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How to send a fax from your iPhone (no, really)

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Sending a fax from your iPhone might sound like a weird Frankenstein’s monster of old and new technology. Fax machines and smartphones were created decades apart; how can they possibly work together? And who even faxes anymore?

You might be surprised. In fact, the world over, around 17 billion fax documents are still sent annually. 

But here’s the problem. 

Until very recently, fax remained stuck in the past. Our mail, phone calls, meetings, and conferences went online, but fax got left behind.

The good news: things are changing. Thanks to the Internet, fax has been resurrected from the grave of irrelevance. (Okay, that’s our last horror reference… promise.) 

Bye-bye paper, ink, and cumbersome hardware. It’s time to start faxing from your iPhone.

Today we’ll cover these fax FAQ’s:

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Why should businesses use online fax?

You might be thinking, why on earth do millions of people still use fax when they could just send an email

That’s a great question, with a couple of important answers..

Secure (and affordable) communications

Secure communications are critical to many businesses today. Even small businesses should put some thought into cybersecurity. And, did you know that fax is much more secure than a standard email? Faxes are free of the viruses that lurk amongst the spam that litters our inboxes, and data can be kept private. 

Instead of splashing the cash on encrypted email services, just using fax can save you money. Think of how expensive data breaches and lost trust in your business can be. In fact, many government institutions and healthcare bodies prefer using fax as an extra layer of communications security.

Where can your business save money? Find out with the ROI Calculator.

Customer retention across generations

Not every one of your clients is going to be technologically savvy—especially when it comes to the older generation. But you don’t want to lose out on a great deal or let down a loyal long-term customer just because they want to use fax and you don’t. 

By faxing from your unified iPhone communications app, you’ll be able to send messages, files, and secure documents directly to their traditional fax machines without any extra bother to either party. It’s a win-win. 

What businesses still rely on fax? 

If an industry relies on documents with personal identifying information (PII), you can bet they’re still deep in the fax game. Why? Because security is key when sending such sensitive data back and forth, and email doesn’t cut it.

Here are some of the top industries that still use faxes every day:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Banking and financial services
  • Government organizations
  • Education

How can I send faxes from my iPhone? 

Faxes cannot be sent directly from iPhone phone numbers to fax machines or vice versa. You’ll need a third-party fax app or internet service to make it work. But don’t worry, there are loads of options out there designed to make faxing from your iPhone super quick and easy.

One option is to visit the App Store where you’ll find a variety of faxing options with varying pricing. You may also want to look into some other cloud-based faxing services. 

For example:

  • efax
  • FaxBurner

These services will let you send fax pages with cover sheets to free fax numbers and are okay solutions for small, infrequent faxing jobs.

For a more comprehensive solution, RingCentral Fax® is a software-based online fax service. A contemporary and cost-effective way to send and receive faxes—with no bulky fax machines in sight. 

Instead, users can manage their incoming and outgoing fax communications from a single, unified online portal. 

All you’ll need is the RingCentral mobile or desktop app (perfect for all you iPhone users out there). From there, you can enter your recipient’s fax number and add a cover page, personalized message, and file attachments from any existing mobile app: Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Dropbox, etc. 

It’s super intuitive and flexible. 

You can even submit your fax via email if you want because all faxes are sent via IP transmission. Your recipient will receive any number of pages as a PDF to view on their device via their own online account or as a fax printout on a traditional fax machine. 

To make office communications even more straightforward, RingCentral Fax can also be purchased as part of RingCentral Office®, our comprehensive unified communications solution. 

As well as allowing teams to fax from Apple iPhone, iOS, and Android devices, RingCentral Office comes complete with all-in-one online office communications (we’re talking phone, SMS text messaging, video meetings, team messaging, conferencing, and much more). 

Perfect for streamlining your office communications channels—which we know is all the more important in today’s climate. Say you’re traveling, for example, or working remotely. You won’t even need to be in the office to send that fax, take that call, or answer that group message. 

What’s the best way to send a fax via smartphone? 

RingCentral Office is helping businesses unify their communications online. 

These days, businesses must maintain numerous communications channels simultaneously—and that includes fax. 

Being able to access all of these channels from one unified iOS app on your iPhone saves a significant amount of time and money. 

W2O, a marketing agency out of the Bay Area, recognized this and sought a solution. What started as a search for a better meeting app led this marketing communications firm to RingCentral Office. Delighted with the results, W2O decided to relocate all of their communications needs to RingCentral. 

And they’ve not looked back since. With RingCentral Office, they could use a single business to manage any type of communication—from SMS to electronic fax—all from a single, unified interface. The result? Some serious cost savings and sky-high team productivity. 

“We discovered a lot of benefits we weren’t expecting from a UCaaS platform that puts meetings, phone service, online fax, and team chat into an integrated user experience.” 

Jonathan Denize IT Manager, W2O

Old tech, meet new tech

Just because communications technologies have advanced since faxing’s heyday, doesn’t mean we need to throw it by the wayside (although feel free to dispose of your fax machine at your nearest electronic recycling center). 

We don’t need that cumbersome hardware anymore, but we can keep fax going through our iPhones, iPads, web browsers, and mobile devices. And what’s more, we should. 

Tens of millions of faxes are still sent each year. And for good reason. It’s secure and it’s cost-effective. What’s not to like? 

With an integrated communications solution from RingCentral Office, your teams won’t even need to stay at their desks to be productive. 

You’ll be able to manage all of your office communications from your iPhone and start mobilizing the persevering power of sending faxes once again. 

Originally published May 06, 2021, updated May 26, 2022

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