Virtual fax

If you work in an industry like healthcare or finance, but don’t want to be stuck with physical fax machines—virtual fax could be the answer. With Dialpad, you can send and receive faxes from a desktop or mobile app. Sign up for a 14-day free trial to try it out for yourself!

What is virtual fax?

Essentially, virtual fax (sometimes also called eFax) lets you send and receive documents in the cloud. Typically, you need an Internet connection and a cloud-based fax service provider. (Like Dialpad!)

With virtual fax, you can send large files or sensitive information over the Internet. You can also open your inbound faxes right in your email inbox and read them on your desktop or mobile device—no more bulky fax machines.

How it works

Traditionally, a fax was sent via the phone line to and from a physical fax machine. A fax machine would scan a document and transmit it through the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). The receiving fax machine would print the document and send confirmation back to the outgoing fax machine.

Virtual fax machines cut the phone lines out of at least half of the equation because it uses the Internet to send and receive faxes. Using virtual fax is easy with Dialpad. With your Microsoft or iOS laptop or desktop computer, you have all the functionality without any of the learning curves. Just remember the following steps to get you started.

How virtual fax works in Dialpad

Purchasing a fax license

Before you can use virtual fax, you need a fax license. Once you have a license, you (or the admin) can add fax lines to shared lines or individual team members.

  • Go to your dashboard and go to your “Admin Settings” then “Billing”

  • Click “Buy Licenses” then enter the number of fax licenses you need and click “Next”

  • Review your purchase and then select “Confirm Purchase”

Sending a fax

  • Click “Send a Fax” in your Dialpad dashboard. You’ll be able to either add an existing recipient or add a fax number by manually typing it in.

  • To add the file you want to fax, click “Upload a File” and choose the file you want to fax from your computer. Dialpad supports most common file types up to 10MB.

  • Once you select the fax, it’ll automatically be sent. You’ll also be able to see a record of sending the fax in that conversation thread. (If you want, you can then download it to Google Drive or Dropbox to share with teammates.)

Receiving a fax

  • You’ll receive an incoming fax notification when you’re receiving a fax message. Just click the fax icon to view the document that you’re receiving.

  • You’ll also receive an email message containing a link to download the fax. You can turn these email confirmations off in your settings.

Faxing to an international number

Because you don’t have to go through an actual phone line, it’s easier and more affordable to send a fax to an international number with Dialpad. You can send international texts using the same process as a domestic number. The cost is pretty comparable to domestic rates for most countries and allows you to access your international contacts.

What you get with Dialpad

Inbound faxes

  • Incoming message notification when someone sends you a fax

  • Email notifications with a link to download the fax (you can turn off these notifications in Dialpad)

  • Review all faxes right in your Dialpad dashboard

Outbound faxes

  • Send faxes in a wide range of file format types

  • Delivery confirmations with a timestamp

  • See your sent faxes directly in your conversation thread

5 benefits of virtual fax

1. It’s easy to set up

Since internet faxes require no equipment or phone lines, all you need is a license, extension, and plan from an online fax service provider. If you already have a VoIP provider, like Dialpad, then you can add a fax phone number directly from your dashboard.

2. It’s inexpensive

Whether you work at a small business or a big corporation, online faxing is a much more budget-friendly alternative to traditional faxing. There are fewer overhead expenses, since you don’t need to buy physical fax machines (that require ink, fax cover sheets, and regular maintenance). Pricing does differ depending on the provider—with Dialpad, you get 100 free faxes per month, and it costs $0.10 per fax after that.

And with toll-free fax numbers, you can send faxes without placing unnecessary expenses on vendors, team members, or clients. (Toll-free numbers aren’t just for phone calls—they allow you to send and receive faxes to and from those numbers without incurring any fees associated with the faxing process too.)

3. It reduces your carbon footprint

Time and money aren’t the only things you’re saving with virtual faxes. You’re also saving the planet since you’re using less paper and less ink. (Thanks, cloud storage.)

4. It’s more convenient

One of the biggest benefits of having a virtual fax service is, of course, the convenience. You can send and receive faxes from anywhere (since you’re not attached to landlines), using just your computer and an Internet connection.

5. It’s more scalable

Because virtual fax doesn’t require phone lines or any additional equipment, it can easily scale to fit the current needs of your business. Need more fax lines? Add them in your online account in just a few clicks. Don’t need them anymore? You can remove them just as easily.

Get started with virtual fax

If you need to send Internet faxes, there are tons of different tools out there. What’s unique about Dialpad’s fax solution is that it lets you send and receive faxes in a unified communications platform. (Not to mention you have a customer support team to help you out if any issues come up as you’re faxing.)

You can make phone calls, send SMS and instant messages, start a video meeting, and yes, send faxes—all in the same app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an external fax machine?

No. Dialpad’s virtual fax feature doesn’t require a physical machine—just your computer. The documents that you’re faxing do have to be in digital format to send, so you may have to scan them before sending them.

What file types does virtual fax support?

Virtual fax supports the most common file types including .doc, .docx, .pdf, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptx, .tif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .xls, .xlsx, .txt, and .html. It also allows you to add a cover page or an appendix to documents in whatever application you choose.

How long does it take to send a virtual fax?

Virtual faxes are sent nearly instantaneously. No more trying to fax pages of a document one at a time, then waiting and following up with the recipient to make sure they have the document in its entirety.

Which lines can I fax documents from?

With Dialpad, you can send and receive faxes from your Main Company Number, Department Line, as well as your individual user line. You can add and delete numbers as needed. All you need to do is buy the licenses and assign the number. (These permissions can be adjusted by your account administrator.)

Can I send virtual faxes to traditional fax machines? Can traditional fax machines send traditional faxes to me?

Yes, on both counts! It doesn’t matter what the recipient’s fax number is or what device they are sending the documents from—a traditional fax machine can send documents to your number.

Can I use virtual fax on my iPhone or Android phone?

At the moment, we don’t have a mobile fax app. You can still easily access your documents from a laptop or desktop computer, though.

Where can I learn more about Dialpad virtual fax?

You can find out more information about virtual fax here.