Office Tech: Cloud Faxing On A Multifunction Printer

While it lasted for way longer than it should have, considering the advent of the internet, it’s true that faxing is slowly becoming obsolete. Hence, it came as a surprise when cloud faxing, a different variation of faxing, came into prevalence.

But since many people are already familiar with how traditional faxing works, it’s no wonder why cloud faxing became a hit. For one, it offers a variety of perks and covers many flaws that traditional faxing has. One particular perk of cloud faxing is its versatility. 

Cloud faxing is available in many forms. Its most prominent form is cloud faxing services, but there seems to be another lesser-known form that’s recently been making waves in the industry. 

An Introduction To Cloud Faxing On A Multifunction Printer 

Cloud faxing services work by allowing you to send faxes through a platform, software, or application. You can access the platform on your computer, smartphone, or other devices.  

Cloud faxing on a multifunction fax printer (MFP) follows the same logic and process, except it uses a printer. Though that’s the main difference between the two, there are several others, particularly in their advantages and disadvantages, hence why people prefer one over the other. But before you get to that, you must first understand how cloud faxing, in general, works. 

How Does Cloud Faxing Work? 

To start with, you must know how traditional faxing works. For that, you must have a fax machine that consists of three components: (1) a scanner, (2) a printer, and (3) a modem. 

To start the process, here’s what you need to do to:

  1. Connect the modem to a telephone line. 
  2. Get the document you want to fax and put it in the machine’s scanner. 
  3. During or after the scan, you must input a fax number, a telephone number for faxing, using the machine’s keypad. An example of a fax number is 555-123-4567; make sure the fax number belongs to the person or business that’s supposed to be your recipient. 
  4. The machine will send data regarding the scanned document’s contents to the recipient’s fax machine via the phone lines. Then, the recipient’s machine will print it out. 

When you’re the recipient, and you use the traditional system, you simply have to wait for the sender to send the fax. When they do, your machine will ring, and you have to accept or receive. 

Cloud faxing follows a similar process to this. Here’s how it usually goes: 

  1. You sign up for a cloud faxing service provider. 
  2. Register an account on their platform. 
  3. Access their platform. This step will go differently according to the cloud service provider. You either install the software or application on your device or visit their site. 
  4. Once you’re on the platform, you must upload the document you want to send. 
  5. Type in the recipient’s fax number on your phone, PC, or whatever device you’re using. 

If you’re the recipient, you don’t have to go to the fax machine and receive the fax. Rather, whenever someone sends you a fax, it’ll pile up on your fax email. You can either only view the fax or print it out; it depends entirely on you. 

Though cloud faxing fixes many issues of traditional faxing, it’s not without flaws. Cloud faxing on a Multifunction Printer is a combination of the two. One can say it has the best of both worlds.

How Does Cloud Faxing On An Multifunction Printer Work? 

A cloud-capable Multifunction Printer has two main components that’ll be key to its cloud faxing capabilities, and these include (1) a scanner and (2) a cloud faxing module. Here’s how you can use it: 

  1. You must first obtain a virtual fax number. 

A traditional fax number based on your phone line would most likely not work for cloud faxing. You can either get a new one or port your existing one. Either way, you’ll need the help of cloud faxing service providers like eFax and similar companies. 

  1. Scan the document you want to send using the printer’s scanner. 
  2. Enter the fax number or email address of your recipient via the Multifunction Printer. 
  3. Click Send or whatever the button to send might be.

Cloud Faxing: Digital Portals Vs. Multifunction Printer 

You might be wondering, how are Multifunction Printers (MPF) s better than using a cloud faxing service provider’s digital portal. Surprisingly enough, there are a couple of benefits that cloud faxing on MFP has that cloud faxing services do not. 

But first, let’s look at the advantages that they share:

  • Increased security: Cloud faxing with a digital portal uses encryption algorithms to ensure your faxes are safe from hackers. The same applies to faxes you send with a Multifunction Printer via the cloud. 
  • No need to rely on a landline: You don’t need a landline or telephone line for both methods. That means you can save money since installing and maintaining a phone line often requires monthly payments. 
  • More efficient: Since a fax number consists of numerous digits, it’s not unusual to make a mistake and type in the wrong number. That may result in you sending a fax to a different person. As a result, it’ll compromise the confidentiality of the document. But with cloud faxing, whenever you send a fax to a number, the portal saves that number, so you don’t have to type it again next time. This reduces the likelihood of sending a fax to the wrong person. 

Just like how there are similarities, cloud faxing services, and Multifunction Printers cloud faxing also carry differences: 

  • The process: If you want to send a fax via a digital portal, you must have the document ready as a file. If you only have its physical copy, then you must scan it first, save it on your device, then upload it into the portal. In this case, with a Multifunction Printer, you simply have to scan the document, then you can skip right to sending it as a fax.
  • You cannot send fax anywhere: The main disadvantage of cloud-capable Multifunction Printer is that they won’t allow you to send a fax anywhere. You have to be where the printer is, unlike digital portals.
  • It’s not as scalable: One advantage of cloud faxing solutions is that they’re easily scalable. After all, you don’t need to buy more machines or get more space. A Multifunction Printer doesn’t offer such an advantage. You may need to buy additional units if you want to scale up, which can lead to higher maintenance costs, not to mention more desk space. 
  • There’s downtime. Another notable advantage of cloud faxing solutions is there’s typically no downtime. After all, the online portal is up almost all the time. Meanwhile, with a fax machine, if it breaks, you have to wait for repairs. In addition, if someone’s using it, you also have to wait for it to be available. Alas, even if an Multifunction Printer is cloud-capable, it can still suffer from downtime for the same reasons fax machines have some downtime.

The Bottom Line 

Not everyone has a multifunction printer, and unless you had plans to cloud fax using the device, it’s not likely that your printer is cloud-capable. Suppose you’re looking into cloud faxing on a multifunction printer to figure out if it’s worth it. How is it any different from regular cloud faxing services? Does it perhaps offer unique perks? Hopefully, this guide answered those questions and more about Multifunction Printer. 

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