Long-distance communication got a huge fillip when the fax machine was invented. It helped people get important communications across immediately, as long as the phone line was free. It helped that everyone was connected by telecom and all they needed was a fax machine that could dispense paper. As time has passed, even the fax has evolved. The internet has brought the world closer and has made sure that people get to know things immediately without any kind of waiting time involved. Since then, the fax machine has also gone online.
What is a fax?
A facsimile (the original word for fax) is sent in place of an original document. For instance, if you are away from home and need a copy of your driver’s license you can have it faxed over to you. The paper needs to be photocopied and you can use it for whatever verification is needed. There is a simple enough requirement for a fax to come through – the phone line across which you send the fax must be free. The phone fax is the original fax format when a sender sent a fax across to the receiver over an open phone line. Since the internet has come into play, faxing has evolved to use the internet to communicate.
As opposed to the phone line, internet protocol is used when sending an internet fax. There are a few different methods of sending an internet fax across: Web fax – which uses the internet connection to send a fax
Email fax – which activates the fax via an email
There are some advantages to using a fax over the internet:
No extra hardware and software needed
No extra phone lined needed
Since this is integrated with email, there is no need for paper
Online communications can be stored securely with encryption
Multiple communications can be sent at a given time
Phone bills are significantly reduced because you don’t need to dial long distance every time. Any place that has an internet connection can be used to send and receive faxes, Multiple devices can be used to send faxes – phones, tablets, smartphones Obviously, since there is sending and receiving involved, a requisite gateway is also needed to send and receive faxes.
In the second decade of the 21st century, a fax is mostly redundant and has been phased out of most businesses. It is a very dated technology and doesn’t need to be used. Instant messaging, chats, emails, social media and other internet-based means of communications have ensured that there is no delay in getting a message across to the concerned people.
Technically speaking, there is no specific purpose for an online fax considering that it is possible to send the same information via email, or a scanned document. That being said, a fax is extremely simple to use and can be used by those people who have difficulty navigating emails and other electronic forms of messaging.
Despite the fact that most of the world’s population is online, there are still pockets which the internet hasn’t penetrated and it is in these offline locations that a fax really helps users. It enables people to communicate without feeling left out.
Most importantly, an old school fax does not involve the usage of an internet connection. Legal documents like power of attorney and other similar documents require a person’s signature and while PDFs help people scan and send these documents via email (which many believe is more secure) sending a fax is far easier in this case.
A computer-enabled fax or internet fax allows all of this without having to use paper, a telephone line, or even a fax machine because the entire process is digitized, for the lack of a better word.
Going online has had many advantages for communications and internet fax is one of them for sure. It has definitely retained the sense of immediacy that comes with the traditional fax without the worry over whether you will run out of paper or ink or both while receiving an important communication! Thanks to the internet, it has become possible for people to communicate more effectively and also help the evolution of older means of communication.