Things of the past don't always stay in the past. Sometimes they come back in better form.11 August 2017 18:00
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Fax, short for facsimile, is something most 90s kids are familiar with. Remember having older people yell ‘do not answer the ringing phone!’ because they were waiting for some documents to be transferred via a huge phone with an attached printer?
For those of you who were born after the latter part of the 90s or in the 2000s, you might not know what it is. We doubt you even remember living in a world where an internet connection wasn’t a necessity. But because we love a good throwback, we’d like to introduce you to the machine.
Facsimile is a telephonic transmission to scanned printed materials. The original document is scanned with a fax machine. Then, the data is turned into a bitmap and into some kind of tone, transmitted through the telephone system, and received by another fax machine that will interpret the tone back to the original form of the messages. The machine then will print a copy of the document.
Cool right? It’s like telepathy between machines, but with a physical copy of the messages.
But if it’s so cool, why haven’t most millennials heard of it?
This is most probably because most millennials have become accustomed to using email and communicating via mobile devices.
That being said, do you know that fax is very much alive and well? According to NGN Telecoms, a global company that specializes in telecommunication services — including fax, between 17-25 billion faxes are still sent worldwide annually. That’s a stack of paper over 530 km high, or 2,300 times higher than Jakarta’s Menara BCA.
“According to our conversations with PT. Telkom Indonesia, in Indonesia alone, approximately 10 million fax pages are sent daily. The fax service market is also still growing at a rate of 15.2 percent globally,” said Justin Webb, Chief Information Officer of NGN Telecoms.
“Faxes are also more secure. Remember SONY Entertainment’s email hack in 2015? Since then, the CEO made the S.O.P. of all internal communications to be only by fax. The FBI and many US state departments only accept faxed documents for security reasons as faxes can't be tampered with remotely.”
“Believe it or not, faxes are also much easier to use. Scanning to email results in very large documents and thus bandwidth and mail sever storage requirements. Thus why fax has been a long time tradition for most business workers.”
The future is digital
Even if it is better to use fax for business purposes, it’s not environmentally-friendly, right? Imagine all the toner and paper used annually!
Conventional fax machines are usually shared with other co-workers, so while it’s more secure than emails, a confidential fax that gets automatically printed by a fax machine is guaranteed to be seen by more than its intended recipients. It’s also a hassle to share the machine with other people who have to wait in line just to use it.
“That’s where digital-fax, or D-Fax, comes in,” said Justin. “D-Fax allows for fax documents to be received to an email account. All that’s required for set up is an active email address.”
“Our team links the email address to a unique D-Fax number. Then you can start receiving faxes to your email account straight away. The documents can now be opened, saved, printed or forwarded.”
Then why not just use a regular email, you might ask.
“Compared to sending a large PDF through email, where one has to scan the document, wait for it to upload to their email, type in long email addresses, subject lines and a body and the recipient then has to also wait for the large file to download on the other side. With Digital fax, one just places the document into their fax machine, punches in a phone number and done! The recipient gets a PDF in their email that not only has military grade encryption, but it has been compressed to 10-20kb per page making it very easy to download on the other side no matter what your bandwidth situation is.”
The best part in all of this, is that for a limited time, you can now get a digital fax number yourself, for free! Click on this link to find out how.