Just How Does Online Faxing Technology Work?

While many people suggest that faxing is an ancient method to communicate, this approach is still an important facet in every office and business. The fact that faxing still provides a better perspective on business documentation gives it a unique character that makes it a preferred option even up to this day. In the advent of technology, many have thought that this once heavily-leaned on communication tool will be discontinued and gone forever.

They were wrong.

fax and internet

In the midst of what seemed to be a race of survival that is the age of the internet, faxing has treaded the path of evolution. Today, online faxing is the new breed of communication. The technology behind this innovative approach to faxing is simply astounding, and users are actually reaping the rewards. Compared to conventional faxing, it is much easier to use, more efficient with regards to time and costs. Plus, it is much more engaging!

Nonetheless, to describe the technology of this new approach means to go down deep into its essentials. It is necessary to discover the building blocks of what makes this technology work, or how each member contribute to making this avant-garde tech an essential tool of today.

Block 1: The Device

For every technology to work, conventional and innovative alike, the primary requirement is the device. Say, when one makes a call, it is necessary for him to use his or her phone. Similarly, in the old faxing technique, a fax machine is required to get the job done. In the case of online faxing, the devices which can be utilized can be in a wide array of choices.

A general device used to start up online faxing is the desktop personal computer (PC). The advantage of having a PC is marked by its speed and efficiency in connecting to the internet, which is the second building block. However, before even attempting to do online faxing, a computer must first be configured.

3 devices

The easiest way to configure a desktop as a fax machine is to connect a phone line to the PC. Older computers have a phone jack port built-in, which is intended to provide wired internet access in case wireless internet is unavailable. One can also opt to use the jack to connect a phone line to the PC and use it as a fax machine.

The most simple yet most wondrous device one can use when utilizing online fax is through mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Not only does it offer convenience and on-the-go functionalities, applications in mobile devices can be small yet powerful. There is a vast field of choices of applications in mobile devices provided by online fax service providers.

In Android, Popcompanion is available on Marketplace for free. Another example is eFax which offers a “free fax app” for subscribers that require a $14-$17 per month subscription. If you need to send quite a few faxes, this may be a good option.

Opting for a more professional service, there are modern fax machines which are continually being marketed since most of these devices are built for multiple purposes such as printing, copying and scanning. HP Officejet offers these utilities in one device, not to mention its industrial-level durability. For a cheaper machine, the Epson WorkForce 3620 provides high-quality printing with inkjet technology assimilated by wireless technology.

Block 2: Email and Internet

With the devices now established, the technology now leans on its primary mode of connection- the email and internet. Before any online faxing happens, a user must have a decent internet connection as well as an email account.

email

A primary requirement to apply for an online fax service is to have an email account. This email account is signed in as personal identification for the users of the online service, which is the third building block.

Users will be prompted to enter their username and passwords over email service providers. Gmail is no doubt the most popular free email service on the Web right now.  Gmail started out as an invite-only service, but now, it is the preferred provider for hundreds of millions of users all around the globe.  The fact is that Gmail has proven to be an invaluable tool not only for personal purposes but also for business.

To maximize the use of one’s email account, including online faxing service, it may be necessary for one to establish his or her internet connection at home.  However, this is already mandatory for practically any office since most transactions, not only online faxing, are done mostly over the internet. To do this, a person or a company must contact a reliable internet service provider to set up their internet connection.

Block 3: The Fax Service

Online faxing is an innovative approach which makes faxing faster, reliable and more convenient to its users. It lets users send faxes as email attachments using their email fax number. When a person sends an email with an attachment to a fax number, an online fax service provider automatically converts that email into fax. The fax service is the third building block of online faxing service – a very integral one to make it all happen.

man imagining technological dreams

To access online faxing, one needs to find an online fax service. There is a good number of options of available services to choose from. Fax reviews over the web declare Ringcentral as one of the best choices around. At just $9.99 per month, Ringcentral offers a pretty robust package at an amazing price. Though it is not the only alternative out there, it can be a pretty good choice if a person wants a good balance between price and features.

