Fax Over Internet: How Online Faxing Works (2023)

Fax Over Internet: How Online Faxing Works (1)

Internet faxing involves sending and receiving fax documents using your internet connection.
This is quite different from the original way of faxing, which required a traditional fax machine and a phone line to connect it to.
Simply put, even if your recipient still uses a standard fax machine, you don’t need one. You can fax over the internet and eliminate the need for expensive, complex technology.
Online faxing essentially turns your documents into a format that a fax machine can read—and vice versa. Luckily, there’s no learning curve involved to get started with this.
All you need is an internet connection and a solid online faxing setup. And if you’re still unsure what that setup looks like or how faxing over the internet even works, you’re in the right place!

How to Fax Over the Internet:

  1. Sign up for an online faxing service
  2. Choose your fax number
  3. Attach your document(s) to your email or a new fax message
  4. Your faxing service translates the attachment and sends it
  5. The recipient’s fax machine decodes the data and prints the fax

Faxing Online Overview: The Transition From Fax Machines to Online Faxing

Fax Over Internet: How Online Faxing Works (2)

As the business world decreases its dependence on paper, email has grown so much. Attaching PDFs, text documents, and graphics to an email and sending them takes seconds.
Unlike with standard faxing, there’s no printing or waiting by a machine involved.
However, faxing is still among the most secure ways to send and receive sensitive information and confidential documents. Many industries rely on it for that exact reason—emails are often too exposed to security issues and cyber threats.
This is where faxing over the internet comes in. It makes the most out of both worlds. It sends documents securely as fax pages, but it doesn’t require you to own and maintain a physical fax machine, fax servers, special fax modem, or additional software. Forget about replacing the toner in your fax machine!

Here’s what you need to fax online:

(Video) How Online Faxing Works - eFax
  • An internet connection
  • An email account
  • A subscription to an internet fax service

With this setup, you can easily send faxes and receive incoming faxes. The best part? You can get started in a matter of minutes.

How Does Online Faxing Work? 5 Steps to Fax Over the Internet

Ready to start sending and receiving faxes over the internet? You’ll get to learn how internet fax works and the steps you’ll take to start using it.
An online fax service uses the same technology in the backend, but instead of a traditional fax machine, it works from an online dashboard.

Step 1: Sign up for an online faxing service

To get access to such an online interface to send and receive faxes through, you need to sign up for an internet fax service. Our vFAX service is one example of it.
Creating your account shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two. It usually involves entering your name, company name, email, and phone number, as well as address and payment details.
Many services will give you free pages to send and receive (or a time-based free trial) before starting your paid plan.

(Video) How Online Faxing Works

Step 2: Choose your fax number

When creating your account, you’ll also choose your fax number.
If you already have a fax number, your fax service of choice should let you transition it over easily.
If you don’t have a number, you’ll be assigned a toll-free or a regular fax number. You can usually choose your area code and select from multiple available fax numbers.
You can then provide this number to anyone that wants to send you faxes—they’ll simply enter it as the recipient’s fax number.

Step 3: Attach your document(s) to your email or a new fax message

You can use your online fax service in two ways:

  • Through its dashboard
  • Using your standard email service

In your dashboard, you’ll simply follow the prompts to enter your recipient’s fax number and attach your text documents, PDFs, or images to your fax message.
In your email, you can attach your documents to a new email. Then, you’ll enter your recipient’s fax number in the To: field, followed by the name of the service you’re using. For Nextiva, it looks like this: 1xxxxxxxxxx@nextivafax.com.

Step 4: Your faxing service translates the attachment and sends it

Your fax message is then converted into a format that a fax machine can read on the receiving end of your message.
The fax service sends it over the phone line. This process can take up to a few minutes, depending on the size and complexity of the documents you sent.

Step 5: The recipient’s fax machine decodes the data and prints the fax

…or they’re using one of the online faxing services and gets an email or a smartphone ping that a new fax is waiting for them.
Either way, the document is now in their hands or on their computer, and they can view it immediately.

(Video) How to FAX over the Internet

Send and receive 500 faxes over the web for only $4.95/mo.

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Fax Over Internet With Nextiva

When you’re choosing between online faxing services, you want faxing to become easier—not more complex or time-consuming.
This is exactly why Nextiva vFAX is super simple to use. Here’s how you can use online faxing in two ways with Nextiva.

