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Reverse Phone Number Search - Finding a Service With a Large Database

Written By Communication on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | 9:58 PM

With so many reverse telephone number search services out there, how do you choose a good one? There are a number of factors but in this article we are going to focus on one: Its database. More specifically, the size of its database (how many phone records), and what information is provided in each record when available.

When it comes to evaluating a reverse phone number search service's database there are two primary elements you want to look at. First, you want to make sure that the service has an extensive database - as a guideline, I would look for one with hundreds of millions of telephone numbers. You also want to make sure it includes cell phones. Why? Because if you go to research a telephone number which is for a cell phone you want to be able to get information on that number.

How do you know whether or not the service's database includes cell phone numbers? Look at their website. If they do, they will typically mention it. If not, check their FAQ page or email them to find out.

The second area you want to look at is the information contained in each phone record, when available. A detailed phone record could include: Telephone owner's name, address, satellite map, telephone carrier, possible neighbors and relatives, address history of telephone number owner, and more. Some phone records may contain all of this information, while others only have some of this information.

The phone number search service should list what information their phone records include (when it's available) on their website, or when you run a search to see if they have a record for a particular phone number in their database.

Of course no matter how massive a company's database is, if the telephone number you are researching is not in the service's database then it does not do you much good. That's why you want to make sure the service offers a search box on its website where you can input the telephone number you are researching. This will tell you whether or not the phone number is in the company's database. If it is then it will tell you that you can get additional information for a small fee. If it isn't then you just saved yourself some time and money.

You now know the two elements to look for when evaluating service's database: Size of the database, and the information contained in each telephone record when available. You also know how to verify whether or not the telephone number you are researching is in a reverse phone number search service's database.

By S.L. Davis
9:58 PM | 0 comments | Read More

Fax Machines: Still Around

Written By Communication on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | 12:43 AM

Many people presume that, in the modern era of e-mail and scanners that fax machines are not particularly relevant or useful. They do after all; require a dedicated land line, toner and a steady power supply. However, due to an interesting quirk of history, law and convenience, they remain relevant in the modern world and every office, home or business should have one.

The biggest advantage of them is that they are simple and easy to use and require minimal training. Anyone who has the ability to dial a phone number and put slips of paper into a tray can send a fax. As such, they remain important in many facilities where training is minimal and there is limited opportunity in both time and budget to train new personnel. All experienced secretaries and most office workers know how to send and receive faxes and the fact that faxes are unaffected by network outages or e-mail problems ensures that they remain an important backup despite their obsolescence. Although a particular company may want to do away with faxes entirely, the fact that they will invariably do business with a company which uses faxes will necessitate that they keep one on hand.

In order to facilitate this, many companies such as Canon, Epson and Hewlett-Packard will quietly include faxing options on their copiers, printers and all-in-one machines. Many of the latest models even include a digital fax service, in which they place a fax protocol over the company IP network, enabling them to send a fax to a phone number even if they are not connected to a phone line. They can also receive faxes in a similar manner, eliminating the need to purchase an older style traditional fax machine.

However, such machines are still widely available, both new and refurbished. Most major manufacturers make simplified models that just do their primary job. Additionally, many smaller companies will refurbish, repair and service the machines, as well as provide toner, even though they have been off the market for many years. The simplicity and ruggedness of many models means that they are fully functional even after tens of thousands of pages sent and received provided they get proper maintenance. An office looking for a low cost alternative to purchasing an expensive new machine can likely get an older one at a low cost from a wholesaler. This is an excellent option for any company which does not expect to use faxes very often.

Companies interested in a new and dedicated model will find that Office Supply companies still carry dedicated fax machines, although the make and model is limited due to the small amount of demand. These machines are top of the current line and as such highly capable of sending and receiving large documents while minimizing toner and phone line usage. There are also a number of deliberately low end and inexpensive models intended to compete with the supply of refurbished ones.

