what are the most useful features of online fax services?

​Online faxing has redefined the way businesses s​hare important documents. Despite what you may have ​read, faxing is still the preferred way of sharing documents in multiple industries, especially in those that handle sensitive information such as law or healthcare. 

​​Companies from all countries are moving away from traditional fax methods ​to integrate digital fax as part of their communications. The main advantage of ​​using an Internet fax service is that you can work with digital documents, reading faxes on your screen while retaining compatibility with fax machines.

​But sending and receiving fax as ​virtual ​documents is just a part of what an online fax service can do for you.  

The digital platform this technology uses, allow services to offer a set of features that you just couldn't have with a fax machine, due to obvious technical limitations. They allow you to take fax to the next level in terms of speed and automation and help ​reducing paper consumption in the office.  

​Mobile faxing, scheduling faxes for later delivery, and automatic fax reception ​are game-changing features for people who need to fax ​often.  ​Tasks that used to take several minutes now just take a few seconds to complete, and you don't have to deal with the issues associated to fax machines like paper jams or bad printing results!

​​Below, we'll take a look at the top features you can enjoy when using an online fax service.  ​Read on, especially if you are new to the World of online faxing; you might learn a few things you didn't know your service could do!

fax broadcasting feature

Fax Broadcasting

Sending a single fax to multiple recipients was not as easy as it sounds when you were using a fax machine. For the most part it required dialing over and over again the numbers, waiting for the tone and finally sending the fax.  

​With an Internet fax service there are two ways you can send a single fax to multiple numbers at the same time:

The first one is through your email.  ​Compose your email fax following the steps on our guide to fax from email.  If you've read our guide, you'll know that the recipient's number goes in the TO field, looking like this: faxnumber@faxprovider.com.   To add multiple recipients, add them one after the other separated by a comma.  You can also do this on the Cc field,​ ​then send your email fax to up to 40-50 recipients depending on your service and the email provider you are using.

The second option is through the "fax broadcasting" tab on your online fax account​.  This alternative is useful when you need to send a fax to more than 50 people at the same time.  You need to log into your fax account, add the contents of the fax and then all the recipients.  You can do this manually or by taking them from the Contacts stored on your online fax account.

getting a virtual fax number

Virtual fax numbers

Without this feature, online faxing would be incomplete.  These ​online fax numbers act as dedicated fax lines that grab all incoming faxes and send them to powerful servers, where they are converted into digital files.

 Virtual numbers are easy to get and come included in nearly all fax services plans out there, you can even choose between local and toll-free numbers and are available in different countries as well. The best about these numbers is that they are ready to be used in just a matter of minutes.

scheduling faxes

Fax scheduling

Remember those days when you HAD to be on the office at a specific time just to send a fax? That was quite a problem sometimes, especially when it meant sending a fax to the other side of the planet! 

​Online fax services let you schedule a fax for an exact time and date.  Once it has been scheduled, you can forget about it and do other things.  When the time comes to send a fax, you'll receive a confirmation message in your email, like always.

​If you are faxing from Gmail, you'll need the help of a scheduling add-on such as Boomerang, because there's no option to schedule emails yet, probably to prevent using the email platform to send spam. Boomerang is not free, so you may want to do this directly through your online fax account.

In the "fax scheduling" area of your account you can see a list of all the faxes you have set up.  You can modify the date or cancel the delivery of the fax at any time.

smartphone fax apps

​Smartphone Fax Apps

​Some of the top digital fax providers have developed their own apps for smartphones, making it extremely easy to ​fax on the go. Although it's possible to fax ​using ​the email ​client on your phone, a dedicated app offers an easy way to fax and ​gives you access to ​other features.

For example, you can compose faxes not only by attaching a file to the message, but also by taking a photo of any document you want to fax.  The software will enhance the image to make it perfectly readable in black and white, and then will send it.

​Apps like eFax Mobile let you sign faxes electronically.  First, you need to save a digital copy of your signature on your account. ​ Next, simply open your app and tap on the button labeled "Sign Faxes".  Confirm the placement of the signature and you are done!

What about receiving faxes? Well, as you may know by now, faxes arrive automatically to your ​email and your service's account.  When you are using an app, it will display an automatic notification which can be customized on the Settings tab.  Tap on any notification to read your fax instantly or read ​it later from the app's menu.

Final Words

As you can see these are very useful features that can save you a lot of time as well as money.  We have added here only the favorite ones among online fax users, but services are always adding more and improving existing ones, especially in the case of leading companies such as RingCentral Fax or eFax. These features can be tested for free with some services, it would be a worthy idea to create free trial account before starting paying for a plan.