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How to Connect a Fax to a Computer

by Patrick PhelpsUpdated September 26, 2017
fax image by Attila Toro from Fotolia.com

Connecting a fax machine to a computer allows the computer user to send faxes directly from his computer, thus eliminating the need for printing before faxing. In addition, connecting a fax to a computer can provide other benefits depending on the type of fax machine. Among these potential features is the ability to have incoming faxes sent directly to the computer instead of having to print them out. Some fax machines also allow fax address books to be imported directly to the fax machine. This article explains the steps required to connect a fax machine to a PC that has either a parallel port or network jack installed.

Review the user's manual for your fax machine. The manual should provide information about what type of connections are available. Some fax machines can only be connected by way of a parallel cable to a computer, while some can be connected to a computer network. Determine the connection type you need and the methods the fax can be connected.

Connect the fax to either your computer or network. Depending on the capabilities of your fax machine, connecting the fax machine to your computer or network involves plugging in the correct cable to the designated port on the fax machine.

Load the appropriate fax driver software onto the computer from which you will be faxing. If your fax machine came with installation disks, the drivers should be located on these disks. If not, search the Internet for your fax model and for its specific driver. An example search could be "Brother L400 driver."

Test the connection. You should be able to send a fax from your computer. The fax machine receives the file and sends it to the designated fax line.

Items you will need

  • Computer with either a network or parallel port.

  • Parallel or network cables.

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