Google Voice Fax
by Matt Gerchow
One of the newest features from Google is their Google Voice application.
Google Voice gives you the power to connect several different numbers and then pass along your google voice phone number. When someone calls, your calls are automatically routed to the number of your choice.
There are huge benefits to getting all of your communications into Google.
1. Centralized location for all of your communication and messaging.
2. No costly monthly phone bills for additional phone lines.
3. Access to your entire life from anywhere in the world.
4. Much better for the environment than wasting paper and trashing toner.
I like Google Voice, a lot. I have been a loyal Skype user for almost 5 years.
But the ability to get my voicemails, emails and messages all in one place is really appealing. It also makes life simpler.
You can get your faxes in there as well, but there's a little tweak to make it happen.
I found two articles on the subject...
They both will work but as you're probably going to notice, they are a bit of a hassle.
In the first one you have to key in a bunch of numbers in attempts to almost "trick" google into sending your fax. We never want to try and trick google...so that one's out.
The second one, you still need a fax machine and a land line. That's tough. Plus it seems like that only works to send a fax. How would you receive it?
So that's out...
And with no easy way to use Google Voice to send or receive a fax, I went back to the drawing board.
I wanted to receive my faxes in Gmail. I had my regular mail coming there as pdf's. I had my Skype messages and MagicJack voicemails going there as well.
After a bit of research, I finally got it working. Figuring a few other folks might wonder about this as well, I decided to post it online.
Here are a few terms to remember as we go further.
Gmail - Free email from Google.
Fax - Digital transfer of documents through telephone lines.
Online Fax - Digital transfer of documents via the internet.
Now that we're clear on the terms, here are two items you will need to create your Google fax service.
1. Gmail email address
2. Online fax number
So here is what I came up with…
6 Steps to Faxing with Gmail
1. Go and get a Gmail address; Chances are you've already got one. Have a cell phone handy because they will send a text to confirm your "humanity".
2. Next, select an online fax company to send and receive your online faxes.
RingCentral has a free 30-day trial and they also have a bundled package of mobile fax to move all your digital communication to one easy location.
During registration, use your Gmail address as the "go-to" email. Then you can send and receive using the same email address. I'll show you exactly how in just one second.
3. Then go to gmail.com, enter your user name and password and login to your account.
4. Type your message either directly into Gmail or write it wherever you want so long as you can save that as a file. In addition to sending what you wrote online. Attach any file and it will print out same as if you printed it out on your own computer.
5. After that, where you would normally put the receiver's email address, you instead enter their fax number. What makes it all work is you add the fax companies extension, to the end of that number.
6. When you're ready, click the Send Mail button. In just a second that fax is on it's way and you are full-on technically capable of sending a Google fax.
I hope you feel as tech savvy as I did when I sent my first one.
One last note. I'm guessing you hit this page because you wanted to setup some sort of Google Voice Fax or Gmail fax, possibly even for free.
I've done quite a bit of research on this. More than is probably healthy. And so far I haven't found a service that gets this done without some sort of cost.
Whether it's ads on pages, send fax but no receive, receive fax but no send, 2 page limit, 2 faxes per day, etc.
This was all too much for me. I just need to get my work done.
It was too hard not to just spend the few dollars a month. I could pay for the service in the time it took to setup one fax according to the workarounds I listed above.
That's it, why not stop looking and send that fax, then worry about a long-term service.