By Sam Ee Williams
12:43 AM | 0 comments | Read More

How Using Online Fax Services Is Beneficial

Written By Communication on Monday, November 21, 2011 | 12:42 AM

Faxing has changed drastically with the advent of Internet. With web fax service, all you need is to attach the required document to an email and send it to your fax provider. Most Internet fax service providers use the best online fax technology having filters that can filter your attachment, convert them to a file that can be seen on screen without any additional software. Online faxing facility has numerous benefits and few of the principal benefits are:

1. Cost Savings: There is no need to invest in a traditional fax machine and eternally bother about its maintenance. Many fax machines may also require costly repairs and toner refills, regular purchase of consumables that can all add up to hundreds of dollars in the course of a year - depending on the volume of your fax messages. Internet faxes also avoid charges associated with long distance phone calls because they transmit the information over internet lines rather than phone lines. Besides, some of the service providers will offer their customers additional fax pages for free when purchasing certain plans.

2. Ease of operations: Internet faxing is childishly simple and you will not have to contend with frequent paper jams nor be annoyed with too many busy signals. There is no need for handling ink and toner and make the entire faxing area messy. You can send/ receive fax messages from any location by accessing the Internet.

3. Secure faxing: With any fax-to-email service, the faxes you send out will mostly be encrypted to ensure that it is secure and confidential. That web fax services allow you to attach files and have them converted into a format that does not require additional software to be viewed.

4. Mobile text alerts: If you are constantly on the move, it is not necessary that you hang around in the office waiting for some all-important fax message to come in. With some service providers, you can type in your mobile phone number into your fax-to-email account, and this will alert you through a text message whenever you receive a new fax message.

5. Operational efficiency: Unlike traditional fax machines which can only send and receive single fax message at a time, online faxes can send/ receive multiple faxes simultaneously making them pronouncedly more efficient contributing to improved business productivity at your office. You can send faxes without the need for a separate dedicated additional fax line.

6. No special software to buy or download: When signing up for these services with your provider, you will never need to buy or download any kind of software. It is all conveniently packaged into your account and all you have to do is to select a reliable and reputed fax service provider.

7. Green faxing: According to research done by environmentalists, it is revealed that traditional fax machines consume 200 billion pages of paper each year in United States alone. If just five percent of this were done paperless, it could save up to one million trees a year and you can avoid large scale pollution by reducing paper consumption.

8. Additional benefits: If your volume of fax messages is huge and baffling and you want to know who sent what - then fax service providers will maintain a detailed and always updated log as to who called the fax machine, what number they used and at what time the transaction went through.

If you desire to switch over from your conventional fax machine to an online fax-to-email service, you can still retain your original fax number. This way, there will be no disruption and you will never have to update your clients on what your new fax numbers.

By A. James
12:42 AM | 0 comments | Read More

Why Are Businesses Still Faxing?

Written By Communication on Sunday, November 20, 2011 | 12:40 AM

A typical business phone line cost a business forty dollars a month. That's four hundred and eighty dollars a year. Many businesses have more than one fax line. Some larger businesses have multiple sites with multiple fax lines. If a business had twenty locations and two fax lines at each location. That would be $1,600 a month or $19,200 a year wasted. That's not even counting the cost of the machinery required or the maintenance, long distance, ink and paper.

Giving an office the ability to send and receive faxes, requires a business phone line, a fax, fax paper, ink and electricity. Once a fax phone number is established it's difficult for a business to do away with it. It's possible that customers or potential customers might attempt to fax to that number and nothing sounds worse to a potential client than the "this number has been disconnected" message from the phone company.

Most individuals would buy a fax machine at Costco or Best Buy and spend less than one hundred and twenty dollars. Businesses, especially larger ones, never do that. Larger businesses buy professional grade office equipment and would typically spend more than five hundred dollars for a new fax machine.

Fax paper and ink cost money. Waste is more likely to happen at a business because employees aren't paying for what they use and management doesn't have the time or desire to monitor every fax sent, and it's impossible to control what faxes you receive. Also, businesses just don't have the time to shop around to save pennies on their office equipment.

