Buying Guide - Fax Machines

How do fax machines work?

Fax Machines are not as highly used as they once were due to the introduction of email, but they are still a staple piece of technology in most offices and are great for home offices as a quick way of sending and receiving documents especially signed contracts and invoices.

When you put a document through a fax machine, it is 'read' and electronically noted which parts of the page are black on the phoneand which are white. This information is then encoded and sent through the phone lines. Then at the other end, the information about black and white sections is decoded and the document is replicated and printed onto a sheet of paper.

Colour Printing
The majority of modern faxes are now colour - so you can be sure that colour documents will look the same the other end as when you sent them!

Speed
Speed is measured in ppm - pages per minute, which is how many sheets of paper the fax machine can get through in a minute not just how many pages have been processed. The higher the quality of the document, the longer it will take to copy as there is more data to transmit.  Print speed is the rate at which the received faxes can be printed out and copying speed is the rate at which faxes being sent can be processed.

Resolution
Resolution is measured in dpi - dots per inch, this will determine the quality of the fax once it has been received the other end. Printing resolution is the maximum resolution that documents being printed out can be and copying resolution is the maximum resolution that documents being sent can be.

Types of fax machine

There are two main types of fax machines as follows:

Inkjet fax machines
Inkjet fax machines work in the same way as inkjet printers - by putting drops of ink onto the paper to form words and images. This happens by fax machineeither putting a slight pressure on the fax machine cartridge to force ink out, or by heating the ink to forms bubbles which push the ink out. The majority of home and small office faxes currently use the first of these methods.

Laser fax machines
Laser fax machines use toner to quickly produce high-quality images on plain paper. They are quite often used in offices where a high quality fax is required. Laser/LED printing is also quite reliable, as they do not need much servicing besides from replacing and paper. Laser fax machines typically cost more than inkjet fax machines and you may not require such a heavy duty option if you are looking for a fax machine for your home or small office.