How to Fax with Google Voice
Can you fax using Google Voice numbers? Yes. You can unlock and transfer your current number in Google Voice and use it to send and receive faxes over a virtual fax line.
Google Voice is a great service to get a VOIP number online, but VOIP technology is not suited for fax transmissions, and attempts at trying to connect a Google Voice number to a fax machine haven't been successful.
Luckily you can transfer your Google Voice number to an online fax provider, moving it to a line capable of transmitting fax. In this article you’ll learn how to do it!
Transferring Your Google Voice Number to a Fax Line
If you’ve had a Google Voice number for years and want to use it as a dedicated fax line, you can unlock it and port it to the online fax service of your preference. By itself, this number is VOIP only, it doesn't support fax transmissions, so you need to transfer it to a service.
These are services that enable you to send and receive faxes over email without the need of a fax machine. When you sign up for a fax service you instantly receive a virtual fax number. But you can also opt to keep the one you are currently using.
To transfer your current Google Voice number, you need to unlock it first. Follow these steps:
- Head over to www.google.com/voice/unlock and log into your Google Voice account.
- Pick the number you want to transfer to your online fax provider from the drop-down list and unlock it. If you only have one number click below it, where it says “Unlock my number”.
- Click Continue.
- Now you need to sign into Google Wallet and pay for the transfer of the document. At the time of writing, it costs $3 to begin the unlock process.
That’s it, once you’ve paid the small fee your Google Voice number will be ready to be ported to your fax service.
The fax number porting process transfer the handling of the Google Voice number to a new provider. It may take some days to complete because your number needs to be spread on the Internet, but after that it will be ready to receive faxes automatically. You can read more about how this technology works on our online fax number guide.
Keep in mind that after finishing the transfer your former Google Voice number you won’t be able to use it for voice calls, it will only serve to send and receive fax transmissions.
Now comes the second part, requesting the transfer process to your fax provider.
Luckily, most services handle all the porting process. You just have to contact them via email and let them know that you’ll be using your Google Voice fax number for fax. As soon as they receive the request they will begin moving the number to let you use it as soon as possible.
It’s important to choose a reputable online fax provider to handle the Google Voice number porting. They will make the porting process much faster and will give you with a temporary fax number that you can use in the meantime to avoid missing faxes. This is not because there’s an interruption of your service, but because online fax numbers need to propagate across the Internet.
Can I Connect A Fax Machine to Google Voice?
If you have tried to use your Google Voice line with a fax machine you’ll know that it’s impossible to do so. That’s because this is a VoIP (Voice Over IP) line, and as such it doesn't support transmissions sent by fax machines. By moving to a service, we are converting this line into a FoIP (Fax Over IP) line, capable of interpreting incoming faxes.
Although there are some methods people have used to try and connect their Google Voice numbers, they are pretty complicated/time-consuming to incorporate, and there’s a 98% chance you won’t get the results you are looking for.
Receiving Faxes with Google Voice
Once you've transferred your Google Voice number to a Google fax service, you are ready to receive faxes in your Gmail inbox. They will be forwarded to your email as a PDF file, and you can find them in your service's members area as well. Some services have the option of forwarding incoming fax to up to 5 different email destinations, this could come quite handy if you work as part of a team.
Depending on your provider, you can also access incoming fax using your smartphone. Not all services have apps, so check that up before signing up with one of them.
Why Fax with Google Voice?
Use your existing number.
There’s no need of having multiple numbers when you already have the one supplied by Google Voice, just keep using the same number and forget about having to update your contacts. People sending fax won’t notice a difference.
No need for additional equipment.
Google Voice faxing doesn’t need a fax machine or supplies.
Integration with other Google services.
You can integrate Google Voice fax with other Google applications. The most clear example of this is that you can send faxes through a Gmail account, but you can also fax straight from your Google Docs composing window, or by pulling documents to fax over Google Drive.
Why print a document when you can just read it on your computer or cell-phone screen? Incoming faxes using Google Voice fax arrive as PDF, a type of format that can be read on pretty much any computer, mobile phone or tablet. You retain 100% control over the documents you want to have in physical form. At the same time you can fax a PDF to a fax machine directly without having to print the document first.