How to use Nextiva’s vFAX

Once you’ve signed up for vFAX, you’ll have your login information, and you’re good to go. Here’s where to start:

  1. Log in from Nextiva vFAX login page with your login credentials
  2. Click Send a Fax
  3. Enter the recipient information, such as recipient’s fax number, name, as well as sender name and fax subject
  4. Add attachments to your fax, such as images, PDFs, Microsoft Office files, text files, and cover page formats (up to ten files per fax)
  5. Review your fax and assign its type and folder, so it’s easy to find in the future
  6. Send!

If you want to receive a fax, all you need to provide to your sender is your fax number, which you can find your vFAX settings.
When you receive a fax, you’ll receive an email notification. You’ll also be able to view all your incoming faxes from your vFAX dashboard.

(Video) What is ELECTRONIC FAXING by 101VOICE?

How to Fax via Email

Faxing over email is extra handy if you’re on the go and need to send a fax. Your email service is probably already open, so if you want to skip logging into your online faxing dashboard—you can.
Here’s how to send a fax via email with your Nextiva vFAX subscription:

  1. Retrieve the fax number you’re looking to send a fax to
  2. Open your usual email service and start creating a new email
  3. In the To: field, enter the fax number followed by @nextivafax.com (1xxxxxxxxxx@nextivafax.com)
  4. Add up to ten files as email attachments
  5. Add text to the body of the email if you want to add additional notes
  6. Send!

Related: How to Send and Receive Faxes Online Without a Fax Machine

Advantages of Faxing Online

You now know how to fax online. But if you’re still not convinced on the ‘why’ part of it, check out these advantages.

  • Send and receive faxes anywhere, anytime: It’s a great addition to a remote team. And if you have multiple offices, you’ll benefit from online faxing whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise.
  • You no longer have to pay a small fortune just to fax: From equipment maintenance to long-distance charges, all extra costs disappear thanks to the flat-fee nature of internet faxing.
  • Secure documents: Traditional fax machines print out a fax, which stays there until someone picks them up. Online faxing delivers documents to the correct recipient immediately.
  • Do all of this and more without any actual fax machines: Faxing used to be slow due to busy signals and required training your staff. You can now skip all that without losing the benefits of traditional faxing.

Start Faxing Online—It’s Easy

Online faxing doesn’t have to be expensive, tedious, or complicated.
Nextiva vFAX isn’t just easy to get used to—it’s also affordable and packed with features you’ll love.
Plans start at $4.95 for 500 pages per month (that’s plenty!), and you can try vFAX out for free for 30 days. There’s no contract required, so there’s no risk to you.
With vFAX, you can:

  • Easily send faxes to anyone with a physical fax machine or online faxing service
  • Keep your current fax number or pick a new one from the area code of your preference
  • Set up online faxing plans for your entire company
  • Use your mobile device, PC, or tablet to send and receive faxes

Sounds good? Head over here to grab your free 30-day trial of Nextiva vFAX. You’ll be ready to use online faxing within minutes.

Free yourself from the fax machine.
Send 500 faxes for only $4.95!

(Video) Video - Learn to Fax Over the Internet - Online Faxing 101

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How does faxing over the Internet work? ›

The sender sends the fax to the fax number of the recipient (one provided by the virtual fax solution or their own fax number). The Virtual Fax solution receives the fax, processes it in an image file and sends the image to the e-mail address of the recipient, provided by the Virtual Fax solution.

Can a fax be sent through the Internet? ›

Send an Online Fax. Many web services can send a fax to any number you choose for free, as long as you transmit a small number of pages or put up with an ad or logo on the cover page. If you need to send more pages, or don't want an ad cluttering up your fax, you'll usually have to cough up some money.

How can a fax machine send paper over telephone lines or the Internet? ›

A fax machine sends and receives documents over a telephone network by converting them into electrical signals. The transmission can be between two fax machines, a fax machine, and fax server, an online fax service, or any other platform that is capable of receiving faxes.

How does a fax machine work short answer? ›

When you feed the fax machine a document, the scanner converts the document into a digital signal that is sent through the phone line. The receiving fax machine takes this signal, decodes it to recreate the original document, then prints the document.

