Despite what many people think, a “Google fax number” is not a not a fax number provided by Google. The big G doesn’t offer these types of service, so what does it mean?
It is simply a virtual fax number (provided by any online fax service of your choice), that lets you receive fax directly on your Gmail account. Many people call it that way, or they also call it a Gmail fax number. Whatever you want to call it, it’s what it does what makes it special.
There are different ways you can send a fax online, from using a monthly service to using a free webpage, but the only way to receive faxes on your email is by using a virtual fax number. Unlike common numbers, which work over physical lines, virtual numbers work over Internet, using a technology closely related to VoIP, FoIP or Fax Over Internet Protocol.
This email fax number is ready to receive faxes 24/7, even when your computer’s turned off!
To be able to fax from Gmail, you’ll need two things: a Gmail address and an online fax service account. This service will be in charge of converting incoming faxes into digital files and the other way around, acting as a link between faxes and email. Faxing through a service has many advantages, among them the ability to get a free online fax number.
When it comes to choosing a number, you have three choices: toll-free numbers, local numbers and vanity numbers. You can pick any number you like, keeping in mind the needs of your business or company. If you have an existing number, you can transfer it to the Internet and use it as your virtual fax number.
Signing up with an Internet fax provider is the only way to obtain a virtual fax number. You do this at the moment of signing up with, without the need of setting up your computer. Once it is done, the whole fax-to-email process takes place automatically.
Fax services work via monthly subscription to a plan. Nowadays you can find fax plans for as low as $5 a month. The price depends on the amount of pages you are allowed to send and receive per month. All plans come with a virtual fax number included, and you are free to cancel it at anytime if you don’t want to continue using it.
If you want to start for free, you can sign up for a free trial with those services that allow it (below you’ll find our recommendations). This way you can fax for free for a full month without having to spend a dollar. Although some services may ask you for credit card information, you won’t be charged anything if you cancel before the 30 days have passed. This is the option we recommend if you want to try out how Google faxing works.
Recommended Google Fax Services
Our recommended online fax services provide seamless integration with Gmail. They have plans for all types of needs and budgets, and you can try them out for free, so you can start faxing right away.
RingCentral has years of experience in the field of online faxing and virtual workspaces. RingCentral Fax can be obtained as part of their Office package or as a stand-alone product. They offer plans for businesses of all sizes and provide fax numbers in Canada, USA and the United Kingdom.
This service is for those who value quality and support. Most importantly, they give you the option to obtain numbers in more than 40 countries, some of them toll-free. Right now eFax is the biggest online fax provider. Their plans are a bit more expensive than their competitors’, but the amount of features they provide is simply impressive.
How Do Google Fax Numbers Work?
Your virtual fax number is active and ready to receive faxes just minutes after completing the signing-up process. If someone sends you a fax to this number, the line will redirect it to your provider’s servers, where it will converted into a PDF file. This file is then attached to an email and sent to you. This takes place automatically in less than a minute, so you don’t have to do anything besides checking your inbox.
Most providers offer number in the US, but if you are currently located elsewhere, it’s better to use a service with local numbers in your country. This makes sense from a business perspective. After all, you don’t want people from other countries dial internationally just to send you a fax, do you? If you are based on the US, maybe it would be good to choose a toll-free number, unless you are a local business.
It’s a good idea to spend some time deciding which Google fax number is best for you, because changing it later means having to update all your contacts.
Need to Keep Using Your Existing Fax Number?
Speaking of updating your contacts, if you already have a fax number, you may choose to transfer it to a digital line. This is possible through a process called “number porting”.
Simply put, your number will be handled by your fax service, running it through their fax servers. This may take a couple of days to complete, because your number will need to propagate across Internet, but once it is done you’ll be able to fax through the Internet. Contacts sending you a fax won’t notice a difference. You’ll receive a temporary number while you number is being propagated to avoid missing faxes.
If you are interested in porting your number, be sure to do it through a top-rated service. You don’t want excessive downtime, and these services have plenty of experience taking care of these transfers.
Cool Things to Know About Email Faxing
Email faxing is the latest step in faxing technology. You can finally be free of the fax machine and the issues that came with it like paper jams, incomplete transmissions and poor printing quality. You can even save the money you used for faxing supplies and electric bills.
Here’s why you should consider moving to Internet fax:
- It integrates perfectly with Gmail to send and receive faxes.
- Faxing only takes a few seconds.
- You don’t need a phone line.
- It lets you access fax on the go with your smartphone.
- It integrates with cloud storage services.
- Receiving faxes is a hands-free process.
- It works with multiple types of files.
- Some services let you add an electronic signature.
- They give a fax number for FREE.
Setting up your account is as easy as entering your Gmail address and selecting a fax number. From there you’ll be able to fax normally.
If you are constantly moving from place to place, you’ll be able to check incoming faxes via a cell phone app. These apps can give you instant notifications when new faxes arrive and also let you read them on your screen. Some apps also let you send faxes just by taking a photo of a document.
Forget about being chained to a fax machine. This new way of faxing will help you take your communications to the next level, at just a fraction of the cost!