Fax ATA Combines Old and New to Create a Superior Faxing Experience
August 19, 2013
By Rory Lidstone
, TMCnet Contributing Writer
There have been a lot of efforts made in recent years to update fax to match the more mobile, cloud-based state of business today. In some cases, entirely Web-based solutions have popped up that effectively replace faxing with what amounts to a document-sharing service with extensive print functionality.
However, while alternatives such as these may prove effective for some — especially when the pursuit of the paperless office is more heated than ever — it isn’t suitable in many scenarios. Government offices and law firms, for example, still prefer fax because of its level of reliability, which has largely been unmatched by all-digital solutions.
Many simply prefer the use of a traditional fax machine and its familiar functionality, as well, while others are loath to retire an expensive and perfectly functional piece of machinery.
To be honest, this hasn’t been much of a problem until recently, when VoIP started to become more prevalent in the office. Put simply, VoIP and fax don’t mix well on their own, as the reliability of Internet lines can’t match that provided by land lines.
Image courtesy Shutterstock
Fortunately, there have been technologies developed to bring faxing over the Internet up to the standards of traditional fax. For the fax user, the process is simple: install a fax ATA (analog telephony adapter). This allows any standard fax machine to connect various fax service providers, including VoIP providers, business fax server vendors and premises-based VoIP solutions.
There is a catch, though: Your chosen IP telephony provider must support the T.38 Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP). What’s more, T.38 FoIP isn’t quite as reliable as traditional fax, as it has issues with latency and packet loss. While this is an adequate solution for some, for law firms — which are required to send and receive documents in real time — this is unacceptable.
Fortunately, AudioCodes (News - Alert) has taken this setup to another level with its enhanced ATA device, which is able to connect fax machines over a line that uses an HTTPS connection, and Fax Connector software. The AudioCodes HTTPS Enabled Fax ATA and Fax Connector together support HTTPS fax connections, which provide superior reliability to T.38, while sharing none of its issues. In other words, AudioCodes provides an experience identical to traditional fax over IP connections for the first time.
Best of all, with HTTPS, faxes are encrypted from point to point with SSL, eliminating the need for additional firewall provisioning.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson