This post was last updated on October 20th, 2021 at 09:52 pm
A “good news/bad news” technical detour: the bad news is, it is impossible to fax through your Google Voice account. The good news is that if you wanted to turn your Google voice number into a dedicated fax line, you can transfer it to a dedicated fax service (including the one we discuss below). This is known as “porting” your number, but it would cancel your Google Voice account and make the number fax-only (no voice calls or voicemail). The even better news is that it’s far easier to get a Gmail fax number, which takes just 15 minutes to set up.
What Is a Gmail Fax Number?
It might seem illogical that you can’t send/receive faxes on your Google Voice number, but you can via your Gmail. Though it works great for phone calls, there are many restrictions on Google Voice. Besides faxing, many online services (like banks) will not let you use it as a backup if you forget your password.
However, online fax services can integrate seamlessly with your Gmail account. In practice, it feels exactly like you are emailing the recipient’s fax machine. Let’s say you wanted to fax the White House at 1-202-456-2461. In Gmail, you would start an email and address it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first part of the address is the full phone number, including country and area codes. The second part is the fax service’s address.
What Is an Online Fax Service?
An online fax service handles the phone-line work of sending and receiving your fax. It simplifies your life by sending the faxes back and forth to you as Gmail. RingCentral is one of our favorite fax services for its sheer simplicity. All you really have to do is send and receive email with your recipient’s fax number. RingCentral handles the rest. Your recipient will never know you don’t have a fax machine.
30-Day Free Trial
RingCentral is a monthly subscription service, but they provide a no-obligation 30-day free trial so you can test it out. You can fax up to 1,500 pages during that free trial, which is a great way to send a fax for free if you really only have one to send.
Scan Your Documents
To fax a document with your Gmail fax number, you attach the document just like you would any other email. This means your document has to be in a common digital format, like a PDF file. If it’s currently paper, you need to scan it.
Works on Your Smartphone
Speaking of smartphones, because RingCentral is so well integrated with Gmail, you can use it directly from your smartphone. So, not only does it make faxes as easy to send and receive as emails, you can do so anywhere and anytime your phone is with you. Because your faxes are stored as emails, you can manage your faxes (sent and received) with the same search and sorting tools built into Gmail.
Bottom Line: Send/Recieve Faxes With Gmail
That’s the great news: You can send and receive faxes from your Gmail account just like they were emails. It’s like having a Gmail fax number. It’s so easy that it makes having a fax machine connected to a landline seem silly. And it may make you wish you could send and receive more faxes.