We’ve come a long way since the first Fax arrived in the 1800s. So long, in fact, that for most people, the age of fax machines is over. Or is it?
The Fax machine may be waning in popularity, but businesses all over the world still use it. Even more surprising is the way that new technology has breathed new life into the good old fax.
In a surprising twist, the internet has made Fax more versatile for those who still use it. Now you can send a Fax from a computer or a mobile phone. You can use Gmail, Google Drive, MS Office, or even a Mac device.
Your Content Goes HereFax machines have a lot going for them: they are fast, versatile, accurate, secure, convenient, and they offer proof of receipt. On the other hand, Faxing and might not always be the cheaper or more eco-friendly option.
Nevertheless, millions of businesses across the world still find Fax useful in 2020.
But how exactly did Fax machines transmit messages without the internet?
Faxing Services Explained
Fax machines are super-efficient at sending and receiving messages. The sending component works a little bit like a computer scanner. It has a device that scans documents one line at a time. Most Fax machines scan messages in black and white. Here is how they work.
The scanner looks at each line of the document as a separate entity. It uses electric transmission through a telephone line to represent black and white areas.
This information reaches the receiving end of the other fax machine almost instantaneously and a printer prints the black and white spots exactly where they should be.
But is the Fax machine always the faster option?
One page of writing takes one minute to transmit from a sending fax machine to a receiving one. This means that longer documents will take a longer period to be transmitted in full.
Learn how Fax machines give you a heads up just before a new document comes in.
Fax users often create cover sheets to introduce the sender, their contact information, and the title of the intended message. The cover sheet is a page that goes first before the fax message.
Next, learn why Iran and the US relied on Fax to avert a crisis.
Why Faxing is more Secure than Scanning
If you want to make sure that no one intercepts your message, you want to consider faxing. Fax machines work off-line, keeping your communication off the World Wide Web, where no hacker can intercept your message.
This feature has made entities like Russia, America, and Iran turn to what would seem like obsolete technology from time to time. For Russia, the year was 2013, when typewriters made an unexpected comeback to preserve secrecy.
Fax machines can preserve the confidentiality of your message because they use landline phone networks. This method of communicating promptly and securely can be quite expensive depending on the distance.
Only the people receiving the printed message on paper will see it.
Encrypted fax messages offer even more security. The United States and Iran turned to encrypted faxes to communicate discretely as the threat of war loomed over the two nations.
Even though a fax demodulator can decrypt a fax message, an encrypted fax has an added layer of security that makes it virtually impenetrable.
Law enforcement agencies, Defense ministries, large corporations, and hospitals still use fax to relay medical records, legal documents, contracts, signatures, and other sensitive information.
The IRS is one of the major users of Fax for sending and receiving documents.
Pros of Faxing
- The convenience and secureness of the fax makes it ideal for sending your signature without leaving it accessible to others over a network.
- Through online fax services, you can still send faxes through the internet. This means that your phone, laptop, or Macbook is sufficient to send a message to a Fax machine.
- For legal reasons, you need proof that your recipient actually received the message. Fax machines offer proof of receipt. Every time you send a fax, you get a Confirmation Page, which is a printout stating that the machine on the other end has received the message.
- This makes Fax a more convenient version of registered mail. It is a lot harder for someone to say they never received your message when you have written confirmation that says otherwise.
- When you receive a Fax, you can tell exactly where it came from, because each Fax machine comes with its own Fax number, a conformation page, and transmission records. So you know the specific machine where the message came from.
- For shorter messages, fax can be potentially quicker than email.
Cons of Faxing
- Fax machines are not so fast with longer documents. Imagine sending a 30 page document at a speed of one page per minute. It will take no less than half an hour.
- A malfunctioning printer can cause costly delays. Imagine spending an extra night at a courthouse jail because the bail confirmation went to a faulty fax machine.
- Fax machines are high maintenance. They cannot function without toners, ink, and paper. If all the hardware is not in order, the fax machine will not send or print out any message.
- There is no multi-tasking with fax machines. A fax machine cannot send and receive a message at the same time. Fax machines cannot send multiple faxes at once, or receive multiple faxes at once.
- Fax machines don’t work unless they are connected to a landline. This means that you have to install a landline first before installing a fax machine.
- It is impossible to use a fax machine without being physically beside it. This means that if you happen to be out of office for some reason, you cannot send or receive a fax until you are back in the office.
- It is difficult to move offices and retain the same fax number, because it is attached to a landline.
- Although fax messages can be impermeable to online hackers, they are accessible to anyone who happens to be in the copy room when the fax arrives.
- Unlike email or Skype which will cost the same for an international call, international faxes cost more. This means that sending a fax message overseas will incur the same cost as an overseas call.
- Because of all that paper, toner, and ink, fax machines are definitely not environmentally friendly when you compare faxing with email. Every fax must be printed. You don’t get to opt out of printing some of them like you would with email.
- This means that a busy fax machine has a heavy carbon footprint.
The Simple Solution to many Faxing Woes
The solution to many of these Faxing woes is already available. You don’t have to buy a Fax machine to send and receive faxes easily. You can use a professional Fax service like the PostalAnnex of Azusa.
When you walk in with your documents and ask one of our associates about faxing, you will receive a free Cover Letter as you decide whether you need it or not. Should you decide to hand over your documents to be faxed, our associate will use our state-of-the-art Fax machines to Fax your documents. The Cover Letter may or may not be part of the message, depending on your preference.
You get round-the-clock access to a state of the art fax machine that does everything a traditional fax machine can do and more.
With billions of fax messages transmitting every year, the humble fax machine is still with us for the foreseeable future.
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