Faxage Adds Additional Security Features to Its Online Fax Service

Internet fax service provider Faxage has enhanced the security features of its platform to ensure the integrity, confidentiality and availability of customer information in the Internet fax environment. The additional security measures are offered as standard features with all Faxage accounts.

The four new security features are:

1. SSL protection for the entire login session on the Faxage website interface.

2. SSL protection for all transactions on the Faxage Internet Fax API. This tool enables the Faxage service to be used as a fax back-end that integrates into the user’s back-office systems or software.

3. Enhanced secure email delivery of incoming faxes by allowing the delivery of password-protected SSL links rather than the actual fax content; PGP encryption of the content; and password protection of PDF fax documents using high-security AES encryption. In addition, TLS/SSL email transport layer security was added for server-to-server transport encryption.

4. Secure email fax sending using either PGP to encrypt the fax content or Faxage’s email TLS/SSL support.

Faxage made the move to boost its platform’s security as acceptance of Internet fax continues to grow in many business environments. The new security features meet the regulatory compliance of HIPAA, SOX, GLB and other compliance standards Faxage’s clients may face. “We are excited to offer these features to our clients and potential clients,” said Christian Watts of Colorado-based EC Data Systems, which owns and operates the Faxage service. “With the addition of these features, our security measures are among the strongest in the industry. This is a clear message that we understand and value our clients’ business requirements and continue to enhance our platform to meet or exceed them.”

Watts added that although Internet fax has privacy advantages over shared fax machines, a service provider must still provide the appropriate mechanism to protect electronic copies of faxes so clients can realize the benefits of Internet fax without introducing additional risk. Faxage’s new security features complement the online fax service’s reporting and customer-controlled account security levels by allowing for compliance monitoring that ensures security and effective organizational controls.

J2 Global Communications Dominates

Hollywood, California based J2 Global Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: JCOM) continues to expand its reach.  The company acquired MyFax.com when they purchased Ontario based Protus IP Solutions in December of 2010.  This brings to eight the number of online fax services owned and operated by J2.

J2 is truly a global business, operating out of 49 countries on 6 continents, offering online fax services, virtual phone, hosted email, email marketing and online backup services.

J2 has an impressive track record of growth.  With a reported gross profit of 211.31M and continuing increases in total assets and stockholder equity, J2 shows no signs of slowing down. Zacks Investment Research recently upgraded their recommendation for J2:

We upgrade our recommendation on j2 Global Communications (Nasdaq: JCOM) to Outperform. We believe j2 Global’s strong financial position and diversified product pipeline, coupled with the future growth prospects of outsourced value-added messaging services, will drive its valuation levels higher in the near future. (ref)

When it comes to customer service, J2 Global has a checkered history. The Better Business Bureau gave them an F rating due to the company’s failure to address customer complaints. Although the number of unaddressed complaints is small when compared to the size of their customer base, the fact that there are any at all is not complimentary. (ref)

J2 Global continues to acquire smaller competing businesses and continues to strengthen its position in the Internet software and services industry. J2 now operates MyFax.com, eFax.com, RapidFax.com, Send2Fax.com, SmartFax.com, TrustFax.com, eFaxCorporate.com and Fax.com.

Canada’s Online Fax Services Are Promoting Green Offices

Offices that are environmentally friendly are quickly becoming more a part of the external and internal policies of many companies. It’s been noted that many clients, as well as the businesses themselves prefer to work with an organization that has an eye towards making a minimum impact on the environment. This can be done through the promotion of policies that lessen the use of paper and other materials, which can substituted through electronic technology.

These days, it’s not only the larger corporations that are looking to move in this direction. Even medium, small and mini-organizations have come to the understanding that “going green” means more than just cutting down on the use of sticky notes and making an attempt at recycling materials. It can mean a code of ethics and an actual financial payoff in terms of cutting down on the use of office supplies and eliminating unnecessary expenditures. With the advent of fast Internet connections, today’s businesses are unable to ignore the benefits that can come with advanced technology.

