Internet faxing: an online service that kills fax machine
Yes, indeed conventional fax machines are dying, and will be out of the business very soon. We are now living in a digital world – emails, cell phones, instant messenger, GPRS systems are everywhere, slipping themselves into everybody’s life. Ask yourself: When is the last time you post your mail through the postman? And, when is the last time you click on that reply or forward button to send out an email? Technology change, so does our life quality.
Faxing services are quite similar with email. When first email services were introduced, not much people get hooked on and they still think the posts sent out thru their office boy are more secure and reliable. But as soon as people find the convenience of emails …the heat just spreads out and affects every single person’s life.
Internet faxing, or sometimes known as online faxing, or efax or fax to email or virtual fax, is a technology that enables you to send out and receive faxes in email forms. Modern internet services had made faxing easier and faster in a cheaper way compare to conventional facsimile transmissions. “We are eliminating the need for a fax machine,” says Janice Kapner, director of marketing and corporate communications at eFax. eFax is one of the pioneer in internet fax business that offers a free fax-to-e-mail service to more than one million subscribers.
By signing up with eFax services, you will get a real fax number at which you can receive faxes, which are then forwarded to an e-mail address of your choosing. You can as well send faxes out to normal fax machine through the service.
Internet faxing has caught the attention of both large and small businesses. More than 14 billion pages had been sent over IP-based networks in year 2002 and the number is keep on increasing, yielding more than 20 billion pages sent at the writing time of this article.
Why internet faxing service is growing this fast? Answer: the cost. Internet faxing requires less cost compare to conventional fax machine, which required user to buy fax machine, fax machine toners, extra fax lines …and the list goes on. With internet faxing, you don’t have to invest in equipment; you don’t need to pay for a dedicated fax line; you don’t have to allocate extra budget to maintain your fax machine.
Often, Internet faxing services require only a flat fee to use. As for eFax, with subscription fees range from to .95/month; you can receive faxes up to 200 pages for free; you can then send out faxes with a low price of .10/page; you get a local or a toll-free number; you get additional services such as voicemail-to-email services.
Further more, internet fax doesn’t give you a ‘busy’ tone. You can always receive faxes as it will just drop into your email inbox. Faxes can be received even your PC is offline or the phone line is being used- it’s always on and you will never miss a fax with internet fax. “The `always on’ aspect of a Web-based fax service means that numerous faxes can be received simultaneously at the same number,” says Leslie Morgan Nakajima, director of corporate communications at Onebox.com.
Convenience is another plus point for internet faxing. With internet faxing, your faxes become digital files automatically. This in turns helps you manage your files easily. Just as other files in your computer, you can now copy, forward, and organize it in your PC hard disk – simple and clean. With most Internet faxing services, your faxes become digital files that can be copied, forwarded, and archived. There’s no learning curve for the service, one can just subscribe and start using it to improve your daily job.
On the other hand, there are a few limitations to Internet fax: You need online access and a scanner to fax paper documents. That’s why Dataquest’s other numbers show traditional faxing sticking around for years to come. However, the economy and manageability of Internet faxing will allow an increasing number of savvy home office workers to do without a fax machine.
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