How Email to Fax Works

A young man using a laptop outdoors. 
New technnology allows users to receive faxes directly to their e-mail inboxes.
Photographer: Andres Rodriguez | Agency: Dreamstime

The concept of fax machines is simple — the fax machine scans a document, encodes the information and transmits it across a phone line. Sadly, work isn't always that simple. But those without ready access to a fax machine should be grateful to learn about the existence of email to fax.

Fax machines may seem like a relic of the past, but it remains a foundational tool in all manner of industries including legal, healthcare, and government. It may be more secure than sending emails, but fax machine access can be a barrier.


The good news is that, thanks to a variety of online services, anyone can fax documents from anywhere with an internet connection. Let's take a closer look at how email to fax works.

How to Send Faxes Online

Whether you're dealing with important legal documents, medical records, or any confidential information, learning how to send faxes online can be critical. Though the precise process can vary from service to service, the following step-by-step outline is typical.

Step 1: Sign up for a service

The first step is to choose an email to fax service provider. There are numerous providers available, many of which are featured below. Once selected, you'll need to sign up for an account, which typically involves choosing a plan that suits your faxing needs.


Step 2: Compose your email

With an account set up, sending a fax is as simple as composing an email. The body of your email can act as a cover page for your fax, while documents to be faxed can be attached in various formats including PDF files and DOCX. This flexibility allows for easy transmission for both text and images.

Step 3: Enter the fax number

Instead of entering an email address in the recipient field, you enter the recipient's fax number, followed by a domain provided by your email to fax service (e.g., This special formatting directs your email to the service provider's system for conversion and transmission.

Step 4: Conversion and transmission

Upon receiving your email, the service provider's system automatically converts the mail and attachments into a faxable format before transmitting it over phone lines to the recipient's fax machine. This process is secure and can ensure that sensitive information is transmitted safely.

Step 5: Confirmation of delivery

After the fax has been sent, the email to fax service typically sends a confirmation email to the sender. This confirmation includes the status of the fax transmission — whether it was successful or failed, along with any relevant details or error messaged.


Best Online Fax Services

Choosing the right service provider is important, and requires a thorough understanding of your needs and the features and services on offer. To get you started, here's a brief rundown of the leading providers, their unique features, and performance.

  • eFax: Offering the ability to send and receive faxes through email, the web, or its mobile app. Notable features include a large file sharing option, electronic signature capabilities, and a wide selection of local and international fax numbers [source: eFax].
  • MyFax: This service priorities simplicity and ease of use. MyFax supports email, browse, and app faxing, and is ideal for small to medium-sized business or individuals with moderate needs [source: MyFax].
  • RingCentral Fax: This is a robust solution for businesses that require a comprehensive suite of services. Apart from its faxing capabilities, RingCentral offers VOIP phone services, message, and video conferencing, making it a one-stop-shop for all communication needs [source: RingCentral].


Message Received and Delivered

Online faxing services offer a practical solution for individual and businesses that require the legal security assurances of faxing, combined with the convenience and efficiency of email. As businesses, organizations, and their clients continue to embrace newer methods of communication, these services play a pivotal role.

Whether for legal documents, medical records, or governmental paperwork, email to fax provides a reliable, secure, and efficient communication bridge between a gmail account and a traditional fax machine. Discover a digital solution for traditional fax machines, and send a fax online today.


To learn more about email and fax machines, follow these links:


Frequently Answered Questions

Can you fax through e mail?
You can fax through email by using an online fax service.