Modern Small Business Options to Fax Online
Now, more than ever, businesses need to spend resources in integrating new technology that makes working remotely easier. The trying times we currently live in have prompted companies around the World to adopt technologies that help their employees stay connected and productive, we are talking about technology such as video conferencing, project management tools, cloud storage, and the ability to fax online.
Online fax has existed for more than a decade now. However, thousands of companies still rely on fax machines for the job. Now that we are working from our homes, having to depend on a fax machine can be a really tricky situation. The truth is that faxing remains relevant today across many industries, being the best way to share private documents and sensitive information securely.
Let’s take a look at the different ways your business can fax online:
Using an Online Fax Service
Online fax services have become the best way to send and receive fax online. The first reason is that they solve the problem of getting your own fax line. Each new account with a service provider comes with its own unique fax number for free, a digital fax number that is active 24/7 to receive fax automatically.
The second reason is that these services are much cheaper than a traditional faxing setup. In average you can expect to pay around $10 – $15 a month for a plan that lets you send and receive hundreds of pages each month.
Sending a fax with a service can be done through different ways. The most common method is to fax over a Gmail account or other email you have. This method is just like sending a common email, with the difference that the number is entered in the TO field, and the fax contents are uploaded as a file.
Other ways to send a fax include using a corresponding fax app to compose fax and take photos of documents, and using your member’s dashboard on your online fax providers’ page.
Receiving fax on your computer is a hands-free process thanks to your virtual fax number. Incoming fax will arrive to your email and to your account, it will be received as a PDF file, which can be read across different devices and operating systems.
Fax Server Software
If you own a big company and want to have total control of your communications, a better solution than a tool to fax online would be to keep your own fax server with the right software for file conversion.
This solution, although effective, can prove to be too expensive for most businesses, because you need to get a hold of virtual fax numbers, and also because you need a specialized IT team to handle all the fax servers for you.
The rest of fax software you can find is outdated, a prime example of this is the Windows Fax & Scan application, which many people use despite the fact that we can find newer alternatives. Most of them required a fax modem or another type of special equipment.
A Word About Free Pages
If you have searched for free ways to fax online, you may have come across pages that let you send a couple of pages for free. It sounds like a good idea, but in reality faxing this way is not secure, and these pages have their own share of limitations in terms of file compatibility and integration with other tools.
Free fax pages are not recommended for your business’ image. According to Gmail Fax Pro, when you send a fax through these pages, you may have to precede it with a cover page with ads. It’s better to use this alternative for non-important faxes or if you are in a tight spot and this is your only option.
Finally, these pages don’t provide fax numbers, so they can only be used to send them. You clients and providers won’t be able to reach you via fax for contracts, proposals and other types of documents.
What About HIPAA Compliant fax?
If you work in the healthcare industry, you also have to make sure your faxes are sent and received following HIPAA regulations, which keeps patient information safe.
In that case a key solution is to use an online fax service, but be careful, not all tools that fax online offer a HIPAA compliance agreement, make sure to talk to a representative first before creating a paid account with the service. Once the agreement is in place, you’ll be certified to send secure information through fax.