Not so long ago, faxing meant that you had to be precise with timing and always keep a toner in case things went wrong, and the worst part of all: you needed a fax machine. As companies started expanding their communication channels online, many people predicted that faxing was surely to suffer a quick death, but email didn’t fully replace fax.
Email is a great way to communicate, but faxing is still needed for sensitive documents such as contracts or patient medical information. This is why faxing has gone online. It brings security and it is a cost-effective way to integrate faxing in an office, you only need an Internet connection, an online fax service and an email address.
How It Works
The main difference between normal faxing and online faxing is that you don’t need a fax machine. Instead, you will fax mostly over email, or through your service’s web page. That’s right this means that you can both send and receive faxes without the need of additional equipment. It only takes a few minutes, here’s a breakdown of how you can get started.
Sign Up with a Reputable Fax Service
Digital technology has been a game changer in terms of how we do business. Modern companies need to adapt and choose tools that will help them save time and focus on the tasks that are more important. Online faxing is such a tool, but the first step is to sign up with an online fax service. There are great alternatives out there such as eFax or RingCentral. You don’t have to pay at first, instead, enter a free trial and test how good online fax works for you.
Make sure the service you choose is compatible with email faxing. This way you can send a fax from Gmail in just a few minutes, and receive faxes on email as well thanks to a virtual fax number.
Access Faxing Through a Fax Service Dashboard
The majority of fax companies have a member’s area in their websites, where they can receive and send faxes and keep track of all their inbound/outbound documents. Using this member’s area is very easy. To send a fax you just need to fill a form with all the recipient’s info and then upload the document you want to convert to fax. Incoming faxes are kept on a separate tab, from where you can download them whenever you need them. Some services offer unlimited storage for incoming faxes.
Faxing through your web dashboard is easy and convenient for businesses just starting out with online fax, it doesn’t require any type of training.
Faxing Over an Email Address
It is also possible to fax entirely from your email account. To start, create a new email message in your preferred email provider, and then attach the file or files you want to convert and send to the fax machine. Fax services handle dozens of compatible file formats, including JPG, PDF, BMP, XLS, DOC. These formats are converted into TIFF, which is fully compatible with legacy fax machines.
Once the document is uploaded, complete your fax by entering the recipient’s number in the TO field, followed by your fax services domain (like this:firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition you can also fill the subject line, it will act as a cover page message.
After you press Send, the fax will be converted and delivered to the fax number. After that, you’ll get a confirmation email with details of your fax transmission. If it encounters a problem while transmitting, the service will retry sending the fax multiple times automatically.
How Services Handle Security
The best online fax services out there, make sure they are complying with all the latest security regulations, including HIPAA. Full encryption means that your faxes are safe from privy eyes, you can trust your information is in safe hands, as a matter or fact is safer than the traditional faxing method. It will only become decrypted once it reaches the hands of the recipient, no matter if he/she is using a computer or a machine.
Keeping Track of Your Faxes
Like common emails, you can also have a report of all the faxes you send and receive through your account. It’s easier to see your faxes on your email history, but if you want to get more details, you can always head to your service’s member’s area. Besides the content of the fax, this lets you check out the timestamps, and even reports of error during the delivery of the documents.
Digital fax is a great way to take your business communications to the next level, merging the ease of use of email with the security that only advanced encryption provides. With an online fax service you can fax pretty much from everywhere, using your computer or cell phone as long as you have access to Internet. Forget about paying extra money for a fax machine and a dedicated fax line.