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mFax by Documo

6 Ways to Fax

Despite the numerous ways of transmitting data instantly via email, texting, and document sharing, faxing remains a popular option with many industries. The biggest users of faxing today are small and medium healthcare companies, legal operations, and insurance providers. At least 30% of small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) use faxing on-site. Consequently, many fax companies have stepped up to increase the ways to fax from only using a traditional, phone line-connected fax machine to more ways to fax. These other faxing options include online services, mobile devices, email, and a FaxBridge. If you need to incorporate faxing into your business or want to find an alternative to your current method, find out more about how to best use these options.

1. With a Traditional Fax Machine

Globally, the fax machine market had a value of 1051.3 million USD in 2020. However, with the rise of alternatives to traditional fax machines, by 2026, the market will have a value of 733.3 million USD, for a downward trend of -5% compound annual growth rate(GAGR). Machines in this category include analog phone-connected devices that use inkjet printing, laser printing, and thermal transfer. All these forms of faxing require a phone line and materials to print received faxes and fax transmission records.

Despite the predicted drop in fax machine sales, many of these traditional devices remain in use around the world. Conventional faxing still accounts for 10% of faxing technology used in 2022. Therefore, you have a good chance of encountering one of these machines and should know how to use one if you do.

Why Use a Traditional Fax Machine

Traditional fax machines are the simplest way to securely send documents without worrying about network security. Plus, the printouts of sent faxes serve as a record for auditing purposes. The greater security offered by analog faxing draws many healthcare, insurance, and legal providers to using this technology. They can transfer protected documents without worrying about potentially compromising patient or client data through unsecured local networks. Additionally, many of these businesses have used traditional fax machines for decades, and already have the equipment at hand.

However, traditional fax machines require extra steps to use. You must print out the files to send, plus have a secure location for storing the printouts and fax receipts. Therefore, having one of these machines often requires additional storage space for the hard copies of faxed data. You must also have a dedicated phone line for sending and receiving faxes.

How to Fax with a Traditional Fax Machine

  1. Request a separate analog phone line from your phone provider or use your existing telephone line if you don’t use the phone. You may incur additional installation fees if you need to add an extra phone line. Maintaining the line also comes with a monthly phone bill.
  2. Plug the fax machine’s phone line into the dedicated line and plug in the power to a standard outlet.
  3. Consult your fax machine instruction manual for setting up the device, including how to replace paper and toner or ink, as needed. Generally, most fax machines are ready after plugging them in, adding paper, and checking the toner. Other parameters you should set include printing confirmation pages for sent faxes. Another option is manual or automatic for fax receipts. Choose the latter, which doesn’t require you to pick up the receiver when a fax comes in.
  4. Create a cover sheet for your fax and place it on top. If you need to send a HIPAA-compliant fax, use a cover sheet desgned for that purpose. Find a free printout of one here.
  5. Send a fax by placing the cover sheet on top and placing the stacked pages into the paper feeder. Consult your owners’ manual to see if you need to put the pages face up or face down.
  6. Type in the fax number and hit the send button to start the machine. Wait for the confirmation to print indicating that your fax successfully went to the number you dialed.

2. Using an Online Service

Online fax is a growing industry, taking over much of the faxing done by traditional machines. Around the world, online or cloud fax services have a projected rise in CAGR of 10.7% from 2022 through 2028. Consequently, you have a growing chance that at some point, you will use an online service for sending a fax once or integrating it into your daily business operations. Software integrations with fax API make using cloud fax services even more convenient by allowing faxing directly from document handling software.

Why Choose an Online Fax Service

Online or cloud-based fax services provide a computer-based system of faxing that does not require printing out files or handling paper documents. As more companies turn to paperless operations to reduce their environmental impact and save money, cloud faxing will become even more popular.

While many in the healthcare industry continue to use traditional fax machines, many now have electronic records that allow them to eliminate much of their paperwork. As of 2017, 85.9% of physicians' offices used some form of electronic health records. With online fax API tied into their electronic health records, they can fax directly from a patient’s file to send patient information or referrals to other offices. Online faxing saves these offices time and money by cutting out steps required to send and receive faxes.

When choosing a fax provider, consider options that serve your purpose. Look at security, customizable plans, options that adhere to your industry standards, and easy-to-use faxing when comparing cloud fax services to find one that can meet your needs.

How to Fax Online

  1. Setup your online fax account, including creating your password and checking the assigned fax number you have. You may have a free trial at first, depending on the company.
  2. Log onto the online portal for your fax provider and choose the send fax option.
  3. Type in the fax number where you will send the fax to in the recipient field.
  4. Upload the file to fax from your computer or a cloud storage service.
  5. Choose send and wait to get a confirmation.

3. Via a Mobile Device

Mobile devices typically connect to an online fax service but offer the convenience of using your smartphone or tablet to send a fax. An app facilitates the process, which closely mirrors that of sending an online fax.

Since 85% of Americans own a smartphone, 77% have a laptop, and 53% have a tablet, as of 2021, being able to fax via a mobile device is extremely accessible for the majority of individuals.

Why Opt for a Mobile Device for Faxing

The biggest advantage of using a mobile device for faxing is the ability to transmit documents securely on the go. Instead of stopping by the office or returning to a computer to send a fax, users with a mobile faxing option can use it to send and receive faxes right where they are. If choosing a fax provider and you regularly use mobile devices, choose an online fax service that has a mobile app that allows faxing from your tablet or smartphone.

