IN another era, fax was a necessary office component for any corporation. But with the stupendous rise of email, documents can be attached to a file and sent to a recipient. Thus, fax was made redundant.
Or was it?
Several professions still require the use of fax for work – the legal fraternity, for one, still sees it as a vital tool for document registration and confirmation.
So fax has moved with the times – it has discarded the physical faxing machine and gone online and become the efax.
There are several advantages to using an online fax or electronic fax – it means you do not need to have a physical faxing machine and can avoid the hassle of lost faxes, paper jams, breakdowns, paper and toner supplies.
This Q&A gives an insight into what efaxing is all about, what are its advantages and how you can go about getting one for your small or medium business.
What is an efax? Does it need a faxing machine?
An efax or electronic fax or online fax facility enables you to send and receive faxes from anywhere via email, by logging into an online account, or by using a mobile fax app.
It is a simple and easy way to send and receive faxes via the Internet and without having to own a faxing machine.
You can also easily add notes or your electronic signature to an efax.
How does an efax work?
Receiving a fax via efax is as easy as opening email. With an efax, you would receive an email with a PDF or TIF attachment to an email address of your choice.
It could be a simple and easy way to send and receive faxes by email. Simply attach your fax document to your email and send.
A global provider like eFax gives you the freedom to send and receive faxes from any location using your phone, laptop, tablet or computer.
You can also fax using your smartphone. With an eFax mobile app, you can send and receive faxes anywhere in the world with just a tap. To send a fax, simply take a photo of your document and fax.
The app is a convenient way to sign and send faxes from your phone. Simply create a one-time signature stamp and save. Then drop and place your signature wherever you need it. You can even print your fax document from wherever you are and take it with you.
Log into your account, enter up to 20 email addresses at a time, upload your files – which should be 1GB in total - and send. Each recipient will get an email link to securely download your file.
You can get in touch with eFax via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling1-800-132-818
How do I send an efax via a computer?
Yes, efaxes can be sent via a computer.
eFax, a leading provider of efaxing services in Australia, explains in three simple steps how this works for their customers.
Sending an efax can be as simple as sending an email. You open a new email message, type the fax number, followed by @efaxsend.com into the ‘To:’ field.
In step two, you attach fax the document and type a message. eFax will turn this message into a cover sheet. You then hit send.
And that is all there is to it. The recipient will get your document and cover letter exactly as they would a normal fax.
Can I send a fax using a mobile app?
Yes, efaxes can be sent via a mobile app.
For instance, the company eFax has a mobile app for sending efaxes via any device using the iOS and Android operating systems.
You do this by checking all inbound faxes on your smartphone or tablet device or send a document, either by entering the recipient’s fax number or simply choosing it from your contact list.
If you need to authorise or sign-off on a document using your signature, the eFax mobile app lets you take a picture of your handwritten signature with your device's built-in camera and add it.
Is there a fax app for iPhone and iPad?
Yes, efaxes can be sent via iPhone and iPad apps.
Global provider eFax has a dedicated app for sending efaxes via Apple’s iPhone or iPad devices.
Is there a fax app for Android?
Yes, efaxes can be sent via an Android-operated mobile app.
International enterprise eFax has a custom app for sending efaxes via any mobile device using the Android operating system.
Can I port my efax number?
Yes, fax number porting is allowed for customers in Australia.
You can port your existing fax number in three steps with provider eFax.
On the eFax page is a porting request form: https://www.efax.com.au/number-porting
Fill out the form, hit submit and a request will be sent to eFax’s customer service team.
The customer service team will be in touch regarding information about the processing of your request.
Once the porting process is completed – this usually takes two to four weeks – the customer service team will contact you to sign you up to the eFax online faxing service.
This means that you can get rid of your traditional faxing machine and replace it with the efficiency of online faxing with eFax and still keep your existing fax number. Which means you don’t have to update any of your business cards or marketing collateral with a new fax number.
What are the advantages of using an efax?
There are many advantages to using an efax.
- Reduced costs: With an efax, you do not need to buy a physical faxing machine. Also, with that comes other reduced costs because you do not need to buy other offices supplies for the fax machine such as toner, paper, etc.
You can use your mobile, tablet, laptop and PC as the fax machine. This saving on the investing in a physical fax machine.
