What are the benefits of online faxing?
Perhaps the most touted reason to adopt an online faxing service is to reduce office costs. An office fax machine often requires constant attention. Regular maintenance, ink and toner costs, and dips in productivity as employees stand around a machine while they send or wait to receive faxes are eliminated when the entire process can be done online from a person’s desk.
Fax providers often allow you to store your sent and received faxes online. For some businesses, especially ones with regulatory requirements for faxing, it can be a lifesaver to store messages digitally instead of printing out the documents and stuffing them in filing cabinets. Some service providers make the faxes searchable so you can easily find them later.
Companies looking to go green could also find online faxing beneficial, as each message is transmitted over the internet and stored in the cloud. With no need to print documents, there is less paper waste.
What is the difference between online faxing and regular faxing?
The biggest difference between online faxing and regular faxing is the removal of a dedicated piece of office equipment from the equation. Such machines can cost thousands of dollars, with additional costs in the form of paper, ink and toner replacement, and a dedicated telephone line for transmission. Online faxing, however, just needs an internet-capable device and a stable internet connection to send and receive digital files.
How do you send free faxes online?
While the best online fax solutions charge either a monthly or one-time fee to use their services, there are some ways to send an online fax for free. The easiest to consider are the free alternatives available online. In fact, we’ve reviewed a free incoming fax service as part of this section, so be sure to read our FaxBetter review to see why it’s our best pick for free incoming faxes.
You are unlikely to find any free fax solution that lets you send faxes, since the action of transmitting a file requires more effort from a company’s server than receiving a file does. Any company that says it offers its online fax sending services for free usually mean it offers a free trial, after which you’ll be charged a monthly fee. If you find such a service, be sure to read the fine print before agreeing to anything.
What should you look for in an online fax service?
The easiest answer to this question is “it depends.” The faxing solution that will work best for you depends on how much you intend to use it and what features you require.
Good fax service providers feature a combination of three things: secure incoming and outgoing fax capabilities, an easy-to-use interface or integration with existing services, and stellar customer service.
Can you fax through Wi-Fi?
One of the benefits to using an online fax service is the need for less equipment. Rather than relying on a clunky piece of office machinery to send faxes through a land-based telephone line, online faxing just requires a functioning computer, a working internet connection, and the digital file or group of files you’re looking to transmit.
While it doesn’t matter if your internet connection is hardwired or transmitted via Wi-Fi, you should make sure your wireless connection is strong and consistent during transmission. Any interruptions in the sending or receiving process can cause transmission issues with the documents.
What are the different kinds of online fax services? When it comes to choosing which online fax service you want to utilize, it’s important to consider how you want to send and receive faxes in the first place. Depending on the service, multiple methods can be available to you at the same time, largely depending on the devices you have on hand.
In most cases, services will be of the “fax from web” variety, which allow you to send and/or receive faxes through your internet browser. This method employs a web-based dashboard that houses your Inbox and your Sent messages folder, as well as a long list of settings that you can change.
In a similar fashion, some services offer email-to-fax or fax-to-email. This type of service allows users to utilize their email provider to send and receive faxes. Users that opt for this method generally send faxes by entering the recipient’s fax number into the “To” field, with the service’s website (e.g. @onlinefax.net) at the end of the number. If someone wants to send a fax to you though this service, they will do the same, entering your fax number and service provider’s domain name into the “To” field.
Some of the more modern services allow for mobile online faxing. With this style, you can use your mobile device as a de facto fax machine. This usually requires an app so you can send and receive faxes anywhere.
There are some rare cases where an online fax service can provide a device to act as a bridge between your office’s existing fax machine to the internet. With that device installed, your online faxing capabilities still eliminate the need for a dedicated land-based telephone line but keeps your existing equipment intact.
How does email-to-fax work?
One of the more common features among online fax services is the ability to send a fax through an email client. While some details vary depending on the service you’re using, there are some commonalities.
When sending a fax, you attach a document or file to an outgoing email and send it to a predetermined email address attached to your account with the online fax provider. That address is usually your recipient’s fax number, followed by the “@” symbol and the service provider’s URL. (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) Once you click Send, the provider takes that information and sends it to the fax number selected as the recipient.
If you are receiving an emailed fax, the online fax provider takes the incoming fax, converts it to an email-friendly message or attachment, and sends that information to your email inbox.
Do you need any additional equipment for online faxing?
In nearly every instance, the only equipment needed to utilize an online faxing service is a computer with a modern internet browser installed and an internet connection.
Some services offer additional equipment to connect existing fax machines to the online fax service. These devices connect directly to your fax machine and internet connection. Users who are more familiar with the traditional fax machine can still take advantage of online faxing.
When does it make sense to switch to an online fax service?
The answer to this question often hinges on cost, available office space and accessibility. While the cost of purchasing a fax machine may no longer be a factor in your office’s daily operation, the cost to replace paper, ink, or toner, and regular maintenance, can add up over the years – which doesn’t exist with an online fax service.
For a small business, available office space is also a major consideration. Smaller workspaces are cheaper than larger ones, but if you have limited room for a fax machine, that’s space that can be better used for other equipment (or purposes). With online fax services, you can minimize the amount of equipment you have to purchase and maintain, plus you can read and send faxes from any compatible device, while traditional faxes require a printed page, which comes with some degradation in quality.
How do you choose the best online fax service?
The answer to this question is highly subjective. If your business needs to only occasionally send or receive a fax, then you should consider a service that charges on a per-use basis. If you need something a little more consistent, then a service with a monthly subscription will be best for your small business. Companies that need to keep their data safe and secure should consider an online fax service that offers strong data protections. To that end, you want to find a company that also caters to healthcare providers and other institutions that handle sensitive documents.
In all honesty, you can choose the best online fax service by considering your business’s needs and looking for a company that can fill those needs. Price, reliability, security and functionality should factor into your decision.
Do you need any additional devices to use an online fax service? In most instances, if you have a Mac or PC that’s connected to the internet, you are good to go when it comes to using an online fax service. Most services simply need an internet browser to operate. In special cases, however, some services let users download apps to their phones to send and receive faxes, while in some cases, a service can sell a special bridge device to allow legacy faxing equipment to connect to the online fax service.