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How To Transition From a Fax Machine to Online Faxing

Let us guess: you need to switch to an online faxing service, but you don’t know how.

If that’s the case, you aren’t alone. Although faxing is often compared to other pieces of dated technology like floppy disks and CD-based MP3 players, faxing is still crucial for many businesses. In fact, people send over 17 billion faxes via fax machines and online fax services annually.

As experts in faxing, we’ve helped thousands of businesses transition to online faxing, and in this guide, we’ll help you, too. Specifically, we’ll walk you through the basics of online faxing, how to transition from a fax machine to online faxing, and some tips we recommend for a smooth transition.

Let’s go.

The Basics of Online Faxing

Online faxing (often called “internet faxing” or “digital faxing“) is a document sharing technology that allows you to transmit files via the internet. It’s made possible by faxing providers like eFax who send your faxes through secure servers.

Online faxing is the modern alternative to fax machines, and (like other forms of disruptive technology), it offers businesses many perks that fax machines can’t match. For example:

  • Online faxing can transmit many different file types (including mov and mp3 files)
  • Online faxing stores your files in cloud-based storage
  • Online faxing uses Transport Layer Encryption (TLS) to protect your files from document thieves
  • Online faxing is NBN compatible (as you don’t need ISDN/PSTN lines to fax through the internet)
  • Online faxing is cheaper and more environmentally friendly
  • Online faxing allows you to fax outside the office (provided you have your computer, phone or tablet handy)

Ultimately, online faxing is an excellent choice for large and small businesses, as it’s cheaper, safer and more innovative than faxing through your clunky old fax machine.

So how do you make the switch?

How To Transition to Online Faxing

When switching to online faxing, most people have three primary questions:

  • “What online faxing plan should I choose?”
  • “How do I transition my fax number to online faxing?”
  • “How will my new faxing system work?”

We’ll address those concerns and walk you through the fax-machine-to-online-fax process in this section.

Step 1. Check That Online Faxing is Right For You

If you’re considering switching to online faxing, you might be wondering, “is online faxing right for me?” To put your mind at ease, let’s start by answering that question.

Your business will benefit from online faxing if:

  • Your fax machine is hurting your productivity
  • You send essential documents through fax
  • Document cyber security is fundamental to your business
  • You’re passionate about protecting client and customer data (and/or you work in healthcare, banking, real estate, manufacturing, mining or pharmaceuticals)
  • You need to fax files that aren’t documents (including jpeg, mov, mp3 and png files)
  • You need to fax handwritten documents

Step 2. Gather The Right Equipment

To get started with online faxing, you’ll need three key things. First, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable internet connection for faxing.

Next, you’ll need a device to fax through. As online faxing is internet-based, you can fax through a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, web browser or phone.

Finally, you’ll need some key details to port your business fax number to eFax. These details include your:

  • Number
  • Carrier
  • Account number
  • Account contact (as many telecommunications providers will only let a registered contact port your number)
  • Service address (the address where your fax number is based)

Step 3. Choose The Right Online Faxing Plan

Next, you’ll need to choose the right plan for your business. As eFax makes things simple for users, there are only two things you need to consider when selecting an eFax plan:

  1. How many faxes you send and receive each month
  2. Whether you’d rather pay monthly or yearly (yearly is cheaper)

If you send and receive less than 300 fax pages a month (150 sent and 150 received), eFax Plus is right for you. eFax Plus costs $14.13 per month or $169.50 per year.

If you’re a slightly more active faxer, eFax Pro is your best choice. eFax Pro includes 400 pages (200 sent and 200 received) and costs $14.21 per month or $170.55 per year.

If that isn’t enough, you’ll need eFax Premium. It includes 600 fax pages per month (300 sent and 300 received) and costs $17.96 a month or $215.55 a year.

eFax’s Plus, Pro and Premium plans have no setup fee attached. If you exceed the monthly faxing limit, the cost per additional page starts from $0.10 for landline numbers. To learn about eFax’s international rates, click here.

Step 4. Sign Up

Once you’ve selected your eFax plan, it’s time to sign up for online faxing.

First, you need to choose a fax number. As you won’t connect your number to a fax machine, you can base it anywhere in Australia or one of the 3,500 cities eFax services. Once you’ve selected your number, press “setup account.”

Next, enter your account details and press “continue.”

