Faxing Hardware for Fax Broadcasting, Fax Servers and PC Faxing
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Fax Broadcast Fax Server Home Faxing

In order to send and/or receive faxes on your computer you need to have a fax modem or an intelligent fax board installed and connected to a phone line. Faxing takes place over a voice connection (as opposed to a data connection). As such, it is not possible to send a fax using a DSL or Cable modem, you must use a fax modem connected to a phone line in order to send and receive faxes from your computer.

Fax hardware comes in a variety of different forms, from many different hardware vendors.

Types of Fax Hardware



The most basic and least expensive option, this is an internal PCI card that installs in your PC and uses software to process the inbound and outbound faxes.  Softmodems are very common in laptops due to the limited case space.  These fax/modems are notoriously unreliable and are not recommend for use even for occasional faxing.

Basic Fax Modems

This can be an internal PCI card or it can be an external modem connected via a serial or USB cable. They appear in Windows attached to a COM port and allow you to connect a single fax line to the modem.   Multiple fax modems can be installed in a single machine however you may begin to run into hardware conflicts when you try to install more than four modems on a single system.

Multi-Port Fax Modems

Multi-Port modems are internal cards that usually have two, four or eight modems on a single PCI card. Typically multiple cards can be installed on a single system to further expand the number of available fax lines.  Multi-Port Fax Modems are designed with moderate to high volume fax broadcasting and fax servers in mind.  Many support the V.34 ITU standard for faxing at speeds of up to 33.6 Kbps which is more than twice as fast as standard fax modems.  Multi-port fax modems are typically more reliable and efficient than standard fax modems.

Intelligent Fax Boards

These are Enterprise level devices that provide multiple fax channels via analog (RJ11) interfaces, or digital (RJ45) interfaces and provide anywhere from two to ninety six channels on a single PCI board.  For instance a twenty-four channel intelligent fax board connected to a voice T1 line will allow you to send/receive up to twenty-four faxes at a time.  Multiple intelligent fax boards can be installed in a single machine to further increase your fax throughput.  Intelligent fax boards typically support the ITU V.34 standard for fax speeds and the hardware will usually exhibit faster connection and handshaking, resulting in the fastest possible fax transfer times.

Choosing the right Fax Hardware

Black Ice Software develops and supplies a variety of high quality faxing software applications. When paired with appropriate fax hardware, Impact Fax users can reliably reach all of their faxing goals and needs.

Types of Fax Hardware

Price Performance Throughput


Free (usually) 0 *

Basic Fax Modems

$ ** *

Multi-Port Fax Modems

$$ *** ***

Intelligent Fax Boards

$$$ **** ****

A single fax port/fax line in use 24 hours a day is capable of sending/receiving on average 1440 faxes daily. To increase the number of sent/received faxes, additional fax hardware/fax lines must be used.

Which Fax Software/Fax Hardware combination should I use?

1. Do you want to perform high volume, reliable faxing software to fax the same document or information to a list of fax numbers? This is also referred to as fax broadcasting, fax blasting, and bulk faxing

  • Please look at the Impact Fax Broadcast software, which can be used with a Basic Fax Modem up through an Intelligent Fax Board Impact Fax Broadcast Enterprise only). For Mid level fax broadcast requirements, a multi-port fax modem is recommended for increased performance. For high level fax broadcasts, and intelligent fax board is highly recommended

2. Do you want to send and receive faxes across a Windows Network?

  • Please look at the Impact Fax Server software. Impact Fax Server can be used with a Basic Fax Modem up through an Intelligent Fax Board. For best results, 2 or more fax ports/fax lines should be used, one for sending and one for receiving, although a single line can be used for both

3. Do you want to set up a system allowing users to request documents to be faxed to them?

  • Please look at the Impact Fax on Demand software application, which can be used with a Basic Fax Modem up through an Intelligent Fax Board

4. Do you want to send and receive faxes form your home computer?

  • Please look at the Impact ColorFax software application. The Impact ColorFax allows for PC based faxing, allowing users to send and receive faxes directly from their home or office computer, typically using their existing fax modem.

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