Faxing via Google Voice

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Contents

My goal

My goal was to configure Google Voice and my fax machine (an HP C6150 All In One (printer, fax, scanner, copier)) so I could fax via Google Voice. If that would work, then I could fax at very low cost virtually anywhere in the world.

What is Google Voice

I just signed up for Google Voice (one has to be invited, but one can sign up to be invited, which I did some time ago and got invited a few days ago). With this service, Google gives someone in the USA a single phone number that, when called, will ring any or all of the phones that person owns. One can choose to answer a call, send it directly to voice mail, listen in to the voice mail and possible accept it then, or answer and record it. There are many other very interesting and useful features you can find by going to the Google Voice homepage. One can also place calls from any of these phones by calling the Google Voice number. Google then calls one back. After answering, dialing 2 allows one to dial another phone anywhere in the world. For calls originating in the US, one can call many places around the world for about the same costs as using SKYPE. DO NOT USE THIS CAPABILITY OUTSIDE THE USA, HOWEVER. The callback from Google to you incurs roaming charges.

The needed insights

Here are the two bits of information that one needs to make this happen.

(1) The C6150 allows one to enter a telephone number containing one second long dialing delays. One has to search to find how, but including a dash (-) inserts a one second delay in dialing. The dash is hidden under the asterisk (*) button, which one reaches by pressing * twice.

(2) One can set up a phone under Settings on one's Google Voice account to go directly to voicemail without one having to answer the return call from Google Voice. That is the default setting for mobile phones but not for a home phone (and, of course, my fax is tied through my home phone). And further, one is given the option when going into voicemail to dial a phone number by entering a 2 and then the number.

How to make it work

So here is the way to make it all work ---

1. Go to your Google Voice account, select Settings, Phones and then the Edit option for the phone on which you have your fax machine residing. Open the "Show Advanced Settings." Then select "Yes" and "PIN not required (for added convenience)" for the "Direct access to voicemail when calling your Google number from this phone?" You could of course have the PIN required, but then you need to add that to the phone number you construct below. I figured my home phone is safe from someone misusing it.

2. Send your fax but construct the fax recipient's number as follows

YourGoogleVoiceNumber--2--NumberOfFaxReceivingMachine (those are dashes in this number to insert 2 two second pauses).

For example, if your Google Voice number is 515-555-5565 and the fax machine is at +44-55-56-57-58-59, then set up the number to be

15155555565--2--011445556575859

Note this would send a fax overseas and that the 011 replaces the plus sign (I think using a plus sign would also work but did not try it).

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