Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » F »

fax modem

A device you can attach to a personal computer that enables you to transmit and receive electronic documents as faxes. A fax modem is like a regular modem except that it is designed to transmit documents to a fax machine or to another fax modem. Some, but not all, fax modems do double duty as regular modems. As with regular modems, fax modems can be either internal or external. Internal fax modems are often called fax boards.

Documents sent through a fax modem must already be in an electronic form (that is, in a disk file), and the documents you receive are likewise stored in files on your disk. To create fax documents from images on paper, you need an optical scanner.

Fax modems come with communications software similar to communications software for regular modems. This software can give the fax modem many capabilities that are not available with stand-alone fax machines. For example, you can broadcast a fax document to several sites at once. In addition, fax modems offer the following advantages over fax machines:

  • price: fax modems are less expensive. In addition, they require less maintenance because there are no moving parts. However, if you need to purchase an optical scanner in addition to the fax modem, there is no price advantage.
  • convenience: fax modems are more convenient if the documents you want to send are already in electronic form. With a fax machine, you would first need to print the document. A fax modem lets you send it directly.
  • speed: fax modems can almost always transmit documents at the maximum speed of 9,600 bps, whereas not all fax machines support such high data -transmission rates.
  • image quality: The image quality of documents transmitted by fax modems is usually superior because the documents remain in electronic form.
  • The principal disadvantage of fax modems is that you cannot fax paper documents unless you buy a separate optical scanner, which eliminates any cost and convenience advantages of fax modems. Another problem with fax modems is that each document you receive requires a large amount of disk storage (about 100K per page). Not only does this eat up disk storage, but it takes a long time to print such files.






    ';
    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    Hype Versus Action in the Developer's World

    Often times technologies start as hype but with time become adopted. As a developer or technologist, it is worth reading the hype and knowing the... Read More »

    Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Q&A

    The top 5 Hyper-V questions with answers provided by Nirmal Sharma, a MCSEx3, MCITP and Microsoft MVP in Directory Services. Read More »

    Storage Trends: Solid State and Software Defined

    Solid state drives and software defined storage are two leading trends in the rapidly growing storage market.  Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

    Creating desktop shortcuts to a websites is useful. When you double-click the icon from your desktop it automatically launches the browser and... Read More »

    Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

    Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »

    15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals

    Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals  a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »