The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the work-from-home movement, and now many of us have a home office. Whether your home office is just a corner of a room or you’ve built on a whole addition to accommodate it, one thing that’s largely true of all home offices is that space is at a premium. A traditional fax machine is a bulky, space-stealing appliance that you probably don’t need to use more than a few times a month at the most. Can you fax over internet instead?
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Can You Fax Over Internet From Your Home Office?
To send a fax over the internet, all you need these days is to know how to send an ordinary email. If you can do that, you can fax over the internet! It’s as simple as the five steps below.
Choose a Service Provider
Your email can’t automatically send a fax, and email providers like Gmail don’t provide a service for sending faxes. That means you’ll need to use a third-party service. Why is this?
Faxes are more secure than emails, which is why sometimes you’re required to send a fax. This is often the case with medical or legal documents, for example. Faxes go through wired phone lines, which are harder to access from the outside than an internet connection. Your third-party fax provider takes your fax and transmits it over phone lines so it can be received by any fax machine in the world.
Wait: Is That Secure?
The short answer is: yes. Of course, at the initial state, you are sending your fax documents via the internet and not a phone line, but you’re not sending them to the end recipient. Bad actors are looking at direct communication between clients and lawyers, for example, or between hospitals and patients. Second, when it’s sent, your document should be broken up into pieces for transmission.
This kind of high-level security is standard for quality online fax providers, which is why you should stick with those with a good reputation. There are some companies that will fax for “free,” but that free really means no security and even ads stuck on your fax! Good third-party fax providers will allow you a free trial period so you can decide if you’re happy with their service. And if you don’t want anything actually interacting with your own email, you can simply go online to the fax provider’s site and fax directly from there.
Open Your Email
Once you’ve chosen your third-party fax service, you’ll link it following the simple instructions provided by the service, and then you’ll open your email and choose “Compose” to start a new email.
Just as you would attach documents to any email, you’ll attach the documents you want to fax to this new email. It’s important there be nothing whatever in the body of your email itself.
Add a Cover Letter (Optional)
If you want to add a cover letter, compose it in the email body or in a word processing document, and then cut and paste it into the subject line of your email. Remember: nothing in the email body itself. Whatever you put in the subject line will send as a cover letter.
Add an Address in the “To” Field
Remove all special characters from your recipient’s normal fax number and add that to the “To” field (so it should be 2832566707, not (283) 256-6707), and then follow that number with the @ sign and the suffix your online fax service gives you. Then you hit send, and you’re off!
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