With that in mind, Canada’s Axiatel’s Online Fax service is focusing on its online faxing opportunities that utilize VoIP technologies. Also known as “Internet faxing”, their services involve sending and receiving faxes through personal email accounts. This, in effect, eliminates the need for traditional paper faxes. This is a powerful selling point that Axiatel is promoting when you consider a way to send and receive faxes at near zero cost.

Traditionally, the Axiatel company has specialized in services that have allowed companies and their business professional personnel to connect and conduct business through remote VoIP, PBX and SIP systems. These virtual systems have provided the means to optimize employee time and increase mobility. Basically, all that is needed is an Internet connection and a laptop. However, their current emphasis is on promoting the use of online faxes as a means to cut office expenditures as well as promote a more positive image to the public. This is a powerful message that is being heard by Canadian companies.

In addition, while remaining mobile, an individual can also archive and take their faxes with them wherever they go. Those who receive online faxes enjoy the benefit of having the senders contact them directly, instead of attempting to catch up with a fax sender by standing next to a fax machine.

Axiatel has also expressed additional confidence in its philosophy and products by committing to donate one $, € or £ for each of its products used to Planéte Urgence, which is a charity that they have created in order to benefit the environment and promote green office technology. Through this charity, each monetary unit is the equivalent of one tree that has been planted. So far, over 15,000 trees have been planted through this initiative!

Wired Fax Lowered Cost of Yearly Subscriptions

As one of the leading providers of online fax services in the industry, Wired Fax has announced that it is currently offering a two-month free incentive to those customers who are signing up for annual subscriptions.

Wired Fax is considered to be one the top online fax service providers in the industry and is known specifically for its inexpensive online fax plans.

Sol Hershkowitz, the CEO of Wired Fax has stated that his company prides itself on its ability to provide a superior online fax service in conjunction with low pricing. With that in mind, the company wishes to take their service to the next level by providing two months of free service for new annual subscribers. He has also indicated that this new development is not just about pricing, but it’s also about the degree of confidence that Wired Fax has in its product.

This, in effect, means that when you sign up with Wired Fax for their annual service, you’re saving the cost of two month’s worth of online fax service. In addition, Wired Fax offers plans which include a basic online fax service that allows 100 incoming pages and 25 outgoing pages. The plans include increasing options up to the Pro Faxing plan. This plan includes 600 incoming pages and 400 outgoing pages. These plans, when compared to the overall online faxing industry, were already considered inexpensive. With the new annual subscription price reduction, there is even more incentive to consider Wired Fax.

While the low fees that are associated with Wired Fax have contributed greatly to the company’s success, there is also the consideration of the general public’s desire to “go green”. Online fax service requires no paper or ink and is, thus, more environment-friendly.

In addition, online fax services are an advantage for those individuals who are constantly away from home and the office. With online fax services, it now becomes possible to send and receive faxes from mobile phones. Busy signals are also no longer an issue with emailed faxes – something that has always been a problem with sending traditional faxes.

Wired Fax has also recently enhanced its services through the addition of new features. These have included bulk contact faxing; online storage of documents; customized cover sheets; archiving (so every received and sent fax can be viewed) and an updated user interface for easier account management and navigation.

CEO Hershowitz has made it a point to remind people that traditional faxing can be a major hassle. This can include wait times and poor document imaging. With an online fax service, these issues have been eliminated. Sending an online fax and receiving is as simple as communicating by email – because that’s really what it is.

New Integrated Software Enhances VoIP Fax

A new integrated software suite from California-based Floreat Inc. is designed to enhance the functions of fax communication over VoIP. Called FloVFoIP, the new software suite includes host and embedded VoIP and FoIP solutions to meet the growing need for multimedia products that support applications beyond voice.

