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How does online faxing work?

Stacy Bennett

Stacy Bennett

Online Fax Services Expert

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Updated: January 15, 2014

The process for online faxing is very similar to sending an email. You visit the site of the faxing service provider and, using a simple interface, enter the name of the recipient, the name of the company, the country where the fax is being sent, and a fax number or email address. You may also be asked to enter your name and contact information. The specific required fields vary between companies. Then, just as you would with an email, you upload and attach the file you want faxed and send it on its way.

Instead of transmitting through telephone networks like traditional fax machines, online faxes are sent through the Internet. If the recipient of your fax also has an account with an online fax service provider, the fax shows up in their inbox. Much like an email, they have the ability to view, download, or print the fax. If the recipient has a traditional fax machine, the online fax transmits, arrives at their fax machine, and is printed.

Online faxing providers generally cater to one of two types of customers: those looking to send a one-time fax, and those looking for a comprehensive fax service. Both of these options enable you to send faxes via Internet, but understanding the difference between these two types of providers will help you pick the right service.

One-Time Faxing

While the narrative that faxing is an antiquated technology with no place in today's business world is inaccurate, the average person probably doesn't send a lot of faxes. When these infrequent occasions requiring you to send a fax do arise, having the ability to send a fax online is a great resource.

Online faxing providers like FaxZero and others are designed specifically to meet the needs of one-time faxers. Generally speaking, these one-time faxing sites have you follow the process described above, entering contact information and uploading a document. Most of these providers enable you to upload multiple documents; however, some services may limit the total file size. Some of these one-time services enable you to send a small fax for free, but you can generally expect to pay between $1 to $2 per fax.

Full Fax Services

Full faxing services typically offer a complete package that enables you to send and receive faxes, manage contacts, and access learning materials and support. Although all faxing services are interested in facilitating fax sending and receiving, the features required by various individuals or organizations vary significantly. One organization might value online fax services designed to handle fax broadcasting (sending faxes to a large number of recipients), mail merges, adding multiple user accounts, and billing allocation. Another organization might value cloud integration, fax to email, digitized signatures, and mobile faxing.

The fundamental sending-and-receiving features are present in all leading online fax services, but being aware of some of the general differences helps make more appropriate purchasing decisions.

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