Google Fax – Quick Start Guide
Did you know that you can receive fax straight in your Gmail inbox without having to deal with a fax machine? That’s possible thanks to Google fax!
Email faxing has become the preferred way to send and receive faxes online, because it is faster, easier to use, and much more cost-effective in comparison to traditional faxing, which required you to buy a fax machine, supplies and install a dedicated line for the office. What’s even better, you can get started in just a few minutes and you only need to have a Gmail address and an Internet connection!
In this guide you’ll learn how to send fax from Google, how to receive faxes through Gmail and pick a fax service that accomodates to your needs and the needs of your business.
What Do You Need?
Email fax technology makes faxing easier for all people, no matter their level of technical expertise. Faxing over Gmail is just like sending a common email, but before we get to sending faxes, let’s take a look at what we need.
A Gmail Address. Nowadays it is very easy to create a new Gmail address, so if you are ready to start faxing I’d recommend creating a new one. The advantage of having a separate Gmail address for faxing is that it will make receiving and sorting fax easier. It’s better to do this before we get started because if we do it later we’ll have more work on our hands.
An Email Fax Service. Google isn’t offering a free fax service for now, so the best alternative we have is using an online fax service which offers compatibiity with Gmail. There are many benefits in using an email fax service, including the ability to fax to multiple users at the same time, or integrate fax with your iPhone, but the main benefit is that they give you a google fax number, which is a virtual fax number linking to your Gmail address. This number will forward all faxes automatically to your inbox, making this a totally hands-free process.
Best Google Fax Services of 2013
Online fax numbers are provided by email fax services, companies that put at the disposition of users powerful fax servers, which are in charge of converting faxed documents as super high speed, so you can receive them as PDFs. Here are two recommended fax services that provide 100% integration with Gmail and let you fax for a month without spending a dime.
EFAX. This is one of the leading fax services on the market providing fax numbers in 42 countries and thousands of cities around the World. At the moment of creating your account, you can choose between a local or toll free number in the area of your choice.
Efax offers a single plan at $12.95, called eFax Plus.
TRY EFAX FREE FOR 30 DAYS
RINGCENTRAL FAX. This is another fax company that integrates perfectly with Gmail, currently providing local and toll-free fax numbers in many cities across the US, Canada and the UK. Their basic plan costs just $7.95 and you can test drive it for a full month before paying for a subscription if you like to.
TRY RINGCENTRAL FAX FREE FOR 30 DAYS
NEXTIVA VFAX. Nextiva is a relatively newcomer in the field of Google faxing, but it has proven in recent years to be a reliable and affordable fax service. Their plans start as low as $4.95, offering coverage all around the US. It may not have advanced features such as mobile apps and such, but if you want to fax for the best price, Nextiva can’t be beaten.
TRY NEXTIVA FAX FREE FOR 30 DAYS
How Does a Google Fax Number Work?
Your digital fax number is in charge of “grabbing” incoming faxes and send them to conversion on super-fast fax servers. Thanks to them you can receive fax on Gmail automatically.
Whenever someone sends you a fax through your Google fax number, the incoming fax image is sent to the fax servers, where it is converted into a digital file, more specifically an Adobe Acrobat PDF file, which you can open and read in any computer or mobile device.
After the file has been converted, it is then forwarded to your Gmail inbox, where the PDF arrives as an email attachment. All incoming faxes are stored in Gmail as well as your online fax dashboard, so you can sort them using Gmail’s powerful functions.
How to Send Fax from Gmail
By linking your Gmail address to a virtual fax number, you will be able to send faxes through your Gmail account. This method of faxing is 98% similar to sending a common email, so it is not only fast but also very easy to learn! Here’s a quick guide that will help you send your first fax from Google:
- Compose a new email on your Gmail dashboard.
- Attach the file you want to fax to the message.
- Write on the MESSAGE field, what you want to be your cover page.
- Add the recipient’s number on the TO field like this: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Press Send! In a couple of minutes your fax will arrive its destination!
What happens if the service encounters a busy line? Well, according to your setting, it will re-try sending the fax several times until it goes through and you can get a successful confirmation message. You don’t have to do anything on your part, the service will handle all the attempts automatically.
Can I Keep My Current Fax Number?
Yes! The companies listed here give you the possibility of keeping your current number for your virtual office so you can continue receiving faxes for your business without having to update all your contacts. To do this, they must follow a process called number porting, which moves your current number to a digital medium, able to forward faxes to Gmail.
The porting process takes a few days, because the number needs to propagate to ensure it is working 100% of the time. A service will give you a temporary fax number for a month free of cost while your number is being ported to avoid problems during the transmission of a fax. Your ported number should be working fine in approximately 10 days though.
Can I Link My Number to Multiple Gmail Addresses?
Yes. Currently most fax services allow you to forward faxes to up to 5 different email addresses. This is especially useful if more than one epople need to supervise and read incoming faxes, and saves you the time of forwarding every single ffax to all recipients. This is optional, so if you are the only person checking faxes, you can set to recieve fax on just one address too.
Despite serving different addresses at the same time, it still deliver the faxes without delay, thanks in gret parts to powerful fax server software.
Does it Cost Me Anything to Get a Fax Number?
Numbers are given by fax services at no extra cost when you open an account with them. If you want to enjoy a full month of totally free faxing, you would have to sign up for a test-drive account.