Internet or online based faxing services are gaining the popularity with growing needs of individuals, business owners or corporate industry to not only sustain and survive but also to excel in speeding up the business process and transactions to meet the demands.
It’s not just the instantiates of online faxes but also the monetary gain one gets access to also plays a major role in driving this industry to its optimum potential and usage. With this shift, the old traditional or conventional methods of faxing which involved having a fixed telephone line (where each fax you sent was charged as a phone call), ink/toner, paper and of course a fax machine which occupied space and required maintenance of equipment from time to time is long gone.
As with every other technological advancement and in a new set of process & procedures, lots of unanswered questions are attached and many likely customers would like to get simple solutions for the same.
Table of Contents
- What Is Internet Fax?
- How Internet Fax Works
- How to Read a Received Fax
- Will Email Fax Work With My Current ISP?
- Is Fax to Email or Vice-Versa Private & Secured?
- Tracking Faxes Possible?
- What Is Fax Broadcasting?
- Is Free Fax Really Free?
So here’s a list of quick peek of the most popular questions about Internet Fax.
‘Internet Fax’ or commonly known as ‘Email Fax’ simply uses your email account and the internet access to send & receive faxes. Anytime. Anywhere.
The classic advantage of using internet fax service is that it allows you to get rid of heavy fax machines, fixed phone line, etc. all you need is a working email account and an online fax service provider. Currently, in fax oriented trending industry there are many companies who provide ‘Internet Fax Services’. One amongst those pioneers is “iFax”. However, most of them provide these services according to their subscription plan which ranges from a small monthly fee to annual package or even pays per fax facility.
How Internet Fax Works:
To start with, you need to set-up a toll-free or local number with one of Internet Fax Service Providers. This number will allow to send & receive faxes through an email account.
Either these service providers set you up with their online website (Web Interface) or allows you to download & install a free desktop application to achieve your desired faxing task. You can also use Windows Outlook or Windows Office Documents.
As one can easily access to these faxes as long as they have working internet connection and thus, it is most beneficial to business travelers, working-cum-mobile professionals, on-site workers or even an ordinary person on a vacation.
How To Read A Received Fax:
Incoming faxes would appear just like a normal email will be visible in your inbox, with the fax as a file attachment. This attached file will usually be in TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), PDF, JPG or other accessible formats.
Most of the computer system, laptops or smartphones nowadays comes with various viewer programs to view these attached fax files directly from your email account. These are Adobe Acrobat Reader to read PDF files or the latest version of Windows which has inbuilt Windows Fax Viewer. Double-clicking the attachment will display the fax document and you can zoom in and out or move between the successive pages of fax.
More importantly, most of these providers recommend NOT to use ‘Graphic Programs’ such as Paint Shop Pro to read faxes.
Will Email Fax Work With My Current ISP?
Yes, indeed it will, provided you have subscribed & set up an account with a third-party (external) online faxing service provider that converts emails to faxes and vice-versa. These fax services work hand in hand with DSL, ADSL, ISDN Broadband connections.
Is Fax to Email or vice-versa Private & Secured?
Yes and No.
Internet Fax Service Providers are bound to comply with privacy regulations such as from Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and HIPAA in the United States and PIPEDA or PIPED Act (The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) in Canada. Also, they use SSL and PGP encryption while transmission the faxes. Such encryption does ensure safe transmission, however, these faxes are stored in their online system for a brief period of time and hence, your faxes privacy and security are directly proportional to your Provider’s security measures.
As a preventive measure, it is advisable to delete these transmissions from any online storage system as soon as possible.
These Integrated Services are never secure in Digital Network as they might be exposed to any infringement or unethical hacking including government, banks and other organizations, as we all frequently read or watch in our environment.
As always, we recommend to every user to be extra careful and take proper security steps for safe internet faxing. On the contrary, neither was the conventional method of faxing with the fixed line was secure or private. The best defense is a good offense.
Tracking Faxes Possible?
Most Service Provider as a part of their service might inform you in different ways about either successful or failure delivery notification of your fax. They will send you an email or you can also track the status of your fax by logging into your Internet Fax Account.
Many providers allow send you the cost of each fax as it might be helpful to keep a track of overall faxing cost incurred by you or your company. Rates may vary and hence it is advisable to choose a service plan which is perfectly matching your needs.
What is Fax Broadcasting?
Fax Broadcasting is similar to Email Broadcasting. Here, instead of email, it will be the fax which is sent out at one time to a large group of people mentioned in the recipient’s list. This service is popular among businesses, large organizations or even law firms.
Is Free Fax Really Free?
Again, be cautious. Sometimes, it is only free to receive faxes but you might have to pay for sending faxes. This free fax service is worth checking into if your faxing need is only limited to few faxes per month. Still, we would suggest grabbing the analytics of the number of faxes you need to do for a specific period and then select the subscription plan accordingly.