Last Update: August 9th, 2021
There are two ways to email to a fax machine:through an online fax service or an enterprise level fax server.
There are other ways to fax from a computer that uses a connected fax machine or fax software (a direct replacement for a fax machine) however; these approaches do not have the benefit of being able to be managed through email and also require a land-line phone line.
- There is no “out of the box” way an email program can send a fax. An online fax service, fax server, or connected fax machine is required to enable email to fax and fax to email.
- You can send and receive a fax with email by using an online fax service, including email services such asGmail, Hotmail, and Outlook.
- You can send and receive a fax using a connected fax machine or multifunction printer as a relay. Most only have the ability to receive a fax and forward it to email, while sending is done through the print driver.
- Enterprise & corporate level fax servers can add “email to fax” and “fax to email” capability to an organization.
- Alternatives include fax software and finding a local establishment to send and receive faxes
On this page
- How fax to email (and email to fax) works
- How to send and receive a fax to email (or email to fax) with an online fax service
- Use a connected fax machine to send and receive a fax with email
- Sources and more resources
How fax to email (and email to fax) works
There are two ways for connecting fax and email. The first is with a fax server (an online fax service is a type of fax server), the second is with a connected fax machine with email capability.
An online fax service is a type of fax server. The main difference between the two is that fax serversare managed directly (typically found in enterprise and corporate environments) while online faxis available as a service.
A connected fax machine is a fax machine that iscontrolled by a computer or smartphone. Many connected fax machines can send a fax from the print driver, and some can relay the fax to an email whenever a fax is received.
How to send and receive a fax to email (or email to fax) with an online fax service or fax server
Email to fax (and fax to email) is a standard function with most online fax services.
Sending an email to fax
Steps vary by service provider. A typical approach to sending an email to fax with an online fax service is:
Step 1 – Prepare a new email. Open a new email as you normally would.
Step 2 – Put the “to” fax number into an email address. To send the email to a fax send to an email address that is the fax number @ theFaxProviderDomain.com. For example, if the fax number to send to is +1 (212) 555-5555, and the online fax service is Nextiva, the email to send to is [emailprotected]
Step 3 – Enter subject line and body of the email. The subject line and body of the email will be converted over to the relevant parts of the fax’s cover page. The subject line will be the email’s subject line, the body of the email will be the body of the cover page. Information about the sender automatically inserts into the cover page from the service’s configuration.
Step 4 – attach the documents to fax.More than one document can be attached, and file formats such as Word and PDF are universally compatible.
Step 5 – send the email. The email travels to the fax service. The fax service will then convert the email information over to a fax and call the fax number.
Step 6 – wait for confirmation (or message failure).The fax service sends a confirmation page email showing the fax was successfully sent or not.
Receiving a fax to email
Steps vary with each provider. Here is a typical approach to receiving a fax to an email address:
Step 1 – the fax service waits for the fax line to ring.The fax service is always on regardless of whether your computer, smartphone, or email client is active.
Step 2 – the fax service answers the ringing fax line. The sending fax machine transmits the fax information to the fax service.
Step 3 – the fax service stores the fax.A web browser, software program, or app can access the faxes.
Step 4 – the fax service emails a copy of the faxto the designated email address(es) (some fax services allow for more than one recipient email address). The email arrives with a copy of the fax in PDF format.
The system can work all types of devices, including Computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and Smartphones/Tablets (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone). It can work anywhere that email can be accessed and a PDF document can be displayed.
All types of email addresses are compatible. An online email to fax service can work with:
- Webmail email addresses such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook 365 webmail.
- Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast, CenturyLink, and any internet service provider’s email.
- Any email client such as Outlook, Thunderbird, and Mac Mail.
The limitations of fax to email with an online fax service or fax server come mostly from the storage size the email provider allows. Most email providers allow more than enough room; however fax documents take up much more computer storage space than an equivalent document typed directly into an email.
With a fax server, there may be limitation set by the administrators as to what type of email can send and receive a fax. However, these limitations are specific to the organization and not the server software.
