If you thought sending a fax in 2016 was just like sending a fax in the 80s or 90s, think again!
There is now a quick and easy way to send faxes whether you love fax technology or not. And get this: you don’t even need a fax machine to do it! All you need is an Internet connection and an email account.
But why hasn’t fax been completely replaced by email already? Email allows you to quickly send large documents to multiple recipients without ever having to pay for paper, ink, a special machine or even a landline. And yet, as one article put it, “the fax machine refuses to die.”
A Brief History of Fax
Long before email, the fax machine was a vital communication tool for industries that required fast and secure document exchanges. Before email, the only alternative to faxing a document was to make a copy and send it in the mail, a process that was not only time consuming but that also risked the document being damaged along the way or even completely lost.
Enter the fax machine. A copy of a document could be sent to someone anywhere in the world in real time. Reporters could send their breaking news stories back to headquarters by simply feeding a piece of paper through the machine, no longer needing to dictate the story over the phone in a time crunch.
No wonder it was a beloved and ground-breaking machine!
But with the rise of the Internet, and cloud file sharing in particular, hard copies of documents are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Hard copies have to be kept in clunky filing cabinets; extremely valuable documents have to be kept in fire-proof boxes. Why go to the trouble of keeping a hard copy at all when you can keep a copy stored on the cloud, accessing it from any device after keying in a password?
For the average person, a fax machine is needed on a rare occasion. Until recently, it was impossible to put your signature onto a file online, and without the correct program to read the file, PDF forms or applications had to be printed out in order to be completed. Once the document was filled out or signed, you could scan the document to your computer and send it as an email, or you could fax it. Believe it or not, faxing is faster.
Today, people who regularly conduct business online are more familiar with the Adobe readers for PDFs and useful, secure tools like DocuSign, both of which allow you to populate and sign a form without ever needing to print a hard copy. We are truly heading toward a mobile, on-the-go business model as a society.
Fax Is Not Dead
Nonetheless, fax is still very much alive in certain places, such as law offices, financial institutes, healthcare facilities and college admissions offices. These sectors tend to still make use of hard copies on a daily basis, so a fax machine can be put to good use.
Also, many of the popular home or small office printers on the market are the 4-in-1 variety, offering printing, copying, scanning and faxing. Many people opt for a printer that has faxing capabilities “just in case” they need it. Because for the occasional time that you actually need to fax something, it’s far more convenient to do so from your own home or office, rather than having to hunt down the nearest public-use fax machine.
This need for an easy way to send and receive faxes despite a preference for email is what sparked one of the greatest leaps forward for faxing technology since it first hit the market in the mid-1970s: email to fax or fax to email!
Internet Faxing Keeps Everyone Happy
The wonderful thing about Internet faxing is that the sender can send documents however they like, and the receiver can receive documents however they like as well. Can’t stand fax machines in a digital world? Send your documents as emails, and your fax-loving recipient will receive a fax.
Longstanding options can provide convenience, security and flexibility. For small business owners, email to fax is a smart way to reduce office clutter and overhead costs; the price of the Internet fax service pales in comparison to the cost of buying a fax machine and keeping it stocked with paper and ink.
Faxing is not obsolete just yet, and it may never quite fade from existence. But an email to fax service is the perfect fax solution for large and small business owners alike, and keeps both parties happy. No matter how you prefer to send and receive documents, you no longer have to go out of your way to conform to the other party’s wishes. Internet to fax services do that for you!