While T.38 faxing is the standard for real-time, secure faxing over an IP network, especially for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), some organizations have tried to implement a workaround solution in the form of HTTPS faxing. The largest problem with this workaround is that it’s not always compliant. T.38 is the established protocol because it follows regulations put forth by HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley and other industry regulations. HTTPS falls short in this regard.
How HTTPS Fax Works
HTTPS is a web transport that uses the Internet to submit a sent or received document either to or from a particular device. It uses an HTTPS Client to transfer the document to and from a designated HTTPS Server that then manages the actual process of sending or receiving the fax.
These HTTPS clients are proprietary and generally used as fax server add-ons. They can also exist in analog telephone adapters that are used to connect fax machines through the Internet. HTTPS faxing has to use an HTTPS fax server (from a service provider) that has a gateway component that sets up the fax call via a telephony switch. It then faxes the message over the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
Why T.38 Fax is Superior
While HTTPS faxing provides a secure way to send faxes over the Internet while allowing gateways and other telephony components to remain off premise, T.38 real-time fax instead uses the Internet as a conduit to send and receive faxes. When faxes are transmitted, there is a secure and direct connection set up between the sending and receiving servers — just as there is with a PSTN — which eliminates the fax server at the service provider.
There are two benefits to using T.38 faxing:
- The sender receives a page-by-page confirmation, which means the fax can be stopped midway through the transmission if something goes wrong.
- The real-time direct connection between the servers means that there is no middle party that can change a fax while in transit and the sender/receiver can set up a precise delivery time.
The Problems with HTTPS Faxing
Those who absolutely must maintain regulatory compliance with their faxing will encounter multiple problems while using HTTPS faxing, including:
- “False positive” delivery notifications, leading to lost faxes.
- Increased costs due to additional servers, more equipment and additional licenses for servers.
- Clean IP routes cannot be used when faxes are delivered only on PSTN.
- HTTPS fax does not adhere to the latest standards and does not use the latest fax technology.
- Your fax service provider may use temporary storage (for faxes in transit) that are not compliant with regulations.
Invest in Secure and Compliant Faxing. Invest in a Fax Server
If security and compliance are vital to your organization, T.38 faxing via a proper fax server is the best solution you can buy. Find out more about compliant fax solutions by contacting The Fax Guys today.