How to use your fax machine via the internet

Written by alexander rudinski
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How to use your fax machine via the internet
IP faxing is ressurrecting an old technology. (fax image by Attila Toro from

Before the days of the Internet, a fax machine was the fastest, best way to send someone a document. Now, the utility of faxes, as well as their superiority on the messaging food chain, has been undermined by e-mail and the proliferation of broadband Internet. That doesn't mean that faxes are dead. Using a more modern version of the fax machine, you can still send and receive faxes, reviving an old idea with the very technology that overthrew it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • IP fax machine
  • Ethernet cable
  • Internet connection
  • Faxable document

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  1. 1

    Plug your Ethernet cable into your IP fax machine. This machine uses the Internet instead of a phone line to send a fax, but otherwise works in much the same way as the original fax machine. Make sure the other end of the Ethernet cable is plugged in to a router or modem and connected to the Internet.

  2. 2

    Turn on and set up your IP fax machine. Each machine is set up differently, so follow the directions that came with your machine. You need to connect the machine to the Internet and make sure that it is connecting to an IP fax server in the area, which is a computer that will handle the sending and receiving of your faxes. While this should happen automatically, consult your manual if you have any problems.

  3. 3

    Dial the fax number of the machine you are faxing. While this number is formatted the same way a normal telephone number is, you may not actually be dialling a phone number. While you can connect to a fax machine with a real phone number, is most cases you will be dialling IP fax machines, like your own. In this case, the phone number is simply an alias for the fax machine's IP address, which is the unique number that identifies the machine on the Internet.

  4. 4

    Insert the page to be faxed face down. Let the page feed through the machine and wait for the beep or confirmation message before sending the next.

  5. 5

    Press the "End" or "Hang up" key when you are finished to end your fax session.

Tips and warnings

  • This can also be done with a G3 fax machine, which is a modern fax machine that uses a phone line but can connect to the Internet. To use one of these machines, make sure it is set up to connect to an IP fax server so it can send Internet faxes.
  • Analogue fax machines can send Internet faxes with the appropriate T38 capable VoIP gateway attached, which allows them to connect to the Internet through the same protocol that VoIP phones do.

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