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How to use a fax machine in a room without phone line support?
February 26, 2007 1:29 PM   Subscribe

How to use a fax machine in a room without phone line support?

The printer/fax machine is in my office, which is not wired for the phone -- I use a cordless phone. My server room -- which includes the Vonage box for VOIP -- is on another floor.
In order to use the fax function, I need to unplug everything, haul it upstairs, connect it up to the active phone line and then reverse the whole process when the fax is sent.
This is such a pain. Any easy way to enable the fax with my cordless phone network?
posted by queue_strategy to Technology (12 answers total)
 
You could use someone like efax.com, and avoid the physical fax machine altogether, but without a scanner, you end up being only able to send documents you've got on your machine.
posted by nomisxid at 1:34 PM on February 26, 2007


I use an efax-like service and I wouldn't suggest it to anyone else. The service is fine for incoming faxes but isn't so great for outgoing.

If vonage is your only phone service, I don't believe you have any other options. If you are using a regular phone line for faxing, you can get one of those contraptions that "turn any outlet into a phone jack" but that won't work with vonage. Is it out of the question to leave the printer/fax in the server room and just send stuff to be printed there and fax from that location?
posted by necessitas at 1:46 PM on February 26, 2007


Fax and VoIP are not happily married, yet. Your best bet is to use the fax machine as a pure scanner, then get an efax.com account as nomisxid suggests.

OTOH if you're happy to bypass VoIP for fax purposes, just hang a standard fax modem off your server (just about any 56K dialup modem will be a fax modem too), wired directly to the phone line, and redirect your faxes through that. You'd still use your existing fax machine's scanner, so faxing would become a two-step process involving separate scan and print steps run from your computer, but that should be marginally less of a PITA than hauling the whole thing upstairs.

There are wireless phone sockets available that are supposed to let you do wireless links between a standard phone and a standard phone socket elsewhere, but I would be surprised if they worked well for fax. If you can find a cheap one, though, it might be worth trying out.
posted by flabdablet at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2007


If you have Vonage as your only home service, you understand that you can:

--make sure the phone company's line is disconnected from coming into your house, at a box screwed to the outside of your home
--plug the Vonage phone line into any phone jack in your house
--plug multiple phones into any other phone jacks in your house

and you'll have Vonage service throughout your house, right?

This will work with a fax, too. You say "not wired for the phone", but it's a rare room in modern houses which doesn't have phone jacks, so I assume you just have a single phone hooked up directly to the Vonage box currently.
posted by jellicle at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2007


jellicle is right. That little box will power all the jacks in your home. Just make sure you've properly done a physical disconnect of the phone company's wire to your phone infrastructure.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:43 PM on February 26, 2007


Thanks all for the comments.
I am already an eFax user, but agree with Necessitas -- only recommended for incoming faxes. Especially since the wife is the really the one needing outgoing faxes, simplicity is key.
Vonage IS my only phone service and I understand about disconnecting the Ma Bell wiring and enabling the internal house plugs for VOIP, but this room actually does not have an outlet.
I was hoping there was an inexpensive but proven device similar to what Flabdablet is describing. Seems like some cordless phone provider would have thought about it.
posted by queue_strategy at 2:51 PM on February 26, 2007


I use FaxItNice.com's send-only account to send faxes over the Internet. It's great and no contract is required.
posted by dcjd at 3:26 PM on February 26, 2007


I've heard that these work ok
Wireless Phone Jack
posted by dantodd at 3:53 PM on February 26, 2007


You could get some sort of network print server device (or an old PC) and permanently move the printer/fax into the server room...?
posted by krisjohn at 4:22 PM on February 26, 2007


eFax sucks balls. I hate eFax.

Although, before I stopped using it I was sending out about 3000 faxes a month (As PDF Files attached to emails) and it worked pretty well.

It's nigh on impossible to use VOIP for faxing.
posted by seanyboy at 4:58 PM on February 26, 2007


Second the wireless phone jack. My dad had the same situation as you, I set him up with a wireless phone jack & the problem is solved.
posted by mattholomew at 6:41 PM on February 26, 2007


Wireless Phone Jack it is! I ordered the RCA RC926 from Amazon. Thanks
posted by queue_strategy at 5:09 AM on March 1, 2007


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