Published on January 8th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
Why Fax Machines Continue to be Relevant
There are very few things in the modern business world that have stood the test of time more than the fax machine. The first fax machine was created over 150 years ago, and Xerox first commercialized the technique 50 years ago, with the first modern fax. Even with a history that goes back that far, the vast majority of business offices still contain and regularly use a fax machine even today.
In an increasingly digital world, faxing continues to be prevalent
But in an increasingly digital age and a business culture obsessed with identifying and utilizing the next big thing, can we expect the fax to continue to thrive into 2020 and beyond? With the advantages of faxing over other communication methods, it is actually unlikely the fax machine is going to be leaving our offices any time soon.
The Advantages of Faxing
Something as continuously prevalent as the fax machine must certainly come with advantages, as nothing could last as long as it has and still be present in the majority of offices without offering something that other options do not.
Faxing holds a major advantage over digital communication in one area more than any other: security. In an era of increased cybercrime and ever-increasing criminal sophistication, there are few things that are as critical to the success of a business than security. While cybersecurity has become a massive, multi-billion dollar a year industry, nothing offered by the Internet can rival the good ol’ fax machine for data security.
Fax machines essentially capture an image of a document, encode that image and then transmit the encrypted message along telephone lines where it is received, decrypted and printed by another fax machine. This means the information on the document never enters the Internet and is therefore never made susceptible to hackers or cybercriminals.
While there are countless individuals out there who could hack your email, via countless different methods, it would take skills that very few possess to even begin to intercept a faxed message.
Fax machines are also known to be very reliable ways to transmit document information, and the sender will receive a confirmation message upon receipt of the fax. Because of its reliability and security, faxes are accepted as being legal documents, where many digital documents are still not.
While there are many advantages of faxing, it is not without its flaws. The main downside to faxes compared to email, file-sharing services, and other digital options is the need for a fax machine. And as with any machine, fax machines do require upkeep and come with the inherent potential for breaking down.
However, modern faxing options take away some of these disadvantages, as online faxing services provide the ability to fax without a machine. Users simply upload their documents onto secure servers, and the documents are faxed for them. This also eliminates the need for an additional landline, essentially giving users a free fax number.
Another bonus for these online services is that they bring faxing into the mobile realm. With the increasing focus on mobility and mobile-friendly usage, faxing looked like it could be on its way out. But now users can upload and fax documents without having to go to the office or even touch another machine.
Low Tech in a High Tech World
While technology is progressing faster, and businesses are trying to keep up, some clients and companies will always prefer the old way of doing things. Especially for older individuals, without much in the way of computer skills, fax machines still present a way of securely and quickly transmitting documents.
Although there are many other options available for transmitting documents, few offer the combination of security, speed, usability, and reliability of faxing. With these advantages and services like online faxing modernizing the technique, we will likely continue to see fax machines in the majority of offices for many years to come.