Faxes have been the go-to solution for sending and receiving important documents for decades. The fact that we can send and receive documents to somebody on the other side of the globe in a matter of minutes was nothing short of a revolution. When faxing first came around, it totally changed how we do our business and how we plan our workflow.
But now, in this digital day and age, a fax machine has become somewhat restricting. Because in order to use it, you have to be physically near the bulky fax machine. What’s more, getting your own fax machine is the kind of expense that not many people are willing to commit.
An online faxing service is an answer to that problem. You get to enjoy all the benefits of a fax machine without dealing with its downside. But first, what is actually an online fax service? What are the features that make it better than a conventional fax machine? This brief article will answer all of those questions for you.
As the name implies, an online faxing service is a service that allows its users to send and receive faxes digitally without needing to own a bulky and expensive fax machine. Since this is an internet-based service, all you need is a computer or even a smartphone, and internet access to send and receive faxes no matter where you are.
The principle behind an online faxing service is not that much different than the old way of doing faxes. When you sign up for an online faxing service, you will be assigned a fax number. And just like a fax machine, you could share that number so that other people could send faxes to you.
Whenever you receive a fax, all you need to do is sign in to your online faxing account, head to the dashboard, and there you can view the documents. Likewise, if you want to send a document, you simply need to upload it through your dashboard, enter the recipient number using a predetermined format, and then click send.
Those are all the things that you need to own and all the steps that you need to do in order to use an online faxing service. Its simplicity and flexibility are what make this method getting more and more popular each day. Especially during the time when most people have to work remotely from home.
Different companies might offer different features. But the following points are some of the most common features that should be available to most online faxing services.
- Convert documents to PDF. With online faxing, whenever you received new documents, they could be converted to PDF format. A PDF is superior to any other format because it could perfectly keep the structure of the documents and it is also easier to see the document this way.
- Email to faxes. You could usually see documents from the dashboard of your online faxing account, but to make things more convenient, you could also choose to synchronize them to your email account. That way, all incoming faxes would automatically arrive at your email inbox. And likewise, you could send faxes from your email as well.
- Local Numbers. Online faxing services usually let you choose local numbers from a wide variety of regions. The coverage highly depends on the company, but usually, most regions within the United States should be covered.
- Toll-free numbers. Not only a local number, but you could also choose a toll-free number. If you're a business owner, a toll-free number is one of the best ways to instantly boost your reputation and credibility. It is a great way to build trust with your customers.
- Number porting. While not all online faxing services offer this option, most of them do. This feature allows you to port the number that you choose into an actual landline number. This is especially useful if you plan to use an actual telephone or fax machine in the near future.
- Digital signing. Once you've scanned a document and uploaded it, it is usually too late to edit it any further. The same thing with the received documents. You have to print it out first if you want to put your signature on it. Digital signing is a feature that allows you to put your signature without having to go through all that trouble first.
- Cloud storage. If you're in a business where you receive tons of faxes every day, you can rest assured because every online faxing service offers cloud storage for your faxes. However, the amount of storage you're allowed to use depends on each service.
- Sent and received history. Similar to cloud storage, this feature is also beneficial for those of you who sent and received faxes a lot. With this feature, you could easily look back into the history of your incoming and outgoing faxes.
- Contact numbers. If you usually send faxes to tons of numbers, then this feature is a great fit for you. Because this feature allows you to save fax numbers and instantly access them whenever you need to.
By fully utilizing the internet and the devices that the overwhelming majority of people already have, online faxing services could give you all the benefits of faxing without any of its hassle. It is easy to use, cost-effective, flexible, and more importantly, it is extremely convenient. If you need to send and receive faxes regularly, you should definitely give online faxing services a try.