Not long ago, companies and individuals needed separate machines to fax, print and scan. And while those machines, such as Brother fax machines, still exist, many manufacturers have created all-in-one options that let you send and receive faxes on the same device you use for printing.
So if you have a Brother printer or want one, this guide is for you. We’ll cover how to fax on a Brother printer and look at a few alternative faxing options.
Why Use a Brother Printer
One of the main reasons people choose Brother printers is the brand’s longstanding reputation as an excellent manufacturer. The company began repairing sewing machines in 1908 in Japan, then expanded into global markets by the 1960s. It has a long lineup of quality printers, including a mobile printer.
With such a wide variety of products, Brother also manufactures fax machines. However, since many individuals and companies no longer want separate machines for printing, faxing and scanning, the Brother all-in-one printers have become much more popular.
Depending on the model, you can get a compact all-in-one printer that prints, scans, copies and faxes.
How To Set up a Brother Printer
First, ensure you have a Brother printer capable of sending faxes since not every machine has the same capabilities. Some multifunction printers are 3-in-1 (print, scan and copy), while others are 4-in-1 (print, scan, copy and fax).
The next step is connecting the printer to a working telephone line. Since fax machines send document data via a digital signal over a phone line, this step is essential for sending and receiving faxes with a Brother printer. So make sure you plug the cord into the printer’s jack labeled “line” and the telephone wall jack.
You can check the connection works by following these steps:
- Select the Fax option on the touchscreen
- Choose the Hook button
- If you hear a dial tone, the connection works. Press Hook again and continue faxing
- If you don’t hear a dial tone, the connection has failed — check the phone cord to ensure it’s securely connected to the printer and the wall jack
How To Send a Fax With a Brother Printer
There are a few different ways to send a fax using a brother printer. Each one gives you slightly different faxing capabilities, but remember that you still need a telephone line connection for these to work.
If you’ve copied documents before, this process will look quite similar. This difference is that instead of printing out the copies on your device, you’re sending the document to someone else.
Keep in mind that you can only prepare one side of a paper at a time using the scanner glass. This is fine if you need to fax something short, but faxing several pages can become tedious. If you need to fax multiple pages quickly, consider jumping down to the automatic document feeder process.
Here’s how to fax using the scanner glass:
- Raise the scanner glass cover and put the document face down on the glass
- Align the paper with the guidelines on the left side of the glass
- Once you’ve ensured the document is straight and properly aligned, close the cover
- Select Fax on the touchscreen
- Dial the fax number on the dial pad — if you have the fax number saved, you can select it from your address book
- Choose Fax Start to scan the page
- The printer will then ask if you have more pages to fax. If you don’t, press No, then Fax Start. If you have more pages, press Yes, then repeat steps 1-4
- Press Fax Start to send the document(s)
The automatic document feeder (ADF) lets you fax multiple pages simultaneously. You can place your stack of papers into the tray and fax them, and the machine automatically scans each one. This way, you don’t have to input each page manually.
Here’s how to fax with an ADF:
- Unfold both the ADF cover and the support flap on top of the machine
- Make sure none of the pages are sticking to each other
- Put the papers face up into the ADF
- The top of the page goes first, so push it in until it touches the roller (you’ll know it touches the roller when the touch screen says ADF Ready)
- If needed, adjust the tabs on either side of the documents to match the width of your papers
- Select Fax on the touchscreen
- Dial the fax number on the dial pad. If you have the fax number saved, you can select it from your address book
- Choose Fax Start to scan and fax the pages
If you would like to fax a document you have on your computer, you don’t have to print it out and then feed it into the machine. With the PC-FAX option, you can send any file straight from your PC to someone’s fax machine.
Remember, you still need to have your Brother printer connected to a telephone line for this method to work. You are still sending a traditional fax — just without having to print out the document.
Here’s how to send a PC-FAX:
- Open the file you want to fax
- Click on the Print option in the application you’re using
- Instead of choosing your Brother printer, select Brother PC-FAX and print
- A dialog box will appear to prepare the fax
- Dial the fax number by clicking on the numbers in the dialog box, typing out the numbers or selecting the number for your address book
- With the PC-FAX method, you can include a cover letter. Click on Add Cover Page to create one
- Press Start to fax the document
How To Receive a Fax With a Brother Printer
You can set up your Brother printer to automatically receive faxes or wait until you can manually answer the incoming fax. Either way, you need to adjust the Receive Mode.
If you have a dedicated fax line (which you aren’t sharing with another telephone answering device), you can select the Fax Only Mode for the machine to automatically receive any fax. If you are sharing the telephone line, you can select Ring Delay Mode.
You can also receive faxes on your PC with Brother PC-FAX receiving. Here’s how to do that:
- Turn on PC-FAX receiving within the software on your computer (the exact steps vary based on which version of Windows you have)
- Make sure the PC-FAX receiving is also enabled on your Brother printer
- Select the Menu
- Scroll through the options until you get to Fax
- Choose Remote Fax Opt, then Fwd/Page/Store
- Press PC Fax Receive, which will prompt a message to run PC-FAX on your computer
- Select OK
- Choose whether you want a Backup Print option, which will send the fax to your computer and print out another physical copy
- Select Exit
- Go to your computer and configure the PC-FAX Receiving settings to determine how you want to receive the fax
- The PC-FAX icon will change once you receive a fax
- Click on the icon to view the faxes
Alternatives to a Brother Printer
While Brother printers are nice, not everyone has a printer — let alone a Brother printer with faxing capabilities. And even if you do have a printer with faxing abilities, you might not have the telephone line cord to connect it and enable faxes.
Luckily, there are faxing alternatives that don’t require a fax machine, printer or telephone lines. For example, eFax lets you send and receive faxes on any mobile device, no matter where you are. Here are three ways to share documents with eFax.
Online faxing is quick and straightforward if you’re working on your desktop at home or the office.
- Log in to your eFax account and choose Send Faxes
- Select a pre-saved contact or type in the recipient’s name and company
- Choose the recipient’s country and enter their fax number
- If you want to send a cover page, select Include Cover Page and edit the message
- Click on Browse to choose a document to upload
- Click OK, then Send Faxes
You can also send faxes with the eFax Messenger tool.
- Download the eFax Messenger tool
- Open the document you want to fax, then select Print
- Pick the eFax Messager as your printer, then click Print to send the document to your eFax Messenger
- In eFax Messenger, choose New Fax
- Select a pre-saved contact or type in the recipient’s information
- Choose Send Copy to Me if you would also like a copy of the fax
- Fill in the Subject of the fax and input an Attention name
- You can include a cover page, another file or a blank page with the Add New Page (+) option
- Select Attach File, then Send Fax
eFax also lets you send and receive faxes via email, whether you have Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo.
- Log in to your email account
- Draft a new email
- The recipient’s email address will be their fax number @efaxsend.com
- Add a maximum of 10 files to fax
- Write the body of the email, then click Send
Get Faxing Today
Ready to send some faxes? If you have a Brother printer, you can start using its faxing capabilities. But if you don’t have a physical faxing machine, there are still ways to keep your workflows streamlined.
Sign up for an eFax account today and see for yourself how it can enable faxing capabilities anywhere and anytime.