Sending Faxes for Free Using Google Voice

I’ve been a user of Google Voice for nearly two years now. This service has literally changed the way I use my phone.

I was lucky enough to get an invite just after Google acquired GrandCentral and have used it ever since. It especially came in handy when moving from North Carolina to Tennessee, as I got a Knoxville area Google Voice number which I gave to potential employers. I now use that number as my primary number for text messaging (free!) and to route business calls to my mobile phone, which is still a North Carolina number.

Over at AscendWiki.com, they’ve put together an excellent article about how to send faxes for free with Google Voice. This comes in handy for eliminating long-distance fees for faxes. Too bad Google Voice won’t allow you to receive a fax yet. Suggest it as a feature here.

Here’s an excerpt:

Go to your Google Voice account, select Settings, Phones and then the Edit option for the phone on which you have your fax machine residing. Open the “Show Advanced Settings.” Then select “Yes” and “PIN not required (for added convenience)” for the “Direct access to voicemail when calling your Google number from this phone?” You could of course have the PIN required, but then you need to add that to the phone number you construct below. I figured my home phone is safe from someone misusing it.2. Send your fax but construct the fax recipient’s number as follows

Google voice fax to email

Here’s what I did to send a fax using my land-line fax machine and Google Voice. Google Voice Fax is like faxing for the Voice over IP and it’s free. This is with my All-in-One HP Printer C7250. The All-in-One Printer has a Fax Machine built-in, plus a feeder just like a Fax Machine would.

  1. Log into the Google Voice web interface.
  2. Ensure that my fax line is registered with Google Voice as one of “my” numbers.
  3. Click the “Call” button on the web interface, enter the number of the destination fax machine, then select my fax number from the “Phone to ring” pull-down menu.
  4. Insert the desired pages in the fax machine.
  5. Click “Connect” on the web interface.
  6. Google Voice calls my fax line. I push the appropriate button on my fax machine to have it pick up the line and try sending a fax. (It’s designed to allow one to dial on a regular phone, then simply press the “start” button to send the fax whether or not one enters any numbers into the fax machine itself.) It makes it various fax machine noises.
  7. Google Voice calls the destination fax machine, a ringing tone is heard, and the destination fax machine picks up and starts making fax machine noises.
  8. The two machines connect to each other.
  9. The fax is sent and confirmation is received.
  10. Both sides disconnect normally.

Easy, simple, and doesn’t require using a land line telephone (though a land line is needed for the fax machine) to dial. Your result may vary.

Four major holes in Google Voice

I like Google Voice, I really do. But now that the search giant has thrown open the gates to make Google Voice free for anyone in the U.S., many more people will get the opportunity to pick and praise.

After all, it was Google’s multipronged voice service for forwarding phone numbers, sending free text messages, transcribing voice mail, and making voice messages accessible online that recently got me out of a bind with a broken phone.

Still, there are persistent foibles in the less-than-perfect service that Google bought a scant three years ago when it was still called GrandCentral. The call-block, listening-in, and call-forwarding features are great, and visual voice mail is and has been a plus. But inconsistencies, especially with the computer-aided transcription of voice mail messages and with phone number mess-ups in the Google Voice mobile apps, have continuously disappointed.

We overlooked some drawbacks in the name of a free service that has essentially been in closed beta since 2007, and therefore subject to a little leeway, but all that is about to change now that it’s open season. Google Voice already had more than a million subscribers while it was still in invite-only private mode, and I suspect millions more callers will be less forgiving once the thrill of accessing another hot Google service wears off.

Consumer pressure will surely cause Google to throw more resources at the system’s holes, and also give it an opportunity to monetize by adding more targeted advertising, planning waves of premium features for consumers, and selling corporate plans to companies managing a mobile workforce. I welcome the compliments and critiques that will hopefully lead to the changes, and Google should too.

So if you’re listening, Google, here’s my list of the top four features missing in today’s Google Voice.

Porting: You can sign over your phone’s default voice mailbox to Google Voice–this lets you read voice mail messages online, via e-mail, or via text, and respond. Conditional call forwarding, as it’s called, is a good workaround, but there are limitations: no call forwarding to multiple cell phones and landlines, and no call screening, call recording, call blocking, or conference calls. Google may one day allow an upgrade, but for now that’s a no-go, so choose wisely if you’re a first-time sign-up.

