Why Are People Still Using Fax Machines?

In 1878, Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent for a history-altering device called the telephone, but what many people don't know is that the patent for the fax machine was filed by a Scottish clockmaker named Alexander Bain three decades earlier. Fast-forward to the 21st century and the fax machine lives on, beeping and wheezing up sheets of paper the world over. The question is…..why? The simple answer is that axing is a familiar technology that people trust. The complexities of the Internet and its many offshoot technologies — along with endless headlines about hackers, spyware, viruses and data breaches — create in many people's minds a sense that the web is not secure. In addition, government policies still encourage faxes, and legal processes lean heavily on paper documents. Doctors fax prescriptions, privacy documents, and patient records. Fax machines are a habit, and they're one that dies hard, because they're a simple, low-tech, interoperable system that anyone can use with just a few minutes of training. In addition, fax machines — like pesticide-resistant cockroaches — evolve with the times. In spite of the intermittent hiccups in faxing, the machines are likely to live on for decades. They are comfortable, cheap, convenient and generally reliable. They're accepted around the world in ways that digital signatures sometimes aren't. So, until digital alternatives find the same kind of universal recognition, you can expect that fax machines will still be here, beeping and whirring even in the ashes of a great apocalypse.