Here is the option I recommend to replace your fax machine while eliminating paper, ink, and time in your small office. This is particularly satisfying if you receive numerous fax solicitations that cost you paper and expensive printer ink or toner. You’ll avoid unnecessarily printing faxes which saves on paper and ink costs, and also helps the environment.
This solution converts incoming faxes to PDFs and stores them in a location on your network — like a shared folder on a computer, a server, or storage device — that someone monitors. From that location, the files can then be printed, deleted, or uploaded into another system. For example, loaded into a patient’s chart, in the case of a healthcare office.
If you already have an existing fax line, I recommend the printer Solution: HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer
It is one of the only printers on the market that has the ability to save faxes to a file. I’m not sure why this is the case. It seems like this would be a popular feature. In addition to
It is easy to install and configure.
After configuring the fax settings, just plug it into your network configure it to save faxes as a PDF file on a computer or a network location. If saving to a network location, it will look like this, include the back-slashes: \\ComputerOrServerName\SharedFolderName (Be sure to remember to give the proper permissions to the SharedFolderName folder when you set up the shared folder.)
That should do it.
If a simple printer doesn’t meet all your needs, here are some additional options, for managing faxes. These options may increase in cost and/or complexity.
- Internet Fax solution
- There are a number of companies offering a service of this type. They can be found by doing an internet search using “Internet Fax”.
- This service allows you to send and receive faxes via email.
- I’ve seen the service cost about $10/Month ($120/Year) subscription per fax line
- If you have an existing fax line, you may want to port your number this service.
- The one advantage this service provides is that since there isn’t anything installed at your location, it will function in case of a disaster. Meaning it has disaster recovery already built right into it. You don’t have to worry about having access to it. You will have access from anywhere, anytime, on any device that has email installed on it.
- However, if you’re in a regulated industry, like healthcare, you’ll need to make sure the company and service you choose are compliant with the appropriate regulations. For example, HIPAA.
- Network Fax Server/Appliance
- This is the most expensive and complex option, but does offer the most control of the other options.
- Solutions can run $1500 or more and requires a hardware and software installation.
- This option will require it to be installed by a computer technician either provided by the company providing the server, or by you.
- It may offer features not provided by others, so be sure to compare features with the Internet Fax option. Technology is advancing and the feature gaps between the two are closing.
As always, be sure to always understand your reasons — both now and future needs — for using technology to solve the business problem or challenge. Understanding the reasons will quickly identify which features are most relevant and lead you to making the right solution choice.