Invented by Scottish Alexander Bain in 1843, fax remained a popular business essential tool for decades. Over the years, fax evolved and it gradually reduced the document transmission time from six minutes to just one. The must-haves for a normal fax machine to work is a telephone connection, a fax machine, and paper.
In today’s world you can send a fax through computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets as long as they’re connected to the internet.
Virtual fax, also known as efax, internet fax, or online fax is the use of the internet to send a fax message without the need for a telephone number or a fax machine.
You just need to upload the image or text document, for example, a company letter signed and stamped to an online fax portal, or you can do it through your email. This portal sends the document to the fax number of the receiver. As far as the incoming faxes are concerned, you will receive them in the form of attachments to the email address that you have provided.
The best part is that the file you want to send shouldn’t necessarily be a document. You can fax a photo, HTML page, Word file, Powerpoint, Excel, Adobe file, Image in JPEG, TIFF, PNG, or web files. Also, it won’t be black and white like in the old days.
Now, with an e-fax tool available, you can choose a document from your laptop, computer, smartphone, google drive, or dropbox and send it directly to a Fax line. It also allows you to integrate your fax line with your telephone system providers.
Since fax offers many benefits and it’s a straightforward way to communicate with businesses, virtual fax becomes even more important in many cases. In particular, it suits the needs of virtual teams and remote workers because they cannot have access to a fax machine all the time.
Let’s see 9 good reasons why businesses should switch to virtual fax.
1. Easier Storage
Traditionally, storing fax documents was a very frustrating task. You needed a physical space to keep fax files and then tag them according to their subjects or dates. If you wanted to check on a document sent a few years ago, it could take you days. Virtual fax has made all of this easier for businesses.
Using email to receive or send fax means that you are capable of electronically sorting and file documents. You no longer need to scan your important documents to get an electronic copy. You can see your complete archive and log, something that was not as easy with traditional fax.
2. Organized Layout
A virtual fax allows you to scroll down through your documents, filter by dates, recipients, prioritize some communications, etc. In sum, it offers you a super organized layout of everything you send and receive.
3. Safer Than Traditional Fax Machines
Virtual Fax can be much safer than traditional fax lines. Not to mention that email hacking is way more frequent than fax lines hacking. They can also use SSL encryption to protect your personal information when using an internet browser.
You can send and receive confidential documents securely through online fax, just make sure you request all the advanced security options if you’re going to handle delicate information.
4. Go PaperLess
This is a significant advantage of using virtual fax because you won’t be wasting paper for receiving a fax, therefore you won’t need any places to store it. Going paperless is nowadays the ultimate goal for many organizations that want to stay environment friendly and law compliant.
5. Work From Anywhere
You don’t need to be present in your office to send or receive a fax. So in case, you are taking a little vacation or you’re working from home, you still can access all the important documents you need.
Similarly, if for any reasons you need to send an important fax, you don’t have to rush to a fax shop or your office. You can do it just by clicking on your connected device.
6. Digital Signatures
It used to be so frustrating when you wanted to send a signed document and you had to print it, sign it and scan first in order to send it. Virtual fax gets rid of all that stress ‘cause now you can easily add your electronic signatures and then fax without having to sign on any physical paper.
7. Legal Obligation
Faxes are legally binding for businesses but emails are not. This is because email documents are hardly admissible in a court and are not considered reliable evidence because they are prone to hacking, manipulation, and fraudulent activity.
Online fax will help you keep taking all the advantages that come with email while fulfilling the legal requirement of creating, sending, and receiving a legally valid document.
You don’t have to buy a fax machine, paper, and toners. You don’t have to pay your monthly bill for the telephone line. You also don’t need to hire someone who can take care of your fax documents such as storing, categorizing and then pulling the info you need.
By switching to a virtual fax you are cutting off all those expenses, therefore you can focus your resources in other important tasks. In other words, you are reducing overhead expenses by opting for an online fax.
9. You Can Receive Multiple Faxes Simultaneously
Last but not the least, virtual fax helps you expedite your work processes by receiving and sending multiple faxes at a time. You don’t have to waste time sending one document to multiple recipients one by one. Just as you choose the recipients in the case of email services, you can do it for virtual fax messages as well.
Summing up, using the internet to send and receive official documents improves your productivity manifold. Organizations seeking to minimize cost, boost their output, and be environmentally friendly should switch to a virtual or online fax. Not only will it help them streamline processes, it will save you up a lot of time, which is your most valuable resource.