Are you looking to integrate Google fax in your office but don't know how?
Nowadays you don't even need a fax machine and a dedicated line fax. With a Google fax number you can send and receive faxes by linking it to a Gmail account and other services such as Google Docs and Google Drive.
Based on our years of experience helping people fax online we have created this guide to get started with Google faxing. Here we outline the exact steps you need to follow to integrate fax on Google Workspace. Read on to learn all about it!
- Google doesn't have a fax service or provide fax numbers. To use Google Fax, you'll need to work with a third-party online fax service.
- A Google fax number is a dedicated fax number that forwards incoming fax to Gmail, as a digital file.
- You can send an receive fax with Google through Gmail.
- If you have a working Google Voice number, you can port it to an online fax service.
What is a Google Fax Number?
A "Google fax number"·is just a name given to an online fax number connected to your Gmail account.
This connection allows you to receive faxes automatically in your inbox using a virtual dedicated fax line. Contrary to a traditional one, a virtual fax number doesn't require any physical setup and is ready to be used in a matter of minutes.
Despite the term used to describe them, Google doesn't offer fax numbers or services of any kind. Instead, these number are provided by Internet fax services, companies that let you convert incoming faxes into digital documents.
Your online fax number will grab incoming fax transmissions and send them to powerful servers where the fax is converted into a PDF document and then forwarded to your inbox. Once your online fax number is active, it will deliver faxes to Gmail automatically. You'll receive notifications of incoming transmissions via your phone or by using a notification add-on.
How to Get a Google Fax Number
To get a Google fax number follow these steps:
- Sign up with any Internet fax service of your choice. Pro Tip: If you don't want to spend money at first, sign up through a free trial.
- Select which type of number you want to link to your Gmail address.
- Enter your Gmail address and other details.
- Wait for your account to be created, this usually lasts a minute or so.
- Start faxing with Google!
Google doesn't offer a fax service, at least not yet, so you need a third party provider for the job. If you are struggling to select a good service, you can try reputable services like eFax, which let you create a 14-day free account.
Once your Gmail account is linked to your brand new fax number, you can start receiving faxes automatically via email, via your online fax dashboard, or even your service's mobile app (if they have one).
If you have a Google Voice number you can fax online by porting it to a service (more about this later on). In this case you'll have to unlock it before initiating the transfer process. After transferring it, your number will only be able to receive fax transmissions.
You don’t have to get a dedicated fax number for every Gmail account that needs faxing capabilities. Most services allow you to link up to 5 different email addresses to a single virtual number.
Get a Google Fax Number Now
With eFax's solution you can start faxing with Google Workspace apps for free.
Sending a Fax with Google
Sending a fax with Google is a straightforward process. Depending on the online fax service you choose, there are different ways to send a fax using Google:
Using Google Drive and Google Docs
One way to send a fax with Google is to fax using Google Drive. Simply upload the file you want to fax to your Google Drive account and select the online fax service's integration. From there, you can enter the recipient's fax number and send the fax directly from Google Drive.
You can also send and receive fax with Google Sheets and Google Docs. These applications offer seamless integration with online fax services, allowing you to fax documents directly from your Google account.
Once you have linked your email account to a virtual fax number, you can send a fax from Gmail in the same way you send an email. You just need to compose your email message and attach the file(s) you need to convert the fax, the online fax provider will take care of the rest.
Receiving Fax with Google
Receiving a fax with Google is a fairly straightforward process. As we mentioned earlier, your Google Fax number is linked to your email. This means that any incoming faxes to that number will be converted and routed to your inbox.
Faxes arrive as email attachments. The body of the message contains all the information about the transmission, while the actual fax file is a PDF, so it remains readable across operating systems and devices.
When you receive your fax in Gmail, you can choose to save a copy of the file to your Google Drive account, where you can read it and even forward it if you need to.
If you prefer to fax on the go, you can also fax from your phone, checking your Gmail app for incoming faxes, or by taking advantage of your service's mobile fax app.
How to Fax Using Your Google Voice Number
Google Voice is a very useful product for communicating online. By providing you with a free online number you can take care of texts and calls. But can you use it for faxing?
If you’ve read in other articles that you can’t do it… Well, I’m sorry to say that they are correct…
You see, Google Voice takes advantage of VoIP (Voice Over IP) to provide its service. And as the name implies, it’s main purpose is to use it as a phone line. Sending a fax over Internet requires a FoIP (Fax Over IP), more specifically a T.38 protocol.
A handful of articles on the Web also detail ways to connect a fax machine to a Google Voice line, but these articles are not only outdated, the methods they use are complicated to set up and they are totally unreliable. We have tried a couple of these Google voice fax methods over here and got zero results.
This doesn’t mean that you have to throw the towel. There’s still a way to use a Google Voice fax number. It’s called “fax number porting”.
Transferring Your Google Voice Number to a Fax Service
If you want to use the number provided by Google Voice to send and receive faxes, you need to transfer it to an online fax service like Hello fax, eFax or RingCentral. Once this is done, your line will be always active to receive incoming faxes.
An online fax service lets you use a digital line to send and receive faxes straight from your computer. Faxes are delivered straight to your Gmail address, arriving as PDF attachments that you can either download or print. Sending a fax from Gmail is also very similar to sending a common email.
Upon signing up with a service, you get a free online fax number. But if you prefer, you can keep using an existing number. The service will then move this number to a digital dedicated fax line.
But the first thing you need to do to transfer your number is to unlock it on Google Voice.
Follow these steps:
Now your number is unlocked and ready to be transferred to an online fax service. To request a porting process, you need to log into your online fax account. Then you have two options:
1. Request it from contact support. There’s some information you need to fill out to begin the transfer process. Some services require you to open a support ticket to hand you the form with this information.
Once completed, send it back and you’ll be notified when the transfer has begun.
2. Transfer it from your online fax account. Other fax services let you begin the transfer process from your account. You usually do this by heading over to your service’s settings area. You should find an option to take care of transfers and vanity numbers.
Then you will be taken to a simple online form, where you have to check a few boxes and enter additional information. Submit the form and the service will take care of the process.
In the meantime, you will be given a temporary Google fax number free to keep you from missing faxes during the transfer process. It can take up to a week for the number to fully propagate across the Web, so any transmissions through it can be interrupted. When the number has finished moving, it will have no problems receiving fax to Gmail. Once the process is finished, you'll be able to receive fax with Google Voice numbers.