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  • Fax will continue to be a pox on IT due to the simple fact that decision makers wrongly assume that FAX is so much more secure than email. Unless you are using an encryption/decryption set on both ends of the phone line fax is in no way any more secure than email. The simple fact is people dial wrong numbers as easily as they type a wrong email address. Either method could be made more secure by limiting sending of either mail or fax to a fixed address book, but even then you might send to the wrong person in the address book. In Canada, Healthcare is the number one industry for fax as regulations still ban them from emailing health records. I have some clients that have fax volumes of 300-400 sends a day. Smart industries have adopted better systems than fax and I am happy to note that HP's new A3 Multifunction systems all have fax as an option not a standard. I have have dozens of HP systems in the field with fax boards sitting unused. 

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  • We still have fax machines. We send pretty much everything with an e-fax service though. We have less problems with physical fax machines than we do with efax, honestly. By about 5x.

    I don't know if I would call physical fax machines 'outdated tech'. I would call it 'sufficient tech'. It does exactly what it has always done at least as well as it did originally.

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  • We still have a fax board in one of our MFPs - simply because we very rarely need to send or receive faxes, but when we do, it's always bloody critical.

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  • Sadly, doctors offices love fax - so I still have to support these relics.

    Trying to train old doctors to scan and email or even scan and fax through a service is just too hard for some people - they love forcing trees through a slot and hearing those beeps, apparently.

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  • we still have them, why IDK i think something to do with people pitching jargon to upper management about it being more secure than our secure email system....  

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  • Because old people can't scan to email...

    Spice (44) flagReport
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  • We have a few fax machines since our industry is still a slave to paper records.  

    It was all nice and easy until SIP/VoIP connections became the standard phone line delivery method.  Now we have random issues sending/receiving when the compression gets adjusted on our lines.

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  • I still use physical fax devices and a fax server because a lot of our clients either fear change or are too old to get with the times.

    Spice (8) flagReport
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  • We've still got a stand alone fax machine. I can't convince management that using our MFP is acceptable. 

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  • As a financial institute... faxes are the bane of my existence.. I wish I could shut them all off completely and never use one again. We have several physical fax machines and a e-fax system configured where nearly everyone has their own faxes that get sent to (and from) their emails.

    All of our fax machines can also send via email and save directly to that user specific shared folder on the file server and yet, people will fax themselves documents! They then turn around an complain about the quality and why it takes so long... training has been done numerous times and it is mentioned in our monthly meetings that all employees attend on a regular basis and yet still happens daily.

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  • Still got one MFD with fax enabled. Incoming goes to a Fax email distribution group and users can use the MFD to send faxes.

    Funnily enough we've never had a problem with the faxing feature but I think its usage is on the way out.

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  • We're in public education so unfortunately, while we may be among the more progressive districts, the agencies and organization with whom we have to communicate are not all up to speed, so we have to maintain faxing just to accommodate other lagging organizations.

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  • I just faxed a page for the first time in my eighteen years of life to troubleshoot one of our locations having fax issues. That minuscule exposure to fax lead me to the conclusion: fax needs to DIE.

    Although hearing dial up tones for the first time in a while was cool.

    Spice (17) flagReport
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  • We do over(size/weight) transport and demolition and rely on ours very heavily.  It's more to do with the market as well as our contracts with the local government agencies (the latter who require it still for most documents)

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  • We still install and support faxes in all our locations because the Government requires we fax them our documents. 

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  • Had to bring our fax device back from the dead not long ago. Only one of our customers (military) insist on using it as "it is more secure than email..." :S

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  • We still have physical MFP fax machines. Some government agencies and financial institutes will only accept documents from Fax... like it's way more secure that way.

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  • We have to use fax as Courts and a lot of other solicitors won't accept service of documents by email. You know, because they're transmitted electronically, unlike fax...

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  • I am slowly trying to migrate away from physical fax machines. Moving all the newer stores to an efax provider which is saving money and much easier to use and maintain. It is just a slow and painful process. Especially porting out numbers.

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  • I have 9 physical fax machines AND a fax server.  Attorneys live and die by faxes because a fax confirmation page proves you sent or received something.  Doctor's offices and hospitals also rely heavily on faxing.  I've almost got the entire staff using the Fax server but a few stick to the physical machines.

    The courts/medical field are so far behind when it comes to faxing.

    FYI the only reason we have physical faxes is because sometimes our fax server can't communicate with a very old fax machine.  When that happens we use a physical fax.

    For an idea of how many faxes we send/receive I show over 4000 pages sent and 2500 pages received since Saturday.

