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Despite the huge advances in communications technology, there are still many industries and businesses that rely on fax communications.  You may be wondering “Isn’t fax too old for these times?”.  Well, yes, it is old indeed, but it has remained one of the most secure ways to transmit important documents and keep them away from privy eyes.  This is very important when sending not only important university documents, but also patient information, contracts, budget proposals and other types of sensitive documents.

But the years have not passed for nothing.  Fax has evolved, and today you have different options to send and receive faxes. Let’s take a look at them.

1.  Using the University Library

Luckily, you can find different Copy Centers around the campus where you can fax by paying a fee.

This is actually very useful for most students who don’t want a permanent faxing solution and are just looking to send a couple of documents. Printing services Copy Centers help you send national and international faxes, and also assist you at receiving them.  They charge $0.99 per page sent and $0.50 per page received. International faxes on the other hand, can cost you up to $6.99 to send them.  You can find more info on https://printing.umn.edu/files/Dept-Price-List-12-16.pdf about prices and Copy Center locations.

2. Traditional Fax Machine

Up to around a decade ago, this was the preferred method to fax, because well… there wasn’t any other! A fax machine works like a remote copy machine, and it looks like a big telephone with a paper feeder on top.

Fax machines connect via a physical phone line to other machine, and through analog technology are able to copy the contents of a document in black and white, on the receiving end.  

Fax machines are still used to this day ( in Japan they remain very popular!), and there are also multi-function printers that offer fax functions by connecting to a phone line.  Although it’s very useful, this technology has its downsides, mainly that it is very easy to run into printing issues and that it is very easy to interrupt the transmission of a document if you share your line with your phone.  Most businesses avoid this last problem by installing a dedicated fax line, which adds to the costs of implementing a fax machine.

To send a fax this way you need the person on the other end to give you a fax tone.  You need to do this also when receiving faxes.

3.  Online faxing

Online faxing mixes the best of traditional faxing with the convenience of digital tech. At first online faxing was only possible through a special program and a fax modem, but in the past two decades we have seen the emergence in popularity of online fax services, which let you fax online by paying a monthly flat fee.

Online faxing is now the preferred way of faxing because it is easy to implement, super fast, and reduces communication costs.  Currently, services are able to provide both local and toll-free numbers to receive faxes at no extra cost.  

Your online fax number uses FOIP (Fax Over Internet Protocol) technology.  It works similarly to VOIP, but exclusively for faxing.  Incoming fax transmissions are then sent to your email, after being converted to a PDF file.  There is no need to buy any additional equipment, supplies or a dedicated landline.

You can send a fax through your email through an app or  your member’s area. It doesn’t matter where you are or what computer you are using because this is all web-based technology.  Receiving faxes is even easier, it is 100% automatic, you don’t have to “give a fax tone” and you can receive multiple faxes at the same time.

Faxing is still a thing in 2020, and it seems it still will be used for years to come.  If your business relies on faxes, I’d recommend you give a try to digital faxing, I’m sure you won’t look back.  

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