A dedicated fax line is a must-have for any office that takes business seriously. If you use a single phone line for calls and faxes, you are just waiting for trouble to happen. Transmission interruptions only lead to frustration and paper waste.
But what many people ignore is that you don’t need to spend money on a new phone line installation anymore. You can get a virtual one and make faxing easier than ever before.
In this article you’ll learn how to say good bye to the cost of a dedicated fax line and use an affordable virtual fax number exclusively for receiving faxes. In just a few steps you can have a line ready to receive faxes, along with a dedicated fax number linked to that line.
Virtual fax lines are easy to obtain and they will change the way you fax forever. Faxes will arrive immediately with zero interruptions and you won’t have to depend on a fax machine anymore.
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 as a business fax line, but there’s a big drawback to using a dedicated line: the cost. You see, new landlines aren’t cheap, and dedicated phone lines 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 virtual lines that you get via an online fax service.
These are services that provide a virtual dedicated fax line, so you can send and receive documents without interruption but in a faster and more cost-effective way. They give you a virtual number that works over an Internet connection, and they don’t need any physical installation. In addition, online fax services have many features that make them a better alternative than traditional numbers:
Online fax services such as RingCentral Fax let you start for free for a full month, just make sure to cancel your subscription before the month ends if you want to try another one or if you don't want to keep on with a paid subscription.
How It 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 fax 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. For added security, you can request HIPAA compliant services from the top providers out there.
If you use Gmail regularly, this is a great way to keep your faxes at hand. The number provided by your preferred service will basically work as virtual fax number, able to forward incoming transmissions to your inbox.
There’s no more need of having a dedicated fax line and pay extra to services such as Ooma dedicated fax lines, Vonage, Verizon, Comcast 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 dedicated fax line we can get.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a fax line cost?
A physical fax line installation can cost you between $30 and $45 in the US. Fax line service providers usually have a higher price for offices and businesses. If you opt for an online fax service, the fax line cost is between $5 and $20 depending on the features available on your service and the pages included each month. If you want a cheap fax line, this is your best option.
Do I need a dedicated fax line?
Having a dedicated line is a must if you rely on faxing. This will ensure there are no interruptions when transmitting documents.
Can you fax from a regular phone line?
Yes, if you have a fax machine you can plug it to your phone line. Just remember that when the phone is in use it can't be used for faxing, and if someone picks up the phone while faxing, it will interrupt the transmission.
Can I use a splitter for phone and fax?
If you already have a fax machine and want to use your phone line, you can use a splitter. Which will let you connect your phone and fax machine in one socket, without having to request for an additional installation. This is not needed for a digital fax line.