7 Best Fax Machines Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Fax ( facsimile abbreviation ), sometimes telefax or telecopy, is the telephone transmission of printed scanned material (both text and images), usually to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine, which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, the information is transmitted as electrical signals through the telephone system.

Top 7 Fax Machines

$31.11Bestseller No. 1
Brother FAX-2840 High Speed Mono Laser Fax Machine, Dark/light gray - FAX2840
550 Reviews
Brother FAX-2840 High Speed Mono Laser Fax Machine, Dark/light gray - FAX2840
  • Adjustable 250-sheet capacity paper tray
  • 33.6K bps modem, approx. 2.5 sec/page transmission
$69.65Bestseller No. 2
Brother PPF4750E IntelliFax 4750e High-Performance Business-Class Laser Fax
46 Reviews
Brother PPF4750E IntelliFax 4750e High-Performance Business-Class Laser Fax
  • If you upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, some features of the installed...
  • Up to 232 auto-dial locations, broadcasting to up to 282 locations
$64.01Bestseller No. 3
Canon FAXPHONE L100 Multifunction Laser Fax Machine,White
63 Reviews
Canon FAXPHONE L100 Multifunction Laser Fax Machine,White
  • Print at speeds of up to 19 pages per minute
  • Up to 512 sheets of memory capacity
$30.63Bestseller No. 4
Canon FAXPHONE L190 Multifunction Laser Fax Machine,White/grey
85 Reviews
Canon FAXPHONE L190 Multifunction Laser Fax Machine,White/grey
  • 33.6 Kbps Super G3 fax for quick results
  • Up to 512 sheets of memeory capacity allows for multiple faxes to be stored
Bestseller No. 5
Compact Plain Paper Fax/Copier with Answering System
149 Reviews
Compact Plain Paper Fax/Copier with Answering System
  • Thermal transfer print method
  • All digital answering machine
$217.48Bestseller No. 6
Brother FAX4100E IntelliFax Plain Paper Laser Fax/Copier
276 Reviews
Brother FAX4100E IntelliFax Plain Paper Laser Fax/Copier
  • Black-and-white laser fax machine also copies and prints. Operating Environment:...
  • Fax transmission speeds up to 3 seconds per page.High speed 33.6K bps superG3 fax modem
Bestseller No. 7
Brother Printer MFC7240 Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax,Grey
74 Reviews
Brother Printer MFC7240 Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax,Grey
  • Print and copy at up to 21 ppm
  • Adjustable, 250-sheet capacity paper tray, plus manual feed slot

Parts of a fax

Fax is essentially an image scanner, a modem and a printer combined in a specialized device. The scanner converts the original document into a digital image; the modem sends the image over the telephone line; On the other side, another modem receives it and sends it to the printer, which makes a copy of the original document.

The first faxes only scanned in black and white, but as the technology improved, it went to gray scale; Now they are more modern and sophisticated. The arrival of the multifunction devices incorporated the scanner in color: although the images are still sent in gray, they can be sent to a computer or stored in color on a local hard drive.

The first faxes used thermal printers, which require a specific paper. There were very few machines that used a needle printer, let alone those that used a laser printer. The arrival and, above all, the cheapening of inkjet printing led to a normal paper fax boom, which in half of the cases also acted as multifunction devices (from acting only as a printer or fax/modem to the connected computer, to be able to control any of its parts).

Software emulator of fax

A computer with a fax/modem and the appropriate software is capable of emulating the operation of a fax machine. In multitasking operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, the fax transmission reception program is emulated by a printer that can be printed from any application. Fax reception always requires a program that runs in the background “listening” to the modem waiting for an incoming call.

Some advantages of using this system are:

  • Documents sent and/or received can be stored on the hard disk.
  • Documents can be exported to standard graphic formats and sent by email.
  • Paper savings: received documents are only printed if necessary. Outgoing documents are printed directly from a text editor.

Some fax emulator programs:

  • Cheyenne Bitware (DOS and Windows)
  • Mighty Fax (Windows)
  • Winfax (Windows)
  • Hylafax (GNU / Linux and other Unix)
  • [BGFAX] (DOS and Windows)

Fax groups 

The fax became an essential part of the micro or hyper company, but the question was what would be the efficiency of the shipment and the problem of sending between America and Europe, and the time it would take to reach its destination. To correct this deficiency, the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector ( International Telecommunication Union, ITU) established in 1974 a global standard, better known as group 1 fax. Since then, 4 norms or groups have been created:

Group 1: created in 1974, is based on ITU-T Recommendation T.2. These faxes take four to six minutes to transmit a single page, with a vertical resolution of 98 lines per inch, at a speed of 2,400 bps. This type of faxes is obsolete and they are not manufactured anymore.

Group 2: created in 1976, is based on ITU-T Recommendations T.30 and T.3. These faxes take 3 minutes to transmit a single page, with a vertical resolution of 100 lines per inch at a speed of 9,600 bps. Although obsolete and not manufactured anymore, these faxes continue to be used to be able to communicate with Group 3 faxes.

Group 3: created in 1980, is based on ITU-T Recommendations T.30 and T.4. It takes between 6 and 15 seconds to transmit a single page (not including the initial time of synchronization and identification of the machines), at a speed of 14,400 bps. 

Group 4: created in 1984, is based on ITU-T Recommendations T.563, T.503, T.521, T.6, T.61, T.62, T.62 bis, T.70, T. 72, T.73 and F.161. It has been designed to operate at more than 64 kbit / s over digital ISDN networks (Digital Integrated Services Network, in English, abbreviated as ISDN). Its resolution depends on recommendation T.6, which includes all of the T.4 extending them. It is capable of receiving faxes from a group 3 or 2 fax, although the communication must pass through a bridge between the analog and digital networks.

GSM mobile phones are also capable of sending and receiving faxes. Initially, they required a PCMCIA card or an IrDA port to communicate with the computer, but many current computers are able to receive and view faxes by themselves, and even send an existing document as a fax. The operator may require a special contract to activate these possibilities in its network.

To avoid costs in long-distance communications, the internet is also used to transmit the data. If the receiver does not have an internet connection, it is usually a machine connected to the corresponding telephone network (analog or ISDN ) that is responsible for transmitting the last section.

Utility 

Initially, a fax was used exclusively in journalism; but its efficiency and the eagerness of modernization caused that it was later integrated to the businesses. The fax is used to send and receive images of all kinds. New technologies such as a hard disk and a semitone player have been integrated into it, and it was soon added to a regular telephone. Japan was the largest user of this technology, implementing cutting-edge technologies to this device. The fax has been extended to all current communications technologies.

Although currently, the use of faxes decreases in favor of the internet and email, many companies still maintain fax services. It is widely used in healthcare, finance and insurance companies (proposals, accident friendly parties, invoices, handwritten notes by inspectors and experts) among others.

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