Internet Faxing For Competitive Advantage | The Communication Blog

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Internet Faxing For Competitive Advantage

By Graham McKenzie

Over the last four or five years there have been some drastic changes in the way individuals send faxes. Originally faxes were sent by standing in front of a fax machine and waiting for the fax to go through. In these last few years, however, Internet or Online fax services have become increasingly popular. Countless individuals and businesses have switched over to this faster, easier system.

Online faxes are really no different from standard faxes. The difference is that instead of using a fax machine, you use your e-mail system and the Internet to send and receive faxes. To do this, you must find an online fax service, which, as does FedEx Kinko's or the UPS Store, charges per-fax.

The most commonly used online fax providers include myfax, ringcentral, trustfax, faxage, metrofax, rapidfax, send2fax, and others. With faxing being an ongoing expense, and not just a one time thing, it does pay to look into what is offered in order to make an informed decision. This can result in a large savings in the long run!

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from four to fifteen dollars a month for online fax services, though some are available for around twenty dollars a year for very light users.

Reputable online fax providers include eFax, MyFax, TrustFax, MetroFax, RingCentral, Send2Fax, and RapidFax, among others. Remember to check services carefully before you sign up to ensure it is right for your business.

The five main reasons for the popularity of online faxing are:

1) Cost

While you do need to pay for the service much of the time, you don't have to worry about buying or replacing fax machines, phone line charges, paper, ink, or toner.

2. It's Accessible.

With web-based faxing you can receive faxes any place you can connect to the internet, so it's no problem to get them when you're out of the office. You can also store received faxes electronically, so they are always available and you don't have to file hardcopies.

3. Internet faxing is more secure.

The Internet allows online faxes to be encrypted, which is a security feature not available with most fax machines. Since they are on a computer, only you and the recipient can read the fax, making things more private.

4. It's easy.

Sending an internet fax is the same as sending an email. Because internet faxes are in the form of a TIFF or PDF file, you read them they way you would any similar attachment that came in via email.

5. Internet faxing is more cost-effective.

Online faxing eliminates the costs of supplies such as ink, paper and toner, as well as the cost of maintaining an additional phone line. Monthly plans with an online fax service will cost in the range of $4 to $15 a month. There are very basic plans available for about $20 a year for those who need minimal fax capability.

No matter which plan or provider you go with, keep in mind the main reason for the popularity of internet faxing - competitive advantage. Whether you use faxes for customer orders, sales, or just transfer of vital information, a business with fast, immediately available fax service will do better than one without that capability. Today's business climate is super-competitive and operates on a 24/7 basis. Can you afford to pass up the advantage of using online faxing?

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