VoiP & Fax
Why You Should Buy Voice over IP(VoIP) Hardware
Why use voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) hardware in your small business? Because VoIP lets you combine voice, data, and video into a single, easy-to-manage service.
Not sure why VoIP is such a big deal these days? You're not alone. Many small business owners have heard about voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), but they're not sure how it applies to them. Find out here.
Why VoIP? It's the first step toward greater efficiency and productivity
Before we start talking about why having VoIP hardware is such a great way to go, we should review what we mean by VoIP and unified communications.
- VoIP (voice over IP) allows you to have your phone line on an IP (Internet protocol) network.
- Unified communications from Cisco offers the power of VoIP combined with a secure network. By combining all of your communications-everything from voice to data to video-you can enjoy a cost-effective, easy-to-use business solution full of features that help you do business better.
How VoIP Helps You focus on What Matters: Your Business
Small business owners are discovering why VoIP hardware is such a powerful tool for maintaining a competitive edge. When you switch to an IP-based unified communications system, you'll find that you can increase productivity because you've combine and simplified your communication tools. You can secure your voice and data more strongly. And you can make it easier for your employees to maintain access to your network, whether at work or at home.
- Why VoIP helps you cut costs
- You'll spend less money on travel by using online conferencing, easy-to-use video calls, and other tools for better collaboration
- You'll find that it's easy to add extra phone lines, because VoIP lets you send multiple phone calls across your IP network
- Why VoIP helps you improve communication with customers and employees
- Your employees will have more ways to stay connected
- By using "presence" technology, you'll be able to see if your employees are available and how to get in touch with them
- With unified communications, you'll see that it's easy to work remotely from any place with an Internet connection
- VoIP lets you have many features without paying extra fees
- Caller ID
- Unlimited long distance
WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEED Online Fax Services
What Does a Fax Service Cost?
When you sign up for an online fax service, you can choose a month-to-month or annual plan. Month-to-month plans cost more overall, but you can break up the total cost each month rather than pay for a year's subscription up front. Because of the flexibility month-to-month plans provide, we've taken those charges into consideration. The fees for the services in our review range from $7.95 to $29 a month. Your monthly subscription includes a certain allotment of pages you can receive and send via fax each month. Most fax services just allot a total number of pages, regardless of how many of those you send or receive, though a couple divide your total and allow only a certain number of received faxes and of sent faxes, which can be too restrictive.
If your company sends or receives more pages than your plan allows, you will be charged an overage fee per page. In our review, that fee ranges from 3 cents to 12 cents. The industry average is about 10 cents per page.
You should also be aware that some, though not most, online fax services charge a one-time setup fee. Only two companies in our review charge this expense.
Laws About Faxes
The FCC has laws that regulate faxing, just as it has laws for other forms of communication like emails, phone calls and texts. Breaking these laws can result in lawsuits from the people you've contacted and in financial penalties from the FCC. These penalties start at $500 per page that you sent that was not in line with the regulations.
The most important rule is to not send unsolicited – sometimes known as junk – faxes. There are some cases, however, when this is acceptable:
- You receive the number as part of a contract or application.
- You find the contact information on an advertisement or directory, assuming it does not state that the contact won't accept unsolicited faxes.
- You have ensured the person you're faxing agreed to have their information listed on the directory or advertisement.
If the above criteria are met, you can send unsolicited faxes without penalty. When you send these faxes, however, you must include an obvious and cost-free way for the recipients to opt out of your faxes. This notice must include your contact information on the first page of documents you send. If you receive an opt-out request, you must reply within 30 days of receipt.
Fax laws may vary depending on location. Be sure you know and understand the laws in your area before you start sending faxes.
If you want to be done with your old fax machine but still need a secure, easy way to send sensitive information, online fax services are worth investigating. The best fax services are RingCentral Fax, OnlineFaxes.com and MetroFax, though the service best suited to your company may vary.