The Battle between Fax and Email is Still On

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For decades, Fax has been an important part of office spaces of most of the businesses around the world. First telefax service became operation between Paris and Lyon, but the modern facsimile machines got introduced in 1964.

With time, most of the commercially available digital or computing technologies like dot-matrix printers, televisions, CRT monitors, etc. have disappeared except the fax machine.

Today, one can stream live television, use a watch to make telephone calls, or start a car from anywhere. There are so many means of communication to connect with family, friends and colleagues.

With all this advancement, we are still highly dependent on rough scans of paper, connecting with remote low-speed modems, etc. Our dependence and addiction on the fax is far from getting over.

Reasons behind this is that when we need to send any document to anyone at another company, they will at least have the machine. Another reason is that people still believe that they have to sign the digitally send documents physically.

The most salient feature of the fax is that they provide direct communication. Whenever a document is faxed from one place to another, one receives an immediate receipt of receival at the other end. One can also monitor the transfer of data directly. Last but not the least, fax offers the security of transmission as it is a direction connection. This is the reason why sensitive documents are transmitted by businesses via fax.

With the advent of email, it’s always easy to send documents via email rather than fax. After all, emails are more secure, more reliable and way better than fax for transmission of all type of information including the sensitive one. One can use end-to-end encryption for transmitting emails and receiving it along with return receipts.

Still email has not been able to completely replace the fax. On looking closely, one can easily notice the reasons behind it. First, when you have to send an email, you have to trust that the server on the far end site is secure and properly configured along with spam filters properly tuned.

Secondly, you have to hope that, in case the recipient is having service issues, there should be secondary servers in place. One should also make sure that his/her IP hasn’t been used by somebody else to send spam or malware vector which may result in blacklisting of your relay.

These reasons make email lose the battle against fax. For some businesses, sending documents with reliable and secure transmission via fax as the first choice.

So, unless and until email gets fixed or the world needs to re-create the fax system because fax system of 1964 can’t remain acceptable for long.

Do you have any other important point or aspect which we have missed? Do let us know by posting your views on the comment section.


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