Internet Fax Resource – Your questions answered

How does internet fax benefit my clients?

Your customers and business associates will love it if you change over from conventional to internet faxing because:

  • The changeover will appear invisible to existing customers and clients –okay, this might not make them love the new system if they don’t even notice it, but allowing them to type in the same fax number they are used to, and send the fax in the same way they always have, removes any head-aches associated with the upgrade
  • You will become more accessible – the ability to choose multiple fax numbers, including whatever mix of toll-free and local area numbers from nearly anywhere in the wold that you like, means that you can be contacted easily and at low cost whatever your physical location
  • No more fax queues  –  with internet faxing you can receive unlimited faxes simultaneously, so clients will no longer have to wait as they repeatedly try to get through to your fax line
  • Enhanced security – all internet faxes are sent over encrypted connections and can only be view by the intended recipients, so clients can be sure that their confidentiality is preserved.

How does internet fax benefit my business?

Internet fax offers many advantages over traditional fax machine solutions:

  • Paperless office – while a truly paperless office is still something of an idealistic pipe-dream, the move away from the need to print all your faxes can mean reduced expenses for paper, toner, fax machine maintenance etc., a tidier office that is less cluttered by filing boxes etc., and that your faxes are accessible from anywhere at any time over the internet. Need to access an important fax from your phone in the middle of the night while half way around the world? No problem! A further benefit of being paperless is that documents do not degrade over time and, as they are generally stored on redundant servers, they are not susceptible to theft, fire or loss to other natural disasters.
  • Lower equipment costs – not only no you not need a clunky, noisy, space-wasting fax machine, but you also don’t need to install any extra phone lines, as the internet fax works over your existing broadband connection. You may also find that any existing fax machines you have refuse to work (or work unreliably) with your new digital phone or VoIP system, so now is the time to ditch them.
  • Enhanced security – is good for your business as well as for your customers. See also comment above about redundant servers.
  • More efficient – from ensuring that faxes are sent direct to the intended recipient. to the wealth of automated filters and document management options available, cloud based faxing allows a much more streamlined business model
  • Seamless integration into existing office software – online fax companies provide software that allows their services to integrate into most office IT systems and workflows, adding to their functionality while not causing any disruption. Integration and synchronization with address books to allow wide area faxing, and integration with document management systems, accounting and finance, resource and relationship management software, and much more, is fully supported.

What happens when I send and receive a fax?

When you send a fax by internet, your document or email is converted into an image file (usually a .tif file) or a .pdf file, and uploaded to your fax provider’s web server where it is then sent directly to the recipients fax machine.

When someone sends you a fax, the image from their fax machine is sent to your fax provider’s server (the fax provider has leased your fax number form your local telecoms operator) where it is converted in to an image file or .pdf file before being forwarded to you as an email attachment, or left on the server for you to access through your personal web portal, depending on your preferences.

Can I keep my existing fax machine?

It does seem a shame to just throw out an expensive and fully functioning piece of office equipment, and it is sometimes possible to integrate a fax machine’s scanning and printing functions into the new system. That said, fax machines are really obsolete technology, and you will probably simply find that you have no use for one.

How long are my faxes stored?

This varies from provider to provider, with some charging by length of time and some by number of faxes stored. The great thing about cloud faxing is that it is a very modular system, allowing to quickly and easily expand your capacity as your need grows, or save money by shrinking it to meet more modest needs. Automated deletion can help you to stay within the limits of your paid-for capacity, and you can always download faxes and store them on your local hard drive etc. if you want to.