Although we’re in the age of the Internet with emailing, IMing, and more, many businesses still choose to use fax lines to send important documents. However, we also happen to be in the age where more and more people are working from home. This makes access to a fax machine pretty difficult, as most people don’t have one. Don’t start stressing, though—a fax cover sheet, Google Docs or a file to upload, and a Gmail account are all you need.
Can You Really Fax through the Internet?
These days you can most definitely send faxes through the internet, which doesn’t mean sending your documents from one internet-connected fax machine to another. You can now send faxes from any device with an internet connection and the Gmail app.
Why Not Just Email the Documents?
Fax machines were once all connected via landlines. Landlines have always been more secure than internet lines, as internet lines are usually connected to a variety of networks that landlines aren’t. Some modern fax machines use internet lines to connect instead. However, the lines these fax machines use are connected to fewer other internet networks and secondary devices.
The case is the same when you fax through email. Regular emails are sent via networks that are connected to a vast number of other networks. With email faxing, there are fewer other networks connected to the lines your messages are sent through. This makes internet faxes more secure than regular emails.
But Can Google See the Contents of the Emails or Google Docs?
Google employees cannot collect data from or view the contents of any emails sent through the Gmail service. The same applies to any faxes you send using your Gmail account and any information you write and share in GDocs.
How Exactly Do You Send Faxes Through Gmail?
Step #1. Sign Up for an Internet Faxing Service
If you want access to these more secure internet-based fax lines, then you’ll need the help of a service that offers this to customers. You’ll pay a small monthly fee, and in return, you’ll receive a fax number of your own alongside an extension/domain. There are no downloads or plug-ins required to use the service. This differs greatly from many online faxing apps you’ll find.
There’s also usually a major price difference between Gmail fax services and downloadable faxing apps. You’ll pay a lot less for a Gmail fax service!
Step #2: Prepare Your Fax Cover Sheet and Documents
Faxes are sent with cover sheets. You’ll need to prepare yours in advance because you won’t type it into the body of your email. Instead, it goes in the subject line. Don’t have it anywhere else in your email apart from in the subject line.
Once that’s done, you can prepare the documents you wish to send as a fax. Attach a Google Doc or upload a doc/PDF file to the email body, and don’t write anything in the body alongside it.
Step #3: Add Your Recipient
You’ll enter your recipient’s fax number instead of their email address. After the fax number, you’ll add the domain/extension provided by your internet fax service. So, instead of the recipient being something like “email@example.com,” it’ll be “firstname.lastname@example.org” instead. No need to add their email address alongside it. Just hit send, and it’ll get to the right person.
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