How can I test my fax machine’s reliability?

I own a small business and we fax documents and receive documents by fax fairly often. However, I have a nagging worry that not all of the faxes are coming through—even though we haven’t had any complaints. I’d hate to miss out on a business deal, or inconvenience a client. But how would I know?

I recently heard about a new hosted fax monitoring and notification service called TelcoAlert that is said to be unique to the industry.

The service automatically checks small and large businesses’ fax line(s) every 15 to 60 minutes, and if it’s confirmed to be down or busy—via three checks using multiple carriers—you are immediately notified via email or SMS. The system includes “graphical real time and historical reporting,” and also tests line quality and speed. TelcoAlert checks for transmission failures due to power outages and circuit or fax problems that result in busy signals or time-out errors. It tests whatever system(s) a fax machine or voice circuit is connected to, such as analog, T1 and DS3.

The idea is that a business shouldn’t have to wait until a customer calls to complain to be advised that there’s something amiss with their fax line.

There’s a one-time $9.95 fee to set up TelcoAlert, and then it’s 10 cents per check. So, checking once an hour around the clock would run about $72 per month. A free 14-day trial account is offered.

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