In today's business world, we are using computers more and more in all aspects of running a business. This includes one of the stables of the modern workplace - the fax. It only stands to reason that faxing would be united or combined with the other stable of the modern workplace - the computer. That's where an online fax service enters the picture.
Using online fax simply means using your computer and your email system to send and receive all your faxes. Since you're using your computer, many users refer to this as a computer fax service. Your messages are digitized and sent as email attachments, usually in a Tiff or Pdf format, but there are countless other file formats you can use for your messages.
In order to start faxing from your computer, you have to sign up to an online fax service where you're given a local or toll-free fax number. You also get an online account which is private and accessible only by you. Then no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have a computer and a web connection, you can do all your faxing.
This complete mobility is one of the best advantages of using computer fax, you are no longer tied down to the conventional machine in the office. You can send your messages anytime, anywhere. This gives all your company's dealings great freedom and versatility.
Getting an online fax service is relatively painless since it can be done in a few minutes and most providers offer 30 Day Trials so you can check out their services before you buy. This can be very cost-effective, especially for those businesses which are just starting up. Going with a "computer-based" system will mean you don't have to put in a dedicated fax phone line, nor do you have to buy a traditional fax machine or pay for machine maintenance.
Services are usually priced around $8 to $10 per month and for that price you get on average around 300 (incoming/outgoing) faxes, although if you shop around you can get much cheaper programs with more faxes per month. So it does pay to do a little homework, especially when you consider this will be an ongoing business expense.
Keep in mind, many fax providers have a desktop application which you can download to your computer and then you can send your faxes directly from your computer desktop. You can also use an email program like Outlook Express to send your faxes.
Regardless of which method you use or which online service provider you pick, sending faxes from your computer is so much more convenient than regular faxing. It is also much cheaper since you don't have to buy any papers, toners and inks. Overtime, this fact alone will save you a lot of money if you go with computer faxing to send and receive your messages. It's your call?