input email addresses. You can now attach your document after being converted from the file formats of the online fax service. Lastly, press the Send button.
- Receive Via Email: Online fax services make it possible to obtain a faxed document without the hassle of looking for a fax machine. You only need to provide the sender with your online fax number. After the online fax company receives the document from the sender, they’ll convert it to an image file and send it to your email address. You can then download the documents directly from your email.
Another benefit of using an online fax service is that you’ll be able to send and receive documents in a safe way. While security breaches can occur in digital transactions, online faxing comes with a high level of protection. It’s recommended that you hire or work with an online fax provider with a good reputation. You can verify how they store files and safeguard the delivery of faxes by browsing their website for information on such matters and reading client reviews as well.
With excellent online fax services, you can ensure that your faxes are safe through the following:
- Confirmation Emails: Online fax services provide confirmation emails to prevent fraudulent use of your online fax account. Every time you have to send a fax, you’ll receive a confirmation email to verify if it’s your action or not. With this feature, you’ll know if someone unauthorized is accessing your online fax account. You can immediately prevent the action or change your password, so they can’t access it anymore.
- SSL Encryption: Online fax services use SSL encryption to protect online faxes, preventing unauthorized access. That way, you can do online faxing without divulging your personal information to everyone using the internet. You should see ‘https’ on the URL bar if the online fax service’s web address is encrypted. Thus, if you open your fax, the online fax service will direct you to a protected internet browser. From there, you can view, save, copy, or print the document.
- Extra Security: Most online fax services also offer extra protection for your online faxes. This advanced security option will keep your documents protected from fraudulent activities, though it can cost you a bit more.
In general, using an online fax service is safer than using traditional fax machines. Since online fax services provide strong encryption for protection, the possibility of vital information getting leaked is minimized. On the other hand, since conventional faxing uses paper and machines, documents can easily get lost or stolen.
With online faxing, your document is kept in your email, which you alone can access. Moreover, you can assign a password to the document, so your recipient can only view the fax after you’ve given them the password.
Most importantly, online faxing is tamper-resistant. This means that no one can interrupt and edit the document without leaving a trail—any changes you make with the fax result in an audit trail that allows for transparency.
3. Save On Paper And Machine Costs
As mentioned, online fax services provide cloud storage, wherein you no longer need paper and physical storage for your faxes. You don’t have to acquire a traditional fax machine, reams of printer paper, and folders or storage cabinets. Online faxing is paperless, so it cuts the expenses your business would incur with traditional faxing.
Since all faxes are stored in a cloud, you can view, download, copy, send, or receive them anywhere and anytime using your mobile device or computer and the internet. So even when you’re out of the office, you can still access your faxes without the need to print them on paper.
As for printing, you can choose only a specific part of the file or document to print. For instance, a client faxed you a 50-page document, but you only need to print the 49th page. You can do just that without having to print any of the other pages.
On the other hand, with a traditional fax machine, you have no choice but to print out the entire document so you can view its content. Imagine how much paper and ink you’ll be wasting before you get the page you need.
Although you won’t have to buy paper, ink, and machines, you may have to spend on an online fax service plan or subscription. However, the fee for this is much smaller than what you’ll be paying for traditional faxing equipment.
Most online fax services come in monthly subscriptions. With such, they allot you a number of pages you can use within the month. You’re free to choose the most appropriate plan for your business needs. If you don’t usually send faxes, you can go for a plan with fewer pages allotted.
Some online fax services also allow you to use a pool of fax pages, which is more beneficial if you’ll be sending or receiving more faxes than usual. You can also find online fax services offering per-page fees, which can save you from paying for plans you may not be able to maximize.
However, you may want to check the online fax service provider if they charge extra for international faxing. Some companies allow you to deduct the fee from your allotted number of pages instead of asking you to pay additional fees. You should also verify if the company charges a setup fee for providing you with an online fax account.
All in all, it’s more cost-efficient to go with an online fax service instead of purchasing a fax machine that can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars, depending on its quality and features. You won’t have to worry about maintenance or service call fees from third-party vendors because all transactions are done online. When you need help with the service, the online fax company’s customer service support is free of charge.
Moreover, you reduce your electric and telephone bills because fax machines can’t be turned off or unplugged if you want to receive all of your faxes. Although online faxing requires electricity and the internet, it’s still cheaper because your device doesn’t need to be plugged in the entire time, and you can use any type of internet connection (free or otherwise) available everywhere you go.
5. Convenience And Accessibility
As mentioned, online faxing allows you to send or receive documents whenever, wherever, because of its cloud storage system. Even when you’re busy vacationing, you can still send or receive a document that will directly be stored in your email. You won’t have to go and find a fax machine to check what your client or team has sent.
Thus, online fax services allow you to respond quickly since you can access the documents anytime. Also, if it’s an urgent matter, you don’t have to wait for your turn to use the online fax service—which may happen with a traditional fax machine used by multiple employees—because there are no queues involved.
While communicating through fax is a convenient way to send documents, traditional faxing has disadvantages such as paper and machine costs and limited accessibility. But with online fax services, you can cut down your expenses on the necessary faxing equipment and materials. You can spend the money you’ve saved on other aspects of your business that would allow it to grow. Also, online faxing is more eco-friendly since you no longer have to waste paper and store stacks of documents that might just end up in the trash later on.