Online fax is simply using your current email program and your web connection to send and/or receive all your faxes. This is a web based faxing system which is hosted on a third party site or provider. Your faxes are stored in an online account which is usually associated with one or more email addresses, all aligned with your fax number. When you receive a fax, you get an email from the provider with the fax attached, usually in a Tif or Pdf format. You can also use your email system to send a fax via your online service or provider.
Internet or email fax is much cheaper than conventional faxing because you don't have to install and maintain a dedicated fax phone line. Plus, you don't have to buy any inks, toners or papers because this is a paperless system. But price is not the only selling point, online fax is also completely portable and available anywhere you have a web connection. In addition, this new way of faxing is extremely easy to do, as simple as sending an email.
But how does one go about picking or choosing an online service or provider? What do you need to know before you try one of these vendors?
The first thing you must do before you make the plunge, figure out exactly how many faxes you or your company sends and receives in a month. These numbers will largely determine which fax plan you will need and it could also give you some direction to which provider you should choose. If your faxing volume is very low, you might be able to just use a "pay as you go plan" or an entry level service. These kinds of plans are very inexpensive, around $4 or less a month. However, if your faxing volume is heavy, you will need a more robust fax plan that will cost more and you may even need to get a custom corporate plan, tailored specifically for your company.
A general plan will give you on average, around 300 to 500 (incoming/outgoing) faxes for around $8 to $10 per month. Corporate plans will cost more and give you heavier volumes of faxing. You may also need to do fax broadcasting to a large number of recipients at once.
Regardless, once you have figured out the amount of faxing you need, you can then give some consideration to the different providers to see if they can fulfill your needs. Your next consideration will be the quality of the service and like any business service, this should be a vital element of any provider you choose. You must have a reliable quality service with good support which is accessible around the clock, just in case something should go wrong.
Always try before you buy.
The great part about these online fax services or providers, most will have a 30 Day Free Trial, where you can test-run their services before you buy. This is something you should do if you don't want to be disappointed. Remember, getting and using a fax number or service, will be a long-term arrangement so it does pay to do a little homework and get the best possible plan/provider for you or your company. Making the right decision now, will save you time and money, especially over the long haul.
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Article Added on Thursday, August 11, 2011
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