Today, even a one hundred dollar printer has scanning capabilities. And it doesn't take any more time to scan a document than it does to fax it.

What do you do with a received fax? You file it in a folder, in a file cabinet, read it and throw it away or scan it and save it electronically. So you create a fire hazard, create waste or add two steps to the process of saving a document electronically.

Electronic fax services offer virtual numbers that you can give out to people that still insist on faxing. Received faxes show up in your email inbox, where you can read, save or delete them.

Faxing has been an issue with Voice over IP circuits. What's the remedy? Scanning and emailing and the use of electronic faxing services.

Stop the madness! Faxing is a waste of money and old fashioned. It's like writing a check at the grocery store or using a typewriter. Do you want that image for your business? Be green, save a tree, toss your fax machine.

Cofounder of CarrierBid Communications

By John C Gelhard
12:40 AM | 0 comments | Read More

Online Fax Providers - How To Create The Instant Office

Written By Communication on Saturday, November 19, 2011 | 12:38 AM

In today's troubled economy, more and more individuals, are opting for creating a home office or business. They can save on commuting expenses and work from the comfort of their own homes. New technologies even make this option or working arrangement, much more feasible. Actually, creating the "Instant Office" can be done in just a few minutes.

This is all made possible mainly because anyone or any business can now "outsource", most if not all, of their office chores to a third party site. These are often referred to as "cloud services" or "cloud computing", where your data and services are hosted on remote servers, far removed from your actual business or office location.

Online fax services or providers are examples of this new way of setting up an office. You can easily sign up for a local or toll free fax number and have all your communications or faxing done through a web based system that's available 24/7, anywhere in the world, as long as you have Internet access. Getting an online fax service will cost you on average around $8 to $10. This will give you around 300 to 500 (incoming/outgoing) faxes per month; if you need a more robust plan, most providers will have these and many also offer custom corporate plans which can be tailored to meet your needs.

The PBX Option

Keep in mind, many of these online fax providers, will also offer full PBX services, where online fax is just one component. Through many providers, like RingCentral, you can even get a virtual receptionist to handle all your calls. You can also get voice messaging, call forwarding... all the things you need to set up a virtual office in your home with providers like RignCentral Office and Nextiva Office. Obviously, this will save you money and offer great convenience, especially if space is at a premium.

What some people don't realize, going with a virtual fax or PBX option, means they can take their home office or business along, regardless of where they go. If you need to travel, then all your messages and faxes are accessible and available to you or your clients with a few clicks of the mouse. In today's mobile obsessed world, this portability and accessibility should not be underestimated.

Whether we like it or not, today's business world is extremely competitive. Going with an online fax provider or the PBX option, when setting up your home office or business, can make your operations much more competitive. Having a system that's reachable around the clock, 365 days of the year, means you're open for business at all times, regardless of where you happen to be located. When you take into consideration that all these kinds of services can be quickly and cheaply scaled up or down, you really do have a competitive way to do business.

So if you're planning on setting up a home office or business, it is in your own best interest, to investigate utilizing one of these online fax providers or going the PBX route. You will save yourself some time and money, especially over the long term, by going with the "virtual" option. Besides, you can create an instant office within minutes - what more can you ask for?

By Titus Hoskins
12:38 AM | 0 comments | Read More

How To Compose Professional Business Fax Cover Letters

Written By Communication on Friday, November 18, 2011 | 12:37 AM

No matter what industry you are involved in, there is a good chance that you need to send and receive faxes on a regular basis. Whether these utilize the old fashioned facsimile machines, or a newer fax to email service, it is important that the actual document is proceeded by a suitable cover letter. Only with a cover letter would the recipient understand who exactly the document is for, whether the information is confidential, and the actual number of pages that have been sent. Without a covering letter, the document may end up being ignored, thrown away, or deleted if in the digital medium.

There are a number of obvious advantages that can be had if sending a cover letter with all of your faxes. It is often said that those faxed documents that come with this type of introductory page have a more professional feel than those without. Creating the right image for your business is essential in these times of intense competition.

