When sending documents, it's much more common these days to use email rather than fax. However, fax is still sometimes necessary, so what do you do if you don't have a fax machine? There's no need to worry because you can easily send or receive a fax from Gmail.

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Get a Gmail Account

You will need a Gmail account and an email address to send and receive your faxes. If you don't already have one, it is very easy to sign up. Simply visit gmail.com, and follow the easy instructions.
You will compose and send your faxes from your Gmail inbox, just as if you were sending an email. You can also receive faxes straight to your inbox, so you will need to provide your email address to your online fax provider. 

Sign Up for an Online Fax Provider

When you send a fax using Gmail, it needs to go via an online fax provider. They will receive your email and forward the document to your recipient as a fax. This is all done automatically through their online system, so it is very fast.

There are plenty of providers out there, with plenty of different plans on offer. There is a fee for the service, so have a look at all the options and find a plan that suits your needs. Some plans include a few documents per month for occasional users and others are for regular faxing from multiple numbers.

Get a Fax Number

Whichever online fax provider you decide to sign up for, they will provide you with a fax number. You can give this number to anyone that wants to fax you a document, and you will receive it straight to your email inbox as a document attachment.

Your fax number can either be a local number or a toll-free number. A local number can be viewed as more trustworthy, but a toll-free number has no fees for senders and can appear more global. Weigh up the pros and cons for yourself, and decide which suits you best.

Compose Your Fax

Putting a fax together ready to send from Gmail is the same as sending an email. You'll need the right address for the recipient, a subject and main body of text, and your main document to attach.

Fax Address

A fax address looks just like an email address. It is made up of your recipient's fax number and the domain name of your fax provider. Your fax provider will have given you the domain name when you signed up, or it is usually available on their website.

Let's look at an example. Your recipient's fax number is 800-555-2222, and your fax provider's domain name is faxdomain. The address you will use to fax a document to this recipient is 8005552222@faxdomain.com. This address is entered into the composer window of Gmail in the same place that you would enter an email address.

Title and Cover Letter

If you'd like your fax to have a title and a cover letter, then these are simply typed into the composer window. Your title is entered in the subject bar, and the text of your cover letter is entered where you would write the main body of an email.

A cover letter is optional for a fax document, but it is often useful to introduce your document to your recipient. The cover letter will print as the first page of your fax, before the main document itself.

Attach Your Document

Now it's time to attach the main document itself. Most file types are supported for online faxing, but the most common choice is a PDF. You can attach multiple documents, and they will all arrive as a single fax.

Click on the paperclip icon in the composer window and navigate to the file or files that you want to fax. They will then appear as attachments, just as they would if you were sending them attached to an email.

Sending Your Fax from Gmail

Now that your fax is composed in Gmail, all you need to do is hit send. Your document is now on its way to your recipient. As long as you have entered the fax address correctly and have successfully attached your document, then it will arrive with your recipient very quickly.

You will receive a confirmation email from your online fax provider to let you know that your fax has been sent successfully.

Receiving a Fax to Your Gmail Inbox

When you signed up for your online fax provider, they will have given you a fax number. If you need to receive a fax then all you need to do is give this number to the sender.

Whether they send the fax using a fax machine or a Gmail account, you will receive it straight to your Gmail inbox in the same way you would receive an email. The fax document will arrive as an attachment, so you easily open it, save it, or print it as required.

Using Gmail to Fax Is Simple

It really is as easy as sending and receiving emails to send and receive faxes using Gmail. Why not send a fax now and see for yourself? All you need is a Gmail account and an online fax provider. Test Drive Our #1 Recommended Choice!