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Fax Goes Digital: How Internet Faxing Works

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While it’s true that people are starting to embrace digital technologies more and more each day, faxing remains an essential technology in various industry. After all, the idea of a printer and a scanner combined is still fascinating to this day. However, like most modern technologies and innovations, fax machines needed to evolve to keep up with the times.

Fax Goes Digital: How Internet Faxing Works
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As you may have guessed, this is the main concept of internet or digital faxing. But seeing as how it’s a relatively new innovation, you may have several questions regarding this technology.

If that’s the case, you might want to stick until the end, as this article covers most frequently asked-questions about internet faxing, starting with arguably the most basic question.

How Is Internet Faxing Any Different From Traditional Faxing?

Many people sing praises to internet faxing, yet they’re not fully aware how it differs from traditional faxing. So, to begin with, you must first understand how traditional faxing works.

A fax machine is a device that allows you to send or receive documents, pages, or images from one place to another. In case it’s a bit confusing, here’s how the faxing process works:

  1. The optical scanner scans the material (e.g., documents, images, etc.)
  2. The program converts the scanned image into electronic signals
  3. The device sends the electronic signals via telephone lines
  4. The fax machine of the party receives the signal

This is how faxing works, but in the case of internet faxing, rather than using telephone lines to transmit the signals, it uses the internet instead, which is often more convenient than the latter.

Of course, not just anyone can fax over the internet.

How Does One Fax Over The Internet?

If you want to use internet faxing, there are steps that you must take. These includes the following:

  • Subscribe to an online faxing service. Before you can even start faxing over the internet, you must first gain access to the faxing platform, and you can do so by subscribing to a faxing service. There are many ways to sign up for such services. Some are free, although a bit lackluster, while others require payment, but they’re usually more comprehensive.
  • Choose a fax number. Once you’ve selected an online fax service, you can create your account on the platform. As part of the account creation, you may be required to use your existing number, or you can choose a fax number from their offerings. This would be the primary information to specify where you want to fax documents over the internet.
  • Attach the file you want to fax. On the platform, you should be able to find an option where you can create a new fax message. Upon creating this message, attach the file you want to fax. You can include other details in this message as well.
  • Send the message. Once you click on the send button, or whatever button is indicated on your platform, it will automatically convert this into a format a fax machine can read.
  • Wait for the recipient to receive the fax. After a while, the recipient’s device will receive the message, convert it into a format that the computer can read, and print it out. 

Take note that there are different ways to send fax over the internet. This is just one of the easiest methods. If you want, you can also send fax from Google Drive and similar platforms.

You may think that there aren’t many differences between this and traditional faxing, but there are, aside from how each of them works. That’s precisely why people prefer internet faxing.

Why Do People Prefer Faxing Over The Internet?

Nowadays, you’ll find all sorts of people attesting to the efficiency of internet faxing, as opposed to fax machines. But now that you know how it works, it may be difficult to believe that it’s really all that. However, it’s worth noting that the mechanism isn’t the only difference between the two.

Here’s a closer look at why internet faxing is seen as an upgraded version of fax machines:

  • Send/receive faxes anywhere. Perhaps the most obvious reason why people are willing to invest in online fax services is the fact that it’s extremely convenient. Rather than going to your office or house to fax a document to your coworker, you can take out your phone and use the faxing application offered by the service provider instead.
  • You can save money. Normally, you’ll need to purchase a fax machine before you can even start faxing. For your information, a fax machine may cost around USD$500 to USD$5,000, which is not cheap by all means. You also have to pay for its maintenance, not to mention the hidden charges you’d usually pay for each transaction.

Internet faxing, on the other hand, doesn’t have hidden fees. Instead, you only have to pay a flat amount in order to use the platform of an online faxing service provider.

Documents are more secure. Traditional fax machines send without any form of encryption. This means if a hacker even gets the idea of intercepting the transmission, they can very easily gain access to any information the fax may contain. On the other hand, internet faxing makes things a lot more secure by incorporating encryption methods in the faxing process.

Phone signals often get busy. As stated earlier, the traditional fax system makes use of telephone lines to send the documents. And as you may already know, telephone lines are often quite busy. If there are too many incoming and outgoing calls or transmissions, the fax you send may arrive at the recipient’s address after several hours or even a day.

Whereas, internet faxing essentially speeds up this process. After all, the internet can handle billions of transmissions at once, so it’ll never get busy, unlike telephone lines.

It accepts numerous file formats. One of the most frustrating limitations of the traditional fax system is the fact that documents can only be in a specific format before one can send the fax. However, internet faxing nowadays has a built-in function that converts the document to whatever is compatible with the fax machine.

As you can see, there are countless reasons why you should pick internet faxing over other options. But remember, the choice of using internet faxing is still up to you.

Conclusion

By now, you should already understand the difference between internet and traditional faxing. You have already learned the steps on how to fax over the internet. While it is indeed incredibly beneficial to individuals and organizations, you must remember that internet faxing may not be for everyone. But if you do decide to go for it, make sure you take your time selecting a reliable online faxing service. That way, you can make the most out of your money.