Why are Fax Machines Still Used, Anyway?

Every business relies upon a host of office equipment and supplies, from multifunction copiers, wide format copiers and everything in between.

But there's one piece of technology that's still around, despite being considered by many to be obsolete: the fax machine.

Why are fax machines still used today, when email can be utilized instead to share important documents? Below are just five reasons why these machines aren't going anywhere.

1. Standing Out Against Other Messages

Professionals in fields like sales or public relations find that sending faxes can be more effective than sending out emails because there is a higher chance that the recipient will at least glance at the message before throwing it away. On the other hand, a press release in an inbox could more easily be deleted before it's even opened.

2. Traceable Documents and Notifications of Delivery

Another reason why fax machines are still in use is because they immediately provide you with the status of your document's delivery, so you will know if it failed to send or if it went through.

Beyond receiving these delivery receipts, however, you can also configure a fax server so that it can log, as well as archive, copies of every inbound and outbound document. This ensures all documents are traceable, and it optimizes security and administration.  

3. Secure Document Transfer

Unlike unencrypted emails that can be intercepted over a network, faxes are harder to intercept when they are transmitted over analog phone lines. This is why doctors, as one example, prefer to send sensitive information via fax rather than email.

Also, because third parties can't reasonably capture and create changes to faxed documents, they're considered legally binding and secure. In fact, the receiving or sending party will be able to detect malicious attempts at altering or intercepting data that's being transmitted via fax, forcing the transmission to stop.  

4. Easy to Use and Reliable

Fax machines are really easy to use, especially when compared to having to print a document, sign it, scan it back into your computer, and then email it. Therefore, a lot of professionals from a variety of industries find that fax machines are easy and fast.

On top of that, these machines are also reliable, and you don't need to have a computer on in order to receive an important document at any time of the day or night. Plus, in other parts of the world, where dependable Internet service may not be available, a fax machine is the perfect way to communicate via a telephone line to keep a business moving.  

5. The Legal System Prefers Fax Machines

One of the biggest sectors that still relies heavily upon faxes is the legal system. Most municipalities have judges who only allow communication with lawyers to occur via fax rather than email. Also, while there are court rules that will accept faxed signatures when an original signature can't be provided, they don't accept emailed signatures, making faxes an important part of the legal process.

Ultimately, there are still several business processes that rely exclusively upon fax machines. For example, when it comes to transferring financial and medical information and records, professionals stick with fax machines instead of email. So even though these machines may appear obsolete at first, they still have a place in the modern digital world.