Another choice can be eFax. At a base price of $16.95 per month, eFax could be located in the “expensive” group of email fax services. However, the features and security of this service make up for the difference in price.  eFax offers one of the best mobile apps out there for Gmail fax. In this regard, if a person plans on taking care of faxes on the go, then this service is a good choice.

eFax makes it very easy for people to test their service, not only they offer a free trial, but they also have an eFax free package for those who only want to receive faxes over email. It has a monthly limit of 10 faxes, so it is better suited for those who receive faxes occasionally.

efax

Another big recommendation is by using Nextiva fax. This service is suggested especially for people who are looking for an affordable fax service with basic online fax functions.  If a person or company does not really care about the lack of advanced features, Nextiva can be a top contender of quality service for US customers. They can get well professional-grade of sending and receiving faxed documents at high speed with great clarity.

When it comes to price, Nextiva can’t be beaten.  Starting at just $4.95 per month, one can’t say making the jump to digital faxing is expensive. What’s better is that a person can start faxing for a full month free of charge.

Tips in Selecting Cloud-based Fax Providers

While the past technologies seem to start to be extinct, fax machines are still keeping their ground. For many reasons, faxing just can’t seem to die. One of which is the fact that many small businesses still need to send and receive faxes to communicate with vendors, customers, clients and partners. The ability to communicate and transfer documents via fax can boost productivity and add a level of professionalism to one’s brand of business.

black fax machine

Fortunately, technology not only improves what is current. It also bridges the gap between the past analog to the digital future. You no longer need a bulky, outdated fax machine or a dedicated landline in order to fax thanks to cloud-based faxing.

Cloud-based faxing allow you to send and receive faxes through your email account, as well as store those faxes digitally. Most services offer a low monthly subscription fee to enjoy a reliable and secure way to provide online faxing solutions.  Most online fax service offer practically similar pricing and features, but there can be significant differences between vendors.

When you’re choosing an online fax service, it’s important to note the number of outgoing and incoming faxes that are included in the monthly price, as well as any overage costs that might apply. Also, ensure that any company you select has a solid track record and a responsive, accessible customer service department.

Before anything else, you ought to know how online fax services actually work.

How online fax services work, and why people are using it often

Many of these cloud-based providers allow users to easily fax online, Google and Nextiva as the frontrunners. However, how do they actually work?

Online fax services essentially digitize a huge part of a faxing process. Also, there are a number of ways to send a fax using an online fax service: by special email address that includes the recipient’s fax number (i.e., 9876325123@gmail.com), through the vendor’s website or with a mobile application.

nurse fax machine

Once you create the documents you want to send in a word-processing program (like one of the staple desktop application Microsoft Word), they can scan and upload paper documents. When these documents are uploaded, the online fax service translates the document so that a fax machine can read it, and then sends it via a phone line. Fax machines don’t just accept documents. Email faxing services convert these documents (from any file type!) to information that is readable even by analog fax machines.

When you sign up for an online fax service, you’ll receive your own fax number, which others will use to send the documents to you. The service then converts the incoming documents into a digital format and sends them directly to your email address. For the sender, it’s as simple as dialing your chosen fax number, just as that person would do if you had a fax machine.

fax copy

Opting for online fax services nowadays is a very viable option to share documents and information for practically any purpose. Primarily, the reason a business might contract with an online fax service is to keep costs down, particularly if it’s a company that faxes infrequently. Convenience is another factor since businessmen don’t have to be in their office or near a fax machine to send and receive documents.

Managing your incoming and outgoing faxes with an online fax service is as simple as being near a computer or mobile device.

Features and options

Like most businesses, the selling points of online faxing services are the added features and extra options.

Convenient features include mobile alerts, integration with Microsoft Outlook, preset delivery times, digital signatures, customizable cover sheets, the ability to fax multiple recipients at once and the ability to forward incoming faxes to multiple email addresses.

