What is a DID number?

I’m setting up faxing in my office and I don’t know if I need a DID number or not.

DID stands for Direct Inward Dialing. It’s also called Direct Dial-In (DDI) in other parts of the world. You may or may not need it, depending on how many people are working in your office and how you want to deal with privacy and confidential information.
Basically, a DID number works the same as a phone extension. It is provided by your phone company and it assigns a number of virtual phone numbers to your office so that you don’t have to pay for a bunch of real ones. In other words, you might have only four phone lines, but you could have 100 virtual fax numbers, all assigned to different people. Each person would be assigned their own fax number that could be given out to other people. When that number was faxed, it would come back through the physical “trunk” phone line, but everyone would know for whom the fax was intended. That way, even if everyone is sharing a fax machine, confidential information stays confidential.
Giving each employee an individual DID number also means everyone can get faxes sent right to their email as a TIFF or PNG file. That way, there are no problems waiting at the fax machine or having faxes read by the wrong person.
DID numbers cost a flat monthly rate in addition to your current service, but it’s less expensive than getting another physical phone line. If you want an even cheaper alternative, though, you might consider internet fax instead of any hard phone lines at all. Different internet service providers have different options, but many will allow you to send and receive faxes from different email addresses for a small fee. You can find a company that works for you by checking out my reviews here.
Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.