Now in the Internet age, most would rarely see the use of fax machine (or facsimile machines). But unknown to
most, this was a helpful tool to send scanned printed material from one point to the next. It is
something essential to businesses where text and/or images could be sent to a telephone number that
is connected to either a printer or an output device that has printing capabilities.
How the Fax Made a Difference in the 1800s
For the benefit of those who may not know, the first fax machine came out in 1842. Scottish clockmaker
Alexander Bain sent the world’s first picture-by-wire using analog telegraph technology at the time.
From there, facsimile machines underwent changes and enhancements, broadening its capabilities that
helped individuals and businesses in various mediums.
The practice of sending and receiving documents or photos have since changed thanks mainly to the
vast solutions the online age has brought upon us. Scanning materials have been made easier and
mobile devices now come with built-in cameras that make it easier to send or share anything either
through some messaging app or through electronic mail. Given these modern solutions, do fax machines
still have used in the modern world we live in today?
Though they may not be the primary machines one would consider when sending documents or photos,
there are still some who use fax machines for daily transactions. There are businesses, government and
academic institutions that still rely on facsimile machines to transact. With the diminishing numbers,
could this technology end up passé like other ones that have been shelved?
This is a common belief by many, particularly the ones who only know of the fax as an ancient device to
aid any business entity. But as far as the impending extinction of facsimile machines, there are studies
that beg to differ. In fact, some say that it is actually growing and not dwindling.
Fax will Remain and Continue to Grow
Based on the latest research made by the International Data Group (IDG), 82-percent of their
respondents believe that fax usage has actually increased with the remaining believing that it has gone
down. Looking ahead, the IDG even adds that usage will continue to grow in the coming years.
A reason behind this is because fax transmission remains a trusted method of securing information
exchange. Unlike sending captured or scanned photos, data or images cannot be iterated – meaning
what you get is what you see.
Such is a reality in the modern world where people can easily alter numbers, words, and images through
the aid of some third-party program. With the lack of authentication in question, this unfortunate
practice leads to deception and misrepresentation, one that would eventually lead to unfair practice and
potentially legal disputes that waste the time of companies.
Hence, it comes to no surprise why companies and individuals should be cautious and wary of captured
or scanned documents that are normally forwarded either in BMP or JPEG format. Some attribute it to
traditional practice by old folks even though it makes plenty of sense when it comes to transacting
Hackers are Kept Out
Aside from the validity angle, there are threats that come with advanced technology. At the top of the
list are the threats that malware or ransomware brings, meaning sent documents to end up as the ticket
for hackers to not only deceive but create mischief within business networks. Faxes from a standalone
machine to another standalone machine cannot be breached by a hacker compared to advanced modes
of delivery of needed materials.
Security is pertinent to most companies and such is a concern to these days. While some claim that they
have IT people on the job, the fact remains that hackers find ways of breaching network securities using
various and complicated means.
Cloud Faxing is Coming
Rather than see it die, fax machines are actually expected to get a reboot. With cloud computing on the
rise, cloud faxing is expected to help any individual or entity ascent to new heights, and right now a lot
of online faxing services are available too.
The improvement will help businesses and individuals the ability to send or receive secure
communications using a fax machine with ease using their desktops. The whole process is done through
the web and includes provisions for developing own protocols such as setting proper permissions and
restrictions to ensure only those authorized personnel are able to view or download confidential faxes.
So the next time you see a fax machine in a room, don’t just deem it as an age-old machine soon to join
other forgotten devices that helped organizations to where they are today. They are still pretty much
reliable and technology, for now, is not entirely ready to replace them completely.