Home Business Inbound Faxing: How To Troubleshoot Common Problems And Improve Efficiency

Inbound Faxing: How To Troubleshoot Common Problems And Improve Efficiency

Source: ifaxapp.com

Fax machines and faxes are innovations that helped companies save time and money on various logistics. Ever since technology has developed considerably, have they become obsolete? Statistics suggest they are not. 

There are still 43 million fax machines around the globe sending around 17 billion documents every year. Like other technologies, these often require fax testing to see if everything runs smoothly. 

How Do Faxes Work?

Source: livescience.com

Fax machines make use of telephone lines to send and receive printed documents

  1. The document is scanned on the sender side machine; it converts the document into a digital image.
  2. The image thus scanned is transmitted over telephone lines using audio beeps that are transmitted into binary code.
  3. The fax machine on the receiver’s end decodes the audio signal into a document, thus printing it.

The quality of document transmission depends on the quality of the original document and the resolution of the fax machine. Since it relies on telephone lines, interference and poor quality of lines can affect the transmission.   

What Is Fax Testing? 

Fax testing is the art of testing a fax machine or service to determine if it’s configured correctly to serve your business or personal needs. It usually involves sending a fax from one machine to another. It is highly recommended to send a test fax before sending an important fax, especially if the machines were last used a while ago, to see if some configuration needs updating. 

Why Is Fax Testing Important?

Source: bbc.com
  1. Avoiding Errors: Regular testing ensures that we won’t run into an error in case of an emergency. It ensures that the fax machine is always in reliable working condition.
  2. Compliance With Industry Standards: Several industries, including the health and finance sectors, have specific regulations to ensure that fax machines are available at all times for communication. Regular testing can ensure compliance with the code in place.
  3. Saving Time And Money: If a telefax machine is not working, it always leads to delays in communication and the need for additional troubleshooting. Regular testing can help keep these downtimes to a minimum.

Fax Machines And Businesses

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Fax machines have been an integral part of different business sectors and a popular tool in the industry for the past few decades. Although emails and other digital communication methods have replaced those machines, businesses still rely on them for specific communications and purposes.

There is a myriad of reasons why businesses rely on them that, include : 

  1. Security: Unlike emails and other digital communication, tele fax machines and communication systems are more secure, and there is way less risk of being intercepted by a third party.
  2. Legal Requirements And Industry Compliance: Several industries have legal requirements regarding placing telefax machines in their offices to ensure important communications can come through at any time of the day.
  3. Compatibility: Almost all Telefax machines often work with a variety of devices across technologies regardless of the software they are using    

Failing Faxes And Its Cost To Businesses

Failing faxes pose an imminent threat to businesses from profit, legal and communication standpoints. Fax machines often take around 800$ to maintain every year, but at the same time, due to improper maintenance, telefax machines often cost businesses millions of dollars. For instance, there have been reports of different companies missing important orders due to the poor functioning of telefax machines. Missing orders due to communication issues could be avoided if they put due importance on testing telefax machines.

Apart from the losses from a legal standpoint, businesses must maintain these machines and ensure their functionality regularly. With this, they might avoid legal actions leading to businesses closing down. To have an alternative, businesses often use cloud-based fax machining services, which has helped them correct most of the challenges.

How Frequently Should Fax Machines Be Tested?

The frequency of  testing had to be determined by the business’s nature and its importance in its daily operations. For instance, fax testing is encouraged regularly, but if it should be daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly depends on the nature of the businesses. It is nearly impractical to suggest a busy business test their communication device daily, but to ensure compliance and to minimize downtime; they could test them every week.

Also, it is much more practical for these companies to rely on outsourced testing services to take care of the faxing problems as these outsourced companies often provide detailed reports regarding faxes after testing them on a regular interval.

Ways To Test A Fax Machine

Source: pcmag.com
  1. Sending Test Document: The quickest, most straightforward way to test machines is to send a document between two machines and see if everything is good on both ends.
  2. Checking The Fax Line With A Phone: We can often dial our fax-number from a landline, and if everything works well, we can hear a beeping sound.
  3. Use Diagnostic Tools: Most machines often come with diagnostic tools and guides that help us identify the problems on our own, but it might seem like it could be clearer. 
  4. Checking With The Recipient: The most elegant solution is to follow up with your recipient to see if he has received the document.
  5. Using Online Services: Various online services test your faxes. There are free as well as paid services. Free services often take time to deliver your results, while paid services test your faxes regularly and give you a comprehensive report, diagnostic tools, and services for no extra charge. FaxTest provides one such service

Common Reasons Why A Fax Fails

  1. Quality Of Connection And Interruption: Faxes often fail due to poor connection quality or landline interruptions. The easiest fix for this issue is to switch to a more reliable telephone service.
  2. Receiver’s End Is Busy: If the machine on the receiver’s end is busy, faxes often fail. We can fix this by simply retrying it after some time.
  3. No Answer: This is because the receiver’s end of the device is not on auto-answer, and no one has answered your message while it was being transmitted.
  4. File Conversion Issue: This often involves technical issues and might need a detailed diagnostic repair to solve the issue.


Testing these machines is easy if time is not an issue for the business. Although these testing methods might seem unfamiliar, there are a lot of reliable testing services in the market that can keep checks on the machines. Thus, investing in these procedures is worth the effort and money. They help increase the overall efficiency of a business/firm, and it might be something that stands between the profit-loss margin.