Is Internet Fax Right For Your Home Based Business?

There are many things to consider when purchasing fax equipment for a home based business. How much space is there? How much money can be spent? Is a fax machine essential or simply nice to have? Once a fax machine makes its way to the list of essentials, there are other things to consider as well. Will it be a physical fax machine or will the business be best served by an Internet fax? To determine that, it’s important to understand a few things about an Internet fax.An Internet fax is not a stand-alone or physical piece of equipment. It’s a virtual fax machine – a service a business signs up for. The business uses their computer to send and receive faxes. Documents are not fed into a fax machine to be sent, the documents are already in the computer and will be faxed via email or a web hosted Internet fax service. When a fax is received by the business with an Internet fax service, there’s no fax machine to receive and print it. The fax goes to the computer and is printed out only if the user decides to print it.The resulting faxes, on both ends, are professional in appearance. A cover page will accompany the faxed document when it comes out of the receiving fax machine. Most Internet fax services support a variety of formats to allow home based businesses a great deal of flexibility with the way their documents look. When a fax comes in using an Internet fax service, it will be in electronic form. It can be saved and printed right away, or not at all.A business owner is given a fax telephone number that tracks to one or more email accounts, or to a web-based site where faxes can be retrieved. The business sending the fax simply sends it to the fax phone number specified. For the company sending the fax, it’s as if they sent it to a traditional fax machine.Because home based business owners are fitting their business into their living space; space is a consideration. The fact that an Internet fax is not a physical piece of equipment means that it does not require any space in the home office. Cost is also an important consideration to home based businesses. Faxing over the Internet does not require maintenance to a physical fax machine, paper, ink, nor an extra phone line. Most Internet fax services do charge a monthly fee. Depending upon the volume of faxes a company sends and receives however it will likely still be more cost effective to fax over the Internet for the average user.An added plus to home-based businesses trying to reduce their carbon footprint is that faxing over the Internet is green. It does not require paper for sending or receiving faxes by the company with the service. Nor does it require toner or ink cartridges that need to be recycled. While flexible and mobile, an Internet fax service is not an extra drain on electricity.Another consideration for the home-based business is ease of use and ease of receiving faxes when away from the office. With an Internet fax service, the faxes can be delivered to an email address. If business owners receive emails to their smart phones or travel with their laptops, then any faxes sent will reach the recipient without delay whether or not the recipient is in the office. Faxes can also be sent immediately while on the road because the document does not need to be printed out first, and does not require access to a fax machine at a business center or elsewhere. The fax is sent directly from the laptop.

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