Internet or online faxing is a relative new invention that
is quickly gaining in popularity with many fax users. Countless
businesses, large and small, are switching their daily faxing
chores over to this new online phenomenon. Likewise, many
individual fax users are also switching their faxing needs
over to an Internet fax service.
The major reason for this switch has to do with the savings
you gain -- Internet Fax can be MUCH cheaper than using the
old traditional method with a fax machine and an extra phone
Yet despite this growing popularity, many would-be customers
still have many unanswered questions about this new way of
faxing. Frequently asked questions that need to be answered in
a simple and honest manner.
So here's a brief run-down of the most popular questions
about Internet Fax:
What is Internet Faxing?
Email or Internet fax is simply using your email system
and the Internet to receive and send your faxes.
Major advantage - instead of a bulky fax machine and an
extra phone line; you can use your current email and
an online fax service provider. The most popular Internet
Fax Services are MyFax, eFax, Send2Fax, RapidFAX and TrustFax.
These fax providers will charge you a small monthly fee
for their services.
Just How Does An eMail Fax Work?
Internet Fax works by using your email. You receive and
send faxes by using your email system and the Internet.
First, you must set up a local or toll-free number with one of
the Internet Fax Service Providers. Then you use this fax number
to receive and send faxes via email.
Most, if not all, Internet Fax services will let you use
an online site (Web Interface) to do your faxing. Or you
can use an email program like Windows Outlook. Many Internet
Fax Providers also give you a free desktop application download
that you can place on your desktop to send and receive
faxes. Most will also work with Windows Office Documents.
You can access your faxes wherever you have the Internet,
this is great for busy mobile professionals, onsite workers,
business travelers or just the ordinary person on vacation.
How Do I Read An Inbound Fax?
Incoming or inbound faxes are delivered to you as an
email, with the fax as a file attachment. This file
attachment will usually be a TIFF (Tagged Image File
Format), or it can be PDF, JPG or other formats.
To view these File Attachments or faxes you will need
a viewer. Most computers have an Adobe Acrobat Reader
which will read PDF files. Also, you should note,
the latest version of Windows has a built-in viewer
-- just double-clicking the file attachment will
automatically pop-up the Windows Fax Viewer. Then you
can then zoom in and out, move between the fax pages...
Please note -- most services recommend that you NOT use
any Graphics program like Paint Shop Pro to read faxes.
Will Email Fax Work With My ISP?
Yes, provided you have set up an account with one
of the external fax service providers listed in the
resource box link below. These fax services are well
suited to work with DSL, ADSL and ISDN Internet Cable
Is Fax To Email Private?
No and Yes!
While many Internet Fax Providers use SSL and PGP
encryption when sending your faxes and most email
service providers are compliant with privacy regulations
as Gramm-Leach-Bliley & HIPAA in the United States and
PIPEDA in Canada, you are still using email and the
Internet to send your faxes.
While encryption does insure safe transmission, many
fax services will store your faxes online in their
systems for a period of time, your faxes will be as
safe or as private as your Provider's security measures.
Therefore, it is always a good idea, if you're worried
about sensitive faxes -- to delete these from any online
storage system ASAP. Keep in mind, any online site, no
matter how secure may be hacked - including governments
and banks, as you frequently read about.
If you're careful and take the right steps, email
faxing can be relatively safe. But you should also
ask yourself, how safe or private are ordinary phone
lines if you're faxing old school?
How Are My Faxes Tracked?
Usually, your fax service provider will have a couple
of ways of notifying you about the success or failure
of your fax. They will send you an email or you can log
into your Internet fax account and track the status of
Many providers will also report to you the cost of each
fax you send. If you're new to Internet faxing, always
keep track of how much your online faxing is costing
you or your company. Rates vary and you can cut costs
by choosing the most appropriate plan and service to
perfectly match your specific needs. This is one case
where a little homework done now, will save you money
over the long haul.
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