Use a connected fax machine to send and receive a fax with email
Most connected fax machines have the ability to “print” to fax through the print driver. Some connected fax machines (or multifunction printers with fax capability) canforward a fax to email.
A connected fax machine will still require a landline phone line, just like a regular fax machine.
“Printing” to the fax driver
Connected fax machines can send a fax by “printing” the fax.
The specifics vary by fax machine. It is typical to have the ability to load the print driver (go to print the file, select more options). Within the print driver is an option to send the document to a fax number.
Other fax machines have software that runs the functions for sending the fax. Within the software, there is an option to build a simple fax and send it as a fax.
Forward fax to email
Some connected fax machines can forward (or relay) a received fax to an email address. When a fax is received, an email sends to a designated email address with a PDF copy of the fax attached.
Alternatives – fax with a computer or use a local store
The simplest alternative to an online fax service with email fax or a connected fax machine is fax software or finding a local place to send a fax.
Most versions of Windows include “Window fax and scan,” a program that acts as a direct replacement for a fax machine. A fax modem on the computer and a landline phone line are required. This program acts very much like an email client, however, is for sending and receiving faxes.
Sources and more resources
- Fax Authority – Email Fax (glossary) – our glossary entry defining what an email fax is and how it works.
- Fax Authority – Guide to Online Fax – our guide to online fax systems. Email to fax and fax to email is only a small part of online fax.
- Fax Authority – Online fax services – our comparison of online fax services. The page includes a side by side comparison.
- Wikipedia – Internet Fax– Wikipedia’s entry on Internet fax, an overall term for sending and receiving faxes over the Internet.
- Wikihow – How to email to Fax: 6 Steps– a basic explanation of how to send an email to a fax machine.
- Mozilla Thunderbird Support Forum – Can I send an email to a fax number?– A forum discussion in Mozilla’s support forum about the use of an email to fax system.
- Brother – How do I configure fax forward to email? – Brother’s support forum answer on how to setup fax forwarding on an MFC -8220.
- Google Patents – Patent #US 6424426 B1Fax-to-email and email-to-fax communication system and method – A patent that shows the workings of a fax-to-email and email-to-fax system from the year 2000. Awarded to Matthew K. Henry of Mongonet.
- Google Patents – Patent # USUS 6614551 B1Email capable fax machine and methods for using the same – A patent that shows the workings of an email capable fax machine. Awarded to Gregory A. Peek of Intel Corporation.
How do I send a secure fax via email? ›
- Subscribe to a reliable online faxing service.
- Compose an email and attach the documents.
- Include the recipient's fax number along with the service provider's code. For example, @cocofax.net.
- Send the email.
Put the To fax number into the email address. Create a subject line and the email body. Attach any documents. Send the email – the fax service converts the email information to a fax and calls the fax number.What happens if you email a fax number? ›
Recipients: With email, your message is sent from your email address to the recipient's email address. When you send an email fax, however, your fax is sent from your fax number to the recipient's fax number or email address.How do 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.Is Gmail fax secure? ›
Any fax messages sent to your number are delivered to the provider's servers, then converted to PDF and dispatched to your inbox. You will need to sign up to a third-party service provider to obtain a Google Fax number. This service provider will ensure all data passing through its servers is encrypted and secure.How do I send a secure fax with Gmail? ›
- Create an account on FAX. PLUS with your Google account.
- On Gmail, click on Compose to create a new email message.
- Enter the recipient's fax number followed by @fax. ...
- Attach your fax documents as email attachments. ...
- Send the email and it will be faxed to the specified fax number(s).
Open your Gmail account and click on the Compose button to start a new email. Enter the recipient's fax number followed by @fax. plus in the To field (+firstname.lastname@example.org)Can I email a fax number Outlook? ›
There are two ways you can send an electronic fax through Outlook: Add a fax contact to your contact list, and then send an email to that contact. Or, enter [Fax:Example_Name@11238675309] in the “To” field.How do I send information to a fax number? ›
- Enter the document you want to fax into the document feeder. ...
- Dial the fax number for the receiving fax machine.
