Fax online

Fax without a fax machine with an online fax service

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?

A brief introduction to faxing

Sending a fax means using a phone line connected to a device such as a printer to send someone a reproduction of printed or scanned documents containing text or images. The combination of phone line and printer is often what’s referred to as a fax machine.

How a fax machine works

Fax machines use phone lines to transmit electronic data. When you send a document via fax, it’s first scanned as an image and converted into data bits, and then transmitted via phone using your fax machine. 

The receiving fax machine converts the bits back into an image and then displays or prints it. Many businesses still use fax, but nowadays send faxes via the internet as opposed to analog phone lines.

Receive fax from fax machines on your laptop or mobile phone

How to fax online—plus fax online benefits

Online fax technology means you can send via email or by using fax software on your computer or devices.

Email to fax is one common way you can send a fax from a computer. With this technology, you can attach documents such as Microsoft® Word or PDF files to a regular email, and then send it to a specific fax number. 

The recipient can then accept the fax via their fax machine or email inbox. To do this, you’ll need to subscribe to a third-party online fax service to get a fax number.

Why should I fax online instead of traditional faxing?

Traditional fax
  • You need to spend hundreds of dollars on fax hardware, paper, ink, toner, replacement parts, and repairs.
  • You need to be right next to your—often cumbersome—fax machine to send or receive a fax.
  • If you receive a lot of faxes each day, you need to spend time leafing through printed fax sheets to find what you need.
  • Anything your fax machine prints—including confidential information—can be read by anyone in the office.
  • Traditional faxing means sending your messages through non-secure public phone lines.

Fax online

  • Low monthly fees.
  • Fax on your computer or mobile device.
  • You only print the faxes you need—or even go paperless and read faxes on screen.
  • Your sensitive information remains private and secure in your inbox.
  • Most online faxing is encrypted, so your data is protected.

Send and Receive Faxes

Send fax without fax a machine video

Ringcentral: A leader in online fax services

Flexible, multi-device faxing

Flexible, multi-device faxing

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

Secure and reliable service

Secure and reliable service

RingCentral uses the strongest encryption 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

Fax as soon as you’ve signed up with instant account activation. RingCentral makes faxing simple.


Advanced faxing options

Advanced faxing options

Send faxes to multiple recipients, attach files from your cloud storage service, design 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?

People still like fax

Some people are more comfortable with older technology. This is often the case for decision makers who belong to an older generation, or those who work in remote areas with limited or no access to modern technology. You can easily accommodate such users and communicate more effectively by sending them an online fax.

You’ll still regularly find customers who prefer fax, so to provide the fullest possible service you’ll need a fax option

Faxing provides a paper trail

Fax is also still popular because it provides a paper trail. 

You can easily prove a fax was sent from one person to another because you can easily generate a fax log. And, if you need to, there are ways you can do this when you send a fax online.

The government still encourages faxing

Government standards suggest that faxing is more secure than email. And some healthcare businesses still follow government advice and use fax instead of undergoing the costly and taxing process of ensuring 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

It’s easy to fax online from your computer with RingCentral. All you have to do is log on to your account. Then, look for the fax icon in the upper right-hand corner of your dashboard to open the fax window. Fill in the fax number, write your cover page (if you need one), then attach the file you want—up to 20 MB—from your computer or online file storage service. Then, either send your fax right away or at a specified date and time in the future.

Send email to fax

On your computer, open your email account, enter the recipient’s fax number and then “@rcfax.com”. On your email subject line, type in the text you want to see on the fax cover page. Then, attach the necessary document and send the email.

Fax online with RingCentral for desktop

Once logged on to your RingCentral account, and armed with the right extension number, click on the FaxOut icon at the bottom of your desktop app. (It’s meant to look like a sheet of paper coming out of a machine.) 

Then, enter the recipient’s fax number or select a saved contact and choose a cover page (add a note if you need to). Lastly, drag and drop the file you want to attach or click on the Attach icon (which looks like a paper clip) and choose Send now or Send later.

Solutions for every type of business

Enjoy customized packages and send sensitive documents in a breeze.

Built to empower every team

Expand your fax plan as needed

Get started with a 7-day free trial
A sales advisor will contact you for a personalized, informative demo on the key features and benefits of a cloud phone system.
Thank you for your interest in RingCentral MVP
A solutions specialist will contact you within 1 business day

Important details and disclaimers

Fax online to a professional standard

Your online fax services should go beyond simply sending documents to people. RingCentral provides you with several features that mean you can leave a wholly professional impression with your fax recipients.

Customize your fax cover page

RingCentral allows you to attach multiple file types to your faxes, including .pdf, .psd, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .html, and .csv.

Attach multiple files to your faxes

RingCentral allows you to attach multiple file types to your faxes, including .pdf, .psd, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .html, and .csv.

Combine online faxing services with other applications

With RingCentral, you can instantly fax a document with Microsoft Office. Just click File, then Print, go to the printer list and choose RingCentral Internet Fax as your printer. You can also attach files from your Google Drive™ or Box cloud storage account without opening a new window to upload attachments.

Fax online using email

RingCentral’s email-to-fax means you can send your fax online using your email client. So, you don’t have to wait to get to the office to send an urgent fax. Instead, use the email account linked to your RingCentral number and enter the fax number of your recipient.

Access your faxes anywhere, on any device

With RingCentral installed on your computer, phone, or tablet, you can access and manage your faxes, and delete files you no longer need.

Send a fax online to multiple recipients

Unlike with an outdated fax machine, with RingCentral you can send a document to up to 50 recipients at once. You can also enable the fax broadcasting feature, which allows you to send additional copies.

Choose from a variety of fax numbers

If you want to, with RingCentral, you can keep your old fax number (you will still need to enlist a technical expert to help you 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. Alternatively, RingCentral can generate one for you when you sign up.

So, it’s easy to fax online, and more productively, without cumbersome hardware.

Choose the right internet fax service for your business

Cloud-based services are increasingly popular among small business owners, and online fax services are attractive to people who still want to use fax due to the convenience and security.

If your business is just getting started, you’ll naturally want to minimize costs and maximize returns. Your first instinct might be to look for a free fax service. After all, why pay for something you can get for free?

Free faxing online—there’s always a catch

While you might sign up for “free” fax services, in reality there’s no such thing. The fax service might appear free at first, and offer all the basic features you need from a fax provider. But even the best free online fax service will be limited, and at some point, you’ll need to pay for the full version.

If faxing is vital to your day-to-day operations, consider subscribing to an online fax service that offers you everything you’ll need for minimal monthly or annual fee.

Check your online fax provider options

To make sure you choose the right online fax service,  carefully check the features and limitations of each service provider. For example, find out how many pages you can fax (there’s often a limit). Some fax services only allow up to three pages, while others go as high as 40, or even offer an unlimited number.

You should also make sure your provider can support your files. Some services support up to 30 file types, while others are limited to .pdf or .doc files. And, if you need to send faxes internationally, make sure your service provider facilitates this. If so, check whether you need to pay a different rate for this option.

One of the most important things you need to check is whether a provider can send a fax online securely. Make sure your provider uses good encryption technology to guarantee you security, privacy, and safety.

Trial your potential fax online service

Most subscription-based fax providers offer a trial so you can test their service before you commit.  

Definitely give a fax online service a try to see if it’s a good fit—just make sure you cancel before your trial ends if it isn’t. By taking advantage of a fax online trial, you’ll also get an advance look at what associated charges are involved before you decide to continue or cancel your subscription.