It may surprise you to know that the idea of sending an image across a wire was conceived in the late 1800s. But the first commercially available fax machine as we would recognise it today was released by Xerox in 1964. From then on, the fax machine dominated offices, with nervous staffers often huddling around the great, great box in the hope that the all-important piece of paper slowly emerged from its interior.
When fax machines work well, they are efficient and make it possible to sign contracts and conduct business over vast distances and with great speed. But there are too many things that can wrong with the traditional office fax machine. It needs constant monitoring, it ties staff to the office, and phone line drop-outs are common. Here’s where the virtual fax machine comes into its own.
mBox, the internet faxing service powered by eFax, has taken the fax machine to a new level by turning your computer or smartphone into a virtual fax machine that can still communicate with traditional office fax machines.
If you want to send a fax online, the first step is to get a toll free number from mBox. This becomes your fax number for sending and receiving; but there is no phone line associated with it. Instead, to send a fax, you open a new email, enter the recipient’s fax number followed by @efaxsend.com, attach the document and hit send. You will receive a confirmation notice to tell you if your fax got through. If you want to check your activity, you can log in to your mBox account.
If you are communicating with clients or colleagues who have an actual fax machine, they can send faxes to you as normal, by dialling your toll free fax number. Another advantage of using a toll free number for faxing is that you can send faxes internationally without the need for a long distance carrier. You can even set up an mBox toll free number overseas, which could be useful if you are setting up an overseas branch.
A frequently asked question is how to send large files via email or fax. The problem is that large documents can take ages to send page by page with a fax machine, while email service servers have limits on the sizes of the attachments. With mBox, powered by eFax, you can attach files of up to 1GB and send them to up to 20 recipients without a problem. Once the fax has been sent, they archived in mBox’s free cloud storage for future use.
The privacy aspect of using online faxing through mBox can’t be overlooked either. Instead of faxes sitting on the machine for everyone in the office to see, you send and receive on your computer.
Finally, keep in mind that there is no installation, no cabling, no phone line with mBox’s internet fax service. There isn’t even a program you need to install. As soon as you have chosen your new toll free number and activated your account, you can start sending and receiving faxes from your email account – and let others worry about whether the fax machine has paper in it or not!