According to the company, a supplier of embedded software products for fax, FoIP, speech, VoIP, imaging and video, telephony, modem, and DSVD, the new software product includes next generation Internet-enabled fax and voice applications for VoIP and supports IP enabled gateways, smartphones, tablets, media consoles, Internet-enabled fax and voice machines, Green Fax and other specialized applications. With a growing number of hospitals, corporations, lawyers, self-employed professionals and home users relying on VoIP fax, the new integrated software provides more reliable fax communication over their VoIP lines.

According to Floreat, its engineering team worked on developing an integrated VFoIP phone and fax solution that would enhance the user’s experience while meeting any application or communication requirement. FloVFoIP features an integrated VoIP and FoIP framework, IP enabled gateways, sophisticated coding that improves quality and works on all platforms, voice-fax discrimination, T.38 FoIP relay that accommodates all fax modems, fax application software with Tiff and RF links support, and various performance enhancements.

“These unique, robust FloVFoIP offerings provide our customers a single source for their voice and fax requirements and overcome the challenges inherent in other solutions, such as incomplete vendor offerings that do not permit a combined VoIP-FoIP product, lack of interoperability with the numerous gateways and 100+ fax machine models available on the market, and inflexible incumbent and obsolescing hardware chipsets,” said Raj Gupta, vice president of sales and applications at Floreat.

Gupta added that the software suite will reduce manufacturers’ costs by more than 50 percent compared to other VoIP and FoIP solutions. “With an integrated VoIP and FoIP soft-solution, we can quickly provide essential communications functionality in devices at a fraction of current recurring expenses,” noted Gupta.

Integration Adds Convenient Factor To Online Fax

When it first hit the scene, online fax was touted as a more economical way to send and receive faxes compared to a traditional fax machine. But as Internet fax grew in popularity and the technology evolved, online fax services began focusing on enhancing their features to provide even quicker convenience to its customers. One of those features is integration. Online fax providers are tapping into advanced technology to make sending an online fax completely seamless and effortless from any computer.

All About Integration

Integration means you can fax directly from an open application instead of opening another program. Here’s an example of online fax integration capabilities:

You’ve just finished working on a document in Microsoft Word. Now say you want to fax the document to your child’s school or a business associate. With an online fax service that includes integration among its features, all you need to do is click on the fax icon on the toolbar of your Microsoft Word document or pull down the File menu, click print and select the fax option. Select the fax recipient from your integrated contact list and send the fax. Two quick clicks are all you need and the entire faxing process takes only a few seconds of your time.

For contrast, here’s what faxing that same document would involve with an online fax service that does not offer integration among its features:

You would need to close the document in Microsoft Word and open your online fax service control center. You would have to click on the section for sending a fax, select the document by browsing your computer files and click attach. Then you would need to open the program that contains your contact list and copy and paste the fax number into your fax window. As you can see, without integration, there is more work and time involved on your part to set up the send fax function.

Researching The Extent Of Integration

Online fax services that include integration among the features of their monthly plan generally offer the capability with the most commonly used home and business programs. For example, online fax integration is typically offered for Microsoft Office, Windows and Lotus Notes applications. This includes Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. However, it’s best to review the integration fax feature when considering an online fax service so you know for which applications it is available.

Companies switching to business online fax services may need to inquire about how extensive the integration capabilities are in terms of your company’s processes, IT systems and workflow environment. Online fax services that support integration usually provide it for common finance and accounting programs, as well as Document Management Systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, multifunctional printers, and SMTP and XML web services.

Webinar Demonstrates Benefits Of Online Fax

Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) and EasyLink Services International Corporation are holding a March 3 webinar event to demonstrate to businesses how important online fax is to business communications. Called “Moving Fax to the Cloud for Critical Business Messaging,” the live webinar, which is free to participants, is scheduled for 2pm EST, 11am PST.

