Online fax: how to send e-fax for free and best platforms

Online fax: send an e-fax for free and best platforms


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    Faxes have become a fundamental tool for legal and formal communications. Traditionally, this service has been associated with the physical sending of documents through the post office, but the digital era has brought with it the appearance of the online fax, a more convenient, cheaper, faster and more efficient alternative.

    In the digital era, certified communication has evolved to adapt to modern needs. The online fax has emerged as a solution for sending important documents or messages with legal validity

    In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the online fax, explore what an e-fax is, how the online version works, and how to send an efax. In addition, we will discuss the legal validity of online faxes, the available platforms, and the associated premium e-fax prices and services.

    What is a fax

    A fax, short for "facsimile," is a device that allows the transmission of paper print documents via telephone lines. The process of sending a fax involves converting the image of a document into a series of electronic signals that are transmitted through the telephone line. At the receiving end, these signals are converted back into an image of the original document, which is printed on paper.

    Here is a breakdown of how a fax works:

    • Scanning: The document to be sent is scanned into the fax machine, converting the text and images into a series of dots (pixels).
    • Encoding: These dots are converted into an electronic signal that represents the document's information.
    • Transmission: The electronic signal is sent through the telephone line to the receiving fax machine.
    • Reception: The receiving fax machine decodes the electronic signal back into an image of the original document.
    • Printing: The image of the document is printed on paper by the receiving fax machine.

    Faxes were widely used before the era of email and other forms of digital communication, especially in business and legal environments where the quick delivery and confirmed receipt of documents were essential. Although their use has declined with the advent of more modern technologies, faxes are still used in certain industries and regions.

    Send a free online fax (eIDAS e-notice) with Tecalis

    Certified fax services: registered fax with acknowledgment of receipt

    The traditional procedure to send a registered fax involves going to a post office or a courier or logistics service in person. There, the sealed envelope containing the document to be notified is presented, a form is filled in with the sender's and addressee's data, and the corresponding fee is paid. The transport and courier company is responsible for delivering the envelope and obtaining the signature of the recipient as proof of delivery. Subsequently, the sender receives a stamped copy of the fax with the delivery details.

    This method involves having to spend time taking the physical document to the office, where it will be handled and then sent with an acknowledgement of receipt. This process is reliable, but less convenient compared to current digital solutions.

    What is an online fax

    The online fax is the digital version of the traditional fax, which allows sending certified documents through the Internet or other electronic means that allow the delivery of digitalized information and documents. This service eliminates the need to go to a courier office and offers greater convenience, speed and accessibility.

    Online faxes work through digital platforms that offer a secure environment for creating, signing and sending documents, files and messages. The process is usually very simple and intuitive, cheaper, and can generally be done in a few minutes.

    The electronic fax term is a synonym of the online fax. In this way, the electronic fax allows the immediate delivery of documents with certification of content and acknowledgement of receipt in digital format, thus ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the shipment. These features, in addition to the possibility of automation and mass mailings, make the efax an effective and secure tool for legal and business communications.

    The online e-fax system offers the same legal validity and security as the traditional fax, since it is based on the eIDAS electronic notification standard. The main advantage is the convenience of being able to send documents of all kinds from anywhere and at any time, with even greater traceability.


    E-notices: electronic notifications 

    One of the key features of the e-fax is the possibility of receiving an electronic acknowledgement of receipt (audit trail). This means that it not only confirms delivery of the document, but also provides a digital record that can be used in legal proceedings. Electronic service of process with acknowledgement of receipt ensures that the sender has proof that the recipient has received, opened and read the document or message.

    The electronic acknowledgement of receipt of efax online is automatically generated and sent to the sender once the addressee has opened the message or digital document (he/she also obtains another certificate that he/she has received it if he/she has not opened it). The physical acknowledgment of receipt, on the other hand, involves printing and mailing it to the sender, so it takes time and there can be complications, while in the case of e-notices (digital certified communication), it is instantaneous.

    Like the physical fax, the online fax allows sending enotices with acknowledgement of receipt and all kinds of digitized documentation by qualified means, which provides legal evidence of the communication. The document, file or message is transmitted in encrypted form, guaranteeing confidentiality, non-repudiation and avoiding losses, and an electronic proof of delivery is obtained with date, time and receiver's data.

    How to send a fax online

    Sending a fax online is an efficient process that leverages digital signature technology to ensure the certified delivery of important documents. This method allows users to send e-faxes online from the comfort of their home or office, without the need to travel to a post office. Using specialized platforms, it is possible to upload documents, create envelopes, add different addressees, automate the sending of information according to events and obtain a delivery confirmation quickly and easily. In addition, efax offers the advantage of real-time tracking, allowing the sender to check the status of the mailing at any time.

