Faxing is still an important way to communicate, especially in industries like law, healthcare, and in business. It still provides a reliable and secure way to share sensitive or urgent documents, but luckily, there’s no need to keep using a fax machine anymore.
Fax-to-email services have changed the way business of all sizes communicate. They let you fax from any email address with ease, helping you fax in a way that is familiar, but also faster and more cost-effective than traditional faxing.
If you are still using a fax machine in your business, here are some reasons why you should consider switching to online fax technology.
1. A free virtual fax number
The first thing a service does is assign you a virtual fax number. This number is linked to your email address, and used exclusively for fax transmissions, remaining available at all times to receive faxes. You can pick between local, toll-free or vanity numbers at the moment of signing up, but if you have an existing fax number you can transfer it to an online platform through a “porting” process, handled by your online fax service.
Before deciding on a provider make sure they have coverage in your country/city. Most services have numbers available for US and Canada though.
2. Works with free email providers
You can link your fax number to any email address, including free ones. This means that you can send faxes using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or any other free provider. The sender never sees the address the fax will be forwarded to, so there’s no issue if you don’t have a custom email domain yet.
It’s a good idea to create a new email address to send and receive faxes. This account will remain spam-free and uncluttered for whenever you need to find a document. A copy of incoming faxes will also be stored on your online fax provider’s members area.
3. Easy to understand
Sending a fax from email is 99% the same as sending a common email. Here are the differences that you need to know: the recipient’s number will be typed on the TO field, but you need to convert it to an email address by adding the character @ and then the domain of your provider. This domain varies from provider to provider, if you are not sure which is yours, make sure to read your welcome message.
The other difference is that you need to attach to the message any file you want to be converted to fax.
Once you send your first fax online you’ll see how easy it is. Like with emails, you can send a fax to multiple recipients by separating each number (properly formatted) with a comma.
4. It’s secure
All faxes you send or receive via email travel through a secure connection once they reach the fax servers, using 256-bit AES encryption. And once your fax has been delivered, you receive an instant confirmation message with all the details of the process.
Some fax providers are also able to give your business HIPAA-compliant communications. In the healthcare industry, it’s very important to treat documents safely, following all the regulations. Through a business agreement, your service can guarantee the security of your fax transmissions.
5. It’s Cost-effective
Fax machines are not only slow, but they require other things to work. The first one is a dedicated fax line, because if you share your phone with your fax line it can lead to interruptions and different levels of frustration. The second is the fax machine itself and then you have the constant flow of paper and toner supplies.
When you fax from email, the only thing you need besides your computer, cell phone or tablet is an Internet connection. Your dedicated line is a virtual one and is ready to be used minutes after creating an account with a provider. Once your fax has arrived, you can choose to print it if you need it as a physical copy.
6. Fax on the go
Since we are talking about web-based technology, you can keep watch of your faxes on your phone or tablet. Forget about being chained to your office’s fax machine. This is a total game changer for business owners who are constantly on the move.
You can send a fax by composing an email, or use your service’s mobile fax app. These apps are extremely useful when you are away from your office, letting send faxes from photos of documents and even sign faxes digitally.
7. It’s Fast
Sending a fax is faster than ever before. Once you press Send on your email, the service takes care of the rest, converting your files to a fax signal and delivering the document in just a few minutes. Receiving faxes is even faster because it is a 100% automatic process, just check your email or enable email notifications on your phone.