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What is Fax over IP (E-Faxing)?

Everything is going IP these days. The same is true for businesses across the world.

From voice to video surveillance systems businesses across the world are migrating their legacy analog systems to those that are IP based. Of course, the time tested method for sending and receiving important business documents – fax – is also undergoing this migration.

What is Fax over IP (FoIP) or eFaxing?

Fax over IP (also known as FoIP) refers to the method and technology of sending fax documents over an IP network (local or wide area). This is different from the way faxes have traditionally been handled.

For years the sending and receiving of fax documents have been handled over the PSTN or Publicly Switched Telephone Network. With Fax over IP fax documents by-pass the PSTN completely.

This is similar to how VoIP (Voice over IP) works but requires additional network bandwidth due to the increased size of fax documents.

How does Fax over IP work?

The concept behind how Fax over IP works is very straight forward (especially if you're already familiar with how VoIP works).

With Fax over IP your fax document is first packetized, then encapsulated in a transport protocol and sent from "Point A” to "Point B". Point A and Point B are typically fax machines which interface with a Fax over IP gateway (like FaxxBochs) or some sort of IP adapter.

These devices allow fax machines to interface with an IP network as well as conduct the digitizing and encapsulating of the fax document. The diagram below shows a typical Fax over IP set-up usinga faxover IP gateway.

Benefits of Fax over IP (eFaxing)

In reading about Fax over IP you might be thinking that Fax over IP simply mimics traditional faxing capabilities. While Fax over IP does closely mimic the general set-up and use of traditional faxing it does come with several unique benefits:

  1. Unified network connectivity – Fax over IP leverages your existing LAN and WAN IP networks so you don't have to manage or pay for a separate analog network.
  2. Advanced management – Bringing fax documents into IP realm allows for fax documents to be easily archived, sorted and emailed.
  3. Lower cost – With one less network to pay for and manage there is a definitive costsavings in using Fax over IP. Fax over IP also tends to be more cost effective on a per-minute rate versus faxing over the PSTN.
  4. Remote usage – There are many locations throughout the world in which a fax line cannot be provisioned. In areas such as these individuals typically rely on satellite connections, like satellite Internet, which allows faxing over IP. ( Note that until solutions like FaxxBochs came along, faxing over a satellite internet connection was very difficult )

Is efaxing reliable?

Yes, now we can confidently say that efaxing is reliable! Advances in technology and new efaxing offerings have made fax over IP a reality. One such solution being Sangoma's FAXStation, an error-free fax service designed to address the T.38 fax limitations, providing you with the most reliable and secure efaxing solution on the market. No more T.38 faxing errors stalling your business operations!  

What about Fax over IP being hit or miss?

Ah yes! Let's get back to this.

Due to the nature of IP technology, there have traditionally been many hurdles to successfully implementing Fax over IP.

Like voice, Fax over IP is subject to issues such as latency, packet loss, and jitter. With voice calls, you can typically deal with these issues as they don't substantially impact the result of the call.

But when it comes to faxing anything less than perfect document transmission is unacceptable.

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