If you want to people to reach you exclusively on a Google Voice-issued number, you need to abandon your number and get a new one. Since other, smaller services, like 3jam can port your number, we think there’s a good chance Google will be able to offer the same, especially if a burgeoning user base lets it gain more clout with the carriers.

Google Voice’s computer-aided transcription has long been a riotous comedy of errors.

Google Voice’s computer-aided transcription has long been a riotous comedy of errors (click to enlarge).
(Credit: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

Accurate transcription: Most accurate voice-to-text services come with a cost, especially if a human gets involved in quality control. We’ve poked fun at Google’s sometimes comically incorrect results. Competitors like YouMail offer premium visual voice mail transcriptions in addition to freebies much like Google Voice’s service. Google should take YouMail’s cue and keep the basic digital transcriptions free while ramping up its service with tiered pricing options for those who seek absolute accuracy.

Uniform mobile apps: Thanks to its hearty integration into the Android operating system, Google Voice for Android is by far the best Google Voice experience for mobile phones. You don’t have to have a smartphone to benefit–the service can text you transcriptions if you’ve got a more basic cell–but it helps. Now that Google Voice is sure to go mainstream, developers should make a concerted effort to standardize the app for the major mobile platforms.

International support: Google Voice is currently U.S.-only. As the service scales, it should also expand across the globe. Google will never truly achieve world domination otherwise.

Google fax to email

TPC Fax is a free service that lets you send text faxes by email. It doesn’t have a huge international coverage, but it works for most big cities.

To send a fax, you need to drop a mail to:
[email protected]_number.iddd.tpc.int. For details about the syntax, go to this page

Adrian Hristov, who sent me this tip, has an interesting idea: what if you forward all your mails from Gmail to a fax number using this service? You could also use a filter to forward only some of the mails.

How To Send A Fax From Google Apps

It was going to be a fairly normal evening. I was reading about the Pareto Distribution and the Long Tail when I decided to check my RSS feeds for anything new and interesting. And guess what….I saw something new and very interesting. There was an article on the GoogleEnterprise blog about Google Apps Script. I had heard about this from a friend this weekend, but had put off looking into it. The article got me very interested and I decided to check it out right away.

I first looked at the page for the language and then started watching the video on that page. Very cool! Simple, yes, but very cool. So I wanted to try it out. I went to my Google Docs page and created a new spreadsheet called Outgoing GFaxes.

Google fax number

I don’t have a fax machine. In fact, I only have access to one if I choose to go to a local FedEx or UPS store and pay for service. I was thinking, Google offers so many services that business users need, why not an electronic faxing service?For the record, I probably only send perhaps five faxes per year. That’s a number so insignificantly low there’s no need to have my own fax service. The only reason I ever fax anything is when my handwritten signature is required (how archaic). In most cases, my friendly neighborhood FedEx / Kinko’s store is where I take care of all my faxing needs.

But it’s a hassle. A big hassle. I hate driving there just to send a fax. I should be able to do it from my computer.

There are a significant number of Web-based services that offer free or low-cost electronic faxing services, such as eFax, MyFax, Fax3Free and more. With these services, anyone can set up a fax account and send faxes to pretty much anyone, anywhere. The ease-of-use factor is high. Being able to upload a document (just as you would with an email) is the perfect way to send a fax as far as I am concerned.

Google already offers email, SMS, IM, voicemail, voicemail transcription, Wave, Docs, RSS, calendaring and other tools used by businesses and consumers alike to communicate. Why not faxing? It remains a business-essential tool (for the time being).

It seems a perfect fit with Google’s enterprise play. I see no reason why it’s not offered. So, Google, when can we expect an electronic faxing service? It would be a perfect companion product to go with Gmail or Google Voice. What say ye?

Google fax free

I no longer have a fax machine, because I know a few places on the Web that do let me send a free fax when I have to. When searching for free fax the results of Google show quite a many sites but when you visit them they want credit cards to open a free trial account. The question is that “Is there a truly FREE Internet fax service?”

how to send free fax

Answer is Yes, there are a few website on Internet that allow you to send a free fax, totally and absolutely, no strings attached. Now you really don’t need to spend money on a fax machine, you also don’t have to buy any fax software, Even more better news is that you don’t need to give anyone your credit card number. One of My personal favorites is FaxZero. This site lets you send a fax to any fax machine in the United States (including Puerto Rico) or Canada for free. All you need is a computer on the Internet and a valid e-mail address. FaxZero is web-based, so you can access it with a PC and browser regardless of your operating system.

