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KB #7661 - Sending faxes to incompatible fax machines

Problem Description

How can I send faxes to incompatible fax machines?

Solution

Occasionally it can happen that fax modems are not compatible with certain fax machines and fax transmissions to such devices fail even when doing multiple transmission attempts. Because the reason for such problems can be either your own local modem, the recipients fax machine or the signal quality of your phone line, it is pretty difficult to identify the exact reason for such transmission problems. Especially when using Voice over IP (VoIP), it is very hard to locate the source of error because of fluctuating signal quality.
An easy and cheap solution to still send faxes to such fax machines is using a Web Fax Provider that is used in addition to your existing fax modem. ActFax provides a function to automatically send faxes to specific fax numbers through the Web Fax Provider or to automatically do the next transmission attempt through the Web Fax Provider for faxes that failed for a predefined number of attempts (see screenshot). The Web Fax Provider is acting in a way of a backup for your modem, that is always used when fax transmissions to a specific fax device cannot be done through your local modem or your local phone line. Of course it would also be possible to send all of your fax messages through the Web Fax Provider instead of just using it as a backup solution.
If you have the transmission issues always with the same fax machines, you can define a list of fax numbers through the menu Communication / Modem / Modem Mapping on the fax server; ActFax automatically sends faxes to these numbers through the Web Fax Service then (the fax server is not trying to send the fax through your local modem in that case). What you can also enable through that menu is the option Automatically switch to the next modem after x failed transmission attempts. If you have this option enabled, the fax server is automatically doing the next attempt through the Web Fax Provider when the transmission failed several times (default is 2) on your local modem. When using the automatic transition to a Web Fax Service, the success rate for fax transmissions substantially increases.
To automatically send failed faxes through a Web Fax Service, you need to use at least ActFax version 7.10. For the highest level of availability and compatibility, we recommend using the Web Fax Provider PC-Fax.com. More information about using ActFax in combination with a Web Fax Provider is available at the page Web Fax Provider.