A Google fax number is nothing a virtual fax number, which is in charge of redirecting incoming faxes to your Gmail account. It comes included with email fax accounts. Here you will learn how it works and how you can obtain one.
Getting a Virtual Fax Number
Obtaining your own number to fax over Internet is actually very easy. There are many companies called “email fax services” which offer these numbers at the moment of signing up with them. Usually they let you choose between a local and a toll-free fax number, the choice is entirely up to you, and they don’t cost any extra money.
As soon as you create an account and pick a type of number, all faxes will be automatically redirected to your Gmail address, where they will arrive as attached PDF documents. You don´t have to wait for installation or account activation, the signing up process takes only a couple of minutes.
A virtual fax number can be linked to more than one address. It is standard practice among providers to provide forwarding to up to 5 different addresses. Before deciding on a service though, make sure they have numbers available in your country, some services only work with US and Canada.
How a Google Fax Number Works
Once you have your own number, you are ready to start receiving faxes. This is a process that takes place automatically, you don´t have to do anything or download anything in order to receive Gmail fax! But here’s what happens in the background:
- First, the sender dials the phone and it automatically obtains fax tone.
- The sender starts the process of sending the fax (it could be from a fax machine or from another computer).
- The virtual number then “grabs” the document and send it to conversion, using Fax Over Internet Protocol, or FoIP.
- Once converted to a PDF, the service forwards the fax to your email address, where you can view it on the screen or print it, depending on what you need.
This whole process is 100% secure, so you don´t have to worry about privacy issues. And the best of all is that it is very fast, much faster than receiving faxes through a fax machine. It´s also worth knowing that these numbers are never busy, it can take care of multiple incoming faxes at the same time.
Can I Keep Using My Old Number?
Yes. Some services offer the prion to port your current fax number. Doing this may take some days, because the number needs to propagate on the Internet, and during that time you may experience connectivity issues. To avoid this, the best services out there give you a temporary fax number, a working virtual number that will help you receive faxes in the meantime.
Google Fax Step-by-Step Guide
Sending Gmail fax is very easy, here are the instructions you need to follow to send your very first digital fax.
- Click on COMPOSE, to start creating your email message.
- On the TO field, enter the recipient´s number, but you have to do it in an email format, this depends on the Gmail fax service you choose. For example, if you use RingCentral Fax, it would look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Attach the file(s) you want to fax, it can be a text file, a PDF, spreadsheet and even a photo.
- Fill the SUBJECT field with the cover page text you want.
- Press SEND. Now the fax is on its way!
TIP: Email fax technology is fully compatible with fax machines, so you can send faxes to anyone without problems!
Why Use Email Fax Instead of a Fax Machine?
It´s Cheaper. Actually you can get started for free since all companies offer a fully-enabled 30 day trial. From there, you can find fax plans for as low as $4.95 per month, and that includes your own Google fax number (local or toll free, depending on what you choose at the moment of creating your account).
It´s Faster. Faxes arrive in just a matter of seconds with perfect readability, no matter if the person on the other end is using a service or a machine. Features such as scheduling and automatic delivery of incoming faxes to your inbox make faxing faster than it ever was!
It´s Portable. Now you don´t have to depend on a fax machine and stay on the office. Thanks to cutting-edge mobile fax apps you can fax from iPhones and other smartphones. Incoming fax arrive to your phone automatically and you can even compose faxes using your phone´s camera.