This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) fax uses the internet to send and receive documents. With a business phone service like RingCentral, you can transmit fax over VoIP networks in just five easy steps. You simply need to choose the recipient, select a cover page template if you need one, upload the file you want to send, and set the schedule for the fax transmission.
In this article, we’ll explain the steps using RingCentral Fax. We’ll also discuss the reasons VoIP faxing is an ideal technology investment for small businesses—where faxing is a necessary practice.
1. Open the Faxing Software
Log in to your RingCentral account via web browser or desktop app. In the dashboard, there are two buttons to choose from when sending your fax via RingCentral. The first option is to click the plus sign “+” in the left navigation tab right where it says Fax. Another option is to click the “+” sign in the upper right corner and choose “Send a new fax.” Whichever option you pick, the same “New fax” window will appear.
The dashboard will show you the list of recent faxes you have sent and received, including the failed attempts.
2. Choose the Recipient
Your virtual fax provider needs the contact details of the person you wish to send the fax to. The “New fax” window will ask you to enter the recipient’s fax number or contact number. If you’re sending the fax to a person within your organization, type the recipient’s name in the text field. RingCentral also allows sending a fax to multiple numbers, whether internally or externally.
3. Select a Cover Page Template
Most online faxing services come with the option of including a cover page for your VoIP faxes. This feature applies whether you’re sending a confidential file or want to create a more formal fax document.
Under the recipient text field, click the drop-down button to see the cover page templates. You may choose from various options, including Ancient, Birthday, Blank, Classic, Confidential, Formal, and Urgent. To get a preview of what it looks like, click the “eye” symbol.
RingCentral also offers an optional feature called cover page note, allowing users to leave a message to the recipient.
Looking for a free cover sheet for your faxed business documents? Check out our article on fax cover sheet templates to ensure your file ends up in the right hands.
4. Upload the File You Wish to Send
Upload or scan the documents you wish to scan if they are not already on your computer. RingCentral allows you to send multiple documents at a time and attach files from cloud storage services, such as Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
If you’re connecting your RingCentral account to these services for the first time, you have to log in to your account to directly upload your cloud files. Choose your source and select the file you want to fax. For local files, click on the “Attach file” button, then choose the file you want to send. The maximum file size should be 50MB.
5. Schedule Your Faxes
Below the Attach file field, you will find a button for setting the schedule of when you want to deliver your fax. Clicking this button will allow you to set the due date and time to send the file. Otherwise, click the “Send Now” button to send the message right away.
Want to know other VoIP capabilities aside from online fax? Check out our guide on the VoIP business phone features to see what’s in store for you when committing to a business phone provider.
Benefits of VoIP Faxing
VoIP with fax capability offers advanced faxing functionalities compared to using traditional fax machines. It offers mobility, security, and cost-saving solutions for small business owners who want to maximize the convenience of virtual fax technology.
Here are the common advantages of VoIP faxing:
Reduced Network Complexity
VoIP faxing offers unified network connectivity by leveraging existing local and wide area networks, so you don’t need to pay for a separate analog network. By taking advantage of your existing internet protocol (IP) infrastructure, you avoid all the complications of faxing over dedicated phone lines.
Since you’re sending and receiving faxes virtually, it is possible to handle multiple incoming faxes at the same time. The faxing service is hosted in a resilient environment, so the service will remain functioning regardless of network circumstances, such as an unstable internet connection.
Lower Equipment Costs
Maintaining a fax machine incurs additional overhead costs, such as paying for the machine itself, ink cartridges, paper, phone lines, repair, and maintenance. Switching to a VoIP fax solution eliminates all the costs attached to using fax lines. Although VoIP faxing isn’t free, it offers considerable savings since you don’t have the equipment to purchase and maintain.
Enhanced Speed & Productivity
Paper jams and busy tones are one of the common hassles caused by clunky fax machines. VoIP faxing cuts out redundant steps and enables users to send faxes virtually over the web. This further enhances work efficiency by managing faxes straight from devices and eliminating the hours spent fixing a fax machine.
Transmit Faxes From a Range of Devices
Through internet faxing, it’s easy to fax anywhere in the world without a fax machine near you as long as you have an internet connection and a software-based fax service.
Here are different ways to send and receive a fax:
- Web browser
- Email app
- Desktop app
- Business phone mobile app that supports VoIP fax
- Microsoft applications (e.g., Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook integration)
Improved Security Features
Many VoIP fax providers like RingCentral have built-in encryption to protect your files during and after transmission. They also come with custom cover sheets to keep the first page of your document hidden from your coworkers passing by the fax machine. It also stores incoming faxes with a password-protected online account. Blocking spam faxes is also possible by specifying text or email values for certain fax notifications.
Space-friendly Document Management
Maintaining a traditional fax machine takes up much-needed desk space, especially in a small office setup. With VoIP fax, it’s easy to get rid of that old fax machine and unused ink cartridges. Also, most VoIP fax providers offer different data storage capacities to archive faxes. Some even allow storing virtual faxes over the cloud. As a result, there’s less printing of hard copies, making your business more eco-friendly.
VoIP Fax Costs
VoIP with fax capability is a standard feature in today’s business phone services. However, it involves small additional costs that include a specified amount of pages on top of the monthly subscription. Depending on your provider, the faxing feature may come as part of the feature package, or you may have to purchase fax bundles per month.
RingCentral offers bundled solutions starting at $17.99 per user, per month for 1,500 free fax pages. The bundle includes one local fax number, cloud integration, web and phone support, and the ability to send and receive faxes via desktop, email, or mobile app. Compared to the costs of operating a dedicated faxing device, a software-based faxing solution offers significant savings since you don’t have to pay for additional equipment.
Want to discover other business phone systems for your communications needs? Check out our in-depth guide on the best business phone systems and find out which business phone service that is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use an online fax service for free?
Yes. Some virtual fax providers, such as FaxZero and GotFreeFax, allow sending of faxes for free for a limited number of pages. However, note that free faxing services include a logo on the faxed pages for ad purposes. You may also try online fax providers that offer a free trial version.
Is VoIP fax a great fit for growing businesses?
Yes. As your business grows, your faxing needs will evolve as well. This means you need to invest in a VoIP fax solution that easily scales to accommodate more users. Look for a VoIP provider, such as RingCentral, that allows you to add and remove users from the faxing system. Some even allow you to share a single account with multiple users for bigger savings.
Can I use my fax machine to fax over VoIP?
Yes. A device called T.38 gateway acts as a “converter” for the traditional fax machine. The gateway translates the fax machine’s signal into an internet-based protocol to start sending and receiving faxes in real time.
The benefits of VoIP faxing functionalities go far beyond streamlined virtual faxing. It offers security, speed, efficiency, and convenience for your business, all at an affordable price. To maximize the benefits of an online fax solution, try RingCentral Fax. Plans start at $17.99 per user, per month and include a local number and cloud integration. If you want to learn more about this provider, check out our RingCentral review.