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The Difference Between Cloud Fax and Email

Published on 26 July 13
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Communication in the digital age has evolved rapidly in recent years, from telephone and fax to email, instant messaging, and cloud faxing. While on the surface cloud faxing may seem identical to email, the two services vary in several ways. More businesses are turning to cloud fax to send and receive documents, but if you are having trouble telling the difference between that and email, then have no fear.

The most immediate difference between email and cloud fax is that email is insecure. When an email is sent, the path it travels is scoured and viewed by ISPs, firewalls, bots and virus checkers. If an email contains an attached document, this as well as the body of the email will be stored and viewed several times as it travels to its destination. Email attachments are also themselves prone to viruses, creating the danger that a virus could be spread to the recipientâs network.

The reason that traditional, manual fax did not become extinct when email was invented is because it is much more secure, and it is this feature which makes cloud faxing stand out from email. Like traditional fax, cloud fax uses Secure Socket layer (SSL) protocols and PSTN-based fax transmissions to send encrypted data, making the transmissions themselves inherently secure. This is due to the fact that to gain access to a line, it must be manually hacked through physical access or switching equipment.

When a fax is sent, the data is disassembled and converted into base64 binary. This is then transmitted down the line to the recipient fax machine, where it is reassembled after the machine decodes the binary files. The data is then printed out for the recipient to read. Because of this method of transmission, if a third party were to gain access to the line, the data would be unreadable. It would appear as just noise, as it can only be reassembled by the recipient fax machine.

Modern cloud fax services are even more secure than this. As well as PSTN-based fax transmissions, many services are compliant with the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA has particular requirements for exchanging PHI and specifically around faxing PHI to ensure that the privacy and security of the information is protected throughout the entire document lifecycle.

Other differences include the ability to track the trail of a cloud fax. Often when an email is sent, it disappears from the senderâs sight until it arrives in the recipientâs inbox. Cloud fax services, however, allow the passage of a fax to be tracked live through an outbox. If a fax subsequently fails to send, this will be relayed to the sender in real time. The data itself is transmitted much faster than manual fax machines. So rather than having to wait for the document to be printed in front of you, it is relayed to your screen in a matter of moments. Important documents are thus available at the click of a button, saving space and a huge amount of time.

While on the surface the mechanics of email and cloud fax may be similar, in reality it is the processes and functions in which they differ. Increasing numbers of professionals dealing with sensitive documents such as medical organizations are using cloud fax. Cloud fax is increasingly becoming the go-to system for many businesses due to the ease of use and its inherent security. However, the advantages of Internet-based services over more traditional manual services are numerous. As well as being cost effective and eco-friendly, cloud fax offers the freedom of mobility due to it being accessed online. The service can be used anywhere, anytime, allowing for great flexibility in terms of business processes.


Written by Mari Westberry, Senior Sales Consultant, SecureCare Technologies, Inc. SecureCare securely digitizes, processes and stores sensitive information. Today it provides a âsuper secureâ cloud fax service Sfax and Scrypt, a cloud-based document scanning and archiving solution.
















Communication in the digital age has evolved rapidly in recent years, from telephone and fax to email, instant messaging, and cloud faxing. While on the surface cloud faxing may seem identical to email, the two services vary in several ways. More businesses are turning to cloud fax to send and receive documents, but if you are having trouble telling the difference between that and email, then have no fear.

The most immediate difference between email and cloud fax is that email is insecure. When an email is sent, the path it travels is scoured and viewed by ISPs, firewalls, bots and virus checkers. If an email contains an attached document, this as well as the body of the email will be stored and viewed several times as it travels to its destination. Email attachments are also themselves prone to viruses, creating the danger that a virus could be spread to the recipientâs network.

The reason that traditional, manual fax did not become extinct when email was invented is because it is much more secure, and it is this feature which makes cloud faxing stand out from email. Like traditional fax, cloud fax uses Secure Socket layer (SSL) protocols and PSTN-based fax transmissions to send encrypted data, making the transmissions themselves inherently secure. This is due to the fact that to gain access to a line, it must be manually hacked through physical access or switching equipment.

When a fax is sent, the data is disassembled and converted into base64 binary. This is then transmitted down the line to the recipient fax machine, where it is reassembled after the machine decodes the binary files. The data is then printed out for the recipient to read. Because of this method of transmission, if a third party were to gain access to the line, the data would be unreadable. It would appear as just noise, as it can only be reassembled by the recipient fax machine.

Modern cloud fax services are even more secure than this. As well as PSTN-based fax transmissions, many services are compliant with the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA has particular requirements for exchanging PHI and specifically around faxing PHI to ensure that the privacy and security of the information is protected throughout the entire document lifecycle.

Other differences include the ability to track the trail of a cloud fax. Often when an email is sent, it disappears from the senderâs sight until it arrives in the recipientâs inbox. Cloud fax services, however, allow the passage of a fax to be tracked live through an outbox. If a fax subsequently fails to send, this will be relayed to the sender in real time. The data itself is transmitted much faster than manual fax machines. So rather than having to wait for the document to be printed in front of you, it is relayed to your screen in a matter of moments. Important documents are thus available at the click of a button, saving space and a huge amount of time.

While on the surface the mechanics of email and cloud fax may be similar, in reality it is the processes and functions in which they differ. Increasing numbers of professionals dealing with sensitive documents such as medical organizations are using cloud fax. Cloud fax is increasingly becoming the go-to system for many businesses due to the ease of use and its inherent security. However, the advantages of Internet-based services over more traditional manual services are numerous. As well as being cost effective and eco-friendly, cloud fax offers the freedom of mobility due to it being accessed online. The service can be used anywhere, anytime, allowing for great flexibility in terms of business processes.

Written by Mari Westberry, Senior Sales Consultant, SecureCare Technologies, Inc. SecureCare securely digitizes, processes and stores sensitive information. Today it provides a âsuper secureâ cloud fax service Sfax and Scrypt, a cloud-based document scanning and archiving solution.

The Difference Between Cloud Fax and Email - Image 1

Secure Internet Fax | Online Fax Service | HIPAA Compliant Fax | Sfax

http://www.sfaxme.com

Sfax is the industry-leading HIPAA compliant internet fax service with digital signature. Designed originally for healthcare, Sfax is a completely secure cloud fax service and is also SOX compliant and GLBA compliant.

This blog is listed under Telecommunications Community

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  1. 06 April 15
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    It's amazing how technology today makes our lives easy. I haven't thought much about online fax because I still use fax the old-fashioned way. Anyway, thanks for this info. This might be a good opportunity to transcend to this kind of technology.

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