Finally, enter your address and payment information and press “start faxing.” Your fax number service is now active.

Alternatively, if you have an existing fax number, you can port it to eFax by filling out this form. Once you’ve filled in the form, a representative from eFax will call to help you with the porting process.

Step 5. Install Online Faxing On Your Devices

eFax lets you fax in four different ways: through your web browser, through your email, via a mobile app, or via a desktop app.

To access eFax in your web browser, click here.

To access eFax through your email, log into the account you used to sign up for eFax.

To download the eFax app on a mobile device, open the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and type in “eFax app.” You could also download the app through these links for the iOS app and the Android app.

Finally, click here to download the eFax desktop app on Windows computers.

Step 6. Learn To Use Online Faxing

After you’ve signed into your eFax account from your device of choice, it’s time to learn to use eFax.

To send a fax with eFax, you simply need to:

  1. Click “new fax.”
  2. Type your recipient’s full fax number into the “to” bar (their full fax number includes their country code, area code and fax number).
  3. Select “attach” and select up to 10 files to fax.
  4. Fill in your cover sheet with any extra information you’d like to send your recipient.
  5. Press “send.”

eFax will then transmit your fax to your recipient and send you a confirmation email when it arrives. If you need to view your fax at any time, you can find it in the “sent” folder.

Receiving a fax with eFax is also very straightforward, as you simply need to log into your faxing service and press “view faxes.”

How To Send A Fax Through Email

If you are sending a fax via email, you will need to include “@efaxsend.com” after your recipient’s fax number (for example, “[email protected]“).

When you receive a fax through your email inbox, it also will come from the address “[email protected]” and will have the subject line “Fax Received From (fax number)”.

Step 7. Send a Test Fax

Once you’ve learned to use eFax, you’re probably feeling ready to pull the plug on your old fax machine. But there’s one last step you need to take first: sending a test fax to confirm eFax is working correctly.

To send a test fax, ask a coworker or friend to help you. Then, simply send a fax as usual and confirm that your recipient received it. If you have any issues, you can contact eFax support for help by ringing 1800 283 361, using eFax’s live chat or logging a request here.

Step 8. Retire Your Office Fax Machine

You’re finally done! Now that you’ve successfully set up online faxing, it’s time to retire your old office fax machine.

If you’d like to recycle your old machine, you can recycle it through Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS). To find your nearest NTCRS participant, use Planet Ark’s database or the Department of Agriculture, Water, and Environment’s database. You can also recycle your old toner containers through the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program.

Once you’ve recycled your fax machine, you’ve successfully transitioned from traditional faxing to online faxing.

Tips To Help You Transition To Online Faxing Smoothly

The previous section covered every step you need to take to get started with online faxing. But we have a few more nuggets of wisdom to share.

In this section, we’ll share three tips to help you transition your business to online faxing smoothly.

#1. Train Your Staff To Use Online Faxing

Though online and traditional faxing use similar processes, it’s normal for your staff to find using online faxing a bit daunting.

To make your transition to online faxing easy for everyone, make sure you teach your staff how to send faxes online. You could also share these resources with them:

#2. Port Your Fax Number To Online Faxing

When signing up for online faxing, it’s easy just to use a new fax number – but this could hurt you long term. If you switch to a new fax number, your clients, coworkers and staff may accidentally fax confidential documents to the wrong number.

If you have an existing fax number, we recommend reaching out to eFax’s support team as they can make the process of porting your number easy.

#3. Partner With an Online Fax Service With Small-Business Friendly Features

Finally, we recommend choosing an online faxing service that offers features like:

  • Email faxing
  • Digital signatures
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Large file transfer of files up to 3 GB
  • Unlimited storage
  • A PDF converter
  • Integration with programs like Microsoft Word
  • Pre-formatted fax templates
  • Multiple-recipient faxing
  • Tag and Search (which allows you to search for faxes)
  • An address book

We’re proud to say that eFax offers all of these features.

eFax: Your Partner in Faxing

If you’re considering transitioning from a fax machine to online fax, make sure you test out eFax. eFax is a leading fax provider that helps small, medium and large businesses fax securely and efficiently.

eFax’s faxing system is perfect for Australian businesses, as it’s full of features, future-ready and NBN-friendly (in fact, eFax is a Business NBN Accredited Fax Provider).

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