Fax Machine Features

Making faxing easier

A fax machine may seem pretty complicated on the inside, but most people aren't too concerned about the technology that makes a fax machine work. They really only need to know that they've got a dependable, easy-to-use model.

Because fax machines have different capabilities, you're going to have to decide what type of machine will suit your specific faxing needs. Here, we can provide you with some of the information on features you will need to help you comparison shop. Some factors you may want to consider when looking for a suitable fax machine include speed, printer type, paper size, paper feeds, paper cutter and autodialing.

Fax machines can transmit a document's data at various rates of speed. This ranges from 4,800 bps (bits per second) to 28,800 bps. It takes a 9,600 bps machine about 10 to 20 seconds to send one page.

Early fax machines generally used direct thermal printers, but over the past ten years inkjet printers and laser printers have also become quite popular. Thermal printers require special paper, but it often turns yellow or brown in time. One of the bonuses of inkjet printers is that they can print in color - However this is not generally a common practice, as many color fax machines can only transmit to machines that are made by the same manufacturer.

Paper Size
Thermal paper comes in two basic sizes - 8.5 inches wide and 10.1 inches wide. Make sure you know what size paper the machine can handle before buying, as some models can only accept 8.5 inch paper.

Paper Cutter
If the fax machine uses rolls of thermal paper it should come with a paper cutter.

Paper Feed
Most models come with some form of paper feed so you can transmit multiple-page documents without having to feed each page into the machine one by one.

Most fax machines come with a wide variety of dialing features. Some of them let you send the fax at a specific time of day when the telephone rates are lower.

There are many other time saving and easy-to-use features on fax machines such as redialing, caller ID, speed-dial, contrast settings, distinctive ringing, fax forwarding, size reduction and resolution settings. To see more types of features, check our Fax Machine Glossary page.

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