Friday, November 28, 2008

How to Send Fax From the Internet

Sending faxes via the Internet is the in-thing for businesses worldwide nowadays. In fact, companies which use such a communication tool are often held in high esteem by customers as it portrays the firm as being "proactive" and "forward looking".

So, how does one send faxes via the Internet? Currently, there are many service providers out there, and more and more are coming on stream by the day. As competition heats up, all sorts of packages are offered to customers. But if you study these offerings closely, there's actually only two ways to send faxes via the Internet - web-based or use proprietary software.

Web-based basically means the user just go to the service provider's website, login into your account, key in a few required data (such as the recipient's name, phone number, email number etc), enclose your fax message, and press the "send fax" or "transmit" button. That's it!

For proprietary software method, users are required to download and install a special software into their computer. This is usually a very simple task and requires no prior technical knowledge.

Many service providers now transmit your fax by converting it into emails, which cuts cost down substantially. To use such a service, a special fax number is often required - which is provided by the service provider.

One popular type of fax service presently available simply integrates with the email system you are using, thus it does not require new hardware or software installation. Fees depend on which packages you choose. Basically the key difference between the packages is the pricing and number of faxes you can send and receive. For example, for $10 a month, a customer is permitted to send a maximum of 100 faxes and receive a maximum of 200 faxed pages. If you take the $40 plan, then it's 400 faxes in and 400 out. Users can receive their faxes in PDF or TIFF formats via several email accounts, or simply view them online. Faxes are sent using emails, and the system works with Microsoft Office.

Another type of fax service lets you receive not only faxes, but voicemail as well, as e-mail attachments. To send faxes, you are given two options - via e-mail or the web.

For those who only fax occasionally, a good deal to settle for would be to use a "prepaid" service. Such a service does not require monthly fees. What you do is prepay a certain amount, use the fax service, and when the prepaid amount drops to a certain designated level, just top it up. If you don't use the service for a certain period of time, then the prepaid money and fax numbers would be deactivated.

Which service providers are the best in the business? It's hard to tell because every user or company has different needs and demands. But the good news is that the majority of fax service providers do offer free trials, ranging from 2 weeks to a month. It's best to make full use of this privilege to ascertain their support services.

To get a taste of the power and usefulness of online faxing, a good way is to try a free web fax service. Find out from why such a service can be offered free with no strings attached.

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