Do you ever wonder what happens when you call a fax number or send a fax? Are your confidential documents secure, and who is actually receiving them? Fax calls have been around since the 1960s, and companies still rely on faxes to send sensitive data today.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about what happens when you call a fax number. You’ll have added knowledge after reading this piece – from how fax calls work to features that facilitate calls.
What Is a Fax Call?
A fax call is a communication method that uses telephone lines to transmit documents between two locations. The process begins when one fax machine or an online faxing service dials a phone number associated with another fax machine.
Communication between the two machines is then established. An image of the document being sent is converted into digital signals and transmitted over phone lines. Once received, the signals are reconverted back into an exact copy of the original document.
How Do I Know if a Number Is a Fax Number?
Generally, both fax and phone number may share the same number of digits and format. Companies may not even know it themselves and may even share a line for the fax and phone.
Additionally, many businesses will publish their fax numbers with “fax” next to them. You can also look up the specific telephone number online to see if it is registered as belonging to a company’s fax line.
If you’re still uncertain, you can call the number to confirm if it’s a fax line. When you call, listen for fax tones – the unique beeping sound a fax machine makes when it answers a call. If you hear these tones, it’s a fax line.
Moreover, if you’re utilizing an online fax service, these services often have built-in tools to help confirm whether a number is indeed a fax line. This eliminates the need for you to initiate a fax protocol to detect the tone manually.
These modern fax services have streamlined the fax messaging process, making it easier than ever to verify and use fax numbers. With these tools at your disposal, navigating the world of faxing becomes much less complicated and more efficient.
Can You Dial a Fax Number?
When you dial a fax number, the process is the same as making a regular phone call. The big difference is that instead of hearing a person’s voice on the other end, you’ll hear a fax machine’s dial tone. It’s because fax machines use a different frequency to communicate than regular phones.
Using a landline phone, you can simply dial the fax number like any other phone. You may need to enter the number in a different format using a VoIP or online faxing service. For example, with some online faxing services, you must add the country code before the rest of the number.
Once you’ve successfully dialed the fax number, the next step is to wait for the connection. If everything goes according to plan, you should hear a faint clicking as the two machines connect and begin exchanging data.
What Happens When You Call a Fax Number?
When you dial a fax number, the call is routed through the telephone network to a fax machine or a fax server if you’re using an online faxing service.
The fax machine or service then uses a modem to connect to the called party’s fax machine or service and establish a communication link. Once the connection is established, the sending fax machine or service sends a CNG tone, which notifies the receiving machine or service that a fax is coming through.
The receiving machine or service then begins to receive the image data as electrical signals that are translated into pixels on a page. Once all the pages have been received, the connection is terminated, and the receiving machine or service prints out the document.
Can Fax Machines Make Phone Calls?
Fax machines can make phone calls – it’s made possible by how inherently they work.
Using a standard phone line
Primarily, fax machines can send and receive data over telephone lines. It means they can use the same lines to make phone calls. To initiate a call using a fax machine, you simply need to dial the number as you would with a regular phone.
The only difference is that you must use the machine’s handset instead of a regular telephone receiver. After making your call, you can hang up the handset, and the device will return to its standby mode.
Using other types of lines
Fax machines can transmit documents using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or FoIP (Fax over Internet Protocol).
What Is VoIP?
VoIP is a method of sending voice calls over an internet connection, while FoIP is a method of sending faxes over an internet connection. Both ways eliminate the need for a traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) connection.
VoIP lets you make a phone call by sending your voice over an internet connection to the receiver. The person on the other end hears your voice as if you were calling them on a regular phone. This eliminates the need for a traditional PSTN connection.
What Is FoIP?
FoIP is a similar technology that lets you send faxes over an internet connection. The main difference between FoIP and VoIP is that with FoIP, the fax is converted into a digital file and then sent over the internet.
This digital file can be opened and viewed on any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Making a voice call using FoIP is impossible because the technology only supports transmitting digital files.
Using virtual fax services
Last but not least, you have virtual fax services. These online solutions allow you to send and receive faxes without a fax machine. They use the internet instead of a physical line and provide a more convenient way of faxing electronically.
You just need an email address or an account with the virtual fax service provider to use it.
The technology behind virtual fax services allows users to send and receive documents over the internet, rather than relying on traditional telephone lines. This technology uses data transmission protocols such as IP (Internet Protocol) and T.38 (Fax over IP).
You can transmit documents between two computers or devices quickly and securely while remaining compatible with traditional fax machines. It’s impossible to make a call if the virtual fax service doesn’t have a telephone line or VoIP. Say you have a virtual fax number from iFax.
Even if you have a phone number associated with your virtual fax account, you can’t use it to call someone. You may only fax documents or use email to fax from your mobile device or computer.
How Do You Answer a Fax Call?
Answering a fax call can be done in two ways: manually or automatically.
If you have set the fax machine to answer manually, you must be at the machine and press the “receive” button every time a fax arrives. When the phone rings, you will know that someone is attempting to send you a fax.
If no one answers or presses “receive,” the line usually goes to voicemail. This can confuse people attempting to send a fax, as they may think your number is not a valid one.
Alternatively, if you configure your machine to answer automatically, incoming calls will be received and printed directly on the printer without your intervention.
Get a Fax Number Without a Dedicated Line
Faxing is a valuable way to transmit documents quickly and securely. You can do it without a phone line using virtual fax services. Send and receive faxes via email or an app.
Knowing the difference between telephone and fax numbers is vital to sending documents to the correct number. Even if you have a traditional telephone line, other alternatives are available without relying on old-fashioned technology.
iFax provides an easy way to securely send or receive important business or personal documents with the convenience of going digital. So, say goodbye to your old printer, paper, and postage bills – and join over 5 million users who can’t live without iFax.