Despite the rising usage of emails in the business world, the importance of fax machines haven’t diminished. Apart from being faster and cheaper than the regular mail, fax machines are a good way of sharing contracts, proofs, and other written documents.

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How does fax machine works?

A fax machines scans the document and converts those images into a series of light and dark dots. The pattern is then sent in an audio format via phone lines. The receiving phone line again converts the audio file into the documents and prints it in black and white copy. You can also opt for color faxing; however, it’s not so popular currently due to its unreliability and poor quality.

Types of fax machines

There are three types of fax machines and all of them offer clear printing on plain paper. Thermal transfer tax machines and inkjet fax machines are at a longer rung, making them suitable for home office use; while laser fax machines are heavy-weight champions, designed to withstand the daily stress of heavy business operations. Let’s look at each of them in detail.

  • Inkjet fax machines: Cheaper to operate and maintain, inkjet fax machines are ideal for businesses having the need of less than 30 faxes on daily basis.
  • Thermal transfer fax machines: These fax machines are fairly reliable and economical, making them ideal for home office use. However, the printing quality is mediocre and it does make a bit of noise while in operation.
  • Laser fax machines: Laser fax machines are perfect for heavy usage. These machines use toner to produce high-quality images at faster print speed. Although costlier than the other two, businesses prefer laser fax machine for its superior performance.

What to look for while buying fax machines?

Fax machines, like other electronic gadgets, come with several features. As not all features are required by every business, it’s better to evaluate your need and then select the model accordingly. Basically, you need to look at the following features to choose a right fax machine:

  • Sending speed: Although fax machines with higher sending machines are expensive, you can save a lot on phone charges. A good fax machine will transmit at a top speed of 36.6 kbps, while low-end model will have a speed of up to 14.4 kbps. Needless to say, the former will result in low phone charges.
  • Data compression protocols: Data compression protocols reduce the time it takes a fax machine to send a page by describing it with a minimum amount of data. All fax machines comes with a basic compression protocol called Modified Huffman; the advanced models have Modified Read or Modified Modified Read protocols to send documents as much as 25% faster. Also, few models use proprietary compression protocols to further enhance the speed of transmission. However, remember that these protocols will only work when sending to or from same-brand models.
  • Memory: Like emails, fax machines too can store incoming and outgoing pages internally. Generally, 512 KB of memory space can store up to 20 to 25 pages. If this isn’t sufficient, you can always use additional memory cards.

If you are looking for reliable fax machines, you can consider brands such as Brother, Ricoh, Okidata, Samsung, Canon, Panasonic and Sindoh. Before making any final buying decision, do not forget to match and study the models’ features with your requirements.