Voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services provide a number of advantages over their landline-based counterparts. While some offer advanced features like video conferencing and mobile apps, one of the more common benefits is the ability to send and receive faxes. VoIP fax features are also easy to use and represent a cost savings for business owners as they do not require a dedicated fax machine.
In most cases, you can send a fax using a VoIP business phone service by simply selecting the option on your desktop or mobile app, scanning documents, and sending them to a compatible fax number. However, to better show how easy it is to replace the traditional dedicated fax machines of old, we will explain these steps using RingCentral’s VoIP fax feature as an example. You can also learn more about RingCentral by visiting their website.
1. Open the Faxing Module
When you first log in to your VoIP account, you should see a fax module somewhere on your platform’s user interface (UI). In the case of RingCentral, click the fax icon in the upper-right corner of your window. It looks like a piece of paper coming out of a fax machine. This will open the “Send a Fax” window.
This window lets you choose the recipient of your fax and the file you wish to send. You also have the option to add a cover page or schedule the sending of the fax for another time.
2. Choose a Recipient
Your VoIP solution needs instructions on where to send your fax to. You should see text fields to enter your recipient’s address, or a drop-down menu for your contacts. Make sure your intended recipient is able to receive faxes before you send your document.
3. Decide if You Want a Cover Page
The majority of platforms come with the option of adding a cover page to your VoIP faxes. This can be helpful if you are sending confidential information, or if you just want to give a more formal presentation to your faxes. If you click this box, you will be able to choose from a variety of cover page templates.
4. Upload the File You Wish to Send
From the fax window, you will need to choose a file to upload and send to your chosen fax recipient. RingCentral and others allow you to upload local files on your computer as well as any files you may have stored on popular cloud storage services like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive. If you are connecting to those services for the first time, you will be asked to log into your accounts with those services. Select your source, and then select the file that you want to fax.
5. Schedule Your Messages, or Send Them Immediately
Underneath the Upload field, you will see a checkbox for scheduling the fax. This can be helpful for all sorts of different situations, such as if you are working after the recipient’s office has closed for the day and want to deliver their file the next morning when they are open. If you toggle this option, you will be asked to choose a date and time to send the message.
However, if you would like to send the message right away, just leave this box blank and click the “Send Now” button.
6. Check Your Fax Inbox
Checking your faxes with RingCentral is a simple process. Simple click on your messages tab when you log in to the service, and then click on your inbox. There, you will be able to see all of your faxes as well as your voicemails and texts. You will be able to preview the documents or download them to your device’s local storage.
Once you are done looking at your messages, you can either close the app or do something else with the service. Faxing with VoIP systems is extraordinarily easy and requires no specialized hardware.
Why You Should Take Advantage of VoIP Fax Features
In basic terms, faxing with a VoIP system works in an almost identical fashion to sending documents via a landline fax machine. You are still uploading documents to a device and sending them to a phone number that can receive faxes. However, you do not need a separate fax number to use the feature, like you do when using a landline fax machine, thus saving you money.
In addition, VoIP faxing makes the process much more convenient. Because it’s internet-based, you can perform the entire faxing process by uploading documents from your computer or cloud service and sending them without the need for specialized equipment. This also means that if you are using a smartphone, you can even scan documents with your device’s camera and upload them into your app, making the feature especially beneficial for those in the field.
Other additional common VoIP fax feature benefits include:
- Access from any device
- Fax inboxes
- Fax alerts
- Secure electronic faxes
- Mobile document scanning
VoIP Fax Costs
While fax capability typically comes standard with today’s most popular small business VoIP services, it is worth noting there can be some additional costs to use the feature on top of the cost of the monthly subscription. Depending on the system you have, your business phone system will either come with a bundle of monthly faxes as part of your subscription, or you will be asked to purchase monthly bundles of faxes.
In the case of RingCentral, bundles start at $17.99 per month for 1,500 faxes. At first glance, it may seem bothersome that faxing costs extra money on top of the monthly service. However, this is a considerable saving compared to the cost of a dedicated faxing device and the monthly cost of a landline. The fact that you can fax without any additional equipment puts VoIP faxing ahead of its traditional counterparts.
Sending and receiving faxes with a VoIP service is a simple and fast process, all things considered. Long gone are the days when workers would have to deal with temperamental fax hardware in order to send important documents. If you’d like to know more about RingCentral’s other helpful features, check out our review of the service.