Remember when fax machines took up most of the office? Not to mention the annoying noises they made. Now, things are very different and faxing has evolved. With the emergence of online faxing services, faxing can take up no physical space at all. In fact, now you can send faxes just by installing a plugin to your existing software. It’s a very helpful feature for anyone who uses Microsoft Office, as it allows you to send a fax directly from Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The latter is incredibly useful, as you’ll be able to seamlessly communicate from email to fax.
But that’s not the only way fax and Microsoft Outlook can combine. It’s possible to set up fax machines to automatically forward messages to email — although you may need a little help setting that up. Indeed, Outlook is a very flexible tool, as anyone who regularly uses virtual phone systems will tell you – you can even start calls directly from your email.
The Benefits of Faxing With Microsoft Outlook
Sending faxes directly from Outlook sounds like a helpful little feature, but what’s the point of doing it? Well, for anyone who frequently uses email and needs to fax regularly, the convenience is a huge benefit. Instead of using your fax service’s online interface or making your way to the good old fax machine, you’ll have everything in one place through your Outlook app. You may even be able to send your fax machine to the recycling bin once you combine an online fax service with Outlook.
Anyone who uses Outlook regularly knows that it comes with incredibly useful features. In addition to the inbox tools like smart folders, junk filters, and easy email management, there are plenty of features that help enhance your online faxing. For example, you can use the scheduler to set a time to send a fax, save templates (ideal for confidential cover sheets), save contacts, block numbers, and turn on desktop notifications for any messages you receive.
However, while using Outlook for faxing is useful, you won’t have access to the full range of features that online faxing services will provide. Some faxing solutions will offer unlimited secure storage and dedicated support to help you with any issues.
Keeping Your Faxes Secure with Outlook
One common concern about combining faxing and Outlook is whether there is any reduction in security by doing so. We know that when done properly, online and offline faxing is a safe method of communication. But when you throw Outlook in the mix you add an extra layer of doubt. Although there have been security issues with Outlook in the past, if you practice good password hygiene your accounts should remain secure. The Outlook interface itself is much better too, so you can drag and drop your messages into the right file and don’t have to rely on clunky online fax dashboards or filing physical faxes.
Not everyone uses Outlook for their email – there are plenty of options on the market after all – but other email services aren’t nearly as accommodating to online faxing as Outlook is. Taking a look at major rivals Gmail, it’s a different story. First, you’ll need to subscribe to an online fax service that is Gmail compatible. Unfortunately, not every online fax service supports Gmail as it’s far more common to have Outlook compatibility. Although the setup from that point is fairly similar, by using Gmail for faxing you lose out on Outlook’s superior interface.
So, how do you set up Outlook to use online faxing? All you need to do is install the Windows Fax Driver – an incredibly easy process. From here it varies from service to service but generally, all you’ll need to send a fax is to open a new email, but for the email address field you’ll be sending it to your desired fax number through your fax service. So, it’ll look something like email@example.com – exactly as simple as sending an email.
Best Online Fax Services of 2020
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