At the intersect between education and technology

Is There Another Way to Send Fax, Besides Using a Fax Machine?

Despite the constant advances in the World of telecommunications, some old technologies are still favoured in some businesses, one of them is faxing.  Yes, we can send documents easily using our emails, or via instant messaging, but none of them provide the security of good old-fashioned faxing.

Faxing is a secure and reliable way to communicate, and is especially useful in the law and healthcare industries, where offices need to send sensitive documents following all the needed regulations like, for example, HIPAA.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to keep using a fax machine.  Online faxing exists more than a decade ago, but it’s been just recently with the advances in cloud storage and mobile technology, that we can truly harness its power.  Let me show you the other ways you can send a fax these days:

Fax by email

This is the most popular way to fax online among businesses and small offices.  This way of faxing by email combines the familiarity of email with the convenience of sending fax from your email.  This method is extremely simple because the vast majority of people already knows how to send an email, and they can access their accounts from practically anywhere.

The main difference with sending a common email lies in the way the recipient is entered.   In a normal email it would look like this: [email protected].  But if we want to send the email as fax, we need to enter the number followed by @ and the domain of your online fax provider.  This domain depends on the provider you are using. On the other hand, you directly upload the document that will be converted to fax, using the attachment function in your email. Once sent, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Fax from your cell phone

The advances in mobile technology has made it possible to carry a virtual fax machine in our pockets at all times.  There are now a handful of really great apps that link to a fax service and are able to send and receive faxes on the go.

You should know that there are two type of apps though:

The ones where you need to pay per page, this usually costs cents so you may have to buy credits to use them.  The downside of using this type of app is that it doesn’t let you receive fax, you just can send them.

The second types of apps allow you to send, receive and sign faxes.  These are the apps that have been developed by a subscription-based online fax service, like for example eFax, Ringcentral or Hellofax.  You can download them for free but to use them you need your login credentials.  I find this option to be much more convenient, and they tend to have fewer bugs.

Fax using a free web form

If you want to send a single fax, or are not really looking to pay for a monthly service, you can use a fax website like Faxzero or GotFreefax.  Sending a fax with these alternatives is also very simple, just fill out the details of the recipient and attach the file you want to fax.

Even though this is a free alternative, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.  Right from the start there’s the issue that you can’t receive faxes. If you go over the limit of allowed pages you’ll need to start paying a fee per page which can end up being more expensive than a fax service if you plan on faxing regularly.

There’s also a limitation in the types of files you can convert to fax, usually restricted to these formats: pdf, txt, jpg.  Some people also complain that these faxes are preceded by ads, so stay away from them if you are faxing a serious document.

Well, there you have, 3 new ways you can send a fax without relying on a fax machine.  There are many benefits of using this new technology, the biggest one is the great reduction of prices when setting up fax in your office.  Since you are faxing over a digital line, you don’t need a physical dedicated line installation, and you can receive an online fax number in just a matter of seconds.

Finally, you should know that all these methods of online faxing are compatible with fax machines.  Every fax you send is converted to a fax signal, readable by all fax machines in the World – even really old ones!