Last updated on: April 2023
Now you can send a fax from Gmail in just minutes without having to use a traditional fax machine or fax line. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know when it comes to using Google fax to send and receive faxes.
Faxing technology has evolved a lot these recently. Before Gmail and iPhones existed, the fax machine was brought to life in the early 1800’s and until recently having a fax machine meant you needed to get a dedicated fax line, fax machine supplies and wasteful maintenance or repair costs.
Today, fax-to-email services are merging the benefits of the internet with faxing to create an online fax solution that saves you time and money. You also get a free online fax number and it can easily be integrated with Google services so you can receive and send a fax via Gmail.
Step 1: Sign up with an Online Fax Service
Sign up or start your free trial with an online fax service. This will then become your Google fax service by integrating it with your Gmail account. Do to this just add your email to your online fax account so that it is registered and ready to go.
STEP 2: Compose an Email
Simply create a new email message by clicking on the Compose button in your Gmail account.
In the TO recipient section you will enter the receivers fax number, where you would usually place the recipients email.
The fax number is immediately followed by your internet fax providers information (which they will specify in your welcome message). For example, if you are a RingCentral Fax user it would look like this:
In the example image below we placed the US country code “1”, followed by the area code “323” and then the fax number “5551234”.
The SUBJECT of the email will be the TITLE of the fax cover page, as shown in the example image above.
Step 3: Attach the Documents You Want to Fax
The beauty of online faxing is that you can attach a variety of document formats. Whether it’s a Word Document, PDF, Excel or even a JPEG image.
Check with your provider to know what document formats you can use. Most providers will accept the most common formats and you can also attach documents from your online storage accounts such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
Attaching a document to your fax is the same process as attaching a document that you email.
STEP 4. Include Message for Cover Page
Where you would normally write the message for your email, you can place the text you would like to include on your faxes cover page.
STEP 5. Final Step
Check over your fax, make sure you’ve entered the fax number correctly and the right documents are attached. Then click SEND and you’re Google fax is automatically on it’s way to being converted and delivered within minutes! That’s how easy faxing through the internet can be with a Google fax service.
After completing these steps your fax will take a few minutes to be delivered and you’ll also get a confirmation message to inform you if your fax was sent successfully or if there was an error in the process. Most providers will automatically try to resend a fax a few times if it fails on the first try, which makes it unlikely to receive an error message. But if you do receive an error message, the email will explain why the fax wasn’t delivered.
Best Online Fax Services of 2023
With an online fax service you can send and receive faxes from the Gmai dashboard as well as get a free Gmail fax number. You can choose from a local, toll-free or vanity number and all incoming faxes will be sent to your email. To use the email to fax feature just create a regular email and add the services domain (as shown in the guide above) after the recipients fax number.
After reviewing several services, the most highly recommend are the following:
- eFax – One of the largest online fax companies, they offer fax numbers in more than 40 countries. Easily link your account with your Gmail account and also check out their mobile app which lets you fax from your cell phone at anytime.
- RingCentral Fax – A great competitor, this provider actually offers a complete business cloud phone system as well as their online fax service. They provide numbers for US, UK and Canada.
Benefits of Using Gmail Fax
- User Friendly: Using online faxing is easy because it was created to simplify the faxing process. As explained above, all you have to do is attach the documents you need to fax when you compose an email and send it to the receivers fax number. Your email fax service takes care of the rest by using a secure and fast encryption.
- Accessible: You are no longer bound to a physical fax machine! You can fax from anywhere. Google faxing is a convenient solution for travelers and remote workers. All you need is to be connected to the internet, from your desktop computer, laptop, tabled or cell phone.
- Secure: A traditional fax machine meant your documents get automatically printed out. In an office this meant confidential documents could easily be accessed or lost. Faxing from email encrypts faxed documents, delivering it safely to your Gmail inbox or your online fax services dashboard, both which are password protected.
- Cost Effective: A fax machine is one of the most expensive office tools because it requires costs to get it set up with a dedicated fax line, buying a fax machine, energy consumption and paper and toner expenses. You no longer have to worry about any of this if you fax from Gmail.
- Online Storage: Most services offer some type of storage if not unlimited fax storage so you have easy access to documents at any given moment.
Drawbacks of Using Gmail Fax
- Relies on Third-Party Services: Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t offer a built-in fax feature. That’s why an online fax service (third party) must be used to merge the power of online faxing with email to get a Google fax solution. It’s important to research and find a reliable service that offers around the clock customer service support.
- Internet Connection Issues: As the name implies, an online fax service relies on your online connection. If you are unable to access the internet then you won’t be able to send or receive faxes. This may be a hassle if you are in an area with less internet coverage.
- Security Concerns: For the most part, online faxing offers safer fax transmission compared to a traditional fax machine. However, there is always the risk of your Gmail account being accessed without authorization. Some services offer more security measures when you fax through their online dashboard. A top rated service uses advanced encryption to protect your data.
- Limited File Formats: Some services may only accept certain types of files to fax. If your document format isn’t accepted then you’ll have to find an online tool to convert it to an acceptable format. Most service accept the most common type o files formats such as PDF, DOC, JPEG and TIFF. However, if you have a specific file format that you use then be sure to look at the accepted file formats before signing up.
- Additional Costs: Although online fax services are overall more affordable than using a fax machine, you can still incur additional fees. Monthly plans come with a limit on how many fax pages you can send and receive per month. If you go over this limit there is a fee for each additional fax page. It’s important to look at all the available plans and choose one that best meets your faxing volume so you can avoid excess fees.
Does Google Have a Free Fax Service?
Currently, Google does not offer a Google Fax service BUT fortunately you can still fax using Gmail with trusted online fax services, which are free to try.
Luckily, many services are offering free trial accounts so you can fully explore their dashboard and see how easily it can be integrated with Gmail to fax.
Can I use Google Voice to Fax?
Although Google Voice (GV) offers a great communication solution, it also doesn’t provide a faxing feature and Google hasn’t expressed plans on implementing one soon. If you want to use your Google Voice number to fax then you’ll need to port the number over to an online fax provider.
However, doing so means that you will no longer be able to use the number for Google Voice as it would be transformed into your Google fax number. Email fax services will digitally convert all your incoming and outgoing faxes through Gmail and eliminating the need of a faxing machine while saving you time and money.
Online Fax Services Compared to Free Fax Sites
There are some sites that let you transmit a limited amount of fax pages at no cost. You cannot integrate this with your Gmail account as a Google fax solution. Instead it’s done directly from the website through a form. Also, there is no option to receive faxes, these sites only offer limited options to send a fax online.
If you need to send more fax pages there is a price and it’s usually more expensive then using a monthly plan from a trusted email fax service. It’s also important to keep in mind that they do mention that your fax may not be able to get delivered.
Also, there are no security features which is why it’s best to use it only if you going to fax documents that don’t contain confidential information.