virtual fax number

Faxing is one of the most common types of communications used by businesses around the Globe. This type of technology reached its peak back in the 80s and 90s but it still alive and kicking in this day and age. Many people think that using your current phone line and number is your only option to send and receive faxes, but there are more options out there including the use of digital lines that require no installation. In this article we will take a closer look at your alternatives so you can pick what works best for you.

Types of Fax Lines

Let’s start by talking about types of phone lines first. You have landlines and digital lines.

Traditional fax lines or landlines have been used for many years since the birth of faxing, and many businesses still use them up to this day because it’s the way common telephones work too. These types of lines require a physical installation by your phone company, which of course takes some time and money because phone services don’t simply put a new line overnight. The vast majority of fax machines use this type of fax lines along with a cable connection.

Digital fax lines on the other hand, work over Internet and doesn’t interfere in your normal landline. They take advantage of a new technology called Fax Over Internet Protocol (FoIP), which basically work just like VoIP lines but are dedicated to faxing. The main difference with these lines is that they have the job of grabbing incoming faxes, to then send them to a fax server which converts traditional fax files (in TIFF format) to a PDF, so you can easily receive faxes in Gmail or other email address of your choice.

So, which one is best? The development of digital technology and fax integration for the Internet has put digital lines in a higher place. There are different reasons for this:

  • It is cheaper.
  • It is ready to be used in just a matter of minutes.
  • Stays on even if you are not in the office.
  • Works best with digital fax services, allowing you to use it as a Google fax number.
  • You can choose among different types of numbers.
  • It’s easier to integrate with a smartphone or tablet.

VERDICT: Get a digital faxing line, it’s cheaper and even if you have an actual landline, you can move your number to a digital platform using a fax porting process, offered for free by most online fax providers at no extra fee.

Types of Fax Numbers

OK, we have already taken care of the line problem, now it’s time to learn about the two types of numbers you can get with a Google fax service.

Local numbers

These are numbers that are available in your area. For most businesses that operate within a city or area this number will do. It looks like an ordinary number with the area code (actually all digital numbers look exactly as “normal” numbers, the only difference is what happens behind the curtains).

If you are in the USA you will find tons of options for different states and cities, but for International customers, you may like to search for a service that has presence all over the World, like MyFax for example, or perhaps a local fax provider where available. If you are in the UK or Canada, you have additional options like RingCentral and eFax, which have specific plans for people living in those countries.

Toll free numbers

800 numbers are the most common types of toll-free numbers you can find, you may have seen them in billboards and TV ads. These are numbers that customers and providers can dial for free. If your business involves doing a lot of faxing with your clients, this is a great alternative because it keeps documents flowing easily. This type of number won’t cost you extra, you can choose it at the time of creating a fax service account.

According to a recent study, business with 800 numbers have a higher value of quality in the mind of customers, so it makes sense choosing this type of number for your business if you interact with customers on a regular basis. Besides 800 there are other toll free prefixes as well, such as 888,877,866 and more. Here are some more details with the most popular services:

  • eFax. Offers 800 fax numbers, as well as 888, 877, 866 with all accounts. You can choose your prefix at the time of creating your username.
  • RingCentral. Also offers 800 number prefix. In addition the provide 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 numbers.
  • MyFax. They offer 800 numbers as well as 855 numbers. MyFax has international presence, but you may need to ask for toll free numbers outside USA and Canada.

Vanity numbers

Some services let you create a custom 800 number. This is a perfect way to strengthen the branding of your company, or help you create a memorable number that clients will easily remember. However, unlike the types of numbers listed above they are not included with your account. You can pay a few dollars more to get your vanity number, and in the case of some services like RingCentral you can apply for a Professional plan, which comes with this option and other advanced features.

VERDICT: Choosing a Google fax number really depends on the type of business you run. Some companies will benefit greatly from vanity and toll-free numbers, while others work just fine with a local fax number. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a number. We think that the type of fax line is what actually makes a difference. If you re in doubt, you can start for free with a free trial account. Happy faxing!

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Faxing is one of the most common types of communications used by businesses around the Globe. This type of technology reached its peak back in the 80s and 90s but it still alive and kicking in this day and age. Many people think that using your current phone line...