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What is FoIP – Fax over IP?

FOIP (Fax over IP)

FoIP or Fax over IP (also known as virtual fax) refers to the process of sending and receiving faxes via a VoIP network. It has taken the unreliability of faxing out of the equation and revolutionized the transmission of information through faxes. Now, faxes can be sent from fax machine to fax machine, fax machine to email, or vice versa. FoIP allows the smooth transition between technologies, as old numbers and communication methods can be kept while eliminating unnecessary overhead. Just ensure there is enough bandwidth and the benefits speak for themselves.

How Does FoIP Work?

The concept behind FoIP is pretty straightforward, especially for those that understand VoIP already. The fax is first packetized as an image and sent from point A to point B in transport protocol. Sending with FoIP works via T38. This is a protocol that describes how to send a fax over a computer data network, and for it to work requires a T38-capable VoIP gateway as well as a T38-capable fax machine, fax card or fax software. Fax Server software that can talk ‘T38’ allows the great Unified Communications feature, Fax to Email, which sends faxes directly via a VoIP gateway and converts the fax message into an email. The plus side is that no additional fax hardware is needed for the Fax to Email feature to work seamlessly!
3CX includes a full-featured T38 fax server that allows faxes to be received from anywhere in the network. Faxes can be received as PDF and forwarded via email. Other fax servers currently in the market require the use of separately licensed and expensive Dialogic SoftIP drivers.

Benefits of FoIP

  1. Using FoIP is easy because it taps into your existing network and removes the need for a separate analog network.
  2. Many remote locations aren’t able to have faxes provisioned, and by utilizing internet networks FoIP allows remote workers the ability to receive faxes as others would be.
  3. Since FoIP creates an image file for the fax as it is sent out faxes can then be kept in this file format and easily archived, sorted or even emailed to other recipients.

Further Reading

What is T38?
How does Fax work in VoIP environments?

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