[SOLVED] FAX CARD vs FAX MODEM

gamekeeper

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Apr 23, 2012
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Hi guys,
Long time no see.
I hope you are all keeping well.

Just recently I find a lot of companies and services are quoting fax numbers again.
It's year and years since I faxed, or even had a modem.
Now that I'm looking for one for my Win 10 desktop, I see some as cards and some as modems.
Is there a difference ?
What is the latest technology for these things and what features should I now be looking for ?

I used WinFax Pro then (still have the original disc).

Any advice appreciated.

GK
 

Paperdoc

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Ambassador
FAX modems were developed decades ago. Their design makes use of the fact that FAX signals are merely audio tones sent along a normal telephone line, so re-designing a regular data modem to also be able to send FAXES using the same phone capabilities was relatively simple.

These days you can buy a data modem either as an external box that connects to your computer via a port and cable, or as a card you can install in a PCI or PCIe slot. Then you connect it to a phone line. Becasue the addition of FAX capabilites became so easy and commonplace, almost ALL data modems actually include that feature and are sold as FAX modems. The drivers supplied with them allow your computer to use either type of service. Many people do NOT install one of these because they have NO intention of using a modem on a phone line - they prefer much faster data rates available by connections though the internet. So, unless they need FAX abilities, nobody uses them anymore.

Your interest seems to be mainly sending (and receiving?) FAXes, and perhaps not even trying to use a data modem. Current versions of Windows make this really easy - you will NOT use your old WinFax Pro. Windows includes all the tools you need to receive FAXES in various ways, depending on whether you want your machine to always watch for incoming FAXES, or only when you turn on the feature. For SENDING a FAX it's even easier. Windows always includes a system that makes a FAX sending unit appear to be just another printer. You can "Print" to that printer just as any other. When you do that, a window pops up to let you set a few parameters and then its sends the FAX for you. It even includes a little utility to keep track of FAX numbers that you can send to.

I used a FAX modem infrequently on my last machine, and I really liked it. For one thing, the FAX the recipient gets is really clean and readable, with no distortions or dirt specs caused by scanning. (Actually, you CAN scan a document and then "print" it as a FAX you send to someone.) But I used it rarely, and in my new machine there is no spare PCI slot for the FAX modem, so I never moved my old one to the new computer.
 

Paperdoc

Champion
Ambassador
FAX modems were developed decades ago. Their design makes use of the fact that FAX signals are merely audio tones sent along a normal telephone line, so re-designing a regular data modem to also be able to send FAXES using the same phone capabilities was relatively simple.

These days you can buy a data modem either as an external box that connects to your computer via a port and cable, or as a card you can install in a PCI or PCIe slot. Then you connect it to a phone line. Becasue the addition of FAX capabilites became so easy and commonplace, almost ALL data modems actually include that feature and are sold as FAX modems. The drivers supplied with them allow your computer to use either type of service. Many people do NOT install one of these because they have NO intention of using a modem on a phone line - they prefer much faster data rates available by connections though the internet. So, unless they need FAX abilities, nobody uses them anymore.

Your interest seems to be mainly sending (and receiving?) FAXes, and perhaps not even trying to use a data modem. Current versions of Windows make this really easy - you will NOT use your old WinFax Pro. Windows includes all the tools you need to receive FAXES in various ways, depending on whether you want your machine to always watch for incoming FAXES, or only when you turn on the feature. For SENDING a FAX it's even easier. Windows always includes a system that makes a FAX sending unit appear to be just another printer. You can "Print" to that printer just as any other. When you do that, a window pops up to let you set a few parameters and then its sends the FAX for you. It even includes a little utility to keep track of FAX numbers that you can send to.

I used a FAX modem infrequently on my last machine, and I really liked it. For one thing, the FAX the recipient gets is really clean and readable, with no distortions or dirt specs caused by scanning. (Actually, you CAN scan a document and then "print" it as a FAX you send to someone.) But I used it rarely, and in my new machine there is no spare PCI slot for the FAX modem, so I never moved my old one to the new computer.
 

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