Faxing How-to and Troubleshooting
Faxing and VoIP - Tricks of the Trade
Faxing has been around for years and most of the protocols were written in an age when faxes traveled over a "traditional" voice network. In today’s world, the majority of telephone calls are, at some point, converted between a VoIP and traditional voice service and back again. Every portion of the ACD network is setup with full Quality of Service. This ensures that the voice and data on the ACD's network span is reliable. While we strive to create the most efficient Internet and Voice network, we can't control what happens when it leaves our network and hops on the rest of the Public Network.
In the Internet world, voice is first converted to packets, which are sent over the connections that make up the Internet. These packets may take a separate routes, thus arriving at slightly different times. In doing so, some packets may be discarded, but the end result is that the receiving VoIP device has enough information to make the call clear and indiscernible from a normal call. To ensure the best fax quality, follow the steps below. These same troubleshooting and configuration principals apply to alarm system lines, elevator emergency lines, credit card machines, postage machines and anything else that uses a Plain Old Telephone Service line for data.
It's not just our end of the network that matters. Two fax machines with the same fast setup running on VoIP can often train with each other so that they can begin transmission, but because of the inherent problems with today’s networks and VoIP, the transmission gets interrupted. If you set your machine up to work properly within a VoIP world, it will by default, train the other machine to use the same settings. This will greatly increase probability of a smooth Fax Transmission.
Recommendations on how to configure your fax machine for best results
At ACD.net we use the latest VoIP fax codecs (codec is a computer term that means to encode) to make our end as robust as possible. That being said, following are some items you can do on your end to help make faxing run smoothly:
- Set the baud rate on the fax machine to a slightly lower speed. Generally, 9600 bps is great. It’s different on various fax machines, but you can look for the baud rate or speed setting(9.6Kbps) that specifies V.29 or V.17. In general, fax machines set for V.34, may have echo cancellation and it is unlikely to work, as the slight delay in VoIP will make training between fax machines more difficult.
- Remove or turn off any Error Correction Mode or “ECM”.
- Try enabling Overseas Mode.
- Change the resolution from fine to standard; this will also speed up the rate at which fax machines transfer data by decreasing the size of the transmission.
If you can't figure out how to change your fax machines settings, you can either contact the manufacturer or usually you can put the model number into Google for the manual.
Let ACD know the line you are using is going to be used for fax, data or modem use
Within our phone switch, we are able to configure a line for fax/data/modem use. Basically, this means that by default the phone call on this line will not be compressed. Although this uses more bandwidth, it generally will produce more reliable results. If you are not sure that we have your line profile setup for fax as a default, please contact us, and provide us with your phone number and a technician can configure this in our phone switch in a matter of moments.
What ACD needs to know to troubleshoot a Fax line issue
We need to know the following information in order to be able to troubleshoot a fax send and receive issue. Having this information greatly speeds our ability to perform troubleshooting, and helps make sure Customer Support looks at the correct issues.
- Is the problem sending faxes, receiving faxes or both?
- What is the ACD number you are faxing from?
- Are you having problems sending faxes to only certain numbers or all numbers?
- If only to certain numbers, we need the specific numbers.
- Providing call examples(number dialed, number dialing from, and timestamp) gives us the info we need to look up a specific call in our phone switch. We can then determine the reason for disconnect.
- Is it happening at a specific time of day?
- When doing testing it is best to consistently use the same length of fax.
Adjusting the Audio Levels both on the fax machine and on ACD equipment
The audio levels can be adjusted on the fax machine and on the phone line ACD provides.
Recommended Test Fax Form
If you wish to test faxes to and from ACD, please fax us at 517-999-3993.
This is a ten page Fax Document that can be printed and sent to us for testing purposes Media:ACD TEST FAX 09-22-11.pdf