Nowadays, fax services are undeniable one of the most important communications among human. If doesn’t matter how big is your business, what’s your business nature and how you run your business – you just need a fax service to send out those documents. The recent survey that shows a bigger percentage of business phone bills are for faxing prove that the fax is still one of the ‘must-have services’ for your office.
However, faxing nowadays doesn’t rely only on conventional faxing machine. By utilizing the Internet, we can now easily send out ‘eFax’. Internet faxing, or sometimes known as email faxing or online fax, is one of the latest technologies that provides its users to send and receive faxes without a fax machine. Instead, Internet access and an email account is all that is required.
Why use Internet faxing?
If you have ever owned a fax machine then you can understand how frustrating it is when it jams, cuts off page text, stops in the middle of a transmission, or the receiving machine is constantly busy or out of paper. Further more, extra cost of fax machine, the installation of a separate phone line to avoid conflicts with your answering machine, and the ongoing cost of replacement toner cartridges – all this piled up to be huge expenses that cannot be avoided.
Now imagine you can eliminate all these: no more paper jamming, smooth transmission, 24 hours stand by with no more engage tone, and most of all, minimum cost for maintaining the service. This is what an Internet faxing service can give.
Internet is the perfect way to send faxes because they don’t have to be sent in “real time” as a phone call does. It’s usually not a problem if it takes a few seconds longer to transmit so long as it gets there in a reasonably short time and it is error free.
Using Internet fax, you don’t need to pay for the extra phone line, fax equipments and maintenance cost. All you need is to pay the subscribing fees to the faxing software and the cost per fax.
Who’s hot in Internet faxing?
In the past year and a half, several vendors have produced and are selling Internet faxing services. There are several different flavors of this idea. There are companies that offer software only solutions that allow you to fax directly from your computer to any fax machine; and there are services offer fax-to-IP Internet gateway products, which are hardware-based routers that emulate a fax machines.
Faxing services that use software (for example eFax) require that you sign up with fax service provider. Using this software makes faxing as easy as printing. These services are good for companies that primarily send outgoing faxes from their computers.
The advantages of using this method are that faxing becomes considerably cheaper because you are not making long distance connections over the phone lines, no hardware is required, you get faster transmission, you can send many faxes at once, no dedicated fax lines are needed, and a web interface is available if you wish to add fax-on-demand capability to a website.
The disadvantages are documents must be sent from your computer. With these services, there is no support for fax-to-IP gateways.
While for fax-to-IP Internet gateway products you will need a hardware based routers that emulate a fax machines. With these, faxing is done in the regular way using the fax machine, but the gateway device, which then dials the destination fax machine and sends the fax, interrupts the process.
This service is good if you don’t send a lot of faxes, but would still like to take advantage of the savings of using Internet delivery. It is also good if you do a lot of international fax calls. The disadvantages are that you won’t save much on either domestic faxing, or faxing to countries where the Internet infrastructure is less well developed.
You probably come to this article while looking for substitution for your conventional fax machine. If so, we recommend fax software to be the services to go for. With the various services available now in the market, you can easily get a good bargain on the faxing. After some details studies, we think eFax is currently the best faxing services to go for. eFax currently provide three different packages: eFax Pro for heavy faxing usage (.95/month); eFax Plus for average use (.95/month) and eFax Free (/month) that allows you to receive free faxes thru Internet!
For more details on eFax services, we suggest for more readings.