All about Faxing and Networks

Fax TodayComputer Network

It’s a new era in the realm of document sharing.  While faxing is still very much alive and well, it is nothing like it used to be.  Some large companies have completely eliminated faxing from their  business process, while others would still not dare try anything else.  So what has changed?

Print in general has changed!  While magazines and newspapers struggle to find subscribers, so do fax providers.  The growing digital world has now created enough viable sources of secure document transmission that it is no longer necessary to utilize fax for business documents.  Even though this technology has been around for quite a few years now, people have been hesitant to change.  Now that it has proven itself, it continues to push fax out of the picture at a steady pace.

A little overview about fax – along with some suggestions

The vast majority of current mufti-function office machines include faxing capabilities.  Sometimes it is built into the a standard model, while other times it is considered an add-on item.  Ranging anywhere from $300-$1500 in price, it can be a costly feature.

The big question is, is it necessary to pay for the additional accessory to your device? and is it necessary to have fax for your business at all?

Before we can answer these questions, we need to know what options are available…

Faxing through a Network

The most common use of faxing, in a business setting, is through one primary faxing device that is linked to multiple computers, via wiring that unites all of them.  This is called a network. In the computer industry this is commonly referred to as LAN (Local Area Network).

Within a LAN, there are servers.  These are basically small computers designed to recognize specific information and types of data related to an operation on the network. It is basically a filter that regulates data running through the wires of the network

In a limited number of cases, a company will have a built in server dedicated to faxing.  This is economical for larger companies, with multiple employees utilizing fax in their day to day operations.  For the price of one or two (maybe more) standard fax lines, a company can combine and/or regulate the usage of many employees through the network. 

What to look for

The specifications of a given model printer or copier will generally have a section about “connectivity”.  Within the section you will typically find information relating to the faxing and networking capabilities.  Most newer devices come with the ability to scan to a network or email.   If it says something like, LAN server or server fax, this is an indication that the device is capable of faxing through a companies network if and when it has a server dedicated to faxing. 

Many copier sales people choose not to ask this question because, while it might save that business a large amount of money on their device and operation costs, it also lowers the overall profit for the sales company.

Fax without the fax

Anyone who has the desire to utilize fax no longer needs to pay for an extra phone line for faxing – or the extra hardware on their printer or copier.  There are several companies now offering fax through the internet.  One that we have utilized, and can personally vouch for, is the $7 per month program called Smart Fax (link below).  From any computer, with an internet connection, you can send documents through fax dedicated lines.  It’s extremely simple, fast, and secure.

With an average phone line costing around $40 per month, in addition to the initial hardware expense, it makes the $7 per month a huge bargain!

It is important to think seriously about faxing when purchasing or re-evaluating a copier.  You may be able to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by considering some of the options available today. Some of those options you may already have and just don’t know it!

Call us today to find out if your company REALLY NEEDS to pay extra for faxing!