Here’s how it works…

  1. First visit FaxZero.com and fill out the fax form.
  2. Enter your e-mail address and carefully type the Confirmation Code. (This prevents malicious users and automated bots from abusing the system.)
  3. Then type the text of your fax (for a quick text-based fax) or attach a file. (You can send plain text, PDF, Microsoft Word (DOC), or an Excel spreadsheet (XLS) file.)
  4. Ready to send? Click the Send Free Fax Now button!

They will send a confirmation message to your e-mail address. Your fax will not be transmitted(actually sent) till you click the link they send you in that message.

You’ll receive an e-mail confirming that the fax was either delivered, or that it failed for some reason.

Is it Really Free Internet Faxing?

Yes, it’s absolutely really free. The service is supported by advertising on the cover page of the free faxes you send. That seems like a small “price” to pay for sending a free fax. You don’t have to buy a fax machine, fax software, fax supplies, get a fax line, or pay long distance phone charges. And typically the cover page is mostly left blank anyway. Why not fill it up with something useful?

And you needn’t be concerned about getting spammed or scammed if you use FaxZero. Here’s the FaxZero privacy policy:

We hate junk e-mail and junk faxes, and will absolutely not send any unsolicited e-mail or faxes. Users will receive e-mail messages (such as confirmation messages) as part of the process of using the service. If you subscribe to the FaxZero mailing list, we will send occasional news about the service, which may include advertisments for our marketing partners. Your name, company name, e-mail address, and fax number will appear in the “Sender Information” area of the faxes that you send. FaxZero will not share your information, nor information about the people you send faxes to, with marketers or anyone else, unless compelled to do so by court order.

Can I Send Unlimited Free Faxes?

This is where the bad news starts. No, the free service provided by FaxZero is limited to 2 faxes per day, and there’s a maximum of three pages per fax. If you need to send more than that, you will have to signup for the FaxZero Premium service at cost $1.99 per month, This means no ad or FaxZero logo on the cover page, so you may like that for business communications. The number of pages increases from 3 to 10, and there’s no 2-fax-per-day limitation.

Why can’t these people keep it all free. I think faxing should be like email…hotfax, gfax, yahoo fax etc…

Helloooo! Google, why don’t you start a fax service with google ads on it? huh! nobody listens!
Complete List of Sites That Allow You to Send Free Faxes

K7, a messaging system that will send free faxes and voicemail to your email address

Drop.io this is for those want simple.

FreeFAX is a free Internet fax service that relies on advertising.

TPC (which stands for The Phone Company,) is a collection of fax servers online and has existed as a volunteer collaborative effort for at least 15 years.

eFax claims that they are the largest online network on the planet with over a million subscribers in 2,500 cities and 27 countries. Also known as Zipfax.

Fax.com, they will issue you a number according to your area code and also attaches the fax to your email address or the Internet.

UFAX let you send faxes for free for the first month.

RingCentral it is Designed for small businesses…and also lets you move your entire communications over to their service if you so desire.

Faxdigits

NumbersUSA is quite unique in that you can use the site to e-fax Congress.

The Trick is to use combination of free fax services. that will get you through most of your faxing needs. if you do need to send more than 5 faxes in a month, consider having a premium fax service available at these free service providers… That will help them keep faxes free for all of us.

Free fax to email google

I’m working with a company that’s overseas and they want to send me some contracts via fax. Problem is, I don’t have a facsimile machine and going to somewhere like Kinko’s and paying to receive their fax seems a bit daft. Are there free fax services on the Web, or at least cheap fax services online?
Dave’s Answer:

There are a ton of services that can act as a virtual fax machine for you, though most of them are commercial services. One of the most popular of these services is eFax.com, though on first glance, it’s a pay-only service.

In fact, even if you live chat with their support people, you’ll find that they talk about what a bargain a $160/yr service plan is and state that they don’t have a free fax service, but read on, and I’ll share the secret of just how you can get a free receive-only fax account from eFax.

First, I have to share this as it’s so interesting, it’s the transcript of a chat I had with the sales rep at eFax:
Laura C: Welcome to the eFax Sales Team! I am Laura, your Online Sales Representative. How may I assist you today?

Dave: Hello. I am wondering if there’s a lower-price eFax option than eFaxPlus: I only receive faxes, and only 5-10 pages/mo (if that!)

