Believe it or not, fax machines are still popular and a staple office product in 2023.
These machines scan your document and message, then send it to a receiver in print form. Society hasn’t labelled these machines as “relics of the past” since they constantly prove themselves useful. To give you an idea of why, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why fax machines are still used today.
1. Faxes Are Legally Binding Documents
Asking “why are fax machines still used if we can send documents via the internet?” is like asking why businesses need printers despite efforts to conserve paper. The reason is that all faxed and printed documents are legally binding, unlike emails.
Faxed papers are direct and tamper-proof since the receiver always gets a copy of the original document. On the other hand, discussing contracts via email can put you at risk due to vague terms, insecure storage, and misinterpretations.
This is why law firms and lawyers still have fax machines in their offices. They can just run a document into the machine and have them sent to the receiver’s line.
2. They Make Signing Paperwork Easier
Written signatures are preferred in almost every industry since they are cheaper than electronic signatures. The former is traceable since it’s biologically linked to your writing style; the latter relies on protection you often need to purchase. While electronic signatures are convenient, not everyone can afford their security.
So what’s the solution for this? One answer: fax machines!
Since all faxed documents—like contracts—are legally binding, you can ask the recipient to sign on the paper and have them return that copy to you. Two parties can close an agreement via fax in minutes, increasing workplace productivity.
3. They Provide Confirmation Pages
Nowadays, confirmation receipts are essential in fast-paced work environments to help you track whether your receiver got the message. Unfortunately, emails do not confirm anything unless the receiver confirms receipt.
Enter fax machines: They provide confirmation pages that contain the time, date, number of pages, and destination number of your communications. Your machine only prints this out once the recipient signalled they received the message.
Fax machines also track your recent transmissions in a log containing all the information about when you sent a message and the destination numbers. While this doesn’t act as a confirmation page, your history is still saved and accessible.
4. Faxes Are More Secure Emails
The convenience of emails is why they’re popular, but with this convenience comes an increased risk of security breaches. Hackers have found more innovative ways to phish by sending fake yet believable emails. Senders can also attach malware or viruses to an email despite the receiver having cybersecurity measures in place.
Fax machines eliminate these problems since the message is delivered through telephone lines. All files you send via fax are meant for one person, meaning no one can interfere with or intercept their delivery.
Healthcare facilities still have fax machines since these meet HIPAA standards. Using these machines secures and protects the confidentiality of patient health information.
5. Fax Machines Are Reliable
Successfully sending an email or text message requires an internet connection. An interruption to your signal automatically cancels the transmission, leaving your recipient waiting. This issue doesn’t affect fax machines since they rely only on telephone lines. Even when the electricity is down, telephones still function!
6. Fax Machines Are Still Used Everywhere
Several industries need and still use fax machines. They use these to send documents to their clients and other businesses safely and securely, whether they’re big corporations, law firms, government agencies, or construction companies.
7. Their Technology Has Been Updated
Faxes did a great job adapting to technological changes as the arrival of the internet pushed manufacturing companies to find ways to update their fax machines. As a result, you can now send faxes via email messages, cell phones, and computers!
Some fax machines have merged with photocopying machines, also known as multifunction copiers. This means you can duplicate documents and send them at the same time.
8. Analog Machines Are Trendy
The love for analog machines seems destined despite societal changes. Consider vinyl records and cassette players: they phased out during the 90s yet still sell in today’s markets. Manufacturers have removed film cameras from stores since people transitioned to digicams, yet today’s photo-developing stores are running out of film rolls.
Even if fax machines get ‘phased out,’ there will be legions of people ready to keep them around. But, given their current trajectory and the uses we have outlined, it seems unlikely that will happen anytime soon.
Stay Innovative and Productive With Fax Machines
The next time someone asks, “Why are fax machines still used?” You know what to answer.
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