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  • I think we use fax for the convenience of our customers, vendors and other companies we communicate with. We don't go through classic faxing--no physical devices. We use eFaxcorporate.com to do the faxing for us.

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  • Medical facilities still have to use faxes to remain compatible with other medical facilities-- especially if they are small-scale.
    Sad, but true.
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  • We use a fax service for inbound, MFP for some sending.  Why?  Because it still makes the company money.

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  • We have the Cisco ATA 187 analog converter on our Canon copiers so users may fax through our VOIP system. It is not a high volume or we would look into an e-fax solution.

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  • Ditto on healthcare and fax usage.  As far as security, well, yes punching in an incorrect # is a problem although rare, even rarer is punching in an incorrect # that also happens to be a fax #.

    Other reasons for using fax, as much as I don't like the waste of paper is the cost per page.  Faxing services can cost a lot more per page than having your own POTs line or similar and using a fax server or plain old fax machine.

    We try to get our clinicians to use our PDF converter so they are not printing and faxing but rather converting then faxing.

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  • Prudential requires a Fax and the first page must be blank

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  • We deal with a lot of doctors offices, clinics, and even hospitals that still require us to use fax to send/receive information.   It can be difficult for many offices to wade through the "approved" secure email providers and services, so they fall back to fax which they consider safer.

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  • LegoMan wrote:

    Sadly, doctors offices love fax - so I still have to support these relics.

    Trying to train old doctors to scan and email or even scan and fax through a service is just too hard for some people - they love forcing trees through a slot and hearing those beeps, apparently.

    This! Over 9000 times this! I think the medical field might implode without fax machines.
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  • Who still uses fax?  Morons.

    Who still supports fax?  Most of us.

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  • jimmyjamjojo wrote:

    Had to bring our fax device back from the dead not long ago. Only one of our customers (military) insist on using it as "it is more secure than email..." :S

    And how is it not more secure? That's what I'd like to know. Think about what is needed to intercept a fax and how you need to do it, and what is needed to hack an email and how you need to do it.
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  • I see a lot of companies still having to use fax machines. And as for the IT department, they appear even less enthused about managing the fax machines than the phone system... and that's saying a lot.

    For the benefit of anyone reading this, wondering how they can still use their old faxes with SIP, we interviewed a voice engineer from Level 3 and asked him specifically for the best practices for faxing over SIP.

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  • Would it not be nice if everyone in IT decided to just say no to fax.  We could all go into the office early one Monday morning, ditch the fax machines and declare "nobody in the world supports fax anymore, live with it."

    We bought a couple of new vans a few years back - the senior manager had the Fax Number plastered all over it.  DOH.  We still get suppliers sending through monthly statements via fax, and of course anything to the bank needs to be sent by fax if it has a signature on it.  

    Currently have a project where the client who works with the MOD is insisting we send them faxes for some things.  Something to do with security?  Oh dear.  Maybe one day we will wake up to a world without them... but it will not be tomorrow.


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  • If Office 365 goes down, I'll be very happy that we have two fax machines (and desktop phones). When what you are sending is on paper, like a form that was filled in and signed by hand, it's much easier to fax it than to scan and email it. Faxing will go away when printing goes away. 

    What really annoys me is that people still insist on having desktop calculators (without paper tape) when there is a calculator in Windows. 

    Now that we have text messaging, does anyone want to get rid of telephones? Texting, email, voice, and fax all have their advantages, and can serve as backup communication for each other (to a degree). 

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  • Dropped all fax machines years ago. Installed a simple fax server from MultiTech for the few departments that still need faxing (send/receive about 25 a month). Works well enough, low overhead and faxes are sent to users email address.

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  • The sales department uses FAX. I don't know why.

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  • As long as HIPAA still allows for the faxing of medical records, expect fax to be around for a while.

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  • Not only do we still use fax, but it's not likely to go away anytime soon.  In fact, last year we sent more than 2.5 million faxes (or almost 6 million pages worth).  We're a medical lab and we run patient tests for facilities which don't have their own onsite lab.  We deliver those test results back to the facility via two fax servers consisting of 23 digital lines each.

    As the population gets older, the care requirements are only going to increase.  In fact we're in the process of replacing those two fax servers with two others containing 46 lines each.

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  • The only reason why we still use faxes, gov, med, insurance, and small businesses.
    The reason why people use fax, it's easier to play ball with a lawsuit. They are protected by wiretapping laws for one. They work well under court scrutiny. Can you prove that fax was sent from business A to business B. Sure.. Got fax logs both ends, can subpoena both of their phone companies and get additional 3rd party call logs.
    Try that with an email. There's no wiretap laws, there's no security on email, spoofing is laughably easy.
     
