Modern day faxing has unlocked for us the possibility to receive faxes on Gmail. Learning how to do this is pretty easy and takes only a couple of steps with the help of an email fax service. Many services allow you to receive faxes in your email inbox, and most of them offer compatibility with Google Mail.
Why Do You Need a Fax Service?
Right now we can only receive Gmail fax thanks to an email fax service. The reason for this is that they provide you a free virtual fax number which redirects incoming faxes (sent from machines as well as computers) to your inbox in just a matter of minutes.
This virtual fax number is linked to powerful fax servers, which turn incoming faxes into PDF files using an automatic conversion process that takes place in the background before faxes arrive at your inbox.
Faxes arrive automatically to your inbox once the fax number is linked to your Gmail address. You don’t have to answer incoming calls or be physically present at the office, documents will be converted and will arrive directly as a new email message.
Setting Up Your Account
Most fax services will ask you what type of fax number you want during the setup process (as the pic shown above, in the case of Efax), and what email address or addresses will be receiving faxes. At this point, you can choose between a local or a toll-free fax number with different prefixes.
Once you have picked your number, you enter the email address in charge of receiving faxes. Here, you enter your Gmail addresses. Some services enable you to receive faxes through 5 different email accounts at the same time.
Using Your Online Fax Dashboard
There’s another way to set up your account to receive online faxes. For this, you’ll have to use your online dashboard, the area where you control your email fax account. Exact steps vary from service to service, but you have to look for the Settings tab.
Let’s take as an example RingCentral Fax. In their Settings area, under the Notifications tab, you’ll find the Email field, where you enter the email address in charge of receiving faxes. By default, you have the “Include attachment with email” activated, which means the fax contents will be attached as a PDF file.
There are also additional options when it comes to receiving an online fax. Note, for instance, that you can opt to receive SMS notifications and email notifications at the same time, which is perfect if you are always on the go.
Receive Faxes Through a Mobile Phone
A few services have also started offering mobile apps, which let you receive, send and browse faxes anywhere as long as your cell phone, smartphone or tablet is connected to the Internet. Right now the companies that offer online apps are MyFax, RingCentral and eFax, but expect much more to pop up over the course of a few months.
Mobile apps are not designed to replace email faxing. Instead, they aim to provide a solution for people who are always on the go. You will still receive the faxes on your Gmail account, along with the attachment, so later when you are at the office, you can download them, sort them or print them as you like.
Tips to Make Receiving Email Fax Easier
- TIP 1: Create a new Gmail account for faxing. This takes up only a couple of minutes and saves you a lot of trouble in the long run. A separate account will let you find faxes easier and keep your inbox uncluttered with spam and other unimportant messages.
- TIP 2: Choose the right kind of number. Are you going to use fax to communicate with clients, with providers, with both? Ask the right kind of questions to see if you need a local or toll-free fax number.
- TIP 3: Make sure the email fax service offers numbers in your area. Most companies offer numbers for people located in the US. If you are in another country, check that your service provides local numbers. Services such as eFax have numbers available in multiple countries around the Globe.
- TIP 4: Try before paying for a service. All companies allow you to test drive them before you start paying for them. A free account is the best way to see if a service works for your business. Some companies will ask you to enter payment information for the full-month free account; to avoid any charges just be sure to cancel it before the trial has ended.