How to Get a Google Fax Number
Before Google even existed, and for many years, faxing required you not only to buy a fax machine, but also to take care of everything that involves having one: the installation of a dedicated fax line, the purchase of supplies for the machine and its regular maintenance. The mere fact of implementing this technology required spending extra resources and time.
Nowadays things are so different, that it’s possible to get a working fax number in a matter of minutes.
We have advanced so much in the field of Internet fax, that we can use a Google fax number to receive faxes with Gmail in a simple and easy way, without having to invest in any additional equipment. In this article you will learn how to get a Google fax number, and how you can even start using it for free.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
First we'll clarify that when we are talking about a Google fax number we are talking about a virtual fax number that is able to integrate with Gmail, and that allows faxing online. These dedicated numbers are not currently provided by Google, so we will need a couple of things to get started:
If you already have a Gmail account, you just need to create one with an online fax service. These third-party services are vital to adding fax functions in Gmail, in addition to other more advanced features. The most important thing is that they give you a free virtual fax number with each account.
Currently you can choose between a local number and a toll-free Google fax number (learn more about it here). There are no good or bad decisions when it comes to picking a number, you have to choose one that best suits your business' style. If you already have an active number, but you are using a land-line, you can request assistance from your favorite fax service to move it to a digital FOIP (Fax Over Internet Protocol) line , capable of converting digital documents to fax and vice versa.
How to Get your Google Fax Number
The only way to have a virtual fax number is through an online fax service. They already have numbers available in different cities around the USA, and some even have numbers in different countries around the World!
When you sign up with an online fax service, you'll have a list of numbers to choose from, and you don't have to wait more than minutes for them to be active!
On average, the best services cost around $10 a month, although you can certainly find more affordable options. These services don't work with any type of contract beyond your subscription. As long as you continue to pay, the account remains active at all times.
Can You Get One for Free?
Yes. There is a way to obtain a temporary Google fax number free without spending a dime, and it's through a free trial account.
Online fax services offer free trial accounts that allow you to access all the benefits of a basic plan for 30 days. That includes your own virtual fax number in some cases. Although some services ask for payment information, they will not charge you anything unless you decide to continue using them after the trial period.
Creating this type of account is a great idea, not only to get a free number, but to fully test how email to fax with Google works.
Top Google Fax Services
Currently you can find several online fax services at your disposition, that of course, includes the good and the bad. A good service has to be able to easily integrate fax from Gmail and at the same time provide the features you need to speed up your faxing tasks. Stay away from services that promise low prices but then want to charge you hefty set-up and overage fees.
To help you get started, here are a couple of services that we can recommend after thoroughly testing them. These are services allow you to create a free account with all benefits in a few seconds.
RingCentral offers a complete line of virtual office products, including online fax. This is one of our favorite services because it is always at the forefront in the field of email-faxing, providing advanced functions that make the sending and receiving documents to breeze, like the ability to fax through Google Drive.
They offer toll-free and local numbers in all the cities of USA, Canada and United Kingdom.
eFax is a high quality fax service developed by j2 Global, one of the largest companies in the field of telecommunications.
This service is perhaps the largest one right now, with presence in more than 40 countries around the World. You can find a multitude of local fax numbers, also toll-free numbers in the cities and countries where they are available.
How An Online Fax Number Works
For the user, a Google fax number will automatically redirect faxes to Gmail, so they can be read electronically. But what happens in the background before that?
When someone sends you a fax, she/he will have to dial your virtual fax number. There will be no difference the person sending you the fax, but this number sends the transmission through a digital line to powerful fax servers. It's on these servers that the fax contents will be converted to a digital file, more specifically a PDF which can be opened on any computer or mobile device.
Once the document is converted, it is included as an attachment in an email and then sent to your Gmail account. From there you can download, read or print it as you like. This process takes only a few seconds to complete, and is 100% secure (even more than traditional faxing!).
What Type of Google Fax Number Should I Pick?
With the advances in fax technology, we can now have an online fax number in just a matter of minutes, without having to request it from the phone company. It’s simply a matter of heading to an Gmail fax service provider and opening a new account.
What you may not know is that you can choose different types of numbers, which will then forward your fax to Gmail, working as a Google fax number. In this article we will take a look at your different alternatives, so you can select the best number for your business.
Having the right number is very important in some industries, so don’t skip this info! Let’s get started!
