Clunky traditional fax machines are often seen as outdated technology. And yet, in many industries, the demand for faxing isn’t just thriving—it’s on the rise. But this doesn’t mean an increase in the sales of fax machines.
Even before the pandemic, fax machines were on their way out of the picture for many businesses. These oversized machines are expensive and costly to maintain. They’re also prone to downtime and limited in terms of the number of faxes that can be sent and how many employees can use them at once.
With about 60% of U.S. workers with a job that can be done remotely continuing to work from home, access to traditional office equipment like fax machines and fax lines is often limited.
Cloud-based fax services are rapidly replacing traditional fax machines. With a fax cloud service, you can send and receive faxes from anywhere, at any time, as long as you have a compatible device and an internet connection.
But what happens when you need to send a printed fax? A multifunction printer (MFP) can help. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what an all-in-one printer with fax capabilities can do and how you can use it to send your online cloud fax.
What Is a Multifunction Cloud Printer?
A multifunction cloud printer combines fax-to-cloud functionality with print-to-email technology. A cloud MFP can do all of the following: regular printing, scanning and copying.
Multifunction printers vary in size, cost and in the functionalities they offer. In general, MFPs allow users to print documents from their computers and to copy or scan printed documents. The best cloud multifunction printers let you take advantage of these capabilities without purchasing multiple pieces of equipment.
What Is a Multifunction Printer vs. All-in-One Printer?
In many ways, these two types of printers are similar, and the terms “multifunction” and “all-in-one” are often used interchangeably. Although individual printer models may vary in their capabilities and tools, if the all-in-one printer/fax/scanner/copier is internet-enabled and supports print-to-email technology, you can use it to send faxes using an online cloud faxing solution like eFax—no traditional fax machine required!
Once you’re done setting up your eFax account, you’ll be given a unique email address that you can use to send faxes via email using your MFP. Whether you want to quickly fax a document that you’ve already printed or need to sign and send paperwork, a multifunction printer with fax-through-email capability makes it quick and easy.
Even better, all-in-one printers are usually more affordable than actual fax machines and have a much smaller footprint. Meaning, you can add them to a small office—or even your home office—and reap the benefits of a printer, fax machine and scanner in one.
Can I Fax from My All-in-One Printer?
If you’re used to traditional faxing and are now finding yourself installing a multifunction printer in your home office or other small office space, one of the first questions that may run through your mind is: Will my fax machine work without a landline?
The short answer is yes. Instead of adding a dedicated landline for faxing, we recommend that you take advantage of multifunction printer fax-to-email technology. Aside from not having to worry about the hassle and cost of installing a landline, this faxing solution is simple and easy to use. Here’s how it works:
- Scan the printed document that you need to fax
- Instead of printing it or uploading it to your connected device, select the option to scan to email
- Hit Send, and your fax should be on its way to the recipient
Can You Fax from the Cloud?
Don’t have a multifunction printer fax-to-email solution on hand? Faxing from the cloud offers an easy alternative.
While you won’t be able to fax printed documents without the use of a scanner or copier, cloud faxing solutions still allow you to send faxes from anywhere, without having to rely on a clunky fax machine or a dedicated landline.
You can use cloud faxing alongside your all-in-one scanner/printer/fax equipment, but when you need to send and receive digital faxes, you can do so via the cloud, without using your printer. When you need to sign a document before faxing it or send a document that you have a printed copy of, your multifunction printer will come in handy.
How Does Cloud-Based Faxing Work?
Traditional faxing requires a fax machine and a dedicated landline to transmit and receive documents. Cloud-based faxing eliminates all of these. Instead, you use an online cloud fax service—meaning, faxing happens over the internet.
With enterprise cloud fax solutions, you start by creating an account with your online fax service, which then gives you multiple options for sending faxes, such as via a mobile app, a web interface, Gmail, Outlook and your multifunction printer, just to name a few. The process looks like this:
- Download the fax app or open the online fax service in a web browser on your desktop or laptop
- Upload the document you want to fax
- Create and add a fax cover sheet to your document (skip this step if not needed)
- Next, add your recipient’s fax number. This could be a fax number for a traditional fax machine or for another online fax service
- Click Send, and your fax is delivered quickly and securely!
If your recipient is also using cloud-based faxing, they can view a digital copy of your fax and print it out on their own choice of devices. If they are using a traditional fax machine, your fax will be received in the same way as if it had been sent on a fax machine.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Fax Services?
A cloud fax solution offers a multitude of benefits, including:
- No more relying on fax machines. Traditional fax machines are expensive, as well as costly to maintain
- No need to add a dedicated landline. Traditional fax machines require a landline to send and receive faxes. These can be costly to install and require a monthly payment to your telephone provider
- The ability to send a fax from anywhere. If you need to send a fax while you’re away from the office, you’ll be out of luck until you get back to your fax machine. Online fax services make it possible to send and receive faxes from anywhere, at any time. As long as you have a device and an internet connection, you can send a fax
- As your business grows, your online fax solution can scale with you. Where you’d have to purchase additional machines and invest a lot more time into sending more faxes, with online faxing services, you can send more faxes with a few clicks or expand this capability to more employees with ease
- No more worrying about fax machine downtime. Cloud-based faxing eliminates this time-consuming and costly side effect of traditional fax machines. It also helps you save on maintenance costs!
Is a Cloud Fax Secure and Reliable?
Traditional faxes may seem more secure than email or other forms of communication because they are less prone to cyber attacks. However, documents left unattended at the fax machine can get lost or be seen by those not authorized to see them. Anyone walking by the machine can pick up a newly printed fax.
Cloud fax solves this issue. Faxes are sent directly to the recipient via a secure and reliable interface. No worrying about someone else picking up your fax or it getting misplaced on its way to its destination.
Another threat associated with traditional fax machines was how easy it was to type in the wrong number. But with online fax from eFax, you can store your fax numbers in your account, making it quick and easy to select who your fax is going to.
Getting Started with Cloud Faxing
A multifunction printer can allow you to replace your traditional fax machine, as well as other printers, scanners and copiers in your office or home office. While it may not be connected to a landline or have independent fax capabilities, as long as it offers a print-to-email function, you can use your MFP to send and receive faxes. This makes it possible to sign and send documents or fax printed documents without having to first scan or copy them onto your computer.
Ready to start using your multifunction printer to send faxes? Start with eFax today!