For those who are used to the old fax machine in the office, sending a fax online may seem somewhat puzzling. Just how is it done? What equipment do you need? More importantly, why should I or my company switch over to online faxing?
All these questions are frequently asked by those considering this new way of faxing. Perhaps the best way to answer these questions is to fully explain what Internet fax is and how it is done.
First, you must realize online faxing is simply bringing all your faxing chores into the modern business workplace, one that is directly wired to computers and the Internet. Online fax is simply using your e-mail system and your web connection to send and receive all your faxes. It is as simple and as easy as sending an email.
We won't bore you with all the technical details of exactly how it works, but we will give you the basics of how you go about setting up an online fax account or number. In order to use online faxing, you have to first sign-up to an online fax service provider who will give you your own Toll-free or Local fax number. Some companies will let you "port" your current fax number into their system, but you should check with the company first to see if they do this and how much it will cost you?
Once you have signed up to a fax provider, they will usually give you an online fax account or interface, where you can logon and send/receive all your faxes. Or many services have a desktop application you can download to your desktop and use this to send/receive your faxes. Still another way is to use your current Windows Outlook Express, as many providers have this as another way to send your faxes. Your faxes are sent as email attachments, usually as a Tiff or Pdf file, although there are many other different formats you can use, so check with your service provider first to see which ones.
What you have to understand, online faxing is a form of "cloud computing" where your faxing services are outsourced to a third-party. They act as your intermediary to handle all your faxes. There are some great advantages to doing this: you don't need an extra fax phone line and you don't need an actual fax machine. Plus, set-up is free and very immediate, within minutes you can have your own fax number. For a company or business just starting up your costs will be very minimum. And these fax services are completely scalable for businesses; so you can easily increase or decrease your number of fax numbers without the expense of buying extra hardware (fax machines and fax phone lines).
Another great benefit of using online fax - it is much more cheaper than using a fax machine. On average your monthly charges will run around $10, but there are cheaper services out there, so it pays to shop around. Also remember, since everything is done online, you don't have the cost of an extra fax phone line, nor do you have the cost of buying a fax machine. In addition, since it is paperless faxing, you obviously don't have the costs of papers, inks, toners or fax machine maintenance... all these expenses do add up over time.
There are many good quality Internet fax service providers and since this is usually a long term business expense, you should shop around and find the service that perfectly matches your needs. Thankfully, many of these major providers have 30 Day Free Trials so you can check out a service before you buy.
If your faxing is very minimum, then you can get a service for as little as $20 a month. If your company or business relies heavily upon faxing to bring in sales or for contacting clients, keep in mind, most of these services are completely scalable for businesses, so you can set up special arrangements with many of these providers to suit your own company's faxing needs.
One last word, the reasons why online faxing have become so popular is mainly because it is easy to do, completely mobile, more convenient and much more cheaper than the regular fax machine. Moreover, it brings all your faxing into the modern world and the modern work environment. In no time at all, if anyone should ask you: Send fax online, how is that done? You will know the answer.
Copyright (c) 2010 Titus Hoskins
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