According to EasyLink Services, a global provider of on-demand electronic messaging and transaction services, the webinar will cover online fax solutions and the benefits they provide to businesses. “Fax communication remains a significant element of corporate workflow. As IT environments continually evolve in size and scope, fax machines and fax servers are no longer able to effectively meet volume, compliance and compatibility requirements. Companies require a proven enterprise solution that is functional, secure and scalable, and can easily meet integration demands without costly and time-consuming infrastructure upgrades and support,” the company said in announcing the webinar.

Patrick Barnard, senior web editor at TMC, a global integrated media company, will host the webinar. Pamela Bernardino, vice president of marketing and product management at EasyLink and Adolf Sommella, EasyLink’s director of sales engineering, are the webinar speakers. Bernardino will demonstrate how major companies are using cloud faxing solutions to enhance business processes, increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs, and provide evaluation criteria that businesses should use when selecting an online fax service provider. Sommella will discuss why hosted fax represents the most seamless way to replace legacy fax systems, and provide a high-level overview of the benefits of integrating fax services with existing desktop and application environments.

Other topics that will be discussed during the 60-minute webinar are the Internet fax server/device infrastructure model and its limitations; drivers for outsourcing fax services; methodology for migrating to a hosted model; and services offered in a hosted model. The webinar is designed for CIOs, CTOs, telecommunications managers, technology infrastructure managers and other IT executives or personnel responsible for enterprise messaging systems.

Registration is required at EasyLink Services. For those unable to tap into the webinar, the session will be archived and available On Demand for up to 18 months on TMCnet.

Types of VoIP Service Providers

VoIP service providers are defined by the type of service they provide. Whether its residential or commercial voice over Internet services, VoIP providers fall into one of three different categories. Each category has a specific focus and provides a specific communication need to the customers it serves. Here’s a look at each type of VoIP service provider and how they differ from one another:

Residential VoIP Service Providers

Residential or consumer VoIP service providers focus on basic residential and small business needs. This type of service caters to individuals switching from traditional landline phone and fax service to Internet-based phone and fax. A residential VoIP service provider gives consumers the means of connecting to VoIP using their existing phone and fax equipment. The VoIP service also provides call waiting, call forwarding, voicemail, caller ID and other features that people are accustomed to having from their landline phone service. Within the residential VoIP type are pure play companies that offer telephone and fax service only, and triple play companies that offer VoIP phone and fax, television and Internet services.

Peer-To-Peer VoIP Service Providers

Peer-to-peer VoIP service providers, also known as P2P, operates on a dedicated network, with VoIP services obtained from an individual’s computer or mobile phone. The inexpensive service caters to mobile workers, self-employed contractors and people who have replaced their landline phone with a mobile phone. The peer-to-peer VoIP service typically provides the necessary software for free, but charges if phone calls or faxes are sent to landline phones or fax machines.

Cable VoIP Service Providers

Cable VoIP service providers have bundled their phone and fax service together with its cable television service, and in some instances, its Internet services as well. Most cable providers use the term “digital” to describe their VoIP phone and fax service, but they are still providing VoIP over an Internet network. Cable VoIP service companies differ from state-to-state, so not all service plans are available countrywide.

Choosing the type of VoIP service provider that’s best for you depends on how much service you need and your budget. Cable VoIP is more expensive, however you are receiving more than just phone and fax service and bundling plans lowers the cost. Businesses and homeowners who don’t want to do away with phone and fax equipment find residential VoIP service economical, while more Internet-savvy people go with peer-to-peer VoIP service. Whatever your lifestyle may be, with the evolution of VoIP technology, there is a type of VoIP service provider to meet your faxing needs.

New Technology Expands Fax Machine Connectivity To VoIP Fax Service Providers

FaxBack Inc., the Portland, Oregon based fax messaging company and VoIP fax server company, has partnered with global VoIP products and applications designer and manufacturer AudioCodes, to enhance the connectivity of fax machines to VoIP service providers and premise-based VoIP solutions. The new AudioCodes HTTPS Enabled Fax ATA coupled with FaxBack’s connection software make fax machine communications over VoIP more reliable and secure, and extend the features of a fax machine for Internet fax transmissions.

