Send fax online without a fax machine

The simplified fax service for your modern business.

Cloud integration (Dropbox, Google Drive, and more)
  • Send and receive faxes on your PC, via email, or with the RingCentral mobile app
24/7 customer support
Employee preparing to send a fax while working from home
Fax machine

What is fax and how does it work?

Fax basics: A brief introduction to faxing

Fax, a shortened term for facsimile, also called telefax or telecopy, refers to the telephonic transmission and reproduction of printed or scanned documents, which may contain text or images, over a telephone line using a phone number that is connected to an output device, usually in the form of a printer. The combination of the transmitter and printer is often referred to as a fax machine.

How a fax machine works

Fax machines use telephone lines to transmit data electronically. When you send a document, it will be scanned as an image and converted into bits and then transmitted over the wire using your machine. The receiving fax machine will then read the message by converting the bits back into an image and then displaying or printing it for the recipient’s consumption. Fax is still widely used today, but has since shifted to transmission over the internet instead of the original transmission over analog lines.

Receive fax from fax machines on your laptop or mobile phone

What does it mean to fax from a computer?

These days, it’s possible to send and receive faxes without having to touch an actual fax machine. Thanks to internet faxing or online fax technology, it’s now possible to fax over the world wide web by means of sending any document you create through email or with the use of dedicated software on your computer or devices.

Email to fax is actually one of the more common ways to send a fax from a computer. With this technology, you can attach documents such as Microsoft® Word documents or PDF files to a regular email and then send it to a specific fax number so that the other party can receive it via their fax machine or email inbox. To do this, you need to subscribe to one of the third-party online fax services available in the market and get assigned a fax number.

What are the advantages of internet faxing over traditional faxing?

Traditional fax
  • You need to pay hundreds of dollars on fax hardware, plus additional costs for paper, ink, toner, replacement of parts, and maintenance.
  • You need to be next to your fax machine to send or receive fax.
  • If you receive a lot of faxes every day, it is hard to leaf through printed fax sheets to find the document you need.
  • You run the risk of disclosing confidential information because everyone knows where the office fax machine is.
  • In traditional faxing, your messages are often sent through non-secure public telephone lines.

Online fax

  • Low monthly fees for your fax service
  • Convenient faxing using your computer
  • Allows you to stay organized and only print out the faxes you need—even eliminates the need to print out faxes completely (paperless)
  • Sensitive information is kept private and secure because you can discreetly receive it on your inbox
  • Most online fax services have built-in encryption, so your data is protected during and after transmission

Send and Receive Faxes

Send fax without fax a machine video

Why Ringcentral remains a leader in online fax services

Flexible, multi-device faxing

Flexible, multi-device faxing

Send and receive fax using your computer, your tablet, or your smartphone. All you need is an active internet connection.

Secure and reliable service

Secure and reliable service

RingCentral employs the strongest encryption methods and follows the strictest security policies to comply with industry standards in cloud platform technology.

Easy to set up and manage

Easy to set up and manage

Start faxing right away upon signup with the instant activation of your account. RingCentral simplifies faxing in ways you never thought possible.

Advanced faxing options

Advanced faxing options

Get exciting functionalities such as sending faxes to multiple recipients, attaching files from your cloud storage service, designing custom cover sheets, and more.

Online account and logs

Online account and logs

Sign in to your online account and get access to detailed fax logs. View every fax sent and received on your dashboard for extensive tracking and greater control.

No hardware required

No hardware required

Throw out your old fax machine and forget about spending another dime on toner or paper. Trim costs on a shoestring budget with modern faxing.

Receive fax from fax machines on your laptop or mobile phone
Sending and receiving internet fax on a smartphone

Why send a fax online?

Some people are still used to faxing

Some people are just more comfortable with older technology. This is usually the case for organizations with decision makers belonging to a different generation or those who work in geographically remote areas that do not have the luxury of access to modern tech. It wouldn’t hurt to accommodate these users by sending an online fax in order to communicate more effectively.

It’s also commonplace to come across customers who still use fax, so businesses have to comply with their preferred means in order to satisfy them.

Faxing provides a paper trail

Fax remains popular because it can offer a solid paper trail. It’s easy to prove that a fax was sent from one person to another because there are transaction reports and fax logs that can be generated anytime. Even with online fax, there are ways in which providers can deliver the data in the event that these need to be scrutinized.

The government still encourages faxing

Government standards point to the idea that faxing is much more secure than email. For example, businesses in the healthcare industry would abide by government regulations by just opting to use fax instead of undergoing the costly and taxing process of ensuring that their email encryption is HIPAA compliant.

Sending an online fax to a fax machine
Using a fax software on a laptop

How to fax from your computer

Send a fax online

Learning how to send a fax using RingCentral on your browser is easy. All you have to do is log on to your account. Then, upon seeing the dashboard, look for the fax icon on the upper right-hand corner of the page to pull up the window that would allow you to send a fax. Fill in the fax number, compose your cover page (if you want one), then attach the file you want—up to 20 MB—from your computer or online file storage service. Then, choose to send your fax right away or set a specific date and time in the future for it to be sent.

