How to Send a One-Time Fax Online

You’re here because you need to send a fax online and don’t want to buy a fax machine or go through the inconvenience of finding a place that will let you pay to send one. We get it, so let’s skip right to the heart of the issue and tell you how to do it.

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How to Send a Fax Online

Step 1: Get an Online Fax Service

There are quite a few online fax services these days, but the easiest online fax service will let you send a fax using your own Gmail, Hotmail, or Outlook email account and will offer you a free trial. That way, you can send your fax without a charge, and then later, if you need to send more faxes or realize it might be good for your business to have faxing capabilities without investing in a machine, you can always pay for an account.


Once you sign up, you’ll be given a fax number that belongs to you. This is what you’ll use to send and (if you need) receive faxes. If you want to do more than just send this one fax, you’ll be able to change the number when you get a formal account to something you prefer or which is easy for you to remember.


Step 2: Prepare Your Fax and Attach to Your Email

Prepare your fax in Word or whatever program you’re using as you normally would. Then log into your email account and put whatever you want in the fax into the body of the email. If you need to, you can also attach a document (or an image, Excel document, pdf, etc) as you would attach anything to an email.


In the “to” section of your email, you’ll put your recipient’s fax number and you’ll add your own fax number from your fax service. The subject line of your email is your cover letter. Anything you would normally put in a cover letter of a fax, you put in the subject line of your email.


This may seem counterintuitive, since we typically make email subject lines short, while a fax cover letter can include a lot of information. Don’t worry: when the online fax service “translates” your email to fax, it will all convert to a normal fax document and arrive at your recipient’s fax machine like any fax.


Step 3: Press Send

Yes, that’s really all there is to it. Press send and you’re done.


Important Questions

Is It Safe?

Good question. Faxes are still used, notably, in the legal and medical world because they’re secure. Online faxing can be just as safe. The key is using an online service that offers encryption and which doesn’t store your fax in servers after it’s been sent. As a general rule of thumb, services that offer completely free faxing (as opposed to a free trial of a couple of faxes before asking you to sign up for an account) aren’t secure.


They really don’t have any reason to be, and without income from subscriptions to invest in encryption, you can’t expect them to be. If security is important to you, go with a reputable for-free service, even if you’re just sending the one free fax in a trial period.


Can I Fax Internationally?

Absolutely! Just as faxing can be done anywhere as long as you have the right number, online faxing can go anywhere, too. The key is making sure you have the right country code and then adding correctly to your number. Say you’re sending a fax to the UK, which has the country code 44. Your recipient likely sent you a number that looks like this: +44 888 8888888.


In this example, all the 8s are the local area code and the specific number, the 44 is the country code for the UK: but what’s the + for? In telephone number-speak, that indicates that you need to add the exit code for the country you’re in. In the US, that code is 011. So, when you dial 011 44 888 8888888, you’re “telling” the phone to:

  • Leave America (011)
  • Go to Britain (44)
  • Go to a specific area in Britain (888)
  • Go to this specific number in that area of Britain (88888888)


Can I Receive Faxes?

Yes! If you set up with a faxing service, the number they give you is now you’re fax number. Anyone, anywhere in the world can send you a fax to that number. It will appear in your email inbox like regular email.


Can I Use a Mobile Device?

Absolutely. If you have your Gmail, Hotmail, or Outlook account on a phone or tablet, you can use a faxing service just as easily as if you were doing it on your computer.


It’s easy to send a one-time fax online, and once you do it you’re likely to want to keep your account. Insurance companies, banks, hospitals, courts, and lawyers all regularly use fax still, and if you do business internationally, faxing can also be common in business depending on the country. Having online fax capability makes life a whole lot easier in any of these situations.


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