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Try using a standard phone to call your Fax Line
Connect a phone to this Line to test for voice
Disconnect Fax Machine from Phone Line
Reset Fax machine
The Fax machine is supposed to respond to the right tones being sent down the voice line
If it is not responding & all else works then check your Fax settings for "Receiving"
There is nothing wrong with your modem. Comcast charges extra for a second line. Depending on your model of fax machine, there should be both an input ond an output on the back of the fax machine. Plug the fax machine into line 1 on the modem. Then, plug your phone into the input on the back of the fax machine. If you fax does not have both in and out, then you can purchase a "Y" phone line adapter from your local electronics store.
ps. VoIP is a digital line... Facsimiles are analog signals... Sending analog signals over digital lines is not recomended. If you are wondering "why?" (and understand tech jargon) VoIP is sent via UDP, which is a connectionless protocol (does not retransmit dropped packets) Fax machines use TCP, which does resend dropped packets. This variance in Qualiy of Service sometimes cases strange activity such as both lines (sending and receiving) dropping connections, faxes taking a long time to transmit (due to constant resending loops), etc. It does work... kind of. I would just not assume that faxes made it to their destination until it gets confirmed.
If your printer has FAX capabilities. Good way to tell is if you have a phone number pad on the front of your printer.
You must have this connected to a phone line for it to receive a fax. Setup the fax application through your installation CD that came with the Printer/fax machine. Often you set the fax machine to pick up after so many rings. This allows you to leave the printer/fax machine on and gives you time to answer BEFORE the fax machine does. If uncle Bob or Aunt Susie should call to say Hi!
Basically what is happening: You turn on the Printer/Fax machine it sits idle waiting for a phone call. Someone now sends you a fax using your phone number. YOUR printer/fax machine is sitting there listening for the phone to ring. Lets say you have your printer/fax machine setup to answer after 5 rings. After 5 rings, your Printer/fax machine will pick up and listen for signal tones from the the other machine. If it gets these, it will "handshake" and send a confirmation fax tone. Then the data will be transferred and printed out on your machine or held in a fax program for you to print or save later.
It is critical that you do not pickup the phone too early or the two fax machines trying to communicate will fail. If you do this, you will hear an awful squeal and a serious of tones. You can often hang up quickly and the two machines will transmit again the handshake signals and resume business as usual.
Short answer: Two fax modems are talking to each other over your phone line to transmit data.
I get calls all the time about fax issues. I work for Comcast and have guided people to the right answers about third party devices. We use a digital connection. Analog is a dying medium. Most calls are concerning HP and Brother but I know others fax machines have had problems too. The new HP machines have a digital setting. HP is aware of digital issues and can help you. It is unfortunate that old fax machines are not digital but a new fax is inexpensive if you wish to buy one. Analog takes up too much space. An example: Six digital television channels can fit in the same space (bandwidth) as one analog. That is why the FCC mandated the change. The same goes for phone lines. I Google almost every problem concerning fax machines and if you go past all the upset comments you will get to the comments that offer remedy. I also wanted everyone to know that a second, no frills fax line from Comcast is very inexpensive and our way of offering a dedicated fax line intead of a distinctive ring fax option.
I believe if you have comcast it is a different signal coming in, you probably bought the package for VOIP capability when Comcast was having that promotion. The phone has to be a regular analog phone line not digital, that is probably your problem. Try changing the settings or line it should solve your problem, or call Comcast to guide you along.