Fax Machines

Fax is scanning printed material (both text and images), usually a phone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine, which processes the content (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, the information is transmitted as electrical signals through the telephone system. The receiving fax machine converts the coded image and prints it in papel.1 Before the triumph of digital technology for many decades, the scanned data is transmitted as an analog signal.

Although companies usually maintain some kind of fax capability, the technology has faced increasing competition from Internet-based alternatives. Fax machines still retain some advantages, especially in the transmission of sensitive material which, if sent unencrypted over the Internet may be vulnerable to eavesdropping, wiretapping without. In some countries, such as electronic signatures in contracts are not recognized by law while faxed contracts with copies of signatures are, fax machines remain a constant in business.

In many corporate environments, standalone fax machines have been replaced by fax servers and other computer systems capable of receiving and storing incoming faxes electronically and then sending it to recipients as paper copy in a print queue or by an email (which can securizarse). Such systems have the advantage of reducing the costs by eliminating the unnecessary printing and reducing the number of incoming telephone lines necessary for an office.

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