“TEL” on a fax machine or fax modem can be:
- The port to connect a telephone handset to a fax to enable it as a telephone.
- The port connects to the fax to a phone jack (sometimes labeled “LINE“).
- The port connects an extension telephone to the fax (sometimes labeled “EXT“).
- In the context of “FAX/TEL,” a switch that changes between fax and telephone modes.
A “TEL” port is used to connect either the fax machine’s telephone handset or to add an extension telephone so that there can be a fax machine and another telephone on the line.
If there is one port for a phone line labeled “TEL,” it is for the landline phone line.
If there are two ports, one of which is labeled “TEL”…
- … and the other “EXT,” then the “TEL” port is to connect the fax to the phone line, and the “EXT” port for an extension telephone.
- … and the other “LINE,” then the “LINE” port is for the telephone jack, and the “TEL” port is to connect an extension telephone (an extra phone that can use the same line) or the fax’s telephone handset.
If there are three ports, one of which is labeled “TEL” and the others “EXT” and “LINE,” the “TEL” port is for a telephone handset.
The “TEL” port can be confused with the “EXT” (for an extension telephone) and “LINE” (to connect to a landline phone line) ports.
- Xerox Support Forum – Fax – LINE and EXT – A discussion on the differences between a LINE and EXT port on a Xerox fax machine.
- Epson Support – Connecting a Telephone or Answering Machine – Instructions on how to connect a telephone or answering machine to a fax machine using the EXT port.
- Canon Fax-B840/B820/B822 User’s Guide – page 7 – a Canon fax machine user manual that describes the use of each phone port.
- Epson WF-2750 User’s Guide – page 24 – an Epson fax machine user manual that shows where the “EXT” and “LINE” ports are.
- Xerox Work Center 7120 User Guide – page 24 – A Xerox MFP user manual that shows the location of phone ports on the device. Includes a line for “TEL” as well as 3 different “LINE” ports.