This post was last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 03:40 pm
That lonely wall jack where the landline once connected is an eyesore on the wall. Maybe you’ve had to explain it to the kids and have even thought about getting rid of it. But now you’re working from home and need to fax. Is a landline required? No! We’re going to show you how to send a fax via Gmail.
No Landline: How to Send a Fax Via Gmail
Yes, you can get a fax number without a landline, though a landline has to be used somewhere along the process. Cellphones are terrible at fax transmission when they can do it at all, and many carriers can’t. “Voice over Internet Protocol” (VoIP) phone numbers like those provided by Google Voice are simply incapable of it.
Fortunately, if you need a dedicated fax number, there are inexpensive online fax services that can fill this gap.
What’s an Online Faxing Service?
An online fax service handles the process of converting your document into a faxable version, then transmits it over the service’s own phone lines to the recipient’s fax machine. It also works in reverse: if someone faxes you from their machine, the online fax service will receive the transmission, then convert it to whatever format you prefer to receive.
It sounds complicated, but the user experience can be blissfully simple. Many services will provide you with your own dedicated fax number with your local area code. You can even put it on your web site and business cards.
Getting Your Dedicated Fax Number
We’ll use RingCentral as our example online faxing service. You sign up for your 30-day free trial with your Gmail address, which associates that address with your account. The second step in the signup process is selecting your dedicated fax number from a list of available numbers in your area code.
What Is the Faxing Process Like?
Many fax services can be integrated with office productivity tools, like Microsoft Office and Google Docs. There are browser plugins, as well as apps. But we love the simplicity of being able to use our dedicated fax number through Gmail. Once you know how to send a fax with Gmail, you have the advantage of faxing and managing your faxes entirely through your Gmail dashboard on nearly any device. Here’s how it’s done:
- Start a new Gmail
- Attach your document to your email
- Use the “Subject” line as a cover sheet
- Address your email to email@example.com
- Press “send”
When your fax arrives, it will display as “From” your dedicated fax number. If the recipient faxes you back, whether by machine or online fax service, they send to your dedicated number as usual. Your fax service will receive the fax and convert it.
Is There More to Online Fax Services?
Most fax services use the monthly “subscription” model and auto-bill your card. Many also bundle fax with tiers of additional services, including separate voice (VoIP) phone numbers and integration with Dropbox and Google Docs. Almost all offer limited-time free trails. Read carefully, as some give you full access to their system while others restrict the “free trial” to a limited number of pages you can send/receive or only allow you to send, but not receive faxes.
No Landline Reunion Required
Since you now know how to send a fax via Gmail, you’re safe from that dreaded landline reunion. You may even want to get out the spackle and fill that old socket. Rest assured: you’ll get your faxes in Gmail and nobody will know that you don’t have a machine.