Fax machines have been around for some decades now. Every technology has its era of popularity before it is superseded by another one that simply betters it on all counts. Though fax (Facsimile) machines are still used today for secure document transfers, Internet technology has reduced its usage substantially.
Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate. With email and Voice over IP (VoIP) services affecting all the conventional channels of communication, even fax machine manufacturers felt the pinch as demand for them fell, due to electronic mail. Still the technology survives due to some of the inherent advantages it provides.
Using a Machine
Fax was one of the most popular technologies to send documents worldwide in the 90s. There was no other way, that one could send signed documents as fast as fax machines did. The procedure is quite simple and straightforward.
Firstly, ready the documents that you need to send and collate them. It is customary that you type a cover letter explaining the content of the fax, which also contains your own contact details. Observe the fax machine and locate the feeder tray where you must place the documents to be sent.
Once you have fed the documents to be sent in the right order, you must enter the number to which you plan to send those documents. Key in the number correctly and hit the send button, after you finish entering the number. If it is an international number, make sure that the correct country code is entered.
The machine will scan all documents one by one, before printing out a receipt of confirmation. With that, your fax is sent and you can rest assured that it will reach its destination.
Using the Internet
What if you don't have a machine? Thanks to eFax services, it is quite simple. Many online services enable you to send them for free. Some of the websites that you should check out are Interfax, FaxZero, PopFax, MyFax, and ScanR. Here is the general procedure.
Most of these services need a paid subscription and they allow you to send some of the faxes for free. All you have to do is send them a mail with the document attached in pdf or .doc format or typed in as the text body. You must provide information about the destination fax number.
Some of them ask you to enter the number, to which you intend to send the document, in the sender's email id box. Once you send the mail, you get an email confirmation alerting you of the fact that the fax has been successfully sent. For more details, refer to the respective websites.
Fax machines are still widely used for transfer of private classified documents by many businesses and therefore, this technology still survives the onslaught of the Internet. Online services have managed to seamlessly integrate this technology with email, making it unnecessary for you to own a machine.