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What features should you look for in an online fax service?

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated August 21, 2021

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In this modern day and age, faxing remains one of the few conventional means of communication that we still use, especially in the corporate world. And the reason for that is quite simple, we still need to send documents from one office to the next. And faxing is simply one of the most effective means to do that. 

But since the Covid19 pandemic hit the world, lots of people have been forced to work from home. And that's where the problem begins. A bulky faxing machine is quite expensive. So it's no wonder why tons of people prefer not to buy one for their home use. But it doesn't change the fact that they still need to send and receive faxes.

The best solution comes in the form of something called online faxing services. Many believe this method is not only the solution for these problems but also the future for faxing in general. So what is an online fax service? What features should you look for in an online fax service? And what are the benefits of using one?

What is an online fax service?

As the name implies, online fax service is faxing activities that are done through the internet. This means that with online fax services, you could send and receive faxes no matter where you are as long as you have either a computer or a smartphone with a decent internet connection.

Online fax service is the natural evolution of the analog technology of fax machines. In fact, online fax services could offer way more features than even the most advanced fax machine. We'll talk about some of its stand-out features in the next section below.

What features should you look for in an online fax service?
  • Local and toll-free number. One of the most important things that a good online faxing service will freely give you is a great selection of local numbers and toll-free numbers. Different companies may have different policies regarding these numbers, but as long as it's available for you, then all is well. 
  • Fax to email and vice versa. One of the biggest advantages of online fax service is its convenience. And one of the most important features that would enhance that aspect even further is the ability to send and receive faxes through your preferred email client. 
  • Convert faxes to PDF. It is widely known that the best document format to be shared online is PDF. A good online faxing service would allow you to convert any documents that you want to send or that you have received into a good PDF.
  • International faxing. While not every company or user that uses an online faxing service needs international faxing, this is a great feature to have nonetheless. Because while your company might not need it now, you might decide to scale up your business one day. If so, having this feature is crucial. 
  • Secure connection. This one is another crucial feature that every online faxing service absolutely needs to have. Because every document that you sent and received is going through the internet, it is imperative that you do it in a secure connection. 
  • Permanent uptime. Another thing that is as crucial as the secure connection is permanent uptime. You need to have a reliable online faxing service that could guarantee that you'd be able to send and receive faxes whenever you need them. And that means services with little to no downtime at all.
  • Digital signing. This feature is important in order to keep your workflow fast and efficient. Without it, whenever you receive a document and need to sign it, you'd have to print it out first, sign the document, scan the documents again, and then send it to the recipient. What a huge waste of time.
  • Send to multiple recipients at once. This is also another feature that while not a must-have but surely would be great to have at your disposal. As the name suggests, with this feature, you could send the same documents to numerous recipients at the same time. 
  • Unlimited storage. When you send and receive faxes through an online faxing service, you are essentially using their cloud storage to save your documents. As such, it would be highly beneficial for you if the company is willing to offer an unlimited cloud storage facility.
  • Number porting. This feature allowed you to port existing numbers to be your fax number. The majority of online faxing services offer this feature. The main difference between them is the price. Some companies may offer it as part of their standard feature set, while others might charge an additional fee for it.
The benefits of using online fax services
  • Convenience. The biggest benefit of online fax service is clearly the convenience. With this service, you are no longer bound by the physical location of the fax machine. 
  • Speed. Since all of your faxes come to you digitally now, you can do your work strictly from the computer. And that would be a huge boost to your workflow. 
  • Security. As mentioned earlier, online faxing services are required to make sure that their connection is highly secured. So you can rest assured knowing that your documents are properly protected.
  • Cost-saving. With no physical fax machine, you no longer need to pay a huge sum of money to buy and maintain the device. Nor do you need to worry about the monthly expenses of ink, papers, and whatnot.
  • Scalability. If you wish to scale your business one day, you don't need to purchase lots of fax machines. With online faxing services, you only need to upgrade your current plan to the one that suits your new needs.

If your job depends a lot on faxing, then online faxing services are the logical next step that you should take. It offers lots of beneficial features and also has numerous advantages over the conventional way of sending and receiving faxes. You should definitely give it a try.