Google Fax: A Guide to Faxing Using Google Tools

Google fax, the definitve guide

​​You can use a Google fax number to receive faxes online without having to install a physical dedicated line.

​Faxing is still alive, especially in industries where privacy and security is ​essential. Luckily, we no longer have to rely on old technology. ​

But what's a Google fax number and how can you get one minutes from now? This is what you'll learn in this guide.

What is Google Fax

​Google faxing refers to the act of sending and receiving faxes using Google products.  The main way to do this is through your Gmail account, but depending on the service of your choice you can integrate ​fax with Google Drive, Google Docs, and even port your ​Google Voice number.

This way of faxing​ takes full advantage of the array Google has for us users and manage our communications in a more secure and efficient way.

​How to Obtain a Google Fax Number

​It's just a fancy name for an online fax number that delivers incoming fax to your ​Google ​account. This line lets you fax from your computer using ​Gmail interface.

There are only two things you’ll need to get your fax number:

  • 1
    A Gmail address.  You can create a Google account create a Google account here if you don’t have one dedicated to fax online.  Although you can use your current Gmail address, it’s better to use a new one to keep things tidy.  An address goes hand in hand with a Google account, which means that you’ll be able to access complimentary products such as Google Drive, Google Docs and Calendars.​
  • 2
    An online fax service. ​A service acts as intermediary between incoming fax and your Gmail account and is a must-have item to be able to fax through Internet.  They offer plenty of features that make your life easier if you fax often, but the one we care about the most in this article is the ability to get a free ​Google fax number.

​Fax service providers let you pick between a local, a toll-free or a vanity number.  The choice is yours, just make sure that it fits your style of business (more about the different types of numbers below).  If you want, you can also have your current fax number transferred to an online fax service and avoid having to update your contacts and marketing materials.  In this case, the number needs to be ported and then propagated across the Internet.  ​Contact your fax provider to learn how to get this set up.

​For now the only way to get a virtual fax number is through an ​email fax service provider. "Free fax" websites are unable to give you a number for incoming faxes.  But by using a service you ​receive fax on Gmail automatically, you don't have to concern yourself with lengthy installations or complicated fax hardware.

​Plans vary based on the amount of faxes you send/receive per month with ​affordable monthly fees (you can find ​providers costing as low as $4.99 a month).  Services don't require a contract, which means that you can cancel your subscription at anytime if you wish to.  Every plan includes a free virtual fax number, helping businesses make the switch without additional expenses.

​You can get a free online fax number by signing up for a free trial account with reputable services such as eFax, Ringcentral or MyFax, which are 100% compatible with Google products.

All free trial accounts are given a free number to fax for 30 days, as well as access to all the advanced features included in a basic plan, which means sending fax online is also possible.

​How to Fax using google

Sending ​Google Fax ​With Gmail

To send a fax online with a Google fax service, you’ll need to enter your Gmail account and follow these steps:

  1. Create a new email message
  2. Enter the recipient’s number on the email field, followed by @ and the domain provided by your online fax service.
  3. Attach the file you want to convert to fax, using Gmail’s paperclip icon.
  4. As an optional step, you can add your cover page text either on the body of the message or in the Subject field.
  5. Press Send

The fax conversion process takes only a few seconds, once your file is converted to a fax format that is compatible with fax machines, it sends it to the recipient.  Afterwards you get an email confirmation with the details of the process.  You can learn how to fax this way in our detailed guide on how to send fax from Gmail.

​Best Google Fax Services of 2023

recommended Google fax services

RingCentral Fax. This is one of the companies that provide better ​fax integration with ​Google in the market. They currently have local and toll-free numbers in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.  Opening a free account with them is pretty easy, you just have to complete a few steps and after that you’ll have your active fax line. This service has pretty advanced features like cloud faxing and mobile integration, and you can use it in conjunction with RingCentral Office, their virtual office product suite.  

eFax.  It’s the online fax ​provider with most presence in the World, right now you can find free numbers in more than 40 countries and hundreds of cities. During the sign up process you choose a country and the ​fax number you wish to associate to Google.  Faxes arrive with all the details of the transmission.  ​Their smartphone app is currently the best out there, and is free to use with an active account.  If you value security and reliability, this is a great alternative.

​How ​a Google Fax ​Service Works

Your account is ready to receive faxes just minutes after you create it.  Then, whenever you receive a transmission from a fax machine, ​your Google fax number will ​convert it to a TIFF file and then forwarded to powerful fax servers where the document will again be converted, but this time into a PDF file that you can read on your computer.  After that, the PDF will be attached to an email and sent to your Gmail inbox.  The whole process takes place in the background, you only have to open the fax attachments on your email.  You have total control over what you print or download.