Many healthcare facilities have tablets for their office staff and healthcare providers to offer portable ways to record patient information within the electronic health record management software. With mobile faxing options, providers can send a fax referral directly from their tablet while in the room with the patient or without leaving an office desk.

How to Fax Through Your Smartphone or Tablet

  1. Download the mobile app to your tablet or smartphone and log into your online fax account.
  2. Choose a document from your device or the cloud to fax.
  3. Type the destination fax number into the To: field on the app.
  4. Add any information you want to be included on the cover sheet to the cover sheet notes field.
  5. Tap the send button to send the fax through your online fax service.

4. Through Email

In the United States, 90.3% of people use email. With an online fax provider, you can use your email address to quickly send faxes. This method does not require downloading special software for your device and works from both mobile and desktop technologies. Unlike emailing an attachment, which many security experts warn against, faxing via email encrypts the information to protect it along the way to the fax machine.

This technology uses the fax number in the recipient field with the online fax provider’s name after the @ sign to determine the number to send the fax to. Your email goes to your online fax account cloud where it securely transfers to the receiver's fax machine.

Why Fax Through Email

Faxing through email is a fast way to send a fax securely from your inbox without installing extra software or going to a website. All you need for faxing through email is an internet connection and an online fax account.  

How to Use Email to Send a Fax

  1. Open your email account and select the option to compose an email.
  2. Attach your faxed document to the email.
  3. Type in the fax machine number of the recipient in the To field with your online provider’s name after the @ symbol. Check with your chosen online fax provider for the exact address to send your fax to. For example, if sending to an American fax number (123) 555-4567 and using mFax, you need to add the international code, even for local faxes, so you would use 11235554567@send.mfax.io as the address.
  4. Make sure your sent email matches the email that you have your online fax account connected to before sending. The email you send the fax from will connect the email to your account and securely deliver the fax.

5. With a FaxBridge

FaxBridge is a unique method of faxing that combines the best of both traditional faxes and online faxing. This plug-and-play device already has everything connected to your cloud fax account for quick setup and use. A FaxBridge works as an interpreter to translate the analog faxes from your fax machine into information to securely send over the internet to another fax machine. This device allows you to get rid of a phone line for your fax machine and only use the internet for faxing.

Why Use a FaxBridge

If you already have a traditional fax machine but want the benefits of cloud faxing, a FaxBridge fits your requirements. By connecting this device to your current fax machine, you eliminate the need to have a separate analog phone line to send and receive faxes. Plus, all incoming faxes can go straight to your email rather than printing hard copies, saving you money on paper, and upcoming and outgoing faxes all have secure storage in the cloud to maintain security compliance with HIPAA and other privacy regulations.

How to Setup and Use a FaxBridge

  1. Remove the FaxBridge from the package and connect the included RJ11 phone cord to the FaxBridge in the FAX port. Attach the other end of the cord to your multifunction printer or fax machine into the LINE port.
  2. Connect an ethernet cable, which is not included with the device, to the WAN port on the FaxBridge. Plug the other end of the cable into your router or high-speed modem.
  3. Plugin the power cable that came with the device into the PWR port on the FaxBridge and plug the other end into a standard 110-volt outlet.
  4. Watch the front of the device for the PWR and SYS lights to come on, indicating the FaxBridge has an IP address assigned and is connected to the network.
  5. Verify that your fax machine has ECM off, Baud/Transmission rate set to low/basic/9600, the distinctive ring is off, auto-answer is on, and the number of rings is 0 to 3.
  6. Activate the FaxBridge by logging into your mFax account and clicking on FaxBridges on the left side of the page.
  7. Select the setting wheel on the far right of the FaxBridge you want to activate. Scroll down the settings page until you see the setting for “Is Active.” Toggle the switch to activate the FaxBridge. You can also view the phone number for your FaxBridge from this settings page, too.
  8. To print all faxes automatically plus send them to your email, go to the settings for your FaxBridge and toggle the slide next to “Auto-Print Incoming Faxes” to turn this setting on. Below this, you can also turn on the setting to print confirmation pages for all sent faxes.
  9. Now, use the FaxBridge to send faxes via your fax machine and receive faxes to your email.

6. Using Single-Use, Budget-FriendlyResources

Of course, buying a fax machine, FaxBridge, or subscription to an online fax service doesn’t make sense if you rarely send faxes. However, you do have a couple of budget-friendly options if you need to send a single fax.

First, check out copy and shipping stores in your area for fax services. Sites such asUPS Stores and Kinko’s will charge per page for you to send a fax or two. This option is typically one of the most convenient for many businesses, especially if they already use the other services at these businesses.

Another option is to choose a free trial of an online fax service such as mFax, which doesn’t require a credit card at signup. This free trial allows up to 50 pages of combined in or outbound faxes. You get a toll-free fax number immediately, which allows you to send or receive faxes as soon as you complete the signup process. Plus, mFax will extend the free trial, if required.

Many Options for Faxing Allow for continued Use of This Technology in a Digital Age

However you choose to fax will depend on several factors – your business needs, the number of faxes you need to send, your ability to invest in equipment, and your budget. The right decision for you may not be the same for another. If you want to use a fax bridge or online fax service, contact us at Documo. We can help you to get answers to your questions to see if mFax is the best option for you. Good luck in your search for your ideal faxing method.

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