Although the Internet has taken over when it comes to sending data, whether through email or FTP transfer, it hasn’t completely replaced fax technology. A traditional fax is a document that is scanned and sent between two fax machines through a phone line. Since faxes are encrypted for security and are a quick way to send signed documents, companies still require them for crucial forms and letters.
But, with the advent of the Internet, the traditional mode of faxing is not the only way to satisfy faxing requirements. Users also have the option to send and receive faxes using email fax services by Metrofax and other Internet-based companies. Which method you choose depends on the equipment you own and how often you plan to fax documents.
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What You Need for Traditional Faxing
There is a specific equipment required to send a fax. You’ll need:
- A fax machine
- A traditional telephone landline
- The document
To send the fax, you place the document in the machine’s tray, usually face-down, and dial the fax telephone number of the recipient. When you first hear beeps and chimes, press the “Send” button to scan the document and transfer a copy to the recipient’s fax machine.
Although you can keep this technology at your home office to send faxes at will, copy shops and office supply stores keep fax machines on hand if you want to send a traditional fax but don’t have the equipment to do it at your home office. These stores usually charge less than one dollar to fax a single document.
What You Need for Internet Based Faxing
The requirements for Internet-based faxing are more virtual and less physical. You will need:
- A computer with Internet access
- An account with an online faxing service
- A digital copy of the document you need to send
Rather than using a machine to send the fax, for online faxing, you use an account on the Internet. Most online faxing services provide multiple options for sending and receiving faxes, such as emailing the document, sending it from your smartphone, or uploading it to an online profile.
Because you would have an online account, sending and receiving faxes with this method can happen on any computer, and not just the one you have at home. Prices vary for online fax service accounts, although most offer free trials.
Which One is Right for You?
Examine your preferences before choosing between traditional and online faxing methods. Traditional faxing is best for people who already have a fax machine and phone line or who only need to fax one document at the copy shop. On the other hand, Internet-based faxing is better for those without a fax machine and who want to make sending and receiving faxes a regular part of their business strategy.