Talk:Internet fax

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Revert to redirect[edit]

Julie, it is quite clear that you do not understand at all the technology involved in what you call "internet fax". You couldn't answer the question "what is the distinction?" on the Talk:Fax Server page, so instead you have resorted to resurrecting your old confused and misleading explanation. Here are some flaws in your writing:

  • "Online faxing does not require any computer hardware or software". No computer? No web browser? No e-mail client? No special client software? Many fax service providers require the use of special client software to communicate with their fax servers. You also say “Internet faxing requires ... suitable equipment” (without telling us what) which contradicts your other statement.
  • "It is an alternative to ... fax servers". It is no such thing. “Internet faxing” is communicating with a fax server. A fax server is software that resides on a server computer which turns client requests into fax messages, and converts incoming fax messages into any of several forms, communicating them back to the client. In all cases, the client may be a user on the same local network as the server, or may be a remote user making use of a commercial “internet fax” service. The user interfaces can be exactly the same for both types of user; examples include websites, e-mail messages, virtual printers, and special client software.
  • ”... e-mail attachments in a TIFF or PDF computer file”. What does that mean? Do you mean TIFF or PDF files which have been turned into e-mail attachments?
  • Your article tells us nothing about what a “service provider” is or does. That subject is already well-covered in the Fax server article.
  • Your external links are totally irrelevant to the article. One is an “integrated fax program” which is listed in List of fax software, while the other is in Japanese!

Sorry Julie, but in my opinion there is nothing in this article which deserves to be kept. I therefore propose to revert this page into a redirect to Fax server. Can you (or anybody else) give any good reason not to?

Rwxrwxrwx 11:39, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Internet Fax is not a fax server.
There are 3 forms of internet faxing
  1. public fax servers convert a file (usually email) to a fax. Basically, you send an email from your PC over the Internet to the server, which converts it to a fax, connects to the PSTN, and sends it as a fax. The exact reverse is also possible
  2. Fax over VoIP. T.38. As businesses use Voice over IP to save money, reduce phone circuits etc, many are looking to sending faxes in the same way. Unfortunately, faxes convert digital data to any sounds that standard old phones can handle. VoIP converts standard voice tones to digital bits to go over the internet. Basically, VoIP often misses some of the sounds a Fax makes since it is looking for voice tones, not machine generated tones. T.38 is designed to look for those fax tones and send them over the internet.
  3. Fax over email. T.37. A fax machine converts a fax to an email attachment and sends it via SMTP.
I really think that limiting the meaning of "Internet Fax" to a public fax server is a mistake.
See also [1] Greg 23:37, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

See my proposed page: [2] Greg 02:30, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the big problem is the use of the term "internet fax". It does not refer to any particular technology, but as you point out, it is used by lay people and salesmen to refer to several fundamentally different things. In this article, it has previously been used to refer only to communication with a public fax server.
Your article certainly puts across the point that "internet fax" means several things, and I would have no objection to seeing something like it being posted. Your flow diagrams are particularly useful for distinguishing the various technologies.
However, if I could point out a few things I notice:
  • The introduction refers to "online faxing" as if it was a single technology. We've agreed that it's not.
  • "Computer-based faxing" (called "integrated fax software" elsewhere) does not use the Internet, so cannot really be called "internet fax", and I don't think lay people would ever call it that either.
  • I don't think the description of a fax server quite explains what it is; the Fax Server article explains it better.
  • "Fax over email" doesn't seem to use fax technology at all; the appliance (which I admit I'd never heard of before) seems to be just a computer integrated with a document scanner, printer, and data network port. However, I agree that lay people might refer to such a machine as an "internet fax machine".
  • The external links are still inappropriate.
Overall, there are so many fundamentally different things that "internet fax" can mean that it would be impossible, and confusing, to cover them all in one article in any meaningful form. I think it would be better if this page was cut down into little more than a disambiguation page, where each technology is given perhaps a single summarising sentence, your diagram, and a link to the relevant article which describes it in detail.
Rwxrwxrwx 09:20, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Hi Rwx. I agree that computer-based faxing isn't internet fax... just when I wrote the other flow diagrams (including "regular fax") it just seemed to be a natural extra that needed to be mentioned somehow. Still... it may be misleading and/or unnecessary. There's also the issue of whether we describe fax server, or internet-based fax server. The external links are inappropriate I think I just grabbed what was there... but I was really just throwing something together to give a starting point so they aren't necessary.
Internet fax pretty well ONLY referred to fax-via-email technologies a couple of years back, though it's muddier now. Several manuafacturers use the term (Ricoh [3], Panasonic [4], Xerox [5]). Still, the term has bled across into fax gateways. See also these RFC's [6], [7]
I'll put up a modified version and we can work on it. Greg 22:30, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Clear explanation needed[edit]

Anybody know where I can find a clear explanation of internet faxing? 'Cause this ain't it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Aide57 (talkcontribs) 21:10, 30 October 2008

Internet fax and Faxing over IP networks. Pol098 (talk) 11:06, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Needs refs, sounds like advertisement[edit]

--Mnoon (talk) 05:45, 22 May 2009 (UTC) I think this Internet fax title needs at least one or two references. Also this Internet Faxing article sounds more like an advertisement.

Privacy and security[edit]

This article does not mention information privacy and security. Any company sending a FAX for you can (and probably does) take a copy for "review".—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:02, 26 February 2010

Why cant children understand some of the English Language in the answers on wikipedia[edit]

Answer: i am only young and i really cant understand some of the literature in the answers! (i am 12) you really need to edit the answers to make them more illegible(Edit:you mean legible, unless it's opposite day) to younger viewers! ♥ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Is there a list of service providers who sell or give away free internet fax service??[edit]

Is there a list of service providers who sell or give away free internet fax service?? A list of a few examples of the service should be in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

No, please keep non ecyclopedic content out! --Kgfleischmann (talk) 07:33, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

removed advertisment[edit]

the section with headline "Fax Voip T38 Fax & Voice" was a shameless advertisment for a single commercial product. i removed it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Internet fax vs. IP fax?[edit]

In the intro:

The term "Internet fax" encompasses "web fax" and "email fax," along with VoIP fax, which refers to the use of Voice over Internet Protocol to send a fax. However, Internet fax should not be confused with IP fax.

IP fax is a circular redirect right back to Internet fax. This isn't helpful if the intent is to claim the two to be somehow different. Tell me why I shouldn't confuse Internet fax with IP fax or I may just decide to confuse the two to spite you.

Furthermore, "Taking advantage of an established LAN/WAN infrastructure, IP fax reduces or eliminates costly connection and transmission fees." is pure marketing speak. The question of whether a prospective user already has a LAN in place is speculation. The claim that PSTN fees are "costly" is a statement of opinion. Neither belong in an encyclopaedia. K7L (talk) 16:36, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. The circular redirect is particularly confusing. Possibly a link to the explanatory section lower in the page is in order? DanielRenfro 13:05, 25 April 2017 (UTC)