- Select Fax or Send to send the fax.
- After sending the fax, you should receive a confirmation page.
- Remove your documents.
You Can Send Messages to Incomplete Addresses
One of the coolest uses of fax machine communication is sending a message without knowing many personal details. When it comes to email, you have to know every letter of the address. Get it wrong, and the message won't get delivered where you want it.
Does someone have to answer to send a fax? ›
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. Some fax machines (and other variations of fax) have the option for manually answering the call.Is eFax 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.When you send a fax and it says no answer? ›
According to FaxMaker Online Error String Explanations, the No Answer error indicates that the line was not picked up (answered) by a fax machine or person before timing out. The standard timeout is usually sufficient to ensure a minimum of 5-8 standard rings, which is a duration of 55 seconds.How many days does it take for a fax to go through? ›
Usually the fax will be sent within a few minutes (approx. 60 seconds per page), but can take longer if the receiver's fax line is busy or if the line gets disconnected. Our system will retry twice, for a total of three billable attempts.Does fax confirmation mean received? ›
Fax transmissions include a confirmation process. One of the reasons fax continues in use is that fax has a process to confirm that the entire message was received. When the receiving fax machine sends a confirmation signal, the sending fax machine prints a confirmation page.What is the most secure way to fax? ›
- 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.
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.What is the safest way to fax? ›
Online faxing with a platform like eFax is safe. While an Internet connection can be hacked, online fax services like eFax encrypt documents so that they are kept secure and private in transit.How do I send a secure fax in Outlook? ›
- Compose a new email. Enter the recipient's fax number, which should be followed by @efaxsend.com.
- Enter any other recipients addresses. or add them from your contact list. Fill in the subject for your fax and use the Message field for your cover sheet. ...
- Your recipient will receive the fax.
Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant? Gmail is not HIPAA compliant, however, Google's G Suite that also includes Email is covered by BAA (Business Associate Agreement). Using G Suite with a business domain can help make it HIPAA compliant. Of course, care must be taken to make sure that end-to-end encryption is enforced.
Can you eFax for free? ›
eFax Messenger ® is a free fax software tool you can use to edit and send faxes from your personal computer.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.Does Microsoft have an email fax service? ›
Send & receive faxes from Microsoft Office 365. We make faxing easy for Microsoft Office 365 users. Send and recieve faxes without disrupting your workflow. Whether you're working in Excel, Word or PowerPoint, you'll have the option to fax directly from that application.Can I send PDF to a fax number? ›
Fax Your PDFs the Easy Way with eFax
Using eFax, you can fax PDF documents from your phone, via email or online from any location. No more scouring the area for a fax machine or waiting for your documents to print or scan. Just upload your PDF, hit “Send” and you're good to go! Start Faxing Now!
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.Can a fax be sent to a cell phone number? ›
No, you cannot use a fax machine without a landline. Fax machines are technically telephone devices that use the landline network to send information.Is it better to email or fax personal information? ›
Fax is more secure than email, in many regards. The main thing that can make fax more secure than email is the limited exposure to the internet and internet connected devices. Fax machines communicate through phone lines, which are harder to access than public internet connections.Is fax becoming obsolete? ›
Fax machines were once a cutting-edge technology but are now largely considered a relic of the past. Is faxing obsolete in an age of email and instant messaging? Fax machines may seem outdated, but faxing continues to be a staple of business communications. It's still as relevant as ever.Why is fax discontinued? ›
Why Fax Machines Are Obsolete. Outdated and unsuited for the modern working environment, fax machines have proven to be ineffective and inefficient compared to digital alternatives. With in-built security flaws and excessive resource wastage, there is no place for them in your business.What to do if fax 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.
What is the safest way to send documents by email? ›
- Use an Encrypted Email Service.
- Encrypt Your Email.
- Encrypt Email Attachments.
- Password Protect the File.
