How to use a connected fax machine (wired or wireless)

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

A connected fax machine is a fax machine that can be connected to a computer or smartphone with a wired or wireless connection.

The “connected” part of the fax machine is only with local computers. A landline phone line is still required to fax. There is no “connected” to the internet in this type of fax machine.

For a fax method that is “connected” to the internet, see our page on online fax services.

Different types of “connected” fax machines

There are many different types of connected fax machines.

There can be wired connections where the fax machine connects via ethernet, or it can connect with a wireless technology such as WiFi or Bluetooth.

Ethernet always connects to a router on the home network. WiFi can sometimes connect to a router, and sometimes directly to a computer. Bluetooth connections are always connected directly to a computer or smartphone.

All connected fax machines can send while connected. Some of them can also receive a fax and forward it to an email or have it accessed with the manufacturer’s software.

What you’ll need

  • A fax machine with the ability to connect (either wired or wireless)
  • A landline phone line (VoIP will not work)
  • A computer or smartphone to connect to the fax
  • A document to fax (electronic file)

Step 1 – set up the fax machine to work regularly

Follow our guide on how to set up and use a fax machine. This will get the fax machine working regularly.

You will need to plug the fax machine into a working landline phone line. Even if the fax machine is a “connected” or “internet enabled” fax machine, a connection to a landline phone line is still required.

Step 2 – connect the fax machine to your network, or enable its connected feature

Follow the fax machine’s instructions on how to connect to the network. Typically this involves registering the fax machine with a WiFi router or connecting an ethernet cable to the fax machine.

If the fax machine has an ethernet port, then it can be connected to a router or wired internet with an ethernet cable.

If the fax machine is enabled with WiFi or bluetooth, then no additional cables need to be connected. The fax machine will be able to connect to local devices over these wireless connections.

Step 3 – install any software the fax machine requires

Some fax machines will have a print driver to install (just like a regular printer). Others will have a full software suite that can control the fax machine remotely.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installing the software. Most manufacturers will have software that can be downloaded from their support webpage.

Step 4 – test the connection

Use the fax software or print driver to send a fax. The connection should relay your fax to the machine to send it.

If the fax is able to receive a fax and send it to you electronically, test that feature as well.