How to Send a Fax With a Computer Fax Modem

Have a modem? You can probably send a fax from your computer

A fax modem is a special type of modem connected to your computer or fitted inside it to send documents over phone lines. This modem does not require an internet connection because it uses the phone line just like a stand-alone fax machine.

A standard RJ-11 telephone line jack connects to it and documents from the computer are sent over the line as a fax.

Most modern computers do not include fax modems or modems of any kind. Today, your best bet is to use one of many free online fax services. See our updated Free Online Fax Services list for all your options.

Sending Faxes with a Fax Modem

However, if you do have a fax modem, you can send and receive fax messages using your phone line, without requiring a fax machine. Send softcopy (word-processed) documents or scanned documents that you have saved on your computer in image or PDF format. Use your fax modem with fax software on your operating system.

StarTech USB fax modem
StarTech.com 1-Port USB Dial-up & Fax Modem.  Amazon

Many people encounter problems with their fax modems because of the wrong driver installation. Make sure you have the right driver, which you get along with the new hardware or download from the vendor's site.

Fax modems only dispatch the data at the network level. You need a piece of software to manipulate, format, and send the document. For Windows machines, use the Windows Fax & Scan software to send and receive faxes. You do not have to install it as it is included as a utility app in your Windows installation.

TRENDnet 56K Internal PCI Data,Fax and TAM Modem
TRENDnet 56K Internal PCI Data,Fax and TAM Modem.  Amazon

Use the utility to send a fax; configure it to automatically or manually answer the phone when a new fax arrives.

You should not use a fax modem on a VoIP phone line.