There are 3 types of numbers you can use with your online fax service:
- Local numbers
- Toll-free numbers
- Vanity numbers
These are the ordinary numbers that are used across the USA. If you are in the same area you just fax to the seven-digit number, but people outside the area (but inside the USA) need to include the number 1 followed by the area code.
There are also services that offer local numbers in other countries. In those cases the way to dial them is very similar, but the service access numbers vary.
These fax numbers are preferred by companies that work locally. They rarely get faxes from other states or cities, not to mention from international callers! If you have an office in a city and want to convey trust to your local clients, this is the perfect alternative for you.
These are fax numbers that are free to reach, and are billed for incoming calls. Not so long ago, the only way to request them was through your phone company, using a physical line. Now, services are able to offer numbers with different toll-free prefixes including: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833.
Note that these prefixes are for US-based numbers. If you plan to get a toll-free fax number for another country it is best to talk to your provider first and see what you options are. There are many countries where toll-free numbers are not available or can be obtained only through a physical installation.
The advantage of using these numbers is that they are convenient for the caller. Clients and providers can reach you without having to spend on fax transmissions.
These are a special kind of Google fax numbers because they are not offered right away when you create an account, yet you can request one of these for an additional fee (RingCentral, for example, charge you a $30 setup fee).
Vanity numbers are simply numbers that spell a certain word. I’m sure you have seen them before, they look like this: 1-800-DOCTORS, 313-KANSASFC, etc. The goal of using these numbers is to make them memorable so clients can easily remember them when they need to send you a fax.
These types of numbers can be either local or toll-free.
Which One Is Best for You?
This is a question that you have to ponder well before answering. Although you can change your fax number later, it’s always a good idea to get things right from the beginning. After all you don’t want to go through the hassle of updating your number to all your contacts!
- Toll-free fax numbers are best for businesses that receive a good volume of faxes and want to help ease the flow of documents throughout the day, or for businesses that want to communicate easier with potential customers. Since they don’t require an area code, they help you establish a nationwide presence.
- Local fax numbers are best for local business, to let your clients know you are located in the same area.
- Vanity fax numbers are best for businesses that want to increase their brand visibility. These numbers are easy to remember, so if you own a business that want to maximize the short attention span of today’s customers, this is the way to go. Just be prepared to pay an extra fee for this type of number.
As you can see, the choice depends on the industry you are working in.
If you already have a fax number and want to keep using to deliver fax on your email, you can do so. Most fax services offer a fax number porting process that is able to move your number to a digital line. They have provisioning relationships with the top phone companies and you can take care of it without you having to deal at all with the phone company.
Transfer Your Current Number to a Digital Line
Getting a new online fax number is great for people who want to start adding fax to their businesses, but what if you have an existing fax number?
Changing your fax number and updating your contacts can be a real pain in you-know-where, especially when you have had a fax number for years. In these cases we recommend you move your current number to a digital platform.
If you use Google Voice, with this method you can use your Google Voice fax number for inbound documents.
1. Number Porting - How It Works
It’s the process to transfer an existing number to a new provider.
The number porting is done through your online fax provider’s, taking advantage that they have already relationships with phone companies across USA and in some countries around the World.
To start you need to request the porting process to your current fax service. You may be asked to pay an additional fee to complete the process, but most big fax companies let you port-in your number for free, among them:
- RingCentral Fax
Companies that charge you for porting your number cost in average $20 to complete the process. In addition, you first have to ensure the fax company of your choice is actually capable of transferring your number. Some of them give you the tools for testing it out, but it’s better to speak directly with a service representative to avoid wasting time. Also, there are companies that don’t offer porting at all.
By porting a number you are moving it from a landline to a virtual line. This means your number will now work over an Internet connection, using what is called Fax Over Internet Protocol, or FoIP.
Now, because this number works over the Internet, it’s not just a matter of quickly changing the company handling the number. The process may take a few days to complete, until the information has been propagated across the Web.
Services know this may cause interruptions and problems when trying to reach your line, that’s why they give you a temporary fax number. This number will forward incoming faxes to Gmail while the propagation is completed. Once the process is finished you'll be bale to fax through Google.
Step-by-Step Guide to Port Your Number
- Ensure your online fax provider is capable of porting in a number from another phone company.
- Sign up for the service that you like the most. Complete the registration steps normally. Some services may have a button to access the transferring process at this step, but if not just sign up like you would when getting a new number.
