VoIP Faxing: Faxing over VoIP can be a significant challenge, especially for a business that depends on numerous multi-page faxes. If your business depends on faxing, like a mortgage company or an attorney's office we recommend that you keep a dedicated copper line (POTS line) for your fax machine or use an online Internet Fax service. If you are an occasional user of faxing, then with a few configuration changes on your current fax machine you may find fairly reliable faxing over your VoIP Internet connection. For those of you that fall somewhere in between we suggest a cost effective reliable recommended Internet faxing service, which offers additional benefits that most businesses find appealing.
Faxing (Facsimile Transmission) has been a standard for years with most of the faxing protocols having been written with the intent of sending the faxing signals over traditional phone circuits using sounds. Those sounds were then turned back into data by the receiving fax machine. The receiving fax machine was designed to expect a constant steady transmission of data without any loss. If loss of data occurred then the receiving fax machine would shut down the transmission. VoIP behaves differently in that voice is first converted into data packets and then sent over the Internet connections to their final destination. These voice data packets may take slightly different times to their arrival point. When that happens some packets may get discarded, but the end result is that the receiving VoIP device has enough packets to make a clear and understandable conversation.
Fax machines (also multi-function machines) set ECM as a default to on. This setting causes the
receiving fax machine to analyze the received data frames and detect any data that may be corrupted. Any noise,
lost packets, or poor signal strength can cause part of the the transmission to be lost which then triggers a
retransmit signal to be sent until an error free frame is received. This causes retransmits more often over
VoIP due to some packet loss, latency or jitter which exist on an Internet connection. These retransmits
increase the call duration, quickly adding to the instability of the fax, requiring additional retransmits which then
cause a failure with a communication error reported by the receiving fax machine.
Disabling ECM, will result in the receiving fax machine to accept a transmission with some frames that may have bits of information missing, but still resulting in a completed fax, which should be of acceptable quality.
Companies that depend on multiple page faxes inbound and outbound should first and foremost use a dedicated copper phone line. A great alternative later technology choice would be to use an Internet fax service.
Better fax protocols for transmissions over IP have been in existence for some time, but this has not seemed to
alleviate many user's major issues with faxing over VoIP. Anything but traditional copper lines are still
suspect when it comes to faxes for heavy users. However, now VoIP services
are offering services that work extremely well and provide apps that can
benefit organizing and distributing faxes.
Too many businesses, like attorneys, real estate offices and medical facilities depend on a stable full proof fax environment and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Which leads us to where the latest technology is for faxing and we believe it is with using an established Internet fax service.
Some businesses are ideal for Cloud Based Fax Services or Internet Fax. If you fall into this category, then this could be the best choice.