Internet faxing, an industry looking to grow to $1.5 billion over the next few years, has revolutionized communications for consumers as well as businesses. Although document facsimile transmission (fax) has been available since the 1960's, the ability to send a fax using the Internet has several advantages over hard copy transmission.
Previously, when a person wanted to send a fax, they would have to either go to the communications room of their business, leave their desk and head over to the fax machine in the corner or travel to a commercial store that provided fax service. They would then have to dial the recipient's fax number and feed the document into the machine. If their line or the recipient's telephone line was busy there would be a wait until that line was free. Sometimes the sender would even have to wait until the fax could go through. Verifying that the fax was received took another minute or so. The total time an employee spent in sending a fax could be as much as 5-10 minutes for a single document!
When the internet fax came into use, it made extra phone lines a thing of the past. A business does not need a line dedicated to a fax machine when they use Internet fax. They can send the fax right from their own computer. Since no extra phone line is needed, a company saves that charge plus any long distance charges that they used to incur. These charges used to become quite costly to businesses that had a lot of faxes to send. Attorneys, construction companies, real estate companies and many other businesses depend on faxing to give and receive the most up to date information; regular faxing costs can add up quickly.
One very big advantage of faxing over the Internet is that the service is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You do not have to leave your computer, as the fax is sent via email. Confidentiality can be better maintained with Internet faxes since the sender is the only one on that end to see the document. The recipient receives it through their fax machine as a hard copy. When a business uses an Internet fax they can send and receive several documents simultaneously, unlike a conventional fax machine. In order to send several documents over a standard fax machine, a person would need to feed the papers in one at a time. More advanced machines can handle more than one document but the feeder often grabs more than one sheet of paper and part of the document doesn't go through. Faxing over the Internet avoids this problem.
Internet fax service is simple to set up. There are several providers to choose from that charge a small monthly fee for the service. The business is assigned a fax number that can be used anywhere that there is access to the Internet. There is no software to install as all steps of the process are done through a web interface. Because the services use TCP/IP, it is a simple matter to verify transmission and receipt. In order to send or receive a fax with a conventional machine you must be at the machine's location. Using Internet fax technology, you can send or receive a fax anywhere in the world via your laptop computer.
Receiving documents through an Internet fax service is simple, too. When your service detects a fax being sent to your number it accepts it and forwards it to your email address or stores it in the web interface for later retrieval. As you can see, you would not really have to have a fax machine at all but only a printer. A business can save a lot of money when there is no need to buy, maintain, service and supply a physical fax machine. Saving just the cost of toner can make a difference in an operations budget. A business that uses Internet fax service doesn't have to dedicate space to a physical machine or the boxes of supplies that one of them requires.
It's no wonder Internet fax is considered to be one of the best technological products of the year. The ease, convenience and cost benefits make this product a wise investment for businesses of any size.