As for its security feature, it includes SSL or PGP encryption and password protection to guard sensitive information. Most services offer these features, but it is important to check ahead of time and find out whether or not they cost more.

desktop fax

Another common option offered by providers is the use of a toll-free fax number or a local fax number. Most services also offer long-distance and international faxing as well, though it often comes with an additional per-minute fee on top of the subscription cost.

Choosing Online Fax Service

When choosing the cloud-based faxing service to tender, it all boils down to the cheapest option that will provide the best features. While most online fax services offer similar feature options and pricing models, no two are identical. Here are some tips that will help you decide:

Know your needs: Knowing the volume of faxes you’ll need to send and receive each month is first priority. This information is your key factor in determining which vendor and plan is the best fit for you. If you only need to send and receive a few faxes each month, a pay-as-you-go plan might be a good choice. If your business is much more fax-oriented than that, it’s best to pay a higher fee that includes a larger package of free faxes.

Get recommendations: It’s not enough to just take a vendor’s sales representative word and use it as the basis of your choice. Make sure you talk to other business owners who use online fax services and see which ones they recommend. While there are many competing vendors, finding recommendations from other entrepreneurs is a great way to narrow down your choices.

fax from ipad

Personally contact the providers: Using the intel you got from recommendations, it’s now time to contact the top contenders on your list to get a sense of the service you can expect. It’s always best to observe how a company handles the initial call from a prospective client. Is the call representative up-front about all the applicable fees and the included features? Is the rep willing to spend the time to explain how the service works? Is he or she overly pushy and aggressive in trying to make a sale? Is the representative friendly and attentive? These are all questions worth asking before choosing a vendor.

Understand the fee structures: It’s best to always ask for a detailed breakdown of all monthly fees and any additional costs, including setup fees, long-distance and international fees, and overage costs. Understanding the fee structures is crucial when you’re trying to estimate what your total monthly costs could be. This is mainly because some vendors may offer low rates, but then sneak in additional, hidden costs. Reputable vendors are straightforward about their fees, no matter how they are structured.

Request free demos: The top-of-the-pack fax services almost always offer a free product demonstration. Take advantage of this offer to test out the service before you sign up. A demo allows you to find out which service is the most user-friendly, because there can be vast differences between two seemingly similar services. You can easily identify between the best and the worst service providers by seeing their product demos first-hand.

Know about their customer: Much like any other service-providing business, customer service is very important. Before you have a problem, you would want to know that the vendor’s customer service department will be there for you. You would also want an immediate resolution when you do have a problem. In this regard, find out what the vendor offers in terms of customer support. As a rule of thumb, service providers should have a good customer support to be considered legitimate.

Fun Fax – What you need to know about online faxing

If there’s one business communications technology that has withstood the test of time, it is faxing. The use of fax machines is still vital form small-scale to large-scale businesses because of its reliability and security. More importantly, the sheer nature of having old and new hard copy of documents as a crucial element to have in businesses makes faxing popular among professional circles.

fax machine

This is why the trending old-becomes-new technology right now is email faxing. Faxing through email (most known as email faxing or Internet faxing) is faxing that uses IP networks to transport faxes instead of a Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN as its means of transporting information and sending a document. More specifically, Internet Fax uses e-mail as the transport medium. Internet fax services typically include e-mail to fax (fax from an existing email application), fax to email (receive faxes in your e-mail), and PC to fax (fax documents from your desktop).

So, how can someone actually email fax? There are now many rising providers of e-mail faxing. The most famous one is through Gmail fax. Easy to use, the use of Gmail fax is as easy as using your regular fax machine:

The How in Email Faxing

The entire process of Google fax is easy and very similar to sending a basic email with just a few modifications that include:

  • Entering the fax number in the “To” section (instead of entering a receiver email).
  • Documents to be faxed can be attached to the email.
  • The cover page title can be placed in the Subject section.
  • The cover page message can be placed in the content area of the email.
  • You can follow these steps without having to commit to a monthly plan by using a free trial account. These are provided at no cost to you and will allow you to explore all the features of the Gmail fax service with no strings attached.

fax to systems

Below is the step-by-step guide by Gmail fax online:

STEP 1. Create a New Message. To start, just create a new email by clicking on the Compose button.

