Gmail has become over the years the most popular email platform in the World, with millions of new accounts created every day. It’s no wonder that these email addresses are being used by businesses of all sizes for their communications. Gmail users not only enjoy the speed and ease of use of the service, but they also gain access to a set of tools developed by the search giant, such as Drive, Calendars and Google Docs. But what about faxing? Is it possible to fax over Gmail without a fax machine or even a phone line?
The good news is you can! Even though Google doesn’t have its own fax service, you can use third-party solutions that let you fax from the comfort of your computer, directly from your Gmail window. This new way of faxing has proven to be extremely popular because it is simple, fast and you don’t need any type of additional equipment.
- A Gmail address from where you will be sending and receiving faxes online. You can use any Gmail address you have, but if you want to be more efficient when faxing, it’s a better idea to create a new one.
- An account with an online fax service. These services will be in charge of converting every fax you send into a format that is compatible with legacy fax machines. They will also provide an online fax number for receiving faxes. Getting an account with some of the most popular services is free for the first month, if you decide to test it our first, from there you’ll have to continue paying a monthly fee, which can go from $5 to $15.
Test an Online Fax Service for Free
If you don’t have an account with a fax service, but want to follow this tutorial, you can create a free trial account with the services we recommend below. A free account will be of great help to choose a service that will cover your needs, while teaching you how easy this way of faxing is at the same time.
RingCentral Fax. This company has plenty of features for those of us who fax on a regular basis, providing fax solutions for users in the USA, Canada and UK. They have plans for all types of users and advanced features such as cloud fax and mobile fax. You can try it our free for a full month.
eFax. This is the biggest online fax provider in the World, offering coverage and fax numbers in dozens of countries. eFax is the leading company in secure faxing, that’s why it is favored by big companies. They offer a free month of faxing.
Steps to Send Fax Through Gmail
Follow the steps below to send your first fax online. This method is also known as “email faxing”, because it is extremely similar to sending a common email, you just have to know where to enter the necessary information that will be converted into fax. To make things easier for you, here’s a list of differences you have to know in order to send an email to a fax machine:
- The number is entered on the TO field, formatted like an email (More on this on step 3).
- The text you enter on the Subject and Body fields will act as the cover page.
- The actual fax contents are uploaded as an email attachment.
This information will be pretty easy to remember once you have completed the tutorial. Now that you have your Gmail address and an online fax service account, it’s time to get down to business!
- Log into Gmail using your username and password.
- Compose a new message.
- Put the recipient’s number on the TO field and then add @ and the domain your provider instructed you to use for faxing. The domain (example.com), will vary depending on the service you are using. For illustration purposes, let’s say you need to fax to the number 1 403 999999. If you are using RingCentral, you would need to send the fax to: firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see in this case the fax domain you have to use is rcfax.net. If you were using efax, you’d need to change it to efaxsend.com.
- Add the cover page message and/or contents using the Subject and Message field.
- Attach the document you want to fax. Currently most fax services work with a wide variety of formats, including the most used ones such as JPG, XLS, TXT, PDF, DOC, RTF, BMP, HTML. In Gmail, you attach documents by clicking on the paperclip icon. You can also attach documents from your Google Drive account, by clicking on the Drive icon next to the paperclip.
- Press Send.
Once you finish, the “magic” will take place. Your fax will be sent for conversion and then forwarded to the number you entered on the TO field, converted as a TIFF file, readable by all fax machines out there. And it all happens in just a few minutes. Most fax transmissions take about a minute or two to complete.
To let you know that the fax has arrived successfully, the service will send you a confirmation message to your email, containing all the details about the recent transmission. A log of all sent faxes can also be found on your online fax service dashboard area.