​If you are accustomed to working with files created on Google Docs, know that some services also let you fax with Google Docs files easily by just adding a plugin on your browser.

If you're in the US or Canada, you won't have to worry about finding a number given that all companies provide online fax numbers in these territories. For other countries you might want to look into services like MyFax or eFax which have presence in dozens of countries around the Globe. When choosing a number, it's a good idea to keep in mind where are your customers located.  For example, toll-free numbers can be reached by anyone in the USA without the need of an area code so it's perfect for business with nationwide presence. ​

​​Faxing is still alive, especially in industries where privacy and security is ​essential. Luckily, we no longer have to rely on old technology. ​

​Convert Your Current Number Into a google Fax Number

port your current number

Do you have an existing fax number? Creating an account with a new number may be the quickest way to start faxing online, but that means that you would need to update all your business contacts and marketing materials!

Unless you only have a few contacts, it makes sense to keep using your current fax number.  You can move it to a virtual dedicated fax line by asking your Internet fax service to port it.

This process, known as “number porting” will let you enjoy the perks of faxing online with your same number, by moving it to a virtual platform.  This involves moving it to a fax server and then letting it propagate across Internet.  Given the size of the Web, this may take a few days to be 100% complete. Then it will be ready to be linked to Google.

This porting process also works with Google Voice numbers.  But before porting it you need to unlock your number via the Google Voice we panel. Just login to your Google account and visit this link:

​Which Type Of Google Fax Number Should You Choose?

choosing a Google fax number

​TOLL-FREE Fax Numbers

​These are numbers that you can call for free. They are usually easy to spot when they have the 1-800 prefixes, but there are other toll-free prefixes such as 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888. Toll-free fax numbers are preferred in industries where there is a lot of communication with customers, such as law, health and customer support. It makes it easier for customers and potential customers to reach you via fax.

​LOCAL Fax Numbers

​These are the “traditional” numbers you get when you request a new line.  If you have a local business, having one these numbers can earn an extra degree of trust among potential customers. Most providers offer coverage across the U.S. and Canada. For international numbers ​users should check for local services or opt for an international fax service like eFax or MyFax, which have numbers in tens of countries around the World.

​VANITY Fax ​Numbers

​By using a vanity fax number, ​users can control how our number looks and what message it forms. These are instantly recognizable numbers, you may have seen some on TV that looked like this: 1-800-CALL-US-NOW. Vanity numbers are used by businesses that want to invest in branding, and it is also used a lot for marketing purposes. But since these numbers are not widely chosen for faxing, you need to request one from your service’s representative, and they will cost you an extra fee.

How to Fax Using Google Chrome

Most online fax services out there offer great flexibility when it comes to alternatives for sending and receiving faxes.  One of these ways is to do it through your browser and your service's user dashboard. The specifics will depend on the company you choose, but here's a quick overview of how this usually works.

  1. Sign in to your online fax services account and access your web dashboard, which will have a desktop email inbox-like interface.

  2. Click on the "New Fax" button and provide the required information in the fax cover sheet, including the recipient's and sender's fax numbers, subject, and comments.

  3. Once you have completed the cover sheet, click on the "Add Documents" button to upload the files you want to fax from your device or cloud storage.

  4. Double-check the fax cover sheet and attachment for any errors or omissions. When you are ready to send, click on the "Send Fax" button to complete the process.

​Final Words

Fax machines are not only slow and outdated, they also consume a lot of energy. Most offices need to keep it turned on even when they are closed to avoid missing important documents. ​But here are other reasons you should make the jump to ​Google-based fax:

  • ​It is a MAJOR time and money-saver.
  • Lets you ​receive and send fax documents from Gmail.
  • Lets you send and receive faxes on your ​cell phone with mobile apps.
  • It's easily integrated with cloud storage services, including faxing with Google Drive.
  • There's no need pf physical line installations.
  • They give you an ​virtual fax number for FREE.

​Getting a Google fax number is a surefire way to speed up the delivery of fax documents and reduce the amount of paper consumption on your office. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to create a free account and start receiving fax to ​Gmail.

Even if you are away from your computer you'll still be able to receive fax through your number because you are basically faxing without a phone line.  Either with the use of Gmail for mobile or by downloading a smartphone fax app. At the same time this line will enable you to send Gmail fax at the speed of light.

Virtual lines are much more affordable than physical lines and unlike them, they are ready to be used immediately without any additional equipment.​