    So guess what is the biggest user of faxing? Gov, law, medical, insurance, and banking. Somewhere down in the bottom of the bucket are small businesses that work off paper ledgers.
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  • I just had to track down a fax line last week! It has apparently been unplugged for a couple of years, but suddenly someone felt the need to start faxing again. I haven't personally faxed anything in years. 

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  • Still laughing after all these years...after "the end of email..."   "the end of faxes..."  "paperless office..."

    FAX is very low volume but health care still uses it for some reason.

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  • Although I voted that we have Physical Fax Devices (we do), we also have digital fax devices that send a fax directly to email (Right-Fax I believe). There are still some companies that just don't want email for some reason and we are doing business with them. Slowly I've been able to get a few to utilize a more digital framework (digital signature and then email it out), but there are a few customers that we just cannot get them to accept digital copies because they want it via fax (come on guys, you have email...your only one step away from being in the late 20th Century!).

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  • The Repairatrooper wrote:

    Fax will continue to be a pox on IT due to the simple fact that decision makers wrongly assume that FAX is so much more secure than email. Unless you are using an encryption/decryption set on both ends of the phone line fax is in no way any more secure than email.

    This is simply not true.  The facsimile transmission protocols are inherently more secure than the standard email transmission protocol is by default.
    1. A person cannot read a fax as plain text like they can email packets.  It would require a decoding device and access to the beginning of the analog stream, and then only the portion intercepted is even decodable.  You cannot decode a middle or ending portion of the stream without the beginning because it does not send the data in the form of packets with headers attached to each packet the way that Ethernet does.
    2. A person must gain physical access to either endpoint or the lines in between them to be able to intercept a fax.  Faxes from a standalone machine to another standalone machine (with no recording/saving capabilities) cannot be breached from a hacker in his mother's basement.

    Now, saying that fax is as susceptible to human error as is email would be an accurate statement.

    Fax will continue to be used until one of the following occurs:

    • All businesses and individuals cease using faxes for communication
    • The technology becomes too expensive to renew
    • They are legislated out of use

    At my company, just like most, we still have a device capable of sending/receiving faxes for those specific reasons.  We adopted email and message encryption a long time ago, but not everyone else has.

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  • So, we all agree that theoretically fax is less secure than email, but how many of us can prove it?  Wouldn't you have to physically access the analog loop that beeps boops into the other end?  Last I checked, telcos don't take kindly to that kind of fiddling, nor do the customers.  Given that fax is 100% analog, how hard do we have to work to bring this beast down?  If Yahoo! had 500M fax numbers cracked, you bet damned sure that we'd have already replaced every one.  But that's simply not the case, so what?  We hate 'em, and we can't convince people to digitize because... physical signatures... paper copies... reasons.

    The physical/electrical layers of fax comms aren't automatable, so how do we crack it?  Can a malicious actor even aggregate 100,000 sensitive records from fax hacking?  Has it been done and we haven't heard about it?

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  • 70% percent WOW!  I'm glad I'm not the only one that use to put up with Fax Machines.  I've never had to support or even use a fax machine until I started at this job 2 years ago.  I don't know what's worse printers, fax machines, or the fact that our fax machines are also printers.      

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  • physical fax machines, copiers, big and small tallygenicom dot matrix printers, okidata printers, my office is the land technology forgot. 

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  • Hi RepairTrooper,

    The story I was told years ago by a former colleague was that even back in the day faxes were not considered secure unless you had a special secure fax on both ends.  

    I would think it is more to do with regulatory issues than anything else. Email can be secured, PDFs can be password protected so they can't be opened unless you have the right password, and we can lock systems down so no one receives the wrong info.

    Anyways, to answer the OP's question we use a fax service. For a few departments that require it for compliance issues we provide faxing on their MFPs. Begrudgingly though. 

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  • Medical office here, we use fax machines, fax servers, e-fax.  It's compliant and cost-effective.  Secure email is expensive and cumbersome for referring practices and patients, and EHR secure messaging or texting is not legal for orders.  If you have a better solution....

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  • We moved away from analog lines and now subscribe to a Faxing Service.  We send and receive way more faxes then you would think, but older customers all find it necessary to be able to fax documents instead of emailing them.

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  • In today's day and age of scan to email, the only reason we still use fax is b/c people are afraid of change.

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  • When the wrong person can pick up that fax on the other end is it still more secure?

    WCRORLANDO wrote:

    Medical office here, we use fax machines, fax servers, e-fax.  It's compliant and cost-effective.  Secure email is expensive and cumbersome for referring practices and patients, and EHR secure messaging or texting is not legal for orders.  If you have a better solution....

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