Laura C: The basic cost for eFax Plus service is $16.95 per month. A one-time activation fee of $10.00 is also applied during the first month of your service. This plan includes 130 free incoming pages every month. Outbound faxing carries a fee of $0.10 per page (60-second transmission time or less) to destinations in USA.
Laura C: I will also provide an additional $3 Gift Credit every month. With this, you can send faxes at the rate of 10 cents a page within the United States. This is equivalent to sending upto 30 pages of faxes free per month (International page rates differ).

Dave: right, but if I wanted to just pay a per-page fee and no monthly recurring?

Laura C: We do not have such plans.

Dave: okay. thanks.

Laura C: We have a promotional plan available.
Laura C: As per this plan, I will be able to waive the one time activation fee of $10.00. Therefore, instead of $26.95, you can set up an eFax Plus Account for only $16.95. You can receive up to 130 pages of faxes free of cost per month. Outbound faxing charges are at $0.10 per page (60-second transmission time or less) to destinations in USA.

Dave: thanks, but I’m looking for something that’s less than $150/year. (I can buy a fax machine for less!)

Laura C: Under the promotional annual plan, you pay only for 10 months of service & get service worth 2 months for Free. Thus, the discounted Annual charges for eFax will be $169.50. The set up fee of $10.00 is waived. It basically averages to $14.00 per month.
Laura C: At eFax we value our customers the most. In accordance with providing the best of services to our customers, we now have a special Annual plan. As per this plan, the first month of service is Free. Thereafter, you are charged a nominal amount of $169.50 for a year. You pay for 10 months of Service ($16.95 X 10), plus you receive 2 additional months free. It basically averages to $14.00 per month
Notice that if you chat with ’em you can lower your price quite a bit from the standard published rates, but what I really like is the comment that $169.50/year is a “nominal fee”. Uh, yeah, I don’t think so!

Fortunately, you can sign up for their free service at eFaxFree. Just be careful, as you sign up you’ll see this:
eFax: do you want a local number = eFax Plus

Choose the second option to retain your free account status. Now you’re set up and should get a verification email from eFax with your new fax number. Mine is in the 253 area code (which is the southern region of Washington state), but what difference where it’s located?

I was also confused because the confirmation email from eFax shows you a phone number and PIN. At first, I thought callers would need to enter the PIN, but in fact that’s an account password for when you want to access the received faxes only and shouldn’t be shared with anyone else.

Upon receipt of a fax, I received a prompt email notification that looked like this:
eFax: Fax Received email from within Google Gmail

If you’re so inclined, you can download the recommended application from eFax, but in fact you can just as easily view your fax in your Web browser. Instead of the app, you want to go to the eFax Storage Center, where you’ll see a nice inbox of all your received faxes:
eFax: eFax free message display center

The messages you see here, if you click on one, look the same as when they were emailed to you:
eFax: message displayed in eFax free message display center

The difference is that on the bottom of the message is a link that lets you either download the fax document in their weird ‘efx’ format, or view it:
eFax: message displayed in eFax free message display center

Click on the actual fax image filename link (here it’s “f524345.efx”) and you’ll actually be able to view the fax itself, within your Web browser:
eFax: free fax displayed in Web browser

Coolness! Now, one more tip: if you want to save the fax to your computer (and you do, because they only save them for 30 days with the free accounts), simply right-click or Option-click (if you’re on a Mac) and you can choose “View As Image” and print that result, or choose “Save Image As…” instead:
eFax: Browser pop-up menu on free fax display

That should help you out!

To learn more about online fax options, also check out my friend Kevin Savetz’s terrific guide to online fax services. Thanks also to my Twitter pals for their comments and suggestions about free fax services, and to K.S. for her demo fax.


Help others find this article at Del.icio.us, Digg, Netscape, Reddit, and Stumble Upon    
Categorized: Computer and Internet Basics   (Article 8022)
Tagged: fax, free facsimile, free fax, receiving faxes online, sending faxes online
Previous: How can I stop getting email from a Facebook Group?
Next: Can I display an “image not found” image in HTML?
View Mobile Version

Subscribe!
Never miss another Q&A article! Click to subscribe:     Add to Google Reader     Add to My Yahoo!     Subscribe in NewsGator         RDF     XML
Comments

Additionally, you could use a product such as Cutewriter,

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/PDF/CuteWriter.shtml

you can print the fax to an Adobe Acrobat formatted file.
Posted by: Chrystoph at April 24, 2008 11:28 AM