Can you fax over the internet without a phone line? ›

Yes, you can! The beauty of an app like MyFax is that you don't need a landline to send or receive faxes. Instead, you can use your smartphone, computer or tablet.

Is Internet faxing better than regular? ›

Online faxing is much faster and eliminates the downtime that you might spend waiting to send or receive a fax through a physical fax machine and landline. Plus, with online faxing, there are no busy signals! You can send and receive faxes simultaneously without clogging the system or having to wait for a dial tone.

How can I send and receive faxes without a landline? ›

Sign Up For An Online Fax Service

These services, such as eFax, provide secure, convenient ways to fax without a landline. You can sign up and start faxing in just a few minutes, and you don't even need a scanner because you can take a photo of your document with your phone to fax.

Is online fax safer than email? ›

Online faxing is far more secure than email for almost every use case. It's safe because it's not as easy to compromise as an email.

How can I send a fax over the internet for free? ›

How to fax from a computer for free
  1. Sign up for a free iFax account. You can sign up using your email, Google, or Microsoft account.
  2. Click the New Fax button and enter your recipient's fax number. ...
  3. Upload or attach your documents. ...
  4. Click Send, then wait for the app or email notification.

Can I fax from my fax machine without a landline? ›

Using an All-in-one Fax Machine Without a Landline

A fax machine with all-in-one capabilities can print, scan, and fax files over a phone line. If you want to fax without a landline, you can use the all-in-one to scan and fax a document using an online fax provider.

Does a fax go through if they dont answer? ›

Fax machines will automatically retry calls in case the receiving end fails to answer. It is easy to adjust the number of times the machine redials by just checking your machine.

Does a fax go through with no answer? ›

Last Update: August 9th, 2021. A fax needs to be answered, however, most of the time the process of answering is automated. Most fax machines, fax software, and fax services will automatically answer a call after 2 or 3 rings.

What is fax question answer? ›

A fax (short for facsimile and sometimes called telecopying) is the telephonic transmission of scanned-in printed material (text or images), usually to a telephone number associated with a printer or other output device.

Can I send a fax from my Gmail? ›

Faxing from Gmail is as easy as setting up an account and choosing your eFax number. You can then send faxes from any Gmail account. You'll receive faxes in your email inbox by giving out your fax number to anyone who needs it. The fax comes through clear and secure without the need for a separate machine.

How is online fax different from email? ›

Email messages contain editable text, whereas a fax document is a single picture image no matter what it contains. Both methods suffice for sending messages that are only to be read by the recipient, and faxes are often accepted for legal documents that require signatures.

What is the best way to fax documents? ›

Three services are the best for free faxing: Fax.Plus, HelloFax, and FaxZero. Fax.Plus lets you send 10 pages for free (ever for your account). HelloFax lets you send 5 pages for free. FaxZero lets you send 5 faxes per day for free, and each fax can include 3 pages plus a cover.

What are the benefits of electronic faxing? ›

Sending faxes through online systems is faster than other conventional methods. You have the advantage of sending the faxes through an already existing system that is fast and efficient. You can even send your faxes in bulk thereby saving on time and money.

How much does an online fax service cost? ›

PlanMonthly costAnnual cost per month
1 more row
Oct 21, 2021

Does Google have a free fax service? ›

Simple and free online fax service. Fax PDF files and Documents directly from your Google Docs. Simple and free online fax service. You can simply open your PDF file from your Google Drive or choose a PDF file from your computer and we can send them as Fax to any fax number in the world.

Can I use my cell phone number to receive fax? ›

Use a mobile fax app, which makes it possible to send and receive a fax using your mobile phone without a landline or even a fax machine.

What is the most secure way to fax? ›

The answer depends on many factors such as the type of encryption being used.
  • 256-Bit Encryption. Premium online fax services deploy 256-bit AES encryption for fax transmission. ...
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) ...
  • Two-Factor Authentication. ...
  • HIPAA-Compliant Fax Software or App.

Why do doctors use fax instead of email? ›

Medical record keeping software is often proprietary and won't communicate with software from other hospitals. Fax represents a simple workaround that's secure enough to meet patient privacy standards.

