Having a Phone and Fax on the Same Line

Do we need a separate phone line to have a fax machine, or can we use our regular phone line for both? (As long as we don't try to use the phone and send/receive a fax at the same time).

You don’t need a separate line or phone number for your fax machine. Just a few years ago, home and business users may have needed a special fax switch device (to detect the CNG tone) or subscription to a telephone carrier’s “distinctive ring” service to receive faxes via a telephone line. That’s not so with modern fax technology that detects incoming faxes automatically. Just hook the fax machine up according the manufacturer’s instructions and put the fax in answer mode (“Fax/Tel” or something similar).

Also, if your fax machine is the type that makes the phone ring repeatedly when a fax is coming in, try setting your machine to answer on the first ring. That will give it enough time to pick up the fax tone and it won’t be so disruptive.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.