Advantages and Disadvantages of Fax Technology Today

Fax technology

With cell phones, computers and email, you may find it strange when someone asks you to fax something to them. Faxing may seem like an antiquated form of communication, but many companies are still using fax technology to keep their records safe and secure.

That doesn’t mean everything about the fax machine is positive though. There are both advantages and disadvantages of fax technology today that make it both reliable and somewhat old-fashioned.

The Advantages

You’re probably more used to answering emails than dealing with fax machines, but faxes are still used by many companies and employees. While email is certainly more convenient, there are several advantages that make faxing a preferred method of communication.

Reliability

Emails require your recipient to have the right software or technical knowledge to open any document you send. That’s never a problem with a fax machine though. All you need is the machine and a recipient fax number.

Fax machines are therefore easy to use, not to mention much more secure. Faxes do not have viruses like emails and won’t have potential programming malfunctions like computers. Mail won’t get lost like it does when you send it manually either.

Faxes are simply sent to the right number as soon as you enter the information.

Security

Computers and emails can be hacked, with the documents you send intercepted. If you’d like your office to be secure, a fax machine is the safest form of communication you can have. There’s no risk in receiving a fax either, unlike if you get an email which might contain a virus.

On top of that, no harmful software can damage your files. At the same time, you receive proof that your document has been sent. This means that you have evidence that your document has gotten to where it needs to go right away.

If you’re part of an industry where it’s important that documents are received immediately, fax machines are invaluable.

Convenient Method

As mentioned, when you send a fax, your recipient gets it immediately. While emails do move quickly, they can take time if the file is large. It’s also much easier to send physical documents when you’re using a fax machine – you just insert it into the machine and enter a number.

Emails, on the other hand, need to be scanned, uploaded and sent to the right person. With a fax, you’ll save some money transferring physical documents too.

Instead of sending the document yourself, a fax machine provides you with a quick and cost-effective method of document transmission.

Ease of Use

Since fax machines have been used in offices for decades now, most people know how to use them. Even if you don’t know how though, they’re easy to operate and you won’t spend too much time trying to figure it out.

The Disadvantages

The fax will never be obsolete due to all the advantages that accompany this piece of technology. However, there are still some real disadvantages to relying on fax technology. Like any other piece of technology, it has its problems.

Technology Failure

If you depend too much on your fax machine and it fails for some reason, you’ll have some problems finding a new way to operate. You can’t fully rely on any one piece of technology, including the fax machine.

Security Questions

Fax machines are very secure, since they cannot be hacked like emails can. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re completely safe. Information thieves know how to pull data from old fax machines or discarded printing cartridges.

This means that when you submit a document, there’s still a possibility that someone could access your data, or the data of your customers. People can also see all of the faxes sent if they physically pass by the fax machine.

In other words, having your fax machine in the copy room of your office means that anyone passing by can see it.

Required Maintenance

Fax machines need maintenance. This means that you need paper, ink, toner and other equipment for you to be able to transmit your faxes. Make sure that you have a checklist to remember everything you need if you want your fax machine to keep working.

Landline Phone Number

You can’t use a fax machine unless you have an actual landline phone. This is less common these days, as everyone uses cell phones. However, you have to have an actual landline if you want to use a fax machine.

Of course, you can also fax your documents online with the many online services available now, so you’re not necessarily unable to fax if you don’t have a landline.

Less Convenient

Faxes are convenient in terms of speed, but they also cannot be reached easily. If you’re out of the office and you need to send a document, you can’t send a fax until you return. You also cannot multitask with a fax machine.

It’s not possible to send and receive a fax at the same time or send multiple faxes at once. This means that when sending to more than one people, you have to send multiple faxes.

Conclusion

There are many companies that continue to use fax machines even with the age of cellphones and emails. It’s not uncommon, considering the ease of use, security and convenience of a fax machine; yet, there are serious disadvantages too.

Faxes are less convenient in some ways and require you to maintain them. With both advantages and disadvantages to using a fax machine, you may or may not want one for your office. However, faxing online is also a possibility, so you might want to consider that too.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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