    The convenience of sending an efax online also extends to flexibility in scheduling, as it can be sent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This option is especially useful for companies and professionals who need to send urgent notifications outside of traditional business hours or automate by connecting to their systems, so that messages are sent when a contract expires or any scheduled event occurs

    With the integration of advanced technologies such as electronic signature and digital certification of content with blockchain, the electronic fax online ensures the authenticity, integrity and total privacy of the documents sent

    Steps to send a fax online

    The following are the basic steps for sending an online e-fax, ensuring that each mailing is secure and complies with legal requirements. The process of sending an online fax varies slightly depending on the platform used, but in general, follow the steps below:

    1. Choosing an online fax platform: There are several authorized providers (QTSPs) that offer qualified time-stamped electronic notification (e-notices) services. It is advisable to research and compare the different options in terms of price, features and reputation.
    2. Register and create an account: Most platforms require the user to register and provide certain personal or company data. There are electronic signature solutions such as Tecalis that have free templates.
    3. Upload the document or insert the message: The digital file containing the document to be notified must be uploaded. Formats such as PDF, Word or images are generally accepted, although advanced platforms such as Tecalis allow the collection of all types of documentation through scanning and secure digitization.
    4. Enter the recipient's data: It is necessary to provide the complete information of the recipient, such as name, e-mail address and, in some cases, physical address.
    5. Review and confirm sending: Before proceeding with the sending, the information entered must be carefully reviewed and the electronic fax online must be confirmed. Once confirmed, the document will be sent and an electronic acknowledgement of receipt will be generated as an audit trail report.
    6. Make the payment: The platform will request payment for the service, which usually varies depending on the provider and the type of online fax or certified communication requested. There are free options that do not require payment and other models of monthly plans for electronic signatures that include a series of mailings available per month.
    7. Consult the status: Once the efax online has been delivered via email, SMS or through instant messaging services (or any digital media), the sender will receive an electronic receipt with the details of the delivery (opening and reading if they have been read), such as date, time and data of the receiver for each status with full legal and juridical validity.
    sending an e-fax

    Sending an e-fax: follow-up, consequences of not responding, key aspects, etc.

    The consequences of not responding to an online fax vary depending on the situation and the content of the e-fax. In general, an unanswered online fax can serve as reliable proof of the sending of a communication and may have legal validity in the event of subsequent legal proceedings.

    In addition to proof of delivery, some e-fax platforms offer the possibility of tracking the status of the mailing in real time. This allows the sender to verify if and when the recipient has accessed the document.

    It is important to keep in mind that a fax, whether physical or digital, has legal implications. If the addressee does not respond or does not comply with what is requested in the document, the sender can use the proof of delivery as evidence in legal proceedings or subsequent claims. The consequences can impact on:

    • Legal proceedings: The sender may use the lack of response as evidence in a lawsuit, which may lead to an unfavorable judgment for the addressee.
    • Fines and penalties: In cases of debts or claims, failure to respond may result in additional fines or penalties.
    • Negotiation prejudice: Ignoring a notice may prejudice the chances of an amicable negotiation or of settling the matter out of court.

    Legal validity of online eFax

    The legal validity of online faxes is supported by the regulations in force in many countries. In Spain, for example, the Electronic Signature Law 59/2003 and the eIDAS Regulation for the entire European Union recognize the legal validity of electronic documents and their acknowledgements of receipt. Online faxes, having an electronic signature and a certified acknowledgement of receipt, comply with these legal requirements.

    The European eIDAS regulation (Regulation 910/2014) and its new update eIDAS 2 establish a framework for electronic signatures and trust services in electronic transactions, equating the traditional fax to electronic notifications (digital certified communication or enotices) on a legal level. Therefore, according to this regulation, online faxes have the same legal validity as those sent by traditional methods throughout the EU as long as they comply with the technical requirements of a QTSP (Qualified Trust Services Provider) and the methods provided by law to guarantee authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation along with other requirements:

    • That the sender and the addressee are correctly identified with their data entered in the online fax and signature platform.
    • That the content of the efax is clear, precise, concise and duly stamped.
    • That the e-fax is sent and digitally signed by the sender by means of an electronic certificate or valid digital signature (advanced electronic signature, AES standard) provided by the same platform provider.
    • Acknowledgement of receipt has been obtained (audit document or audit trail with traceability), either electronic or physical.

    Premium e-fax platforms, prices and services

    Currently, there are several platforms that offer online fax services. Prices vary according to the platform, the number of pages of content, the acknowledgement of receipt option and the additional options that are contracted. One of the best known is:

    • Tecalis Sign: Qualified trusted service provider certified by the European Union and the EC and specialized in eIDAS electronic notifications (e-notices) with full legal validity. It has a free model and affordable prices for its paid plans if additional functionalities or more shipments are needed

    In addition to the basic services, many of these platforms offer premium options or business plans with additional functionalities, such as the management of mass mailings, integrations with document management systems, detailed reports, etc. The prices of these plans tend to be higher, but they can be profitable for companies or professionals who need to send online faxes or electronic notifications (eNotices) to their clients frequently.

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