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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #1
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USB fax modem

Perhaps a stupid question but... I have a newer iMac with no internal modem. In order to fax, can I use any old USB modem or does it have to be a USB fax modem?

Does anyone know of a cheaper one than the Apple $59.00 one?

Thanks!

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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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Some modesms can be used to fax, others can't.
Depends on your specific model - the user guide should tell you. If you no longer have it, look on the net.

The cheapest USB FAX modem is priced just under $23.-
Buy Wintec [3FMUSBMV92-R] Wintec Filemate 56KPBS V.92 USB Fax Modem W/ Retractable Cord

But I wouldn't go for the cheapest one unless I see loys of positive reviews and specific Mac compatibility.
You can buy the Apple USB modem for just under $50.- from SIG Electronics - maybe it also shows up in the Apple refurbstore, something to check.

Ad if you only send or receive Faxes occasionally, you could also look at these FAX services that turn your email into a FAX.
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Old Apr 14th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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It has to be a fax modem, as a regular modem has no way of transmitting or receiving fax transmissions (which are a different signalling standard).

Either the Apple USB Modem or the USRobotics will work, though are limited to Tiger or Leopard, though I have no idea why this limitation exists.

Fax modems generally are excellent for transmitting faxes, and are convenient since you can go direct from any word processor to FAX in the Print menu.

However, your milage may vary with receiving them. If you do intend on receiving faxes on a regular basis, then a fax machine is a better choice (since the fax standard is not "digital", and can send any length pages, which fax modems sometimes hurl chunks at, especially if you do legal sized paper). But the Apple modems do a fair job at receiving, especially if the sender is transmitting a standard sized fax document.

As for price, $50 is the general price point, though perhaps you may find a refurbished or used unit around in the usual spots.

Also, modems that have the word "Win" in the title are generally Windoze only, as the data pump is part of the Windoze driver rather than part of the modem. They are cheap because they are nasty, and since the CPU has to be the data pump, are great for sucking back resources. It is always better to buy a real modem, just like it is always better to buy a real network card (because "Win" network cards also use the CPU for the data pump, using proprietary Windoze only drivers, and really suck back resources)...
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