Do you want to fax from Google Drive? In this guide you’ll learn about your different alternatives and the best ways to integrate cloud storage into online faxing!
Each passing year, more and more people have started integrating cloud storage into their everyday lives. The main reason is that accessing documents online is much more convenient than walking around with a USB in your hand – just in case you need a file! Add to this the fact that anyone can have plenty of storage space for free and you’ll see why these services have become so popular.
Free cloud services just require you to sign up, and you can start storing files right away. One of the most popular cloud storage services is without a doubt Google Drive; a service offered by Google that is already at your fingertips if you have a Gmail account!
Harnessing the Power of Google Drive for Faxing
Google Drive has plenty of features for their users, such as 15GB of storage space (you can opt for a paid plan if you need more), integration with other Google services, mobile accessibility and you can even create different types of documents from scratch, without having to download any additional application.
But did you know that you can also fax from Google Drive account?
In the past few years, email fax services have evolved by integrating innovative features, and one of them is the ability to fax cloud-stored documents, not only from Drive but also from other popular services such as Drop and Dropbox.
Whether you fax from a computer or your cell phone, you can quickly send a cloud documents with just a few clicks. There are many advantages to using this method of faxing. The obvious ones are that they make faxing faster and easier, but you can also access and edit your documents anywhere thanks to the Drive app so, if you want to make a quick change you can do it very quickly with your computer or phone.
Let’s take a look at the different methods you can fax from Google Drive. This introduction will be what you need to start cloud faxing in just a few steps, we have ordered the methods in order from best to worst, although no alternative is really bad.
1. Fax Google Drive Documents From Gmail
We’ve already written a guide on how to fax from a Gmail account, but in a nutshell, you can send and receive faxes using nothing but Gmail thanks to email fax services, companies that provide you with the power of their fax servers so you can fax from your computer using an Internet fax number.
This method of faxing has proved to be the next step in this still-used technology. It has led fax companies to start integrating powerful features to their services. One of them is the ability to “pull” documents from your linked Drive account.
When you fax with your email, you are basically sending a fax to your service’s fax servers; it will then forward a converted and secured fax file to the recipient. There are key differences with this faxing method though:
- The recipient’s number is entered in the TO field, following the instructions of your service provider. For example, in the case of RingCentral, you would enter the number this way: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The actual document you want to fax will be attached to the email.
So, if you have used Gmail before, you may already know how to attach a document. You have to click on the paperclip icon located on the bottom left of your composing window.
If you need a document from your computer, the paperclip icon is the way to go, but you can also decide to grab a file from your Drive account, so that you can attach it to the message. To do this just click on the icon at the right of the paperclip; it looks like a triangular shape, and this is the icon for Drive. When you click it you get a pop-up window with all your documents.
Pick the one you need, attach it and send the fax!
This is our preferred method for faxing with Drive because it’s easy to use on any platform, so even if you are having a problem with your service’s mobile fax app, you can just sign into Gmail and take care of things pretty quickly.
2. Use Your Fax Service Dashboard
With a fax service you not only have the option of faxing directly from Gmail, but you can also head to your online account dashboard to send a fax. Faxing this way gives you full access to the features available for email fax users, including popular ones such as fax scheduling and detailed fax reports.
In this area, you’ll also have access to additional settings that will give you more control over your documents.
To send a document from Drive, first sign into your account, and navigate to the setup window. It varies from service to service but for the purposes of this guide, we’ll show you how it’s done using RingCentral, through FaxOut.
You’ll set up the way you integrate cloud services. So after you enter the service, click on FaxOut and you are taken to a screen where you can link your cloud storage account. You’ll find that besides Drive, you may integrate a Drop or DropBox account.
Click on Drive and a pop-up window will appear so you can authorize linking both accounts. Once it’s done, navigate to the “Send a Fax” section, and in the “Attach” field click on Drive. Finally, pick the document you want to fax.
This alternative is great because you have more options than just Drive, but if you do not use them, it’s better to stick to the first method and only log in to your fax account when you want to use an advanced feature.
3. Use a Google Drive Add-On
This second alternative involves using what is known as an add-on, which is nothing but a little online app that can be integrated into Google Drive.
People use add-ons extensively to add features to basic services, in this case, the ability to fax a document just by using the sidebar on the document editing screen. The most-known add-on provider for these cases is Hellofax, but there are other companies with similar solutions.
To use this method you first need to sign up for a service. One that provides the add-on either by using a paid account or a free trial. Then you need to access your set-up screen and link your fax account to your Drive account.
You’ll notice that you’ll have faxing options on the sidebar or when clicking on your document options. If you are accustomed to working in Google Docs, this is a rapid method of faxing. Just navigate the menu, fill all the necessary fields and that’s it!
This third method is quick and easy to use, I would recommend it to people who prefer using Docs to edit documents. The downside of this approach is that you don’t have many alternatives regarding services, and besides Drive integration, you only get basic faxing capabilities and none of the advanced features found in email to fax services.
Why Fax From Google Drive?
Cloud faxing is somewhat new, so many people are still asking themselves, why should they use this type of technology. Here are some strong reasons:
- It lets you fax on the go. With the development of mobile fax apps, we can fax using just our phone anywhere! But what if we don’t carry all our documents on our phone? In that case, Drive integration provides the best solution, since you can just access them from the Internet. Cloud documents are always available for you, especially considering this is a service provided by Google. Do you recall being unable to access Gmail?
- It lets you work with your documents anywhere. Whether you are at the office or on a beach house in the Caribbean, you can always access the Internet. By accessing Drive, you can create or modify a document destined for faxing.
- It integrates seamlessly with Gmail. For those users accustomed to faxing from email, Drive integration is as easy as pushing a button.
- Let’s you save time and money. This is a given advantage of email fax services over fax machines. They let you cut down the time you spend sending and receiving faxes, taking care of documents automatically.