Talking tech since 2003

Being able to fax from your email has proven to be of huge help for small businesses and freelance professionals.  Just by using the Internet and your Gmail account, you can receive faxes automatically without having to even answer incoming calls.

To get the most out of fax to Gmail technology, it’s essential that you choose a good service. There are many fax service providers these days, so it’s a good idea to know what to look for in one. Below you’ll find five tips that will help you select the best option for your business.

A plan with enough pages per month

Online fax service plans depend on the number of faxes you can fax per month.  Sometimes a service combines the amount of pages you can send and receive, while others have a half the amount to send and half the amount to receive faxes. This is something you must consider if for example, you are expecting to mostly get incoming faxes.

In average, basic plans let you fax 100-150 pages per month. If you think that’s just barely enough for your company, you might consider using a bigger plan, since you’ll start paying overage fees once you get past your plan’s limit.

The right type of number for your company

You should look for a service that give you a digital fax number for free. Luckily, most providers do, and they let you pick between local and toll-free numbers. Your number will grab incoming fax transmissions and will deliver the fax as PDF to your Gmail account.

The first thing you need to know, is if fax numbers are offered in your country.  The majority of services offer numbers in the United States and Canada, but for other countries you would need to use a localized service or one of the big brands that have presence in dozens of countries around the World.

If you are looking to move your current fax number to the Internet, you should look for a free “number porting” process. It will take a few days until your number is working across the Internet; in the meantime, you get a free temporary number.

Ways to send and receive fax on the go

Being able to fax through email means that we can simply use our phones’ browser to take care of fax. But some online fax services also offer mobile fax apps that makes faxing easier than ever.

With just a few taps you can check incoming fax and store them in your folders. To send a fax you have the option to upload a file, or better yet, take a picture of a physical document. Some apps even let you sign fax electronically in less than 10 seconds. If the service you are interested in doesn’t offer an app, check that at least its member’s site is mobile-friendly, in case you need to access advanced fax functions on the go.

Look for a service with 24/7 customer support

Faxing is an important part of countless businesses and organizations, so it’s important that we are able to reach customer support at all times and in different ways. I’ve found out that smaller services tend to have a slower response time or limited communication channels, which can be problematic if you are having problems with your virtual line.

A good service must be reachable via email, live chat and phone call. A good way to test this out is to simply send a question to a provider’s representative, if they take too much time to respond chances are the same happens with customer support.

Take advantage of free trials

The best way to know if a service is right for you is to test it yourself.  For this purpose, some services offer 30 day free trials accounts, which come with a temporary online fax number to receive faxes. These accounts are fully featured, meaning that you can use all the advanced features of the paid service for a month. If you are happy with the service you can move to a paid plan, if you aren’t, you simply cancel it and move to the next free trial.

With your test-drive account you can check how long it takes to get fax on your Gmail inbox, and the other points we have covered here. Just keep in mind that the majority of services will ask for credit card information in case you want to continue using the paid plan. If you don’t want to be charged, make sure to cancel your free account before the trial period ends.

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