“Today, fax-to-email is an acceptable solution for receiving most faxes, but businesses will always require fax machines to send hard copy documents,” said Quentin Dible, president of FaxBack. “Our combined solution with AudioCodes solves the issues of security and reliability with connecting fax machines over the open Internet. It allows users to connect their fax machine to their fax-to-email provider, and it allows businesses to merge fax machine traffic with their desktop faxing. Today, with the prevalence of business fax servers and fax service providers, the fax machine has been left out in the cold. Simply connecting the fax machine to VoIP hasn’t solved the problem – it does decrease costs, but inadvertently reduces the reliability of fax machines.”

Unlike other Fax ATA devices, AudioCodes HTTPS Enabled Fax ATA provides more reliable connections to VoIP compared to the T.38 fax relay standard. The HTTPS fax platform is less susceptible to burst packet loss and other connectivity issues experienced with T.38 over the Internet. AudioCodes HTTPS Enabled Fax ATA also provides critical improvements, including SSL fax data encryption from point to point and HTTPS ports that require no additional firewall provisioning for preparing the network for installation.

Fax machine users will notice no discernible differences with HTTPS Fax Enabled ATA. All fax machine functions are preserved, including the ability to hear if a person answers instead of a fax machine and if a fax number is incorrectly dialed.

The new enhancements also allow fax machine connections to network links, including Wi-Fi, satellite and cellular data. The HTTPS platform also works with multi-function printers, enabling them to easily connect to a VoIP fax service provider. According to FaxBack, the HTTPS fax platform and its connection solutions enable individuals and businesses to connect fax machines to their existing fax to email accounts as long as they allow T.37 or outbound SMTP based email to fax connections.

How Online Fax Apps Work

As more and more people turn to smartphones and other mobile devices as their primary method of communicating, conducting business and handling everyday living tasks, major online fax services are adding smartphone apps to their offerings. Several online fax services are introducing free apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Blackberry, and are making them available to download from the Apple App Store or Blackberry App World. The apps generally support all carriers and work in all countries. Here’s a look at how these online fax apps work and the benefits they provide to help you decide whether to add the app to your smartphone.

The Purpose Of Smartphone Fax Apps

Online fax services are developing smartphone apps to enhance their mobile faxing features. While one of the benefits of Internet fax is mobile faxing wherever there is Internet access, smartphone apps make online faxing more accessible by just the touch of the app. With the app, there is no need to sign in to your online fax service account or email account. While the apps are designed for customers who already have accounts with the online fax service, anyone can use the app to register for a monthly service plan and begin faxing immediately.

How The Apps Work

The apps work similar to your online fax account accessed from your computer. While some fax features may be limited, all the necessary components for sending and receiving faxes are accessible from your smartphone screen. The apps enable smartphone or Blackberry users to do the following right from their mobile device:

  • Send and receive faxes without logging into your online fax service account or email.
  • Compose a fax and create a cover sheet or use the default cover page setting. You can create a fax by typing right on your iPhone or Blackberry, attach a file stored on your smartphone, or take a snapshot of a document using your smartphone’s camera. Most apps allow for up to 8 pages in a single fax.
  • Use your Contact Book to find the fax recipient’s fax number or enter a name and fax number at the screen prompt.
  • Fax photos from your Photo Album.
  • Check the status of your sent faxes.
  • App Reviews Are Positive

    Based on reviews from people who downloaded the apps from the Apple App Store or Blackberry App World and used them, the response is positive. Most find them beneficial when on the go. Business people find the online fax apps extremely beneficial for staying in touch with the office, accessing important faxes or documents while on the road, and conducting business while away from the office. Others find the apps save them time from having to access their online fax service account or email account to send faxes or check if they received any. Quick access, functionality and saves time were the three main benefits reviewers mentioned in their comments about online fax smartphone apps and the main reasons why they will continue to use them.