Hi Dave
Thanks so much for the tips on Free Faxes.
I had a special ring on my phone line for faxes, but when I changed plans I lost it.
Now my fax machine just will not pick up fax calls.
So I will be going and setting this up for my business

Meg McNeal
Posted by: Meg McNeal at April 25, 2008 3:55 PM

Heh, thats help me too, thank you!
Posted by: Mario at April 26, 2008 2:43 AM

ave dear: I am using an HP desktop which is connected to an HP all in one printer, the book of instructions for which is lost. (Ive moved 3 times) I have looked everywhere that my limited knowledge tells me to look and cannot seeem to find what I need. Can you help me> I have talked to two hp tech support ecperts who are expert in everything but english. T h anks in advance. “C”
Posted by: Connie klem at January 16, 2009 11:14 AM

Dear Dave:

Your link http://www.efax.com/en/efax/twa/productOverview to their free service now gets redirected to http://www.efax.com/products/internet-fax. How do I sign up for their free service now? HALP!
Posted by: sosab at February 16, 2009 12:21 AM

The new address to access a free e-fax account is:
http://www.efax.com/efax-free
Posted by: S.W. at February 16, 2009 7:09 PM

If I give a fake zip code and they assign me a good fax number in my area code then what can go wrong? I just don’t want my customers to be charged by the phone company for sending a fax outside of their zip code area, which happens to be in my zip code area too.
[email protected]
Posted by: Ralph at March 13, 2009 9:22 PM

Thank you SO much! Your information was so helpful. I was in the same boat as you were. I only need to receive faxes not send them and I only fax maybe 3 pages a month. Thank you so much for your very informative post.
Posted by: Tricia at May 28, 2009 7:36 PM

I love this. I have been trying to do get this type of info for a while. I too receive about 5 or so faxes a week and did not want the hassles of a fax machine; plus, I can now access this stuff on the road.

Great!!

Thanks
Posted by: Cletnn at August 3, 2009 11:10 AM

Hi Dave,

I don’t know if this is a new aspect of the eFax web site but they are now asking for a credit card number which is not something I want to give them….free service or not.

Joe
Posted by: Joe Gibson at September 12, 2009 7:36 AM

I no longer see an option for a free service on the link. Did something change or am I blind?
Posted by: Jacob at September 26, 2009 3:07 AM

Man that was easy!
The new “http://www.efax.com/efax-free” was the ticket. thanks dave taylor, you the man.
Posted by: scott at October 13, 2009 9:28 PM

Worked great, thanks.
Posted by: josh at November 2, 2009 11:58 AM

The FREE efax link definately doesn’t work now!
The last link provided on this page redirects to:
http://home.efax.com/s/r/uk_home?CMP=OTC-uk
There doesn’t seem to be a way around the 30 day free trial they offer which, requires credit card details.
Apparently worked great 20 odd days ago according to las poster.

Another one bytes the dust I guess!
Posted by: Terry at November 25, 2009 5:40 AM

Yes, eFax is apparently no longer offering the free service, but K7 is. Check out the link at http://voicemail.k7.net/signup/

The one stipulation is that you have to receive at least one fax or voice mail every month or your account will be automatically cancelled.

I haven’t tried it, but it looks like a legitimate offer.
Posted by: Dan at November 25, 2009 11:24 AM

K7 works fine! Just checked – Polish hotel sucessfully send me a fax =)
Posted by: Chupaka at January 27, 2010 7:53 AM

I was still able to find the free fax option, it’s confusing b/c there are links to the 30-day trial on the same page, but I’m pretty sure you can still ignore that and get the free service.

It didn’t follow through though, b/c the way I read the user agreement, if you receive too many faxes, they will charge you for what the normal service would have cost. Yikes, what if the fax spammers find your number? Here’s the text from the user agreement:

“If j2 Global ultimately determines, in its sole discretion and whether or not it has conducted an audit, that you have violated the foregoing limitations on the Free Service or any associated software, j2 Global reserves the right to immediately terminate or suspend your Service, except as prohibited by law. You agree to pay j2 Global the amount you would have been required to pay for the Plus Service during the period of your non-compliance with the Free Service’s Fair Use Policy, plus j2 Global’s cost of conducting any audits that, in j2 Global’s sole discretion, reveal non-compliance.”