- Mobility: In the fax’s previous avatar, especially if you were to receive a confidential fax, you had to be present in the office if you did not want anyone else to see it. With the efax, you can receive a fax straight into your inbox on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile.
You can also send faxes while on the go – in other words you do not need to be in the office to send a fax. You can do it while out of the office and on the move.
With eFax’s app, you can send and receive faxes anywhere on both iOS and Android. You can even sign documents on the go with the digitised signature.
This means you can be on the move to an important or urgent meeting while at the same time knowing that the fax will hit your inbox. Thus, you don’t have to hang around the office waiting for the fax because it is highly sensitive and confidential.
- Security: Providers like eFax use leading edge technology to ensure that its cloud-based platform is secure, private and fast. Also, it has a call centre on hand to help with any questions.
- Confidentiality: You can keep your confidential faxes private. Now they will not sit on a communal fax in-tray for the rest of the office to see because they are sent directly to your email inbox.
- File size: Sometimes heavy files can clog up email. So for smooth transfer of heavy files via the Internet, efaxing is a good solution.
eFax has large file sharing available. You can easily send files that are too heavy for email. You can share presentations, promotional videos or high-resolution images without blocking up your email account.
- Eco-friendly: With the efax, you would cut down substantially on the use of paper. You need not print out every fax you get and they can be stored in the cloud if need be. The green appeal of using efax is tremendous.
What are the efficiencies of using efax?
Time is one of the biggest efficiencies of using efax. You can save time in two ways. One is that you can now be on the go while sending or receiving a fax online. You do not need to be physically in the office to send or receive a fax, and can now use that time to hold a meeting or go out and meet a client or supplier. And you no longer have to manually load documents into your machine, key in a number and press a button.
It is now possible to fax straight from your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. If you have your signature digitised, you can add that if need be.
The second time-saving aspect is wasting time with the machine when the paper gets jammed or when the ink and toner need replacing or when the machine breaks down and has to be repaired. All that is irrelevant with the online fax. This time can instead be used productively for the business.
Another efficiency is office space. Your online faxes can be stored in the cloud. The cloud can be accessed to send and receive online faxes. Thus, you do not need paper to print out the faxes and storage space for both blank paper for faxing and printing out inbound faxes.
Another point to note is that the efax could spell the end of frustrating fights with the machine. Because you do not need to have a physical faxing machine, you do not have other issues such as having to continuously stock up on toner and paper. There is also the frustrations that come with a machine that has jammed and non-functional. Those issues are in the past with the efax.
More info here: https://www.efax.com.au/features/efax-mobile-app
What are the advantages to using a digitised signature with efax?
When you use a digitised signature you can sign documents on the go.
It can save you time and may even help you get an important contract back in time to close a deal.
With efax, all you have to do is drag and drop your handwritten signature onto a document before you send it, or, just swipe your finger across your smartphone or tablet's screen to sign your name.
There is no need for printing or scanning.
What file format are faxes sent in?
Online faxes are mostly delivered in any one of three file formats.
At eFax, if you receive a PDF formatted fax, it can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
If you receive it in the EFX format, you can view it through eFax Messenger software.
The third format is TIFF. This supports multi-page images and can be opened in many programs including Imaging, which is the default Windows TIFF viewer, and eFax Messenger.
Can someone outside Australia send me a fax?
Yes, you can receive online faxes from outside Australia.
The person sending the fax from overseas will need to dial your efax number using the standard methods for international dialling from their country.
What are the costs of using efax?
When you have an efax, you do not need a physical fax machine. That is the first cost you save. Then there are the office fax supplies that go with it such as separate fax line, paper, toner, etc.
With the provider eFax, you can get a dedicated fax number that's tied to your email. There is a 30-day free trial to learn about the benefits of online faxing if you still need convincing about how efficient this system can be in terms of time and money.
With eFax, there are no lock-in contracts. There is no contract, obligation or risk - if you choose a monthly subscription you can cancel anytime.
Among the other eFax benefits are your choice of a local or toll-free number, upto 200 included inbound fax pages per month, upto 200 included outbound fax pages per month and lifetime storage of your online faxes.
After the 30-day free trial, you can continue the eFax service with a monthly fee applicable to the plan that you have subscribed to. Plans start from $12.95 per month. The service fees are exclusive of GST.
More information at: https://www.efax.com.au/web-fax-pricing