It’s 2015. Why are people still using fax?

By 7th April 2015Tips

Despite what everyone thought 15 years ago… then 10 years ago… then 5 years ago… fax is still far from dead and is in fact still going strong. This often comes as a surprise to many people, and I’ll be perfectly honest with you and say it still surprises me sometimes that despite all the advances in more modern alternative technologies, fax is still the preferred (and sometimes required) method of communication for many businesses in the Western World (not to mention Japan, where fax is still hugely popular).

Why hasn’t the Internet and email completely wiped out fax from our workplaces then? Here are some reasons why I think fax is still going strong and will remain to do so until all these reasons are no longer valid for anyone:

1. It’s dead easy – for everyone

Using the Internet and sending emails might come as second-nature to many people, but it’s important to remember this isn’t the case for everyone – especially for those who didn’t grow up with the Internet and email or those with reduced mobility.

There’s no denying how easy it is if you have a physical piece of paper in your hand to just plop it into a fax machine, dial a number and hit send, and that’s why this remains the preferred method for many.

2. It just works

Email is great when it works but there are many times when it doesn’t. Just think: with fax there’s no spam folder to check, no email servers going down to delay that important document, and it’s much harder (but not impossible) to misdial a fax number than it is to mistype someone’s email address. (“Was that ‘sara dot’ or ‘sarah dot'”?) Plus you don’t need a scanner hooked up to your computer, and you’ll never be worried about viruses…

3. Traceability

Email can be spoofed so easily and it’s much more difficult to prove that something was – or wasn’t – sent at a particular time. With fax, because it’s a phone call, the sending of that fax will show up on your phone bill and an actual financial transaction takes place as a result, meaning if you need to prove you sent something at a particular time you’ll make a much more convincing case if you faxed it.

You also get much more of an idea if your document has successfully sent if you send it via fax, as you’ll usually get a status message indicating whether the fax has sent successfully or not. “Read Receipts” on email aren’t an official part of the standard so most email clients don’t understand them, making them utterly useless!

4. Privacy & Security

Email isn’t secure. Fax might not be 100% bullet-proof but at least it’s not sent as plain-text over the internet, wide open for all to see if they read the first few chapters of a book on hacking.

For many documents you’d be breaking the law if you sent them via email but sending via fax is fine. For example, PCI DSS regulations require that documents containing credit card numbers must not be sent via email, and NHS and other healthcare institutions do not permit the sending of confidential patient-identifiable information via email, whereas sending by fax along a telephone line is acceptable. The recipient doesn’t need to have a fax machine to receive faxes securely – that’s where services like SecureFax come in handy.

5. No Computer Required

Many people who do not like using computers (which is probably all of us sometimes!) or who find them difficult to use (again, probably all of us at some time or another) like the fact that no computer is required to use fax. Although they might be few and far between these days, there are still some businesses which make very little use of computers and the internet, and often each staff member does not have his or her own computer – this of course means that if someone is using the computer, you don’t have to wait for them to finish if you wish to send a fax.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest: lots of people hate fax and can’t understand why people still use it. On the other hand, fax still has an important role to play in the modern world and many people still prefer to use it, despite the alternatives available.

Crosby Fax acts as a bridge between the old and new worlds, combining the tried and tested benefits of fax with modern technologies such as fax to email, secure, 256-bit encrypted fax delivery, the Internet and cloud-based storage. With internet-based fax services such as ours, you can keep many of the advantages of using fax but combine them with modern technologies to cut costs, increase efficiency and take advantages of extra features such as a paperless office where you can tag and search your faxes going back years…

We also provide a perfect solution for situations where one party – either the sender or receiver – wishes or requires a document to be sent via fax but the other party is unwilling or unable, often because they do not physically own a fax machine. That’s no problem as you don’t need a fax machine to use Crosby Fax!

If you’re interested in seeing how we can help your business to use fax more efficiently and cut your costs, start your one-month free trial today at www.crosbyfax.com

Paul Freeman-Powell

About Paul Freeman-Powell

Paul Freeman-Powell is an Internet Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Telecoms Cloud. He's a Cloud technology enthusiast, and has worked with organisations such as the University of Liverpool, Banco de España and the Carphone Warehouse Group. Follow him on Twitter: @paulfp

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