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fax server

A fax server (or faxserver) is a system installed in a local area network (LAN) server that allows computer users who are attached to the LAN to send and receive fax messages. Fax messages can be stored as printable word processing, graphics, database, or spreadsheet files. Scanned documents can be sent as fax messages, allowing a computer and scanner to effectively emulate a dedicated fax machine.

A fax server is composed of a computer with a fax program, a fax modem (a modem capable of sending and receiving fax signals as well as conventional Internet data), a connection to the Internet or a telephone line, and connections to the LAN users.

There are several advantages to a fax server when compared with an ordinary fax machine. A single fax server can emulate multiple fax machines (one for each network user), thereby reducing overhead. Some functions can be automated. For example, a business fax server can automatically send invoices and purchase orders to customers and suppliers at specified times. Received faxes can be automatically stored as files on the server, and retrieved later by network users. In addition, a fax server can function without paper, reducing clutter and eliminating the need to continually check paper trays.

The term "fax server" is sometimes used to describe a program that enables a computer to send and receive fax messages.

This was last updated in August 2005

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