No thanks.
Posted by: Some guy at February 4, 2010 3:23 PM

Thanks to a suggestion by Dan on 11/25/09, I tried K7. So far it looks good for receiving free faxes. I haven’t tried the voice mail option yet (not sure I need it).

Thanks for the post!
Posted by: Stacey at March 24, 2010 12:09 PM

Dave,

I was able to get the free eFax service set up on March 31, 2010. Your tip about viewing a fax through the web interface seals the deal for me, as I’m going to be using this service with a Linux box.

Thank you!
Steve
Posted by: SteveM10 at April 1, 2010 11:02 AM

Hey SteveM10,
If you were able to get the free eFax service on 3/31/10, why didn’t you post a link so the rest of us could enjoy free faxing?
Thanks!
Posted by: utalice at April 5, 2010 4:30 PM

Thank you! I used this link: http://www.efax.com/efax-free

And it worked.

I’ll also add that I have used K7 before (for voicemail) and it is completely legitimate, but they do delete your account after 30 days of inactivity.
Posted by: Adrian at May 5, 2010 9:37 PM

I too signed up for the free version of efax. One problem though is that the fax will not open in IE nor can I save the fax in any image format. Is everyone now using their efax messenger?
Posted by: sandy at July 3, 2010 5:43 PM

I have a second phone line I’ve used as fax line connected to my computer (no fax machine); however, when my Mac G5 crashed & I upgraded to a Mac Mini I no longer had a modem with a phone connection. How can I replace the modem with a free fax on line service?
Posted by: William at October 19, 2010 10:56 AM

FYI, I was able to sign up for a FREE account today using the http://www.efax.com/efax-free link. Just remember, you have to at least receive 1 fax or voicemail a month to keep the account active!
Posted by: Tim S at November 29, 2010 1:33 PM

I note a lot of confusion in the postings. I have been using free efax for years and have not had any problems when I go several months without activity. I was advised, at one time, that I was receiving too many faxes/pages in a month, but was not charged and that was an anomaly since I do not normally receive many efaxes. They are hoping to convert free accounts to subscribers.

Fax with google voice

Here’s what I did to send a fax using my land-line fax machine and Google Voice. Google Voice Fax is like faxing for the Voice over IP and it’s free. This is with my All-in-One HP Printer C7250. The All-in-One Printer has a Fax Machine built-in, plus a feeder just like a Fax Machine would.

  1. Log into the Google Voice web interface.
  2. Ensure that my fax line is registered with Google Voice as one of “my” numbers.
  3. Click the “Call” button on the web interface, enter the number of the destination fax machine, then select my fax number from the “Phone to ring” pull-down menu.
  4. Insert the desired pages in the fax machine.
  5. Click “Connect” on the web interface.
  6. Google Voice calls my fax line. I push the appropriate button on my fax machine to have it pick up the line and try sending a fax. (It’s designed to allow one to dial on a regular phone, then simply press the “start” button to send the fax whether or not one enters any numbers into the fax machine itself.) It makes it various fax machine noises.
  7. Google Voice calls the destination fax machine, a ringing tone is heard, and the destination fax machine picks up and starts making fax machine noises.
  8. The two machines connect to each other.
  9. The fax is sent and confirmation is received.
  10. Both sides disconnect normally.

Easy, simple, and doesn’t require using a land line telephone (though a land line is needed for the fax machine) to dial. Your result may vary.

This article is brought to us by Eberhard

Eberhard likes to write, even though he’s not a Journalist by heart, he has his Degree in Multimedia. Multimedia for Story Boarding a Movie, Sketch a Background, Direct a Movie, Create Websites, Design Houses in CAD, Architect with AutoCAD, Digital Video Editing, 3D Animating and 3D Modeling and has a degree in Acting in Hollywood, California.

Unofficial news and tips about Google

TPC Fax is a free service that lets you send text faxes by email. It doesn’t have a huge international coverage, but it works for most big cities.

To send a fax, you need to drop a mail to:
[email protected]_number.iddd.tpc.int. For details about the syntax, go to this page

Adrian Hristov, who sent me this tip, has an interesting idea: what if you forward all your mails from Gmail to a fax number using this service? You could also use a filter to forward only some of the mails.
Related Links by Google
Gmail Smart Labels
Experimental Gmail Features
Gmail Is Down
Gmail Added Message Translation
Posted by Alex Chitu at 11/15/2006 12:51:00 PM
Labels: Gmail
42 comments:

Anonymous said…

great idea!
November 15, 2006 10:37 PM 

Anonymous said…

the most stupid idea i have ever heard...

in Milan (Italy) we have a service provider called Fastweb who does the opposite, lets you receive faxes on a emailbox, this saves paper!!!!

