Why do fax machines have phones?

LAST UPDATE: March 19th, 2019

Fax machines have phones because they are connected to a phone line. The phone handset on the fax machine is a way to access the phone line.

A phone attached to a fax machine works the same way as a regular phone. You can dial calls out by pressing the keypad the same way as a regular phone. If the fax machine rings, you can pick up the handset to answer the call (this might result in the fax not receiving).

Question: Do all fax machines have phones?

Answer: No, many do not.  Phones are associated with older fax machines.

Question: Can you attach a phone to a fax machine (or fax modem)?

Answer: Usually yes. A phone cord can plug into a port named “EXT” (short for extension). Once connected, calls can be made from the phone as if it was directly attached to the landline outlet.