How to Fax Via a Landline

by Pamela Hilliard Owens, M.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

As the second decade of the new millennium begins, more and more people and small businesses are completely “cutting the cord”—eliminating their traditional landline phones altogether. The one holdout, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners, is the fax line. Often, fax transmissions contain multiple pages, which are difficult to scan as is necessary for faxing by computer. Although there are many Internet- and computer-based faxing options, many people still find it easier and more convenient to use a stand-alone fax machine. That option requires a regular landline telephone or a phone using VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).

How to Fax Via a Landline

Step 1

Decide if you are going to use a traditional landline account or a VoIP account through your cable company. Part of your decision should include the pros and cons of using your fax line as a regular telephone line and a fax line or as a dedicated fax number.

Step 2

Step up your fax machine according to the directions included in the instruction manual, including programming your name, entering the correct date and time, and the ring options.

Step 3

Connect the proper end of your choice of a telephone line cord (traditional or VoIP) into the indicated outgoing slot in your fax machine and the other end into the incoming phone connection.

Test your new standalone fax machine setup by either sending a test fax to yourself from your computer or by sending a test fax to a friend. Adjust your settings as necessary.


  • Before purchasing a stand-alone fax machine, assess your faxing needs to determine the features most important to you.
  • Take the time to research the differences between dedicated fax machines and the various multi-purpose machines that include printers, scanners, and fax capabilities.
  • Some fax machines have memory to store images of your faxes.
  • Higher-end models of fax machines include reporting capabilities to assure that you have a record of faxes sent and received.
  • Make sure that you keep additional ink cartridges on hand.


  • Monthly fees vary for telephone service; compare costs before deciding on the type of service you will use.

Items you will need

  • A standalone fax machine
  • Additional ink cartridges for the chosen brand of fax machine.
  • Plain paper for printing incoming faxes
  • Instruction Manual for the standalone fax machine
  • A standard telephone line or a VoIP connection
  • An account with a local telephone company or with a local cable company
  • A traditional landline telephone handset (optional); some fax machines include a handset

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