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Are Fax Machines on Their Way Out?

written by: •edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 4/18/2011

Fax machines are expensive and pointless, so quit making excuses for keeping one in your office. Get with the times, ditch the fax, and save yourself some money by using a scanner and email instead.

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    Ditch the Fax

    Fax machines are dumb. They require a phone line to work, produce images with diminished quality compared to what you can get out of a flatbed scanner, and the technology has been obsolete since the 1990's. I don't understand why so many people still adhere to this archaic technology when a cheap scanner and email is all you need to get faster, cheaper, superior results. Are fax machines on their way out? To some degree, yes, but they should have already been gone years ago.

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    Fax Machines are Obsolete

    Office Space Fax Machine There are many reasons why fax machines are obsolete, and they all include alternative methods of getting the same, if not better, results. For example, you could use an Internet fax service that uses email to send faxes, so you don't need any extra hardware or software to make it work. If you have a Skype account, you can send faxes with Skype.

    I have seen people type a document on their computer, then print it out, then take that printed document and put into the feeder on a scanner or fax machine, then fax it. Talk about a waste of time, paper, ink, and money. There are so many ways to fax from your computer that there should be no reason to print anything before you fax.

    If you feel that fax is required because you have some form or document that is being filled out by hand, why not take the time to rebuild the form in Word or Excel or some Office equivalent application and then do it all electronically? It'll be cleaner and more organized, plus it'll save you time in the long run.

    (Image credit: 'Office Space' - Twentieth Century Fox)

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    Save Two Kinds of Green

    Operating a fax machine costs extra money, especially if you maintain a dedicated phone line just for the fax. On top of the added expense of the line, you also have to deal with paper, ink or toner. Think of how much money you could save in just a year by removing that regularly monthly expense of having an extra phone line. Is it really worth spending several hundred dollars a year to maintain outdated technology when better alternatives to fax machines are available?

    In addition to the money saving costs of getting rid of your fax, it's also greener to do so. Offices should make efforts to go paperless as much as possible. With off-site data backup services and cloud storage so common these days, there really is no reason to keep hard copies of printed documents. You just wind up with a bunch of papers that need to be stored, so they take up extra space that could be used for something more useful and still are at risk from fire, water, insects, rodents, and more. Get rid of your fax machine, cut down on paper usage, and go green. Also be sure to check out our article on greener ways to fax.

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    References