January 7, 2019 | Matt Gerchow When someone mentions sending a fax, the first image that probably comes to mind is an archaic machine slowly feeding out documents at a slow, maddening pace. While faxing evokes a dated image of office equipment long gone by, the practice is alive and well. The good news is, business practices have improved considerably over the years, bringing with them the innovation of sending a fax online.If this is the first time you have heard about sending a fax online, you are not alone. Some businesses still use the old school method while others have done away with faxing altogether. Today, we will tell you all about why you should fax online, the primary benefits of switching to online faxing, and answer key security questions about faxing online.Why Should You Fax Online?Examining the Old School MethodBefore going into how sending a fax online works, it is important to examine the old school method for anyone unfamiliar or rusty on the concept. Fax machines are linked to telephone lines. So, when you operate a traditional fax machine, the fax machine calls the number you enter.The recipient fax machine answers your call and sends the document via telephone. Sounds complicated, right? The old school method of faxing originated ages before the worldwide web.This method has received a slight update. You can now type up and print out a document from your computer, scan it into the machine, and transmit the document over the phone line. Your recipient can scan the document into their computer to access it as a file. However, this creates even more work and can undermine the clarity of any images being transmitted.Unfortunately, sending a fax the traditional way is anything but secure. Anyone nosing in on your phone line could stop and snatch the documentation before it reaches your recipient.What about Email?You may have considered whether you could just send your fax over email. Applications like Microsoft Windows offer a Fax and Scan functionality to do so. If you are worried about security issues, however, you will still run into bugs with this method.Why? Well, even if you send a fax through email, your computer still needs to be linked to a working phone line. This is a slight improvement on the old school method, but not much, especially considering you will still have to let everyone in your office know not to use the phone whenever you send a fax. Also, if you pay for an individual telephone line for faxes, this will bring unnecessary costs.How It WorksSending a fax online is by far the most efficient, hassle-free method. You start by scanning the document you want faxed, much like if you intended to send it via email. You could use your mobile device to scan the document if you do not happen to have a scanner on hand. If the document is already stored on your desktop, that saves you an additional step.Once the document has been digitized, all you have to do to fax online is send the document to a fax service. The fax service will send the actual faxes for you. By signing up for a plan with a service that does the work of sending a fax online on your behalf, the frustrating days of working around phone lines and troubleshooting temperamental machines are over. You can sign up for a fax service to receive documents too.What Are the Benefits of Online Faxing?It's Cost EffectiveThere are several significant benefits to using a service to send a fax online. For one, it is an incredibly cost-effective option. Your monthly outlay for an online fax service can be as low as anywhere from $12 to $50.When compared with the $150 to $300 price point of a standard fax machine, plus the cost of ink, toner, paper, phone lines, replacement parts, and maintenance, your savings are considerable.Another great thing about hiring a service to fax online is that you can save big whether your company is a large business or a small startup. The cost of an online fax service is half or even less of the amount you would spend monthly on paper and toner alone. If your company has a tight budget and wants to cut costs or offset losses, migrating to a fax online system is a great start.It's More ConvenientThe fact of the matter is, using a service to fax online is ten times more convenient than grappling with a traditional fax machine day in and day out. By transmitting a fax online, any faxes you send or receive will filter in and out of your email inbox. This means you can access them easily on your desktop or mobile device any time of day or night.The online fax service will transmit the documents into an easily readable, user-friendly format whether you are sending or receiving the document. You can send your document to the fax service in anything from a PDF to Microsoft Word to a picture format. They will usually convert faxes sent to your email inbox to PDF.Instead of being limited by a bulky fax machine, you can make faxing documents for your business streamlined and meet business needs no matter where you are. Plus, it will not tie your phone line up.You Can Include Digital SignaturesAnother huge benefit of faxing online is you have the option to include digital signatures on your documentation. Signatures sent via fax are seen as more legally binding than those sent other ways. Fax services are well aware of this, thus allowing you the option to include your own digital signature on any document you send.When you are sent a fax, you can use the online fax service's platform to create your digital signature and put it on one or more documents. Then, send out the signed document with no need to waste paper printing out multiple pages.It'll Save You TimeEvery moment counts in the world of business, and this is another immeasurable benefit of starting to fax online. Something as simple as removing a fax machine from your workplace can enhance the productivity of employees.Instead of employees being forced to monitor each fax being transmitted, laboring over paper jams and other issues, the online fax service takes care of everything. All your employees have to do is send the digital document to the service, and their work is finished.It'll Keep You OrganizedMigrating over to the fax online method will also do wonders to keep you organized. If large quantities of faxes filter in and out of your office every day, it is common for documents to get lost in the mix or shuffled together.Online faxing eliminates this problem. By starting to fax online, you only have to print out the documents you really need. Plus, any faxes you receive online can be easily organized in files on your desktop or device. If you are sick and tired of crucial faxes getting mixed with minor ones on the tray of your fax machine, it is time to switch over and send your fax online.Is It Safe to Fax Online?The Short AnswerWith the security concerns of the old school and email method of faxing, you might wonder if it is safe to fax online. The short answer is yes. What's more, this is probably the most secure method out there. Any fax you receive or send transmits solely through your email inbox rather than vulnerable phone lines.Instead of every fax being printed out and sitting on the machine's tray for all the office to see, you can read through faxes securely in your email inbox. That way, you can choose which ones you want to print out and which had better be kept private.Understanding Data EncryptionSending a fax online through a fax service is also much more secure than the traditional method because of data encryption. Reputable online fax services have built-in OpenSSL or other encryption platforms to protect your data through every step of the process.This means that during the whole transmission, your faxes are encrypted so any sensitive material stays shielded. Sending a fax online with a quality service far surpasses the security of transmitting documentation through an unsecured telephone line.ConclusionAre you ready to make the process of sending and receiving important documents seamless? Sending faxes online will not only save you on frequent expenses like ink and toner, but help you keep all your documents organized.The security of sending online faxes cannot even be compared to the old method of standing at a fax machine, straining to see if the document went through or if a jam is holding up the process. The convenience and efficiency of an online fax service saves you untold time, allowing you to focus on the core work that your business requires.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.