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How to Send and Receive a Fax Through Gmail

Gone are the days when one needed an unattractive, space-consuming fax machine to send a copy of a document over a long distance in a matter of minutes. The simplicity of email, combined with the security of the fax system, is not only a reality but now also a concept that enjoys Google's protective hand on its head. Techspirited shows you how to send and receive a fax using your Gmail account.
Padmini Krishna
A Brief Overview of Fax over IP
★ Fax over IP, or FoIP, is a technology that allows one to use their conventional fax machines to send and receive faxed documents using the internet, rather than through traditional telephone lines.
★ As opposed to the circuit-switched connection of telephone transmission, sending faxes over the internet uses packet-switching.
★ What's more, along with being inherently faster than typical fax transmission, the cost of using this service is also minimal, as its cost is calculated in the same way as is done for email, or VoIP; it is only limited to data usage charges.
Do you remember the last time you saw a fax machine? Yes, the same bulky devices that look like printers, except that they come with a built-in telephone receiver and keypad.
If the vision of a fax machine is a blurry, distant memory for you, you are obviously from the email-IM-cloud-sharing generation, and you probably perceive the concept of 'fax', as an excerpt from a history lesson, just like you do with the telegraph, or perhaps, the gramophone.
Today, the telefax has come a long way from what it used to be. First there was Fax over IP, and now, fax technology has evolved to a point that one does not need to physically own a fax machine anymore. All one needs is an account with an internet fax provider, who assigns to him or her, a fax number, which he or she can then use to receive faxes.
Sending faxes is even easier, because all one has to do is to attach the file and send it as an email to an email address which is structured in such a format that the address is the fax number, and the domain name, that of the internet fax provider.
Benefits of Using Internet Fax
★ You get to avail the same security and privacy that fax provides, coupled with the comfort of transmission over the internet.
★ You can do away with using paper, because internet fax providers allow you storage space for sent and received documents, and this will not only help you de-clutter, but enable you to do your bit for the environment.
★ The internet is almost all-pervasive, and therefore, one can send and access one's faxes on the go, from different places, even through one's smartphone.
★ Furthermore, since internet fax can be sent through one's email ID, one can send a fax to multiple recipients simultaneously.
The icing on the cake is when the reigning monarch of online services and products, Google, has incorporated features that enable one to send and receive faxes from the most widely-used internet email service in the world, Gmail, of documents that have been uploaded on Google Drive.
mail
If you think that things cannot get any simpler, we have provided you an easy, step-by-step guide to help you send, and receive faxes using you Gmail ID.
How to Send and Receive a Fax Using Your Gmail Account
Step 1
Create an account with an internet fax provider.
Step 2
If you are using any custom fax application, since it is directly linked with your Google Account, you can easily access the document you wish to fax from your Google Drive, and send it (as an email from your Gmail account) without further ado, from within the app itself.
For internet fax providers who do not offer a custom interface, although the steps may differ slightly with different providers, in general, they are similar.
Step 3
Log in to your Google Account and open Gmail.
Step 4
On the right side of the screen, click on the COMPOSE button, to compose a new message.
Step 5
Attach the files that you wish to fax, to the email message. You also have the alternative of typing out the document to be faxed, in the message body.
Step 6
In the address box, type out the recipient's internet fax number, followed by "@", and the internet fax provider's domain address.
For example, 
123456789@exampleinternetfax.com
Step 7
Send the email.
In this way, one can effortlessly send a fax via their Gmail ID. Receiving a fax is equally simple. The internet fax provider gives you a unique fax number. While some fax providers allow you to receive the fax by email, others require you to open their website, and log in to your account, in order to access the document that has been faxed to you.
Step 8
If you wish to receive a fax from someone, provide them your internet fax number, and ask them to enter that number as the first part of the address that the email-fax is to be sent to.
It was quite an ingenious idea on Google's part to allow their users to utilize an integrated, trustworthy platform for online cloud storage, email, and fax, rather than maintain separate accounts with various providers. We hope you found this brief useful and can now enjoy paper-free fax by making use of your email ID.