how to set up fax machine

Sending and receiving faxes is still very much a practice all over the world today, although how documents are transmitted has certainly evolved. In the past, offices had to have a dedicated fax machine that’s connected to a landline and endure the printing volume. At present, all one needs to do is tap a few buttons on a mobile app, take a photo of a document to scan, and send it over the internet.

While all that’s nice and convenient, it would be good to understand where all this technological advancement comes from. Knowing how to set up a fax machine the traditional way can pave the road to better understanding and appreciating the seamlessness of online faxing today. In addition, knowing how things work the old way can be a buffer for when the internet doesn’t cooperate one day and you have your trusty fax machine still on hand.

Let’s look at the different ways of how to set up a fax machine and how you can skip all this work with online faxing.

Faxing Online and without a Machine

You can send and receive faxes securely even without a machine and landline. Using an online faxing tool, you can scan documents using a mobile scanner via your smartphone, connect to cloud storage platforms, and even sign contracts electronically at any time and from anywhere. As long as you are connected to the internet, online faxing offers a reliable and safe means of sending files anywhere in the world without having to print a single sheet — unless you want to.

how to set up fax machine

To set up this convenient online faxing tool, all you need to do is download the app and enter your sender and receiver details. Upon sign up, you will be assigned an online fax number, which you can immediately start using to send faxes internationally for free. You can customize your cover page and attach different file formats (doc, PDF, or image files). Delivery is instant via email, and you get updates in real time.

With the high level of security, reliability, and efficiency that online faxing brings, it is increasingly becoming the faxing method of choice for many companies in the healthcare, insurance, legal, real estate, and financial services industries.

As one of the most trusted names in online faxing, iFax guarantees a seamless faxing experience and unmatched security via its 256-bit TLS encryption system. It is also HIPAA, GDPR, and GLBA-compliant. iFax is available for download for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices. Contact iFax for more details about sending and receiving faxes through your computer or smartphone.


Fax Machine with a Dedicated Line

Most offices assign a dedicated landline because fax machines need to use a line exclusively to send and receive faxes. Here’s how to set one up for your home or office.

  1. Assemble your fax machine according to the equipment manual. This can vary depending on the brand and model. Be sure to check that all components are in the package, which can include the machine itself, paper loading tray, toner cartridge, phone cable, and power cable.
  2. Load paper into your machine, and connect the telephone handset into the phone jack on your wall. Listen for a dial tone.
  3. Turn your machine on and go to the device’s settings function. Set the telephone number, the time, the date, and the station ID. Your user manual should have the details for the other settings that you need to complete.
  4. Run a test sheet, and finish any final steps that your specific model might require.

Fax Machine and Phone on the Same Line

If you don’t have separate phone lines and need your devices to just share, you can certainly do so. Take note, though, that you won’t be able to take and make calls while your faxing machine is operating. You can only do so when it is idle. Here’s how to set this type of connection up.

  1. Assemble your fax machine according to the equipment manual.
  2. Because you are setting up a two-line connection, connect one end of your phone’s cable into the wall jack for the fax line and then the other into the slot typically labeled “line” on your machine. You then connect the second phone cable into the wall jack for the telephone and the other end of that cable into your landline unit’s jack.
  3. Check for dial tones on both the phone and the fax machine to confirm that they are both connected. Run a test print according to your machine’s manual.

Fax Machine with a Wireless Router

You can send faxes directly from your computer and not have to print out a sheet by connecting your internet-enabled fax machine with a wireless router. Here’s how to set up a fax machine like this one.

  1. Assemble your fax machine according to the equipment manual.
  2. Take note of your wireless network’s SSID and password where convenient. Write it down or save it on your phone.
  3. Make sure that your fax machine is plugged in as close as possible to your router to establish a strong connection. Plug the phone cable to the wall jack and the other end of the line to your “line” port on your equipment. Check the receiver for a dial tone.
  4. Go to your machine’s settings and choose either LAN or WLAN. Your machine’s user manual should have the details for the location of this option, as this can vary depending on the brand. Set your fax up to connect to your wireless network by selecting “SSID” and entering the password if prompted.
  5. Wait for the notification or any signal that your network connection is successful. Some fax machines light up in certain places, some will display a notification on their screen, and some will just instantly print a test page.
  6. Open your PC and download the drivers for your fax machine (via a CD or by downloading from the manufacturer’s website).
  7. Once installed on your PC, choose the “Wireless” option and then look for the fax machine on the network. Click “Install driver” when prompted, then set your fax machine as your default fax.
  8. Print a test page to check.

Fax Machine without a Landline

If you have a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) connection, you can send a fax even without a landline. All you need to do is connect your fax machine to your VOIP equipment as you would with a regular landline, and you’re all set. You can only connect when you need to send a fax and must disconnect after.