- Enter your online account and head to the are where you set up your number. The exact page varies from provider to provider. It’s a good idea to check their Support articles to locate this area. Alternatively, you can contact the service and request the transfer of your number.
- Fill out the transfer request form, you may need to contact your current fax line provider to fill the information as they have it on their system. Among the info you’ll need to add there’s: type of account, company name, name on account, service address and your account PIN. Filling out this form with incorrect information could delay the process and in some cases cancel it.
- Sign the Letter of Authorization and Confirm the request.
Once you send all the necessary info, you may need to wait up to two weeks until the process has been completed. At that point, the service will replace your temporary Google fax number with the number you transferred in automatically.
Canceling your fax service subscription automatically cancels the transfer process.
2. Requirements for Transfer
Be sure that your number is transferable by checking out these requirements. You can also test out if your number is transferable using an online checker tool.
- The number must be active with your current phone company.
- You need to verify ownership by uploading a copy of your latest phone bill.
- You must not have open orders with your current phone provider.
- The number must not be associated with a DSL/Broadband service.
If you have other numbers that you don't wish to port, notify your current phone company. When numbers aren’t switched to a new billing telephone number, the transfer request is denied.
Can I Port Toll-Free and International Numbers?
The short answer is yes, but this may depend on the service you are using to complete the porting. Online fax service providers will ask you for additional information about your line and proof of address.
When requesting the process, determine what type of number you currently have.
International numbers take longer to transfer given the additional requirements. You can expect the process to be finished in about 25 - 30 business days.
There’s no need to keep using a physical line, when you could be receiving faxes automatically with a digital one. The advances in online fax technology now allow us to keep using our same numbers. It’s like changing phone company, with the difference that this line will work over Internet.
These are the benefits of transferring your number:
- Keep your same contacts
- Keep your marketing materials
- Save money you’d otherwise spend on traditional faxing (equipment and supplies)
Transferring your line to a Google fax number is a totally hands-free process. Once you finish filling out the request, you just need to wait until your number is working on the Web. Remember to double check your information before you send it to your online fax service. Delays and cancellations often take place due to errors in the information provided by the user.
Benefits of Using a Google Fax Number
For those who want to get rid of a fax machine, using a service with an online fax number is an easy and fast solution. With an online fax number you can receive a fax straight on your computer without any type of physical installation.
What are the benefits of a digital fax number? There are many ways this type of number will improve your faxing experience:
A virtual fax number is capable of receiving incoming faxes automatically, and it does this much faster than a fax machine. Instead of waiting for the document to be printed, it is forwarded as digital form to your Gmail address.
You’ll also be free from problems such as paper jams and poor document printing results, which can take precious minutes of your time.
2. Acts as a Dedicated Fax Line
A fax machine needs to be connected to a dedicated fax line to avoid interruptions during transmissions. Sure, you can use a cheap home fax line but be prepared to miss some faxes along the way! Things get worse when you have a home office, you could be in the middle of a fax transmission when someone lifts the phone. The result? Yo have to request the document all over again.
A Google fax number works just like a dedicated line. This number is used exclusively for fax transmissions and it remains active all day, every day even when your computer’s been turned off. People sending you faxes won't notice a difference between a digital and a physical dedicated line.
3. It’s Affordable and Ready to Be Used in Minutes
Speaking of dedicated lines, to have a new landline you need to request it from your phone by paying a fee. Then you have to wait a few days or weeks until the technicians come to your office and add your line. In the meantime, you won’t be able to receive faxes.
A Google email to fax number, on the other hand, is given to you immediately at the moment of signing up for a service. Enter your details, the email address you want to receive faxes, pick your number and then start faxing right away.
The virtual numbers are also more affordable. You are just basically just paying for the service, the number is given to your for free as long as you have an active membership with a provider.
4. Deliver faxes digitally
Why keep using paper when we can simply read our documents on our screen? A virtual fax number lets you get started with paperless fax, reducing the amount of paper waste and consumption in your office.
Paperless offices are the future. As global warming continues to increase, it's our duty to use technology that helps us reduce the amount of damage we are doing to the Planet. Upon receiving a fax you can choose to print it only if it's needed. If you fax from Google Drive, all your documents will be stored in a cloud hard drive.
Digital faxes are even more secure than fax machines. Not only fax providers include security measures like advanced encryption and secure transmissions, but they are also able to give you a HIPAA compliant service, which comes in handy if you are using fax for sensitive information like patient info, if you work on the healthcare industry.
