Some of you may have faced the dreaded moment: you’re just about finished making a special meal or treat and you realize you’re out of an ingredient. Can you substitute baking powder for baking soda? Garlic salt for fresh, minced cloves? Ground up flaxseed for eggs? Perhaps, but the finished dish may not be exactly right.
This is very similar to the answer of the popular question, “Can you fax with MagicJack?” MagicJack is a service that allows you to make free phone calls, and since faxing has conventionally been linked with phone service, many wonder if you can fax with MagicJack. Perhaps, but the finished fax transmission may not be exactly right.
MagicJack is problematic when it comes to faxing, and we’ll explain why. In the end, you’re probably better off using an online fax service.
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How MagicJack Works with Faxing
When you sign up with MagicJack, you’ll receive a device with a standard phone jack that connects to your computer or router. MagicJack operates as a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service, similar to Google Voice, allowing you to make free calls throughout the United States and Canada using the internet instead of the old-fashioned public switched telephone network (PSTN).
The difference between using the internet instead of the PSTN has to do with how the data is transmitted. Both take analog data, convert it to a digital signal, compress these signals, and divide them into smaller pieces. With VoIP, these pieces are sent through a packet-switched network on the internet instead of a circuit-switched one. Once the packets are delivered, the data is changed back into voice for the recipient. These transmissions travel back and forth so quickly that a fluid conversation results.
Conventional fax machines, on the other hand, take a scanned image, convert it to electronic pulses, transmit those pulses through a phone line, and change those impulses back into the original document. It sounds very similar to how the phone service over the internet works. And, yes, technically, you should be able to fax with MagicJack. However, the company itself admits you may face reliability issues.
MagicJack Fax Issues and How to Resolve Them
According to MagicJack, you can connect your fax machine with its software and modem to the MagicJack device. The company suggests that, before sending a fax, you try to make a phone call. If everything is working properly for a phone call, send a test fax to check quality and receptivity. Even after taking these steps, MagicJack says it cannot guarantee that fax documents will successfully be transmitted through its service each and every time.
Why are MagicJack faxes potentially unreliable? VoIP technology was designed to transmit phone calls over the internet, not faxed documents. Original fax machines were created to function on analog networks, not on a digital one, making VoIP technology somewhat incompatible with conventional fax technology.
In addition, there is often more variability in the quality of a given VoIP signal, which means that connections and transmissions are not as reliable as on a conventional analog network. Add to that the fact that you’ll probably need to use a splitter to connect both your phone and your fax machine to the MagicJack fax device at the same time, leading to further distortions of the end product.
If you’re having issues trying to fax with MagicJack, here are some troubleshooting ideas:
- Try plugging your fax machine directly into your MagicJack device if a splitter is degrading image quality.
- Fax fewer pages at one time and find another avenue to send graphically dense documents.
- Use a wifi connection to connect your MagicJack system.
- Do not run MagicJack on 3G, 4G or Air Card because the device requires high-speed connectivity and these signals are not compatible.
- Adjust your modem speed on your fax machine, beginning at the lowest setting and slowing moving higher until the quality is acceptable.
- Make sure your error correction mode is turned to the “off” setting.
- For important documents, you may want to make a follow-up phone call to the recipient and make sure the fax was received and readable.
More Reliable Alternatives to MagicJack Fax
Although MagicJack can be used reliably for free internet phone calls and perhaps an occasional fax here and there, you may want to consider more reliable ways to send and receive faxes through the internet on a regular basis. Many internet faxing services like eFax are available today to help you do just that without the need of extra hardware.
The bottom line is that today’s businesses still demand faxed documents as a means of communication, and being able to operate effectively and reliably in such an environment is still necessary. Online faxing is a cost-effective and convenient method to exchange fax documents with those suppliers, customers or stakeholders who require them. Easily fax a pdf online in minutes through your computer or phone.
In addition, internet faxing is less expensive and cumbersome than MagicJack, which requires you to print out your document and feed it through a conventional fax machine. Recoup the dollars spent on equipment, toner and paper as well as the time it takes to shuffle the paper while increasing fax quality and reliability.
Visit eFax.com to explore its many value-added features, including digital signature, toll-free or local phone numbers, and lifetime storage, to name just a few. Sign up for an account today for reliable, affordable and high-quality internet faxing.