We live in an age where instant digital communications are heavily used by businesses as well as individuals. Digital channels have proved to be invaluable to connect with work teams and increase productivity in the workplace. But as useful as they are, they have their share of limitations, especially when it comes to security. Communication via instant messaging, video, and traditional email is susceptible to interception.
Many companies still use faxing for this reason. When it comes to send and receive sensitive information, nothing beats faxing. It may be seen as outdated, but it is the one technology that ensures the document you sent has been received by the right hands. Industries such as healthcare and law use it on a daily basis to share patient/client information while adhering to government standards.
But faxing has been around for many decades now, fax machines are not the only way to send and receive documents, today we have different means to send a fax, and the best of all is that it’s all online. Let’s take a look at the options you have at your disposition.
Email to Fax Services
If you want to fax without a fax machine and all the additional equipment it goes with it, the best option is to make use of online fax service. These companies give you a virtual fax number, and this number is linked to any email address you have, letting you receive the fax automatically as a PDF file.
Sending a fax through service is also very easy. You can do it in two ways:
- By sending your fax through email.
- By using your online dashboard.
The first method is very easy, once you know the differences between a common email and a fax email. The first one is that your recipient’s number goes on the field, followed by @ and the domain given to you by your fax provider. The other is that the actual document you need to fax has to be uploaded to the email as an attachment.
Currently, fax services work with a variety of file types, from Word documents to spreadsheets. These files are converted into fax images and then forwarded to the destination number in just a few seconds.
You can use it with all types of email addresses, we recommend Google fax, which means using your Gmail address, so you can take advantage of other Google tools and combine them to increase productivity in the workplace, such as Google Calendar and Google Drive.
The second method needs you to head over to your member’s dashboard and enter the fax sending area. You’ll find a form with all the details that need to be filled out before sending your document. Just complete it, double-check that you have entered the correct number, press “Send” and the fax will be on its way.
In both cases, you’ll receive an email confirmation once your fax has been successfully sent to the other end.
Mobile Fax Apps
Once smartphones became ubiquitous, different fax companies decided to jump into the mobile fax app pool. This gave us users the power of having a fax machine in our pockets. This is the preferred method for faxing if you are constantly on the go.
The best mobile fax apps are those that work alongside a reputable fax service. Companies such as RingCentral or eFax, have developed apps that are a companion to your monthly subscription, and are free to use if you are an existing customer. We prefer apps that work with a service subscription because they have the best features to make faxing easier.
There are also stand-alone apps in the market, which means that they do not need a monthly subscription. Instead, they charge per page sent to your destination, depending on the location of the receiver’s fax number. But what these apps don’t have is a fax number to receive faxes, they only serve to send faxes.
Sending fax over a smartphone app is usually very simple, you attach the file you want to fax or take a photo of a document with your phone. Then you just fill out all the needed text fields to send your fax. Check that the app you are planning to use at least sends you an email confirmation to let you know the document has been transmitted correctly.
Use a Fax machine / Multifunction printer
Do you want to go old school? You can keep using your fax machine, even in 2020. Fax machines and multi-function printers are still used by countless companies to fax on a daily basis.
This is not the best option to fax today, but it is definitely possible, especially if we take into account that mobile fax apps and services are both fully compatible with legacy technology. This means that digital files can be received by traditional fax machines as well.
There are many downsides when using a fax machine: it is slower, runs into paper jams, needs a constant supply of paper and toner, and also needs a dedicated fax line. This may be a good option for those that have a fax machine lying around in the corner, but with online alternatives, it makes sense to make the jump to digital fax as soon as you can and start saving money and time.