A few years ago the only way to send or receive faxes was by hooking up a fax machine to a dedicated fax line. Furthermore, the entire process of getting an extra line meant more expenses on top if what you spend for the fax machine, ink and paper. But this was the only way to be able to transmit important documents to clients and staff.

Fortunately things have changed and breakthrough online fax technology now allows you to use something as simple as your Gmail address to fax in just a few minutes. A valuable solution that this new method has brought is bypassing complicated installations and even eliminating the need of a dedicated fax line. Instead a Google fax number is created instantly online.

Getting a Google Fax Number

First, it’s important to understand what a Google fax number is. When you sign up with an email fax service you are given a free virtual fax number that automatically transfers your received faxes to your Gmail and also transfer the faxes you send through Gmail to any fax number. This is the ideal solution for those in search of a way to use their email to fax.

To start, there are two important requirements, a Gmail account and an email fax service. In order to fax from Google an email fax service is required because it can be integrated with your email and most importantly it provides you with a virtual fax number which is what this article will focus on.

During the process of signing up with an email fax service, you will be asked to select your virtual fax number which can be either a local, toll-free or any number. It’s important to select the right type of number for you business.

Once you’ve made your selection everything is immediately set up and activated for you. When you receive a fax the service will automatically convert the incoming document to a digital format that is then delivered to your email as a PDF attachment. The entire process is automated and doesn’t require any configurations.

Currently, a virtual fax number is available solely through an email fax service. Although there are many websites that let you send a fax online for free, the amount of pages you can send is limited and there is no way you can receive faxes with these websites.

On the contrary, paid services give you the ability to send and receive faxes without the need of a dedicated line or fax machine. The cost of these services is affordable for all business sizes, starting with prices as low as $5 a month and this includes your free number as well as access to many features. However, is there a way to get all of this without having to spend a penny?

Another option you have available is signing up for a free trial account. Many fax services offer this promotion and you will still get your Gmail fax number. During your trial you will get full access to their service for up to 30 days. You get all the benefits of a paid service without having to commit to a plan and also giving you the opportunity to test drive their service before signing up for a monthly plan.

What Goes On Behind the Scenes

Your virtual fax number works just like any other number, the only difference is how the final product is delivered. If someone sends you a fax from a computer or a traditional machine, the steps are no different on their side. Once it is sent to your number, the document is then transmitted to the online fax servers that automatically transform the signal into a digital format and then delivered to your Gmail inbox in PDF format. Since this is automatic there are no extra steps you need to worry about and some services will even send you a text message to notify when you’ve received a new fax message.

The majority of web fax providers offer local numbers from cities in the US but their are also services that offer international options, such as RingCentral, in countries like the UK and Canada. If you need a number in other countries then the best option is either MyFax or eFax, which offers local numbers from over 40 countries.

Another option you have instead of a local number is using a toll-free or vanity numbers. Which format you use depends on what type of business you have, thus it’s important to analyze and compare your option to see which would work best with your business. Either way, you’ll be getting a powerful Google fax number that will increase productivity and lower your expenses.

Approved Google Fax Services

After much reviewal, the services mentioned below provide an optimum experience and easy integration with Google applications. You can easily merge with Gmail and they are trusted services that offer a variety of plans and you can also try these services at no cost for up to entire month!

RingCentral Fax. One of the leading companies, they strive to integrate as much possible with Gmail and currently offers numbers in the US, Canada and UK as well as local, toll-free or vanity options. A complete service that works best for large businesses but also offers affordable plans for individuals or smaller companies.

MyFax. This service offers one of the lowest prices in the market. There are less features compared to other providers, but they pack the essential tools needed at an unbeatable price. They’ve already received several awards and offer a complete US based customer service team. You can choose a toll-free or local US number.

eFax. Serving nearly have of the Fortune 500 companies, this provider offers numbers in over 40 countries, covering the most territory among Gmail fax services. You can pick either a local or toll-free number and rest assured you are using on of the most reliable services.

Already Have a Fax Number?

Many experienced businesses already have a fax number and while you may not be in search of a new fax phone, you still want to upgrade to digital faxing. Switching to a new number can be very complicated since it requires informing all your contacts and could cause a gap in communication.

The best option in this case is to go with number porting. This means you keep the same fax line you have now but go through a process that converts it digitally so you can send and receive faxes through the internet. This procedure can take around 7 business days to be completed but providers will give you a temporary number of your choice until the porting process is completed.

Contact the provider you’re interested in beforehand about number porting so they can give you all the details about the process and any additional costs. It’s important to use a trustworthy provider that knows how to do this correctly so you can quickly enjoy your new Google fax number.

A few years ago the only way to send or receive faxes was by hooking up a fax machine to a dedicated fax line. Furthermore, the entire process of getting an extra line meant more expenses on top if what you spend for the fax machine, ink and paper....