- Use an Online Fax Service.
|Price – Single Document (per page)||$0.15 or less||$1.89|
|Price – Extra Documents (per page)||$0.15 or less||$1.59|
|Price – International (per page)||$0.15 or less||$5.00|
|Hours of Operation (local time)||24/7/365||8am-7pm | M-F|
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.Why are my faxes failing to send? ›
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.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.Will a fax go through if office is closed? ›
Yes, you can send a fax if the office is closed. Most offices leave their fax machines on outside of business hours. Faxes received after business hours will be processed the next business day.How long does it take to send a 100 page fax? ›
It will likely take you about 50 minutes to an hour to send the entire document on a newer model. That's assuming the pages are text. Pages with heavy imagery will take longer. Older machines also may not have the same transmission process or speed as more modern machines.What does a pending fax mean? ›
Pending: Outgoing fax is queued or in the process of being sent. Failed: Outgoing fax could not be sent. Confirm the phone number and retry. Received: Incoming fax has been received.How can I send a secure fax for free? ›
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).How can I fax without a fax machine securely? ›
- Create a new email message.
- Add the recipient's fax number, followed by @efaxsend.com.
- Add a subject line to the email, which will be the subject of your cover page.
- Type out your message to the recipient, which will be the body of the cover page.
- Attach the documents you want to fax, and hit the “send” button.
Is there such a thing as secure fax? ›
What Is Secure Fax? A secure fax is a digital document that is encrypted for security over fax servers. A secure fax cannot be intercepted, stolen or accessed by unauthorized third parties. On a secure fax, the numbers of both the sender and the recipient are hidden from view to protect both identities.What is the Hipaa compliant way to send a fax? ›
InterFax. InterFAX is a cloud-based fax service provider with robust security and TLS encryption. This service is not only HIPAA compliant but also PHIPA compliant and ISO 27001 accredited. It flaunts a web-based control panel that can be accessed using any computer or mobile phone.Can you send a fax from Gmail for free? ›
It is possible to fax for free using Gmail even if you don't have a fax machine or a telephone line. All you need is a reliable provider that offers email to fax.Is fax less secure than email? ›
Fax security issues
All fax transmissions use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) which ensures point-to-point transmission – making it more secure than email. A sent fax is converted into base64 binary at its source, travels via PSTN and then is reassembled at on the recipient's fax machine.
Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud sharing services are great for sending and receiving documents with sensitive information or PHI.Is fax safer than email? ›
Is Fax More Secure than Email? Fax is more secure than email, in many regards. The main thing that can make fax more secure than email is the limited exposure to the internet and internet connected devices. Fax machines communicate through phone lines, which are harder to access than public internet connections.Where can I send a secure fax from? ›
You can send a fax with WiseFax from a Mac computer, PC or any other device connected to the internet. WiseFax uses the most advanced security and encryption protocols to protect your faxes both in transmission and at rest in storage. Your fax documents are protected in transit from your device to recipient's fax.Is electronic fax safer than physical fax? ›
While traditional faxing often uses unsecured phone lines, electronic faxes are encrypted using a secure and reliable system to protect your data. Electronic faxing is not susceptible to the time-wasting spam and malicious malware that can be common with other internet-based communication methods.How do I send a secure fax over the Internet? ›
With HelloFax, you can securely send up to five pages for free just by signing up. And your account offers you convenient features, such as quickly faxing to previously entered fax numbers, if you have to send a fax more than once in your lifetime.Is there a HIPAA compliant email to fax? ›
SRFax is the only HIPAA-compliant fax for healthcare that will sign a Business Associate Agreement. Our secure online fax service, also referred to as a digital fax, is the gold standard in the industry, and our customer reviews confirm it.
Is Gmail fax HIPAA compliant? ›
Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant? Gmail is not HIPAA compliant, however, Google's G Suite that also includes Email is covered by BAA (Business Associate Agreement). Using G Suite with a business domain can help make it HIPAA compliant. Of course, care must be taken to make sure that end-to-end encryption is enforced.Is emailing a HIPAA violation? ›
HIPAA does not prohibit the electronic transmission of PHI. Electronic communications, including email, are permitted, although HIPAA-covered entities must apply reasonable safeguards when transmitting ePHI to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data.