Incoming faxes can arrive in a special format that is only readable by the app provided by your service, and you can easily add passwords and watermarks to incoming and outgoing PDF files.
6. Multiple Number Options
You have 4 types of numbers you can use to receive faxes: a toll-free number, a local number, a vanity number, or you can keep using your number. This last option is called number porting, a process that will transfer your number from your phone company to a virtual fax server.
7. International availability
Plenty of fax services have relationships with foreign phone companies, allowing them to offer numbers in other territories. An international fax number lets companies from other countries use the service, and can help expanding your company’s presence.
For international number availability, refer to the FAQ section of your preferred email fax service. There are companies like eFax and MyFax with numbers available in dozens of countries around the Globe. Just keep in mind that not all countries offer toll-free and vanity varieties of numbers.
8. Easy to Get Started!
If you want to get a fax number right now, simply head to the service of your preference and create a new account. It's as easy as following a few information fields!
Even if you don't want to invest in a monthly fax subscription you can obtain a number for free by creating a free trial account. Most services let you test out their plans for a month, including an online fax number. They may ask you for credit card info, but they won't charge you anything during that month, it's just a way of preventing fax fraud and spam.
Is There a Way to Get a Free Online Fax Number?
An online fax number is a powerful tool to speed up your faxing. It allows you to receive faxes automatically, delivering them to your email in just a matter of minutes. These numbers have been already implemented by thousands of offices around the World that depend on fax for their communications.
Getting a Google fax number is very easy, and the prices for having have dropped considerably since they first appeared about a decade ago. But we all love free stuff right? In this article we’ll take a look at a couple of ways you can get a free online fax number:
- Using a test-drive account
- Using a free temporary fax number
1. Taking Advantage of Free Fax Trials
Online fax services have been around for quite some time now. These are services that charge you an affordable fee to be able to send fax over Internet and receive a certain amount of pages per month. For this, they provide you a virtual fax number in charge of redirecting incoming faxes to Gmail.
Most of these services let you create a Google fax free account for 30 days. What’s great about this is that these accounts come with all the set of features included with the service. You basically get a basic plan for a full month, and among these features is the availability of a virtual fax number.
At the moment of signing up you’ll be asked to enter the email address you want to use for receiving faxes, and then you’ll need to pick the number associated with the account. There are tow option: a local or a toll-free number.
The only caveat of this method is that you need to enter your credit card information. But you don’t need to worry, they won’t charge you any fee to your credit card unless you keep using your account after the month has passed. Just make sure you cancel it before the trial period and you won’t have any problems. Also, it is a good idea to stick with reputable online fax vendors such as eFax, RingCentral, Hello Fax, etc.
2. Using a Temporary Fax Number
There are some services that let you receive faxes with a temporary number. This is a method recommended for people who just want to receive a single fax or a couple of faxes throughout the day. Why? Because these numbers only stay active during 24 hours. If you want to keep receiving fax after the period has ended, you can do so again for free, but your number will be different.
As a matter of fact, it’s probable that your previous fax number has been given to someone else!
One of the companies that offers temporary numbers is FaxBurner. You can use it through a browser or an app. You create an account and then request a fax number when you need it (with a limit of 25 inbound/5 outbound pages). Unlike the previous method, this account is very basic and doesn’t include additional features. Of course, if you want to keep using the same number you’ll have to start paying for a plan.
Is There Another Way to Get a Digital Fax Number With no Credit Card?
Unfortunately no. Services charge a fee to have a permanent fax number, or they can move your existing number with them, but you’ll need to pay for a plan the same. The good news is if you rely on faxing and need a more permanent solution, these plans are completely affordable. These days you can find plans for as low as $5 per month, but you need to establish how many pages you expect to send/receive per month.
Free alternatives to send fax are easily found, with all the limitations the have. But it is harder to find a completely free way to receive faxes because you still need an active virtual line.
Of the two options we have detailed in this article, we recommend the first one. A free trial account not only lets you receive fax without worrying about the change in number at least for a month. It also let you try out the different features found in the more robust online fax services like fax scheduling, the addition of cover pages, mobile faxing and digital signatures.
If you don’t know where to get started, we recommend you visit our online fax service reviews section, where we have added a direct link to free trials on the services that provide them and that are 100% compatible with Gmail.