STEP 2. Enter Receiver’s Information. The subject of the email serves as the title of the fax.

In the “To” section, you need to enter the receiver’s fax number in the area where you would usually but the recipients email. Following the fax number, place your internet fax provider’s information (which they specify in your welcome message).

STEP 3. Attach Documents to be Faxes

The beauty of online faxing is that you can attach a variety of document formats. Whether it’s a Word Document, Excel or even an image.

Check with your provider to know what document formats you can use. Most providers will accept a variety of formats, and you can also grab documents from your online storage accounts such as Google Drive, DropBox or Box.

Attaching a document to your fax is the same process as attaching a document that you email. You can also include a message for the cover page by typing it in the body of the email.

STEP 4. Include Message for Cover Page

You can place the text you would like to include on your cover page on the space where you would normally write the message for your email.

STEP 5. Final Step

Check over your fax. Make sure you’ve entered the fax number correctly, and the right documents are attached. After that, click SEND and your Gmail fax is automatically converted and delivered within minutes!

That’s how easy faxing through the internet can be with a Gmail fax service.

online faxing

After completing these steps, your fax takes a few minutes to process and deliver the message. You then get a confirmation message to inform you if your fax was sent successfully or if there was an error in the process. Most providers automatically resend a fax a few times if it fails on the first try, which makes it unlikely to receive an error message. However, if you do receive an error message, an email message is also sent to you, explaining why the fax wasn’t delivered.

The Why in Email Faxing

Gmail fax and other email faxing services have offered a more affordable, faster, and easier way to send and receive faxes that reduce the machine related problems such as the jamming of the papers and a busy line.

Gmail faxing has great impact (http://www.eproductivity.net/benefits-of-using-gmail-to-send-fax/) on a business because it greatly saves time in this critical process. Also, it is environment-friendly technology since it reduces the use of paper in the office. It is the perfect way of embracing the technological and social changes in business.

Gmail has many features that support the fax service, ensuring that it is beneficial for both business and personal correspondence. You only require an account and an email fax service that will enable you to create the connection between your email and the fax server. You are also required to have a virtual fax number that will enable you to receive your faxes via Gmail. The sending of faxes via Gmail has been considered to have numerous benefits.

close up machine

Document Clarity: As useful as they were, fax machines have not been the perfect tool in transmitting documents.  It used a scanning and copying process in black and white that didn’t always work as it used to.  When there a systematic glitch, it is due to either your machine’s fault or a faulty machine on the other end of the line. Black and white documents had an OK quality, but if you wanted to fax images and colors, you might be left without the better options.

Fortunately, digital faxing has made it possible to receive documents with perfect clarity.  You no longer need to scan a document (unless you only have a hard copy of it). All you need to do is fax directly from your computer the document you wish to send, and it is then transmitted, retaining perfect clarity, even with the presence of color images.

Automatic conversion of different files to the fax image format: The most advantageous thing about using the Gmail to send a fax is the ability to automatically convert the various types of files to the format of a fax image that makes it compatible with the different types of fax machines. This means that images that you send will not have any problems in terms of being read or received.

Moreover, the fax image format can be easily converted to the PDF format to allow easier printing or reading via desktop, laptop or your smartphone. The conversion has been considered to be an easier and a quicker process because it takes a relatively shorter time.

woman on computer

Saving money while you save the Environment: Using the internet to transmit faxes means your business also reduce the amount of paper it consumes because all documents can be received, sent and even edited through the computer.

In certain cases, implementing a new program in your business can end up costing you more money. However, that is far from the truth for businesses that begin to use an internet fax service. Many testimonials and comparison have shown that businesses have reduced expenses with the technology. This is because email faxing wastes less paper, ink and electricity. Also, you do not need an extra phone line that may add to your start-up costs or installations.

For all these reasons, email faxing is becoming increasingly popular because of its ease of use, innate importance and inherent perks. It provides benefits for the user and for the environment alike. Most importantly, it’s very easy to use, and like most online services, it doesn’t require complicated set ups because everything can be managed through the internet.