:-)
November 16, 2006 1:33 AM 

Anonymous said…

Takes genius to write a confusing message like this. What does "fax_number" above mean? Do you put country code? Do you put hyphens as is commonly done in the US for phone numbers? Where exactly do you put the underscore? As I said, a work of staggering genius.
November 16, 2006 5:45 AM 

Ionut Alex. Chitu said…

You don't have to be genius to read the information from the webpage of the service, don't you think? I linked to all the relevant information.
November 16, 2006 5:53 AM 

Ionut Alex. Chitu said…

And even if you think it's stupid to use this service to receive mail messages on your fax machine, you can use it as an excellent send-fax-by-mail service. Which has the rare quality of being free.
November 16, 2006 5:56 AM 

Sankar Anand said…

ionut

why gmail doesnt allow me to add this email address as contacT ?

[email protected]_number.iddd.tpc.int

i thought i can add this address to g contacts and use it to send whenver i want
November 16, 2006 6:23 AM 

Ionut Alex. Chitu said…

You have to replace recipient_name and fax_number with their real value first of all. So fax_number should be a number, for example.

Then you can add it as a contact in Gmail.
November 16, 2006 6:31 AM 

Jeff VanDrimmelen said…

I love that first commment... 'the most stupid idea I have ever heard.' I personally think it is a great idea. Now you can recieve faxes through e-mail and send them through e-mail as well. There are some people who don't accept e-mails. Now all you need to do is fax them using this protocol! Great find! Thanks!!
November 16, 2006 7:17 AM 

jedgar said…

sending electronic messages saves just as much as Fastweb would....
November 16, 2006 9:08 AM 

Anonymous said…

So stupid the first message "the most stupid idea I have ever heard" ! ! Better not talking. This service is great - if it really works... Know that many many "non stupid" companies use this process
November 20, 2006 7:26 AM 

Krish said…

Just what I was looking for.

My dad has a motel I'm doing a web site for. He doesn't have time to check the motel email every day. But these days you have to allow people to contact you via the Net.

So we'll just put the contact form on the web site, and the auto-email will be going to the fax.

The fax generates tones so he knows when a fax is coming in. He doesn't always hang out in front of the computer, but he can hear the fax ring.

This is a great service. Anyone who thinks this was stupid has no imagination of the needs or possibilities.
March 19, 2007 1:21 PM 

Skinny Jeff said…

I think this is a fantastic idea. Just the other day I was trying to find out a way to send a fax from Australia to the USA using my PC (which uses broadband to connect to the internet).

The only disappointing feature of this service is that, although it covers some cities in Australia, it does not cover all the main capital cities (which are only 7), but I trust that the rest will eventually be added. This would allow Australians to send faxes within the country.
March 19, 2007 10:36 PM 

Anonymous said…

GREAT IDEA! IF IT's FREE!
April 1, 2007 6:59 PM 

Karsten said…

I just had a look on the TCP.INT website. There is a description on how to fax images (TIFF/PS files) using Eudora Pro by mapping the correct MIME type.

http://www.tpc.int/clients/index.html#MacOS

Is there a way to do this in Gmail as well?
April 3, 2007 4:02 PM 

Ionut Alex. Chitu said…

@karsten:

In Gmail, you can set up a filter that forwards only emails that meet some criteria.

To test that an email has .doc attachments, type in "Has the words":

has:attachments filename:doc
April 3, 2007 10:31 PM 

zielot said…

Seems like the service is no longer active or no longer the same ...
February 12, 2008 8:43 AM 

Mr. D said…

I think is a great idea but I can't try it. It needs for coverage (areacode 805).
February 28, 2008 9:07 PM 

BigBen said…

Worked Fine but very pointless so many free fax threw email services out there.
May 1, 2008 5:37 PM 

Caff said…

My boyfriend has no computer - but he DOES have a fax machine. I have no fax machine - but I DO have a computer. He lives over 30 miles away, so if I need to send him some information that is too long to text or to read over the phone for him to write down, instead of having to post it to him and him not get it for a day or two, I can use this service. Very handy indeed, I reckon!
July 20, 2008 8:37 AM 

