May 16, 2023 | Matt Gerchow Faxing is like a superhero in the business world. It's been around for a long time, still does a great job, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Why? Because it's secure, dependable, and it has a special power called “legal validity”.Security and PrivacyFaxing is like a secret agent for documents. It takes important papers like financial statements, legal contracts, and medical records, and sends them off safely. It's like a magic trick – the document disappears from one place and appears in another. And the best part is, it's all done with physical copies. This means they're more secure and private than emails or messages.ReliabilityImagine you're playing a game of catch. If you throw the ball and it gets to your friend without dropping, that's like faxing. It's reliable and doesn't let you down. When a fax is sent, it's like a rocket – it shoots straight to the other person's fax machine. No getting lost in spam folders or delayed because of bad internet. Faxing is all about speed and accuracy!Legal ValidityAnother cool thing about faxing is that it's like a detective – it leaves clues. These clues are important for businesses because they help them follow the rules. In many places, like the United States, a faxed document is legally valid. This means it's a big deal in business transactions.Challenges of FaxingBut even superheroes have weaknesses, and faxing is no different. There are a few things that can make faxing tough.Finding a Fax MachineThe first challenge is like a game of hide and seek – finding a fax machine. These machines are like dinosaurs in today's world, not so easy to find. So, if you need to send a fax, you might have a hard time finding a machine that's nearby.CostNext is the cost. Sending a fax can sometimes be like going to the candy store with only a dollar – it might not get you much. Some places let you fax for free, but others charge you for each page. If you have a lot of pages to send, it can get pretty pricey.Quality IssuesThe last challenge is like trying to read a book with blurry glasses. When you send a fax, sometimes the documents can get blurry or distorted. This can be a problem, especially if the document needs to be accurate or detailed, like a doctor's chart or an engineering plan.So, that's the scoop on faxing in the business world. It's got superpowers, but it also has some challenges. But with a little effort, you can overcome these and make faxing work for you!Technological RequirementsFaxing is like a secret club. To join, you need special stuff like a dedicated phone line, or cool gadgets and software. But getting these can be tricky or even pricey, especially for folks just starting a business or just needing to send a fax once.Solutions to Faxing ChallengesBut don't worry! Just like superheroes find ways around their weaknesses, there are solutions to these faxing challenges.Online Faxing ServicesImagine sending a fax from your computer or phone. Sounds cool, right? Well, it's possible with online faxing services! They're like a magical portal, transporting your documents right from your screen. They're usually cheaper than the old-school way of faxing and no need for the hide and seek game with the fax machine.Physical Store FaxingPlan B is to visit stores that can help you fax your documents. Stores like Staples, FedEx, and UPS are like a superhero's hideout, ready to assist you with your faxing mission. They do charge a fee, but they also give you extra help if you're new to this.How to Find a Fax Machine Near YouFinding a fax machine can sometimes feel like finding a unicorn. But no worries, Matt Gerchow is here to guide you through some traditional and modern methods to find one.Traditional MethodsOne old-school way is to visit places like libraries, post offices, or printing shops. They're like a secret base with a fax machine ready for your mission. But, like any secret base, not all of them have a fax machine, and sometimes you can only fax a certain number of pages.Online Directories and Map ServicesThe internet is like a magical map leading you to the nearest fax machine. Websites like Yelp, Google Maps, and Yellow Pages can guide you to businesses that offer faxing services. They're like your personal GPS for fax machines. But remember, sometimes the map might be a bit outdated or not have all the places listed.Benefits and Drawbacks of Each MethodVisiting libraries or printing shops can be cheap and reliable, but they might not always be the most convenient. Online directories are like a treasure map leading you to the nearest fax machine, but they might sometimes lead you on a wild goose chase.Why Physical Stores are a LifesaverPhysical stores that offer fax services are like superheroes in disguise. They're reliable and easy to use, with friendly staff ready to help. Plus, they offer other cool services, like printing and copying. So, if you need to fax something, these stores are ready to save the day!Comparing Prices and Services of Popular Physical Store Fax ProvidersThink of Staples, FedEx, and UPS like different ice cream flavors. They're all sweet but have their own twist.Staples is like vanilla – they offer faxing for $1.50 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page. Plus, they throw in extras like scanning and printing.FedEx is like chocolate – charging $1.49 for the first page and $1.00 for the others. They sweeten the deal with services like printing and shipping.UPS is like strawberry – their fax services are $2.