How to Take Advantage of a Virtual Dedicated Fax Line Service
Having a dedicated fax line has always been the surefire way to avoid interruptions when sending and receiving faxes with a fax machine. Traditionally, these are extra phone lines that you have to install in your office so that they can be used exclusively for fax transmissions. Businesses without these lines often ran into fax problems, resulting in paper waste and varying degrees of frustration!
Today, thanks to online faxing, there's no need to have these lines. That's right, you can fax without a phone line by using your Internet connection to access a virtual fax line that redirects incoming faxes to your computer. In this article, we'll talk about some of the common ways you can get a dedicated fax line, but most importantly, you'll learn how you can start faxing in just a few minutes without the cost of a fax line.
Digital dedicated lines work just the same as common ones, with the added benefit that they let you receive electronic faxes readable on any computer, smartphone or tablet. They also make faxing cheaper and faster. This is your chance to improve your communications and learn how to send a fax without a home phone line.
What is a Dedicated Fax Line?
A fax line is a physical or digital line used to transmit analog or digital faxes. Landlines can also be used to send and receive phone calls, but the idea is that these lines are only used for faxing. Digital fax lines can only be used for faxing.
Businesses prefer to install a dedicated line for faxing to avoid interruptions during transmission and to ensure that faxes can be received automatically.
Do I need a dedicated phone line for faxing? No. You can either use your regular phone line (and risk interruptions in delivery) or sign up for a virtual line with an online fax service, which you can learn more about below.
What's The Difference Between a Fax Line and a Phone Line?
A fax line is a type of telephone line designed specifically for the transmission of faxes. Fax lines, also known as dedicated fax lines, are used to send and receive faxes using a fax machine or a computer with fax capabilities.
A telephone line, on the other hand, is a communication channel used for telephone calls. Telephone lines can also be used to send faxes, but they are not specifically designed for this purpose and may not provide the same level of reliability as a dedicated fax line. In addition, telephone lines are typically used for voice communication, while fax lines are primarily used for sending and receiving faxes.
How to Get a Physical Dedicated Fax Line
You can get a fax line by requesting one from your telephone company. The fax line service provider will charge you for installing and opening a new physical line for you.
The process of setting up a fax line is the same as installing a standard telephone voice line, which means you'll have to wait several days for experts to arrive at your home or office. This type of line is required for traditional fax machines. Sure, you could just plug it into the phone booth, but you run the risk of interruptions and delays.
Another way to connect your fax machine to a dedicated fax line is to use external USB devices. You can plug them into your computer and add new features, including the ability to send faxes.
This method of connecting fax to a computer is not so popular though because you still need a physical line and you have to add to your expenses the cost of the USB device. One of the most popular devices for this purpose is Magic Jack.
How to Get a Virtual Dedicated Fax Line
These days you can fax without a phone line. If you fax regularly, there is a better way to do it, with a dedicated fax line that works faster than a physical one and stays active 24/7 to both receive and send faxes with Gmail. I’m talking about online faxing. Right now it provides the easiest way to get a cheap fax line, proving to be more cost effective than traditional phone lines.
Online fax services allow you to set up and have a dedicated fax line in minutes. They use the Internet to transmit faxes, with a type of technology that can, among other things, convert incoming faxes into digital files that you can read directly on your screen.
The dedicated fax line service they provide is always ready to receive faxes, it doesn't matter if you are away from your office. Faxes arrive automatically.
One of the best things about digital phone lines is that they are very easy to set up, basically all you have to do is go to the online fax service of your choice and create a new account.
This makes it extremely easy to set up a fax line at home for example. Services like like eFax let you create a test account for free.
You will be asked to choose between local and toll-free numbers from a list a available numbers. Pick one, and it will be ready to receive faxes after you complete the account creation.
Learn how to get a free online fax number on our guide to receive fax on email.
Understanding How Your Virtual Fax Line Works
Once you have chosen a Google fax number, it will be linked to your Gmail address, helping you receive a send a fax at any time.
When you send faxes to that number, the contents will be transmitted to fax servers owned by your provider, where they will be converted into a digital document, usually the conversion is from fax to PDF, because it’s a type of file that can be read for free across various devices.
It's important to note that people sending you faxes won't notice anything different when they send you a fax. That's because your digital fax number is no different than a regular phone number!
Finally, the PDF file is forwarded to your email in a message that contains additional information about the fax transmission. Now, instead of waiting for the fax to arrive, turning on the machine and all those time-consuming steps, all you have to do is check your email for new messages or enable desktop/mobile notifications.
For businesses that have an existing number and want to move it to a virtual line, online fax services offer what is called a "porting" process. This process moves your number to a digital platform, but may take a few days to complete.
Any number you move to an online fax service needs to propagate over the Internet in order to work properly, and that's something you can't speed up. It usually takes about 5 days for it to be fully functional. During this time, you'll receive a temporary virtual fax number at no additional cost.
How much Does It Cost to Get a Fax Line?
The cost of a fax line can vary depending on the type of fax service you choose and your location. Here are some common types of fax services and their associated costs:
- Landline fax service: This is a traditional fax service that uses a dedicated phone line for faxing. The cost of a landline fax service will depend on your phone service provider and the specific plan you choose. It may include a monthly fee for the phone line between $10-$30, as well as any long-distance or international charges for sending or receiving faxes.
- Fax-to-email service: This service allows you to send and receive faxes using your email account, without the need for a dedicated fax line or physical fax machine. The cost of a fax-to-email service will depend on the provider you choose and the specific plan you select. But plans are withing the $5-$15 dollar range, and includes hundreds of pages to fax per month.
Typically, using a landline to fax is the priciest choice, whereas faxing via the internet or email tends to be more budget-friendly. It's wise to shop around and compare various options to locate the fax service that meets your needs and budget requirements.