Send email to fax

On your computer, open your email client (such as Microsoft Outlook®). Enter the fax number of the recipient and append it with “”. On your email’s subject line, type in the text that you would want to appear on the fax cover page. Attach the necessary document and hit Send.

Fax using RingCentral for desktop

After making sure that you’re logged on to your RingCentral account and that you have the correct extension number, click on the FaxOut icon at the bottom panel of your desktop app. It’s supposed to look like a sheet of paper coming out of a machine. Then, enter the recipient’s fax number or select a saved contact. Choose a cover page, adding a note is optional. Drag and drop the file you want to attach or click on the Attach icon, which looks like a paper clip). Choose Send now or Send later.

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Important details and disclaimers

Professional online faxing with solid options

Sending faxes online should go beyond simply getting documents to other people. RingCentral provides you with access to several features that enable you to leave a professional and lasting impression with your fax message recipients.

Customizable fax cover page

RingCentral allows you to create custom cover sheets that will reflect the persona you’re trying to project. You can choose from a variety of templates, ranging from classic to modern or elegant to urgent, depending on the message you’re trying to get across.

Multiple file types as attachments

Aside from letting you fax without an actual machine, RingCentral is also capable of allowing you to upload several file types as an attachment to your message. The most commonly used supported file types include .pdf, .psd, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .html, and .csv, among others.

Integrations with important business and productivity applications

You can fax a document instantly using Microsoft Office applications. Just click File, and then Print, and go to the printer list and choose RingCentral Internet Fax as your printer. You can also attach files straight from your Google Drive™ or Box cloud storage account—no need to switch windows to upload attachments.

Sending faxes using email

RingCentral’s email-to-fax lets you send fax messages using your email client. You no longer have to wait to get to the office just to send an urgent fax. All you have to do is to use the email account that’s associated with your RingCentral number and enter the fax number of your recipient.

Access and manage faxes anywhere and on any device

You can access and manage received fax messages on your preferred device when you have RingCentral installed on your desktop, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet. You can even just use your internet browser to view or delete older or unnecessary files when you’re logged on to your RingCentral account.

Send fax to multiple recipients

Unlike your old and outdated fax machine, you can send a document to multiple recipients at a time using your RingCentral account. By default, you can send a fax to up to 50 recipients. You can also request to have fax broadcasting enabled for your account in case you need to send more.

Choose from a diverse selection of fax numbers

Keeping your old fax number is possible with RingCentral. You just have to reach out to a solutions specialist to facilitate a number transfer. If you don’t have a fax number yet, you can choose between a toll-free number or a local number to send faxes. RingCentral can automatically generate it for you upon sign-up.

With these convenient options, you can definitely take faxing a notch higher. This modern style of faxing can bring a significant change to your productivity.

Choosing the right internet fax service for your business

Service providers offering cloud-based products are becoming increasingly popular among small business owners, especially for startup companies that rely heavily on the internet for the majority of their operational needs. In terms of communication tools, internet fax services in particular have become increasingly irresistible to people who still rely on fax for their transactions primarily because of the convenience and cost savings these give them.

If you’re just getting started with your business, you’ll likely want to minimize your operational costs and maximize returns. Your first instinct would be to look for a free fax service near you, or something to that effect. After all, why pay for something when you can get it for free?

Free fax, but is there a catch?

You might sign up for these free services immediately. But as you know, there’s no such thing as a completely free service. They might appear free at first, probably complete with all the basic features you need from a fax provider, but they will certainly come with limitations. At some point, you’ll need to pay a certain amount of money to be able to use the service to its full potential.

If faxing is a vital part of your day-to-day operations, it’s only ideal to consider subscribing to an online fax service that offers you the whole nine yards and charges you with a minimal fee on a monthly or annual basis.

Check your fax provider options

In order to choose the right online fax service, you need to examine the features and limitations of the service provider you’re eyeing. Find out if there’s a limit to the number of pages you can fax. Some services impose a three-page limit for sending faxes, while some go as high as 40 pages. There are also those that offer unlimited pages.

Determine if the provider you want is able to support the file types you’ll work with on a daily basis. Some services support at least 30 file types, while some are limited to .pdf or .doc files only. Also, make sure that you can send fax overseas,particularly if you transact with people from different parts of the globe. Some services have different rates for international faxing, just like how your business phone service provider would charge varying costs for overseas calls.

Perhaps one of the most important things to look for in a provider is whether the service is capable of sending faxes securely during transmission. You’ll want your service to ensure that they use good encryption technology for your utmost security, privacy, and safety.

Keeping these things in check will ensure seamless faxing once you decide to subscribe to a specific provider.

Taking your potential fax service for a spin

Most subscription-based fax providers would offer a trial period that would let you test their service without any obligations. As a consumer, it would be smart to take advantage of free trials to really get to know if the service is a good fit—just make sure to cancel before your trial ends if it isn’t. By taking advantage of trial periods, you’ll also be privy to setup fees or additional costs you might incur while using the service should you decide to continue your subscription.