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With the rise of multifunctional printers and the ability to create, store and send digital copies through email, it seems that the fax machine is sure to be a device of the past. Although many view fax machines as outdated forms of technology, they are still quite prevalent in the work place and are often integrated options in all-in-one devices.
Fax vs. Email
While email is convenient, fast and easy to use, there is still room in the workplace for the fax machine. The technology of email is based purely on internet connectivity, which is not 100% reliable. There is no way of knowing if the receiving party has in fact received your correspondence and there is always a chance of being intercepted in cyberspace.
Alternatively, fax technology is based on telephone networks, which is more reliable than internet networks. With this technology, the sender knows if the communication was transmitted successfully or not and the correspondence cannot be easily intercepted over telephone networks.
Ease of Use
When it comes to the process of sending a fax versus sending a digital document via email, faxing is easier. Insert document, dial number, push send. In comparison, sending a file by email takes a little more effort. To email a file, you must first scan the file and store it to memory. Depending on your equipment, you may have to then send it to a computer if your device does not have email capabilities. You then must attach the file to an email, address the message and send. While not necessarily a complicated process, it is longer.
Despite the pros of a fax machine, the main flaw is the amount of paper used to print the sent documents. Not only does the sender have to have a hard copy, but the receiver prints a copy as well. If digital will suffice, email does the job and saves paper.
The Digital Age
It is clear that digital is quickly taking over when it comes to technology. But despite the rise of internet communication, fax machines are still an often integral piece of equipment in the office. The ease of use, security and reliability are still undeniable when compared to digital correspondence.