Another benefit of making the effort to include an introductory page is that the recipient will be able to have an idea of the actual content before they read the details contained in the main document. They can then decide whether they should give it priority, or put it to one side.

As many businesses now utilize computer based fax to email services, you do not have to worry that the recipient will get annoyed by a detailed cover letter that uses a lot of toner ink. You can make the introductory page appealing and striking as it may not be printed out physically.

Though old fashioned facsimile machines are not used as widely as they once was, this does not mean you should not make the effort to create professional faxes when needs dictate. Only with the right approach would you be able to make the type of impression that you desire. Poorly composed faxes, or other correspondence, can have a negative impact in terms of your business' standing.

If you are unsure as to how to compose a suitable cover letter, there are various templates you can check out online. By sticking with the same template each and every time, you can ensure that your faxes are of the highest standard. You should not underestimate the value of drafting professional faxes, maintaining high standards in all communications can help to ensure your business has the best possible reputation.

By Kurt Brazell
12:37 AM | 0 comments | Read More

How Do Fax By Email Services Work?

Written By Communication on Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 12:35 AM

As you probably know by now, fax by email services have become extremely popular with modern companies and businesses. This new way of online faxing uses your computer, your web connection and your current email system to send and receive all your faxes. It is a simple form of "cloud computing" where your faxing requirements or chores are outsourced to a third party provider or server.

How Do They Work?

Anyone can simply sign up for these services and receive your own local or toll-free fax number. Some providers will also let you "port" your current fax number so there is no disruption in your business communications. Monthly fees run on average around $8 to $10, but shop around because there are more affordable services which you can acquire. When you want to send a fax you can simply log on to your online account and send your fax from there. Or you can use your email program to send or receive your faxes. Remember, your faxes are sent/received as email attachments, mostly as a Tif or Pdf file.

There are many reasons why these new email fax services have taken hold. Mainly, this is a much cheaper way to do all your faxing because your costs are much lower, especially your start-up costs which are next to nil. Since you don't have to buy a fax machine and more importantly, you don't have to install or maintain a separate dedicated fax phone line with email faxing because everything is done online. You also don't have the ongoing expense of buying all those papers, inks and toners.

Why Use A Fax By Email Service?

Perhaps, one of the biggest benefits, is the simple convenience. Faxing via email is extremely convenient since it can be done with a few clicks of the mouse. Simply log into your online account, place in the fax number you wish to contact and send your fax as an email attachment. You can also send your fax directly through your email system, but contact your provider on exactly how this is done. In addition, many providers let you download a free desktop application which you can use to send and receive all your faxes from your computer desktop.

Since all of these services are web based, you can use any portable device for your faxing, as long as that device is connected to the web. These days with cell phones, iPads, netbooks, laptops and smart phones... it shouldn't be too difficult for you to fax anywhere at anytime. This makes your business totally reachable or accessible around the clock, regardless of where you, your employees or your clients are located.

Lastly, these new email services are seen as very eco-friendly, since you don't have to waste valuable resources such as all those papers, inks and toners. Plus, there's no need to waste energy by having a fax machine running 24/7 with this new way of faxing. As you plainly see, these fax by email services are very easy on the environment.

Overall, going with this new modern way of faxing, seems like the right way to proceed. You will have an easier, more convenient way to fax that is a lot cheaper than traditional faxing. You will also have a portable faxing system which can be accessed at any time and any where. An eco-friendly way to fax that will save valuable natural resources. What more could you ask for, but like all business decisions, it's your call?

By Titus Hoskins
12:35 AM | 0 comments | Read More

Online Fax - Most Important Feature To Check Before You Buy?

Written By Communication on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | 12:33 AM

By now, most people have heard of online or Internet fax. This is a process where instead of using a traditional fax machine, you use your email to send or receive a fax. This is an online faxing system where you choose a third party server or provider to handle all your faxes for you, in return for a small monthly charge. Your faxes are usually sent via an email attachment and since this new type of faxing utilizes your email system, many people refer to it as "fax by email" or "email fax".