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each following page. They also mix in extra services like printing and shipping.Pros and Cons of Using Physical StoresUsing physical stores to send a fax is like having a friend who always has your back. They're reliable, and there's always someone there to help. Plus, they can help you with other stuff, like printing and shipping. But, they can be a bit pricier than other options, like online fax services. Also, not all places have these stores, which is a bummer for people in more rural areas.Cost of Sending a FaxSending a fax isn't free, unfortunately. It's like buying a candy bar – the price depends on where you get it and if there are extra charges. Let's look at the cost at popular physical stores.Physical Store Fax PricesAt Staples, sending a fax is like buying a candy bar for $1.50 for the first page and $1.00 for the other pages. But, if you're sending a fax to another country, the price goes up to $2.50 for the first page and $2.00 for the other pages.FedEx is a bit cheaper. The first page is $1.49, and the others are $1.00 each. But again, sending a fax to another country is more expensive – $4.99 for the first page and $3.99 for each following page.UPS is a bit pricier. It's $2.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each following page. And if you're sending a fax to another country, it's $3.00 for the first page and $1.50 for the rest.Additional Fees and ChargesSometimes, there can be extra charges. It's like buying a candy bar and then finding out you have to pay extra for the wrapper. For example, Staples charges an extra $0.25 for each cover page, while FedEx charges $1.00.Comparing Physical Store Faxing to Online Faxing ServicesNow, let's compare these physical stores to online faxing services. Online faxing services are usually cheaper and offer extra perks like online storage. They're like a candy store with lower prices and a play area. Plus, you can use them anytime, anywhere, so they're super convenient.What is Online Faxing?Online faxing is like sending a secret message through the internet. It's become super popular because it's cheap, easy to use, and you can use it anywhere. But, just like ice cream flavors, not all online faxing services are the same. So, it's important to find the one that's perfect for you.Benefits of Online FaxingImagine online faxing as a superhero named Faxman. Faxman doesn't need a fancy machine or extra equipment. He zips around the internet, sending and receiving faxes without breaking a sweat. He's a money saver, zapping away costs on equipment and maintenance. Plus, he has a superpower that lets him send and receive a certain number of faxes each month for a small fee.Faxman is also super speedy. He doesn't need to travel to a store to send or receive a fax. He can do it all from a computer or mobile device, like a true superhero.And guess what? Anyone with internet can call on Faxman. This makes him a big deal for folks who need to send faxes from far-off places or outside of regular hours.Comparison of Popular Online Faxing ServicesThere are lots of online faxing services, each with their own superpowers.aFax is like a superhero sidekick, offering plans from $9.95 per month for up to 200 pages. It lets users send faxes from their computers or mobile devices and comes with cool features like online storage.MyFax, another sidekick, starts at $10 per month for up to 100 pages. It includes features like online storage and sending faxes from email.HelloFax is also in the mix, starting at $9.99 per month for up to 300 pages. It has bonus powers like electronic signatures, document editing, and teaming up with tools like Google Drive and Dropbox.Limitations of Online FaxingEven superheroes have weaknesses, and so does online faxing. You need a reliable internet connection, or Faxman can't do his job. And some documents might not work with online faxing. They might need a real signature or not be the right format.Choosing the Right Service ProviderChoosing an online faxing service is like picking your favorite superhero. You need to think about their powers (features and pricing), their reputation, and if they can help with your specific problems.ConclusionFaxing is like a super important mission for businesses and individuals. We've talked about where to find fax machines, the pros and cons of physical stores, costs, and the superpowers of online faxing.Online faxing, like our hero Faxman, offers convenience, cost savings, and is ready to serve anyone with internet. We've also compared different online faxing services and talked about their unique powers. But remember, even superheroes have limitations, and so does online faxing.When choosing how to fax, think about what you need. Physical stores might be best for some, while others might prefer the powers of online faxing.So there you have it, folks! The wonderful world of faxing is at your fingertips. Whether you're team Physical Store or team Online Faxing, remember: every fax sent is a mission accomplished.And that's a wrap! Matt Gerchow, signing off!Matt GerchowMatt Gerchow is an author, marketer, inventor, husband, father and yoga enthusiast. He enjoys travel to distant lands , fine wine, time with his family and dinner with friends.