Fax vs. Email
What is the Difference?
Email is far and away the most popular way of getting important information from one person to another in our day. So why is fax technology still stubbornly holding on? Here’s why:
Credibility, Validity and Acceptance
Fax technology was accepted by the legal community as a way to provide instant, credible transmission of important time-sensitive documents across the nation and the world. Because a fax is an image, not a text file, it is perceived to be as valid as the original. Because the original can usually be compared to the fax at a later date if necessary, there is somewhat of a built-in deterrence to forging a fax document. The same holds for log entries and fax headers. While no system is ever perfect, fax technology provided, and still provides, a fairly robust means for speeding business communication with credibility and security.
Nearly every type of business that relies on legal documents will accept a fax as a stand-in for the original. Law offices, most government offices, real estate agencies and title companies, banks and auto dealerships all are quite accustomed to using fax to facilitate transactions. Some government agencies will still require the original, especially Recorder offices which have a duty to verify the authenticity of documents they record.
Email and file attachments, while widely accepted for general communication and sharing, do not enjoy the same perception of credibility as fax. Because an attached file is not a just-generated, time-stamped image of a document, it suffers a lack of credibility as a stand-in for a signed original. Because the file contains no visible time and date or origin information, it is difficult to verify visually. Unless you have absolute trust in the sender, you have reason to doubt the validity of a file attached to an email. It could have been made at any time by anyone.
There are ways to work around the credibility problems inherent to email. The thing is there is no single method that enjoys the level of adoption that fax has. Add to that the fact that online fax and FoIP are providing the familiar characteristics of fax without the need for a fax machine or extra phone line, and it’s easy to understand why fax is probably going to be around a while longer.Compare Online Fax Services.