What Is a Digital Fax?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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A digital fax is a type of fax document that is sent and sometimes received as an electronic document rather than a paper document that is printed out using a standard fax machine. The benefit of a digital fax is that the electronic document can be stored in a file on a computer hard drive and printed when and as the recipient requires a hard copy. Considered a greener alternative to traditional faxing, it is possible to send a digital fax using hardware and software developed for the purpose.

One of the more common ways that consumers use to send or receive a digital fax is by engaging the services of an electronic fax service provider. With this application, the client is provided with login credentials to access the provider’s network, uploads a copy of the electronic document he or she wishes to send, provides the recipient’s information, and then sends the document. Depending on how that recipient prefers to receive the document, the fax may be routed to a traditional fax machine and printed out as a hard copy, or be in the form of an email fax that the recipient can save on his or her computer hard drive for later use.


Along with setting up an account with a digital fax provider, it is also possible to purchase hardware that allows users to make use of any type of Internet connection to send or receive faxes. With this application, the hardware is attached as a peripheral device to a desktop of laptop computer. Software is then installed on the computer to allow the attached device to provide a function that is similar to a standard fax machine. Many designs allow users to insert a hard copy of a document to be faxed directly into the device, then follow basic instructions to initiate the send. Some models also allow the user to select an electronic file saved on the computer hard drive, provide the necessary contact information for the recipient and send the fax without the need to use a print copy.

One of the chief benefits of using this fax approach is that the amount of paper consumed in the process is decreased. Since electronic documents can be used instead of hard copies, this helps to reduce supply expenses for an office. In addition, the ease of pulling and electronic document and using either a digital fax service or some sort of equipment attached to the computer means that users can send faxes at lower costs, something that is especially important if the business routinely uses faxing as part of the business operation.


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