Advantages of Using Fax

With easy access to e-mail and instant messaging, it seems kind of surprising to me that fax machines remain as popular as they are, especially in offices. Why do you think this is?

The longevity of fax machines in the workplace has a lot to do with the fact that the technology just works. It’s not very high-tech but it is easy and reliable. You dial the phone number, insert the paper, and most of the time, a copy of your document will appear on the right person’s desk — almost immediately and without fuss.

Sure, you can send a document via e-mail, but there’s the chance that the recipient doesn’t have the same application (Microsoft Word or PagerMaker or whatever) to view that document. If they do have the right software, the document might not look right because they don’t have the right fonts installed, or have a different version. And this all assumes that the person that you’re sending the files to knows enough about computers to save the attachment out of e-mail and open it up in the right software. Fax, on the other hand, just serves them up the document with no effort on their part.

Even for people who are savvy enough to transfer documents online, there are still times when fax machines are more convenient. If you need to send a document that’s on paper (as opposed to digital) it’s a lot easier to simply fax that document vs. scanning the document and e-mailing it from there. Also, very large documents which might choke an e-mail system can make it though a fax machine without a problem.

For some people I think the physical nature of the fax is appealing. Instead of sending etherial bits over the Internet, you cause sheets of paper to appear on the recipient’s desk — something tangible.

“Did you get the fax?”
“Yes, I got the fax, it’s in my hands.”

That is part of the ongoing appeal of fax machines.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send us your fax question.