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Online fax: Is It Better Than Traditional Faxing?

What used to be a decision focused on which fax machine to get is now a choice between an internet faxing system and a traditional dedicated fax line. Depending on your business’ existing resources and your faxing needs, one is not necessarily better than the other.

To help you understand the difference between these two, let’s see what they really are:

1. Dedicated fax line

It isn’t enough that you have a fax machine that you use like a phone with document sending and receiving functions. You need an open phone line to receive documents all the time. Users most often subscribe to a line exclusively for fax use. This doesn’t mean that you no longer have to worry about your senders getting busy tones. As long as a fax is in the machine, whether sending or receiving, your dedicated fax line is busy.

2. Online fax

When you want to fax online, you need a good computer that can handle the latest web apps inside your browser and a stable internet connection. You use a fax application instead of a machine to send, receive and print your faxes. The whole process is virtual, and you receive faxes in TIFF or PDF format.
So now let’s compare the two fax systems using the following criteria:

  • Cost
  • Let’s assume that you already have IT infrastructure that can handle internet faxing and a fax machine. You still pay more for a traditional fax line since it uses up its own hardware-based phone subscription. It’s still cheaper to send and receive faxes over the internet, since you can have a fax package that lets you go through hundreds of documents for only $7 a month.

  • Efficiency
  • Traditional faxing wasn’t designed to be efficient. What you have is a device that can either send or receive one fax transmission at a time. What’s more, there isn’t any queuing of faxes. If a person tries to send a fax to machine that’s already in use, the caller gets a busy line. Online faxing isn’t dependent on a document slot, so you can send several faxes at the same time. Even if your application is closed, all your faxes download when you turn the application back on again.

  • Maintenance
  • A fax machine needs ink, electricity and paper for it to run. These resources are specific to the device. Your computer’s resources for general printing and ink are included in the internet faxing system. Keep in mind, though, that if your PC isn’t working for reasons completely unrelated to faxing, you still don’t have a fax system.
So if you look at it, faxing online is better than traditional faxing if you have sound IT infrastructure. If you don’t, then it might be a very expensive fax option for you.

Written by Nancy Perkins. ( Facebook | Twitter )