How can I set up voice and fax on the same line?

I have a Brother MFC 7360. I’m trying to set up voice and fax on the same line. I have digital voicemail service with ATT. I’ve read that it’s not possible to have voice and fax on the same line. ATT said they don’t offer Distinctive Ring, so I’m having to plug in the fax when someone is sending me one. I’d like to be able to have the machine set up so it’ll receive when I’m not here but I think it won’t be possible. I don’t want to pay for an extra line. BTW, I only get faxes very infrequently. Thanks for your advice.

Obviously, it would be nice if you could set up a distinctive ring so that you would know when a fax is coming through. But since AT&T doesn’t offer this feature, you’ll have to go at this a different way.

Right now you have to go through the trouble of plugging in your fax machine whenever you’re notified that someone is sending you a fax. That process just seems a little archaic in this age of technology, doesn’t it? The fact is, a lot of people are moving away from “traditional” fax machines these days, and embracing the digital possibilities. This seems like the perfect option for you, especially since you indicated that you do not receive faxes very often.

You can set up an account with an electronic fax service like, which provides free inbound faxes to your email service. This service sets you up with a free phone number that you can provide to your contacts when they want to send you a fax. Then, when they send the fax, you get it via your email, instead of via the actual fax machine. Your contacts will no longer have to call you first just to warn you about the fax, and you’ll still receive all the same documents. They’ll just be digital this time around.

This service doesn’t allow for outgoing faxes, so you’ll need to keep your fax machine for that. But since is a digital service, you’re getting the functionality of a fax machine without needing the actual hardware.

Of course, if you’re cool with ditching your fax machine altogether, you can sign up for a full-featured fax service. allows you to compare the different fax services, so that you only end up paying for what you need. There are affordable plans out there that will suit your purposes. It might be worth the small fee just to get rid of the hassle you’re currently experiencing.

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