However, because you're outsourcing your faxing to a third party company or service, you have to proceed with a little caution, especially if faxing plays a vital role in the running of your business. You must do your due diligence before you buy or sign up to any one of these online fax services. Keep in mind, this will usually be a "long-term" arrangement so doing a little homework now, could save you a lot of trouble, not to mention a few bucks.

There are many factors or features you must check in your future fax provider, but there is one feature that stands miles ahead of the others. This feature is quality. What is the quality of the service you're buying? Does the faxing service work flawlessly and without any hitches? Are they reliable? Are they professional? Even more importantly, can you reach or get support if something does go wrong?

These are the real questions you should be asking when considering any fax service, don't necessarily jump for the service with the cheapest price or the largest number of faxes allowed per month. Just make sure you get a quality service that you won't regret going forward. While it is helpful for you to check out online reviews and user opinions, this information can sometimes be inaccurate or biased. Thankfully, most of these providers will let you have a 30 Day Free Trial so that you can check their service "first hand" before you buy. Use this feature to decide for yourself if the quality of the service is up to your standards.

Of course, there are going to be other features you will also need to check before you buy an online fax service. As mentioned above, price will be among the top considerations, so too, will the number of faxes you can send/receive each month. The number of email addresses allowed with your account? Overage prices if you should go over your monthly limit? Support hours? Any set-up fees or charges? Amount of online storage and how long can you keep your faxes online? Are there corporate plans or custom plans? Methods of sending your faxes, types of file formats allowed?

All of these features or factors should be checked before you buy any service, but above all you must check the quality of the service. Check the online reputation of the service - what are users saying about it? How is it rated? What kinds of reviews does it have? Most importantly, do a "test run" and check the quality of the service for yourself. If your chosen provider doesn't work out or there are problems, remember - you can always choose another service. But while most services will let you "port" your fax number, it's best to do a little homework and research now so that you get it right the first time around. So Choose Wisely.

By Titus Hoskins
12:33 AM | 0 comments | Read More

Old Technology Gets A Face Lift With Fax To Email Services

Written By Communication on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | 12:31 AM

In the span of little more than two decades, telephone services has become just another part of a total communications package. Big providers routinely offer Internet, television, and telephone services based on an all-digital platform. While these inevitable changes are for the better, there can sometimes be unanticipated problems.

Fax machines, for example, are the workhorses of many offices, and many people still use them at home. The concept behind this technology is over a century old, and was originally designed for use over analog-based telephone lines. Attempting to use an older machine with a new, all-digital phone system can set the stage for disappointing results.

The result can be one-way transmissions, inability to answer at the far end, and for the user, general frustration. Alternate forms of Internet faxing sometimes require extra software, and in the case of VoIP service, special kinds of adapters. Dealing with this type of technological fix can be frustrating to people who are just trying to get a job done.

The new fax-to-email services now available can totally eliminate the need to keep using a bulky machine that consumes electricity, even when not in use. Unless you want to print everything you receive, there is often much less paper to buy. Not only is this a money saver, but also is beneficial to the environment.

Besides saving ink, there are logistical advantages. Because the documents appear either as attachments or files in an email, they may be viewed from any normal email location, without having to be in the office. There is no waiting for that familiar old beeping noise, and the transmission process is only limited by the speed of your connection.

The system is transparent to users on both ends. Subscribers receive a real fax number, and when dialed from another machine, the information being sent is converted into a digital file, which then appears to the recipient as an email attachment. It can be saved for easy reference without being printed. Sending works similarly by attaching a file or scanned copy of a document.

Compatibility between old-fashioned faxing and 21st century digital voice technology is no longer an issue with this type of service. Users rarely get busy signals, and garbled printouts become a thing of the past. There is never the need to free a paper jam. Fax to email services are one way to incorporate old technology into the digital age, while cutting down on wasted time and money.

By Lenore Rocamora
12:31 AM | 0 comments | Read More