Have you ever wanted to fax without a phone line? Thanks to online fax technology you can receive faxes on your email by using a virtual fax number. Finally you can forget about complicated setups and fax machine problems, and the best of all is that it can be integrated with Google products.
In this article, you’re going to find out how to automate faxing with the help of a Google fax number, which is a virtual number that redirects incoming fax to Gmail converted into a PDF file. We’ll explain how you can get your number in just minutes from now and what are the different types of numbers you can use when faxing online.
Getting an online fax number is a surefire way to speed up the delivery of faxes and reduce the amount of paper consumption on your office. Virtual lines are much more affordable than physical lines and unlike them, they are ready to be used immediately without any additional equipment. Faxing this way is also more cost-effective, and as you’ll see, you can even get started for free!
What Do You Need?
There are only two things you’ll need to get your fax number:
- A Gmail address. You can create a Gmail 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. Creating a new account is completely free, but you may be asked to verify it with your phone. An address goes hand in hand with a Google account, which means that you’ll be able to access complimentary products such as Drive and Calendars.
- An online fax service. You must sign up for a fax service to be able to fax online. When you sign up for a monthly plan with them, you are given a free Gmail fax number and a virtual line, through which all faxes will arrive. Incoming transmissions will be first converted into PDF and then sent to your inbox as attachments. Besides letting you send and receive fax, these services have features that make faxing a breeze, like the scheduling, iPhone faxing and broadcasting among others.
Recommended Google Fax Services
RingCentral Fax. This is one of the companies that provide better integration with Gmail 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. Click here for a 30-day free trial!
eFax. It’s the online fax service with most presence in the World, right now you can find free eFax numbers in more than 40 countries and hundreds of cities. During the sign up process you choose a country and number, and then link it to Gmail. Faxes arrive with all the details of the transmission. eFax’s 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. Click here for a 30-day free trial!
When someone sends you a fax via your Google virtual fax number, it travels first to speedy fax servers which convert the incoming fax into a digital file. More precisely, a PDF file, which you view on any computer or device. Once in your computer you can choose to either read it, print it or forward it. You can connect your fax number to up to 5 different Gmail addresses. This comes as a plus in companies where more than one person needs to deal with incoming faxes. And it is a time-saving feature because you don’t need to forward faxes anymore.
How to Keep Using Your Current Fax 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! Unless you only have a few, it makes sense to keep using your fax number. You can move it to a virtual line by asking your online 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. You may be able to start receiving faxes in a shorter time in some cases, but just to be safe, services give you a temporary fax number that stays active for 30 days. Though can switch it to your own at anytime you wish.
If you are interested in porting your number, it would be a good idea to choose a top fax service provider and this way avoid down times.
What Type of Number Should I Choose?
When it comes to picking the fax-to-email number you are going to use for your company, it is important to know your options. This will allow you to make the most out of your Googlefax service subscription and will help you improve your communications.
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 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.
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 you 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.
By using a vanity fax number, we 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.
Although there’s no way to receive free fax to email with Google products, we can still take advantage of online fax services to obtain a number. Virtual fax lines are able to deliver fax on Gmail, boosting our faxing speed and helping you enjoy more time away from fax machines. Getting started is very easy; it only takes up a couple of minutes to set up your online fax account. Just pick a number and start faxing!