While fax machines may no longer be the staple of your office equipment, virtual fax services are still very much in use. In fact, the online fax services market was worth just north of 3 billion USD in 2019 and is expected to reach 8.3 billion USD by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%. There’s a very good reason why.
Businesses in highly regulated industries that handle confidential or sensitive documents require a bulletproof communications infrastructure to ensure their data flow is safe and secure. Unlike emails which do not always comply with industry-specific security standards, a virtual fax service offers a fast, safe, and convenient way to send and receive documents online.
Here we cover what a virtual fax service is, how to setup a virtual fax, and what are some of the benefits you can expect from it.
What is virtual fax?
Virtual fax is a digitized and fully encrypted solution for sending documents online. Instead of using a fax machine which requires expensive equipment and a landline telephone number, a virtual fax allows you to send documents from your email to another email or fax machine with a few clicks of a button.
The difference between using a virtual fax vs. your standard email is the added level of protection. Virtual fax services are end-to-end encrypted which means that your documents can’t be intercepted en route to your destination and get misused by a malicious third party.
How does virtual fax work?
Virtual fax is a cloud-based service that achieves the same as traditional fax (sending and receiving documents) but without the reliance on a telephone line or a physical fax machine. Instead, all you need with a virtual fax is a voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider and access to the internet. Online files are sent to an assigned IP address rather than a phone number. Recipients can receive these digital files either as an email attachment or a physical document on a traditional fax machine.
In this context, your virtual fax service acts as a phone extension to your existing dial plan.
The benefits of virtual fax services
We already mentioned some of the benefits virtual fax services offer, but let’s dig a bit deeper:
As mentioned before, virtual fax services come with end-to-end encryption which means that no one else (not even your virtual fax service provider) can access your faxed documents but you and your authorized recipient.
Considering that cyber attacks are on the rise, ironclad IT security is a must for doing business in the future. Not only do security breaches undermine your brand’s trustworthiness, but they can also be very costly. For instance, healthcare data breaches in 2021 cost businesses 10 million USD per incident. That’s a staggering financial loss on top of the possible damage data misuse can cause.
The traditional fax system requires dedicated equipment and a landline in order to work. This means that you’d need to invest in a traditional office space and onsite working arrangements—something many companies are moving away from.
Using a virtual fax service allows you to safely fax your documents regardless of the sender’s or recipient’s location. You can simply assign the document to their IP address and rest assured that the file will reach them immediately.
In the past, offices had one or several fax machines where all of their faxed correspondence arrived. This meant that people or departments had to share a fax machine and that an unauthorized employee could access the information they’re not supposed to.
A virtual fax service removes these issues by giving you access to an unlimited number of virtual fax extensions. This ensures that the fax always reaches the right person and that no one else can accidentally see it.
How to send a fax online?
Sending a fax online is quite easy. In fact, it’s as easy as sending an email provided you have the right information at hand.
Here are the steps you can take to send a fax online:
- First, compose your new message using your standard email account.
Then, enter the fax number in the following format faxnumber@
.fax.goto.com in the recipient field. Remember that the fax number is a 10-digit fax phone number. You can find the domain name under Account Settings of your admin portal.
In the subject field, enter the virtual fax machine access code. Finally, attach the file to your email while keeping the email body blank. Click send. Et voila!