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My phone company offers "distinctive ringing" which would let me know what kind of call is coming in, but how do I make sure the fax picks up faxes and the voice calls go to voice mail? (if I'm not there, that is)
I think there must be hardware for this, and I'll be walking down to Radio Shack shortly to investigate.

I don't think I'll be getting enough faxes to justify a truly separate line, but I also don't want to ask people to call me before faxing – what a pain, and also seems unprofessional. I know some people are big on the eFax type services, but it actually seems kind of spendy to me at 12.99/month.


We have a phone/fax/answering machine combination that we use, and we only have one number. What happens is that the machine recognizes when it is a fax or when it is a voice call, and answers appropriately. If we happen to be home and answer when a fax is coming in, we just press the button to accept the fax, but this is really a rare event for us since no one is home during the day.

If you will be home most of the time, though, it will most likely be worthwhile to get the separate ring on the phone so that you're not manually switching to the fax machine.

We bought our machine at Staples, and I remember they had several models, but you need to make sure that it does say you can have the phone and fax on one line.

We don't get that many faxes, so we have not bothered to get a separate line, but if you find that you are getting a lot, you may want to switch at that point. We've had this set-up for a few years, and it has worked quite well for our purposes.
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