Where is the safest place to send a fax? ›

Here is our list of the best places where you can send a fax:
  • Online Fax.
  • A fax service (copy/print store or business center).
  • A public fax machine (found at a library, hotel, or local business).
  • A local business that lets you use their fax machine.
  • Fax software on your computer.
  • Your smartphone.
Mar 31, 2022

How much does eFax cost per month? ›

How Much Does eFax Cost? eFax offers two paid tiers: Pro and Plus. eFax Plus costs $16.95 per month and includes 150 pages of incoming faxes and 150 pages of outbound faxes. eFax Pro costs $19.95 per month and includes 200 pages of incoming faxes and 200 outbound faxes.

Can I send a fax from my HP printer without a phone line? ›

Do I have to have a phone line to use Mobile Fax? No, you only need an internet connection to use Mobile Fax. Can I receive a fax without a fax machine? No, HP Mobile Fax only supports sending to other fax machines.

How can I make sure my fax went through? ›

You can use the Transmission Verification Report as proof that you sent a fax. This report lists the receiving party's name or fax number, the time and date of transmission, duration of transmission, number of pages sent, and whether or not the transmission was successful.

What causes a fax to fail? ›

Faxes can fail for a variety of reasons, such as sending to a non-working or non-fax number, a recipient listing their number on the National Do Not Call List, a recipient line being continually busy or out of paper, or if there is noise or interference on the line.

Will a fax go through if the line is busy? ›

Your fax may go through if you try again. If you are getting the number busy error, it means that we initiated the call but your destination was busy. You need to wait for a couple of minutes and then send your fax again. This error means the destination's fax number is invalid.

Why can I send a fax but not receive a fax? ›

Fax issues where you can send, but not receive is typically an issue with the phone line or incorrect setup. If received faxes seem to be going through, but isn't printing and there is no error message, refer to Faxes are received but not printing out (Fax Preview) to confirm that the Fax Preview feature isn't enabled.

Do you have to dial 1 when sending a fax? ›

Do You Put a 1 Before a Fax Number? Faxes use the same network as voice calls. That means you may not need to add a 1 before the fax number when sending a fax to a recipient within your area code. However, if you send a fax long distance, you'll likely need to add the 1 before the area code prefix.

Do you have to dial one before a fax number? ›

As fax works over the phone network, all fax numbers are simply phone numbers and should be dialed the same way as a regular phone call. When calling locally within the United States and Canada: There is no need to dial a leading '1'.

What are the two types of fax? ›

Types of Fax Transmissions
  • Fax. Specify a fax number to send faxes via a telephone network.
  • IP-Fax. The IP-Fax function sends or receives documents between two fax machines directly via a TCP/IP network. ...
  • Internet Fax. ...
  • E-mail. ...
  • Folder. ...
  • Cloud Fax.

What is fax advantages and disadvantages? ›

5. Faxes - pros and cons
Faxes are a fairly inexpensive method of sending a message - just the cost of a telephone call along with paper and ink for receiving faxesIf the fax is using the same number as the telephone then it can prevent callers from getting through or calls being made.
7 more rows

What happens when you phone a fax? ›

If you were to call a fax number with a regular phone, a fax machine would answer and you would hear a series of beeps.

Does Google have free fax service? ›

Simple and free online fax service. Fax PDF files and Documents directly from your Google Docs. Simple and free online fax service. You can simply open your PDF file from your Google Drive or choose a PDF file from your computer and we can send them as Fax to any fax number in the world.

Can I fax from my cell phone? ›

Yes, you can. All you need is the FAX. PLUS Android app. To send a free fax from your Android phone, go to the Send Fax section, attach the file, enter the recipient's fax number, and send your fax right away.

What is the best free online fax service? ›

Top 7 Free Online Fax Software in 2023
  • CocoFax.
  • RingCentral MVP.
  • mFax.
  • HelloFax.
  • XM Fax.
  • iFax.
  • WestFax.

What is the difference between eFax and regular fax? ›

What Is eFax? eFax is a completely digital fax system that allows businesses to send fax documents over the internet. There is no fax hardware required, nor do you need special setups. Fax is sent from your computer, smartphone or tablet using our online solutions.

What are the benefits of eFax? ›

With eFax, you can send documents and files as quickly and easily as sending an email. We even offer large file sharing services for documents up to 3GB in size and for up to 20 recipients at a time. There is no more risk of files getting marked as spam, bounced from a full inbox, or blocked by the email provider.


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