What is an Internet Fax?
Internet fax is a generic term referring to sending and receiving faxes using the internet instead of the conventional method of a telephone network and a fax machine. It is a paperless communication which is combined with email and requires no separate telephone line for the fax. Internet fax is able to concurrently send and receive multiple faxes, and as such is very useful for both individual faxing and broadcast faxing, from any Internet access point. Internet fax, which is more advanced than conventional fax technology, is also called email fax, digital fax and online fax.
Internet Fax Buyer’s Guide
When looking for an online internet fax service, consider the various benefits on offer with particular relevance to your usage. Points to consider are the number of free pages in a particular plan, the period of storage, the number of users in a plan customer support offered.
Internet fax services are offered by various providers where you, as a subscriber, pay a monthly fee for a particular plan and are allotted a dedicated fax number. When someone sends a fax to this number, your provider accepts the fax and converts it into a digital file which is forwarded to your nominated email address.
Internet faxing is convenient because it does away with printing a hard copy which is then sent via a fax machine. With this method of faxing you print a document directly into the fax software then send it through your computer’s modem. The same procedure applies with incoming faxes. Most internet fax services allow you to send attachments like word documents, PDFs or pictures.
Here are some of the significant advantages that Internet faxing has over the conventional technology.
- Lower costs. The monthly fee charged by most online fax services is far less than what you would pay for a dedicated phone line and there are no long distance phone charges which apply. It does away with the need for a fax machine and the attendant costs of paper, toner, etc. You do not need to print all faxes; you can review your faxes as files and print only those you need to. Since faxes are sent via email, sending and receiving them incurs no phone charges.
- More efficient time usage. Most carriers provide for multiple email addresses where you can decide where the faxes are to be delivered. Since they are being sent via email, you can review and action your faxes on email-enabled PDAs.
- Greater reliability. Your dedicated fax number is active 24/7, which means your account accepts faxes round the clock. This is different to a fax machine which requires a free phone line to accept a fax. Internet faxing is especially useful for those who use one phone line for telephone, fax and dial-up. You never have a situation of paper jams or running out of paper as with a fax machine.
- Easy to use. Internet fax appeals to most people because of its usage simplicity. Sending and receiving faxes is done through a familiar email interface. The user needs no knowledge of fax machines or faxing software.
- Security. Most internet fax services support encryption technology. Since you nominate your email addresses to receive faxes, your documents are significantly more secure than when they are transmitted over a shared fax machine.
- Advantage of toll-free numbers. Many services allow local and toll-free fax numbers which means your clients can fax you for free.
When looking for an online internet fax service, consider the various benefits on offer with particular relevance to your usage. Points to consider are the number of free pages in a particular plan, the period of storage, the number of users in a plan and the customer support offered.