Having a dedicated fax line has been the preferred way to receive faxes without interruptions for many years. This exclusive line made sure we didn’t miss any document during the day and helped keep the phone free to receive calls.
But now we live in different times, we could say “digital times,” and with the arrival of Internet technology, you might wonder if it is necessary to have a dedicated line.
Well, the truth is that you don’t need a physical line dedicated exclusively for faxing these days. There are far better alternatives for companies as well as individuals.
After reading this guide, you will learn how to fax without a landline and forget about paying for a dedicated line ever again.
What Is a Dedicated Fax Line?
It is a physical phone line that you connect to a fax machine and is meant to be used only for transmissions. The main advantage is obvious: you can receive faxes without interruptions. You could compare it to a unclogged water tube that lets the incoming documents flow easily.
For years it has been tremendously useful for businesses that rely on fax communications, but there’s a big drawback to using a dedicated line: the cost. You see, new landlines aren’t cheap, and they require physical installation which could take some days if you are lucky.
“Can’t I just use my phone line?”
Well, yes you can. As a matter of fact, most machines out there work perfectly with normal phone lines, but here’s the thing:
Your phone and fax lines are sharing the same cable; this means that they can’t be used simultaneously.
So, while it is technically possible, it is not the best idea, especially if faxing is a vital part of your company’s processes.
Virtual Lines, A Better Alternative
Now there is a great solution to this problem, and the best of all is that it doesn’t need a landline. I’m talking about online fax services.
These are services that give you virtual fax numbers, so you can send and receive documents without interruption but in a faster and more cost-effective way. These virtual numbers work over digital lines, and they don’t need any physical installation. They have many features that make them a better alternative than traditional numbers:
- Instead of delivering faxes to a machine, they deliver them to your email or your mobile phone. Say goodbye to the cost of buying a machine!
- Another significant advantage of using an email fax number is that you can obtain your number in just a matter of minutes. Choosing a number is as easy as selecting your location and picking between a local or a toll-free number (at no extra cost). Then it is ready to be used!
- Price is super affordable. In average, a basic plan with a service has a monthly fee of $8, and you can save even more if you pay the whole year upfront.
- It works the same as a dedicated number. People sending you documents will not have to change anything because your number looks the same as an ordinary number, it is 100% compatible with fax machines.
- Since it is a digital number, it can work with wireless Internet connection.
You can get started for free. Digital fax services let you start for free for a full month; they include a virtual fax line for you to try, just make sure to cancel your subscription before the month ends if you want to try another one.
How an Online Fax Number Works
An online number works the same as a normal number, but with the difference that the fax information travels through a digital medium rather than a physical one. What takes place in the background is very similar too:
When someone sends you a fax with a machine, your virtual number “grabs” this information and then takes it to super-fast servers which convert the incoming document into a PDF file in milliseconds. Then, this document is forwarded to the email address associated with your number as an attachment, so you can easily read it on any digital platform.
This is a 100% secure process from start to finish. Be sure to select a service with high encryption standards.
If you use Gmail regularly, this is a great way to keep your faxes at hand. Your number will basically work as what is known as a Gmail fax number, able to forward incoming transmissions to your inbox.
Enjoy a Cost-Free Line With Fax Service
There’s no more need of having a dedicated line and pay extra to services such as Ooma, Vonage, Verizon, Telstra or AT&T. Advancements in digital technology have allowed us to use the Internet to take faxing to the next level, giving us the cheapest and most reliable alternative to landlines.
You can make the jump and try out how virtual lines work for you; if you want to learn more about this technology you can learn how to fax from email in our easy-to-follow tutorials!