Stay at Home: Use Your Email to Fax Instead

This post was last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 04:18 pm

We’ve all become used to sending and receiving information instantly. Yet certain leftovers from previous tech eras are still with us and remain necessary to this day. Probably the most awkward example is the faxed document. Do you still have a fax machine? Didn’t think so. Gmail Fax can help you eliminate the problem by connecting you to email to fax services that will let you send and receive faxes straight from your Gmail account.

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Why Do We Still Need Faxes?

In its modern incarnation, the fax machine has been with us for more than a half-century. That’s a long time to build up an established standard, which is what faxes have become. Documents for government, academic institutions, banks, healthcare providers, and other entities all require faxes under certain situations. This, of course, means the time may come when you must either get a fax machine or else pay to fax somewhere. An online fax service solves this problem.

What Do I Need to Have?

All you really need in order to send and receive faxes is an email account and an online phone number. Together, these become your fax machine. The first part is easy, with Gmail being the most popular email option. There are 1.5 billion Gmail accounts in use today.

The second part is easy too. You simply use a cloud-based online fax service that provides you a with phone number. This number becomes your “fax machine,” letting you send a fax straight from Gmail and also receive incoming faxes as email attachments.

Which Email to Fax Plan Should I Go With?

There are numerous services available to let you send and receive faxes. They offer a variety of plans with different features and pricing. Some will even let you send a few pages for free, but you won’t be able to receive anything because they don’t give you a fax number. Other services insert advertisements on your faxes: probably not the impression you want to make.  

A fax is generally a serious document, often containing sensitive financial, legal, or medical information. For that reason, it’s best to focus on features like security, reliability, and flexibility from an online fax service. You’ll also want to know about scheduling and reporting options as well as support. These features make RingCentral our favorite online fax service.

How Does It Send?

The simplest solution is one that lets you send faxes directly from Gmail. Once you sign up for the service and have a Google fax number, the learning curve is approximately zero minutes. You simply compose a letter in Gmail and attach the document you want to fax. Then you enter the “address” of your recipient.

With virtual faxing, the recipient is a phone number instead of an email address. The number is followed by @yourfaxservice (whichever fax service you end up choosing). The subject line of your email serves the same function that a cover page would with a paper fax.

How Do I Receive a Fax?

Receiving faxes via email is just as easy. You simply give your fax “phone number” to the sender, and they send you a fax just as they would to another fax machine. The fax ends up in your Gmail inbox as an attachment.

Save Time, Money and Hassle

There’s no getting around the need for the occasional fax. Every fax sent from a public machine costs a few dollars – more than that if the document has many pages or is being sent internationally. The costs and wasted time have a way of adding up.

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