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Virtual, eco-friendly faxing is all the rage because countless individuals and companies have embraced this new paperless way of faxing. Despite this growing popularity, many people who are not early adapters, may just be wondering how one goes about using your email to send a fax? They may even be wondering what all the fuss is about?

Internet or online fax is often referred to as email faxing simply because you use your current web connection and your current email system to send and receive all your faxes. All this is made possible if you hire a third party online fax provider or server to handle all your faxing in return for a small monthly charge. This provider processes all your faxes for you, regardless of whether those messages are originating from an old fashion fax machine or another online fax service or number.

Once you have signed up for a service you’re given a local or toll-free fax number. Many providers will also let you “port” your current fax number over to their services so there is no interruption in your business communications. You’re also given an online account with a password and username. When you receive a fax, your provider will send you an email with the fax attached, usually in a TIF or PDF file. Click here You can also log into your online account to send and receive all your faxes.

Some providers will only allow you to have one email address connected with your account, but other services will let you have 10 or more email addresses associated with your account. This could be an important factor, if you or your company want your faxes sent to different employees. Keep in mind, many of these major fax providers have corporate fax plans where you can custom design the service to meet all your needs. Since everything is virtual, handled in the clouds, there is no need for any dedicated fax phone lines, so you can quickly scale up or scale down the scope of this service depending on your company’s economic growth or slow down.

Most services will let you use your email system to send your faxes, others have a desktop application which you can download and place on your computer desktop to send and receive all your messages. Regardless, this is a modern portable faxing system which is available anytime, anywhere – assuming of course, you’re connected to the web. Any cell phone, PDA, smart phone, netbook, iPad or laptop can be used as your virtual fax machine.

Using your email to send and receive your faxes can be very cost-effective because you don’t have to buy or maintain a conventional fax machine. You don’t need to buy any papers, toners and inks. Plus, one of your major savings will come from NOT having to install and maintain a separate fax phone line, which can be expensive. Monthly charges for these email fax services range from $8 to $10, but there are good quality cheaper services available, so it pays to shop around. Another great feature, most of these providers will let you have a 30 Day Free Trial of their services so you can “test-drive” before you buy.

Lastly, using your email system to send and receive your faxes is seen as very eco-friendly because you’re not wasting limited materials such as all those papers and inks. In addition, you’re not wasting energy by having a fax machine running 24/7, 365 days of the year. And since this is an email based system, you can even block “junk faxes” from ever reaching you or your company, which will also save valuable resources over the long haul.

Online or email faxing is probably the wave of the future because of the reasons mentioned above; so where do you or your company stand on this issue? Are you using this new modern way of faxing? If you said no, why not? And the real question here is, to stay truly competitive in today’s business world, can you afford not to use it? Like all business decisions, it’s your call.

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