Amy said…

I would like this services even google charge me 5 cents or 10 cents per mail. If Gmail can has a "Fax to" service, that will be wonderful.
September 22, 2008 1:55 PM 

Chappell said…

Ok, what do I do to receive faxes in my Gmail account, some one please email me the directions. Already know how to send faxes thru TCP.int, but I want to be able to get them in my gmail account, thanx much
October 9, 2008 2:48 AM 

etegration said…

i hope Gmail has this too! Gmail Labs go go go!
December 13, 2008 7:58 AM 

Anonymous said…

Businesses without an email are prehistoric mastadons. And those businesses with a fax not covered by TPC have business issues already!
February 26, 2009 10:20 AM 

Robert said…

For now http://www.metrohispeed.com/ has the best deal: $12.95 / 1,000 faxes per month (2nd month free).
April 11, 2009 8:08 AM 

Saundra said…

Yesterday my Fax machine refused to work...is it because it uses older Analog technology and I now have digital telephone service from my cable company? Whatever...I tried to upload a .doc to MyFax and send it to a fax number [which my membership page says I CAN do] but after several tries, it just wouldn't work #*!! I pay $10 /mo for this MyFax acct. that emails faxes to me, but isn't reliable for sending.... Google has the programming talent necessary so, -- PLEASE COME UP WITH A WAY I CAN SEND A word document to a FAX machine !!!
April 27, 2009 5:16 PM 

Jay said…

i am very not tech savvy. someone walk me through this. I am trying to send a fax and this is what i put in the address bar. remote-[[email protected]_1234567890.iddd.tpc.int.]
the gmail does not recognize this as a legitimate address. what am i doing wrong?
also why would i not do this if it works.
April 30, 2009 11:31 AM 

Jay Edgar said…

Jay, substitute EVERYTHING in color, as follows:

[email protected]

You left off the 'remote-' and didn't remove the 'fax_'

Cheers.
July 3, 2009 4:16 AM 

Anonymous said…

Can it fax pdf or MS Word document?
July 4, 2009 6:58 AM 

Anonymous said…

Does it only work on Gmail? how about on other emails, such as hotmail, yahoo mail, etc. ??
July 4, 2009 6:59 AM 

Anonymous said…

is this service from google or from other service providers?
July 4, 2009 7:00 AM 

Anonymous said…

For comment #2: it's not a stupid idea, saves paper, convenient when you are on the go.

For comment #3: you don't have to be a genius to figure this out. Read for a change and everything you need to know in order to fax it there.

I don't think you can add an attachment though...maybe later but it's still a free service
August 5, 2009 7:23 PM 

Tawfik said…

Thank you very much for such service.
September 12, 2009 3:51 AM 

frankO said…

Can you use attachments in gmail such as a pdf file so that it is printed on the fax machine.
February 15, 2010 2:28 AM 

Anonymous said…

WHAT ABOUT YOUR INFORMATION! All the fax information I need to send is private and has personal information on it. I don't want my information going through a third party that I can't trust. If you are sending a picture or something, great. But otherwise I'm nervous.
March 10, 2010 6:39 PM 

Anonymous said…

This is a great idea. There are still businesses that only take FAX. Banks for one, they get so much email that stuff gets lost, so they require, especially for real estate, stuff to be sent via fax.
March 23, 2010 10:45 PM 

Fax Online said…

Faxing using internet is really a good idea. It works fast and saves us from that noisy fax machine.
May 28, 2010 11:49 PM 

SciFiJim said…

Does this still work for anyone? I tried it with no luck. I don't know if it is something I am doing wrong or if it doesn't work anymore.
June 15, 2010 5:57 PM 

Texas.Ex said…

Tried. Failed.
September 20, 2010 7:09 AM 

Gibster said…

It's dead and gone!!
October 13, 2010 1:38 PM 

Google Fax said…

You might try using http://www.gmailfax.com to send from Gmail instead.
February 10, 2011 3:51 AM 

Bankruptcy Tulsa said…

Well, I tried to upload a .doc to MyFax and send it to a fax number [which my membership page says I CAN do] but after several tries, it just wouldn't work #*!! I pay $10 /mo for this MyFax act, thanx for the share.
February 20, 2011 2:55 AM 

google fax said…

Bankruptcy... you might try RingCentral instead. Their software is better.
March 19, 2011 6:19 PM