A few years ago I wrote a blog post called Virtual Fax versus Fax Machine. Whenever you write about technology, you run the risk of your writing becoming outdated or just plain obsolete. In this case, virtual faxing (versus using a fax machine) deserves another look — especially as it relates to home based businesses.
Nowadays, virtual faxing can solve the needs of most all home based businesses without having to buy a fax machine or use a paper fax service. The biggest issue in the past with virtual faxing has been outbound faxing (sending faxes). It has long been a wonderful choice for inbound faxing (receiving faxes).
The most common use of outbound faxing is sending some paper document that you have signed. If you are sending a virtual fax with something you’ve signed, you’ll need to first scan the document and then fax the scanned document. That scanning part used to be a giant hassle but it has gotten a lot easier thanks to “all in one” printing and scanning devices like this low cost Epson All in One printer. It includes software called “Epson Scan” which can easily turn your paper documents into PDF files (which in turn can be sent as outbound faxes). I use my Epson almost exclusively now after having recycled my fax machine about a year ago.
Once you have an All-in-One-Printer, you would then need a fax service. The choices of online fax services are almost staggering. A basic service like the MyFax Small Business Option should serve the needs of most home based businesses. It allows for 100 outbound and 200 inbound per month for a monthly cost of $10. Extra pages after that monthly limit are 10 cents a page.
To sum up this post – if you want to use virtual faxing in your home based business you’ll need at least 2 things. An All-in-One-Printer with scanning and scanning software and an online fax service.