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Author Topic: Google Voice and Faxes  (Read 78780 times)
bsdaiwa
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« on: September 24, 2014, 10:47:33 am »

I am thinking of setting up my daughter’s house with an Obi 200 using Google Voice but I am not sure of its capability to handle Faxes. Can anyone tell me if GV handles Faxes (in and out) and if there are any special settings I need to use?
Thanks
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azrobert
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 12:42:08 pm »

I've had no problems with faxes and GV for a long time, but recently I had 2 outbound faxes fail.

I think the biggest factor is the quality of your ISP.
You can check your internet connection here:
http://myspeed.visualware.com/index.php

Click on the USA
Click on a green state.
Select VOIP from the popup
Select Set Test Type
Select a location
Select G711 codec
Click "Click to Start Test"

See this:
http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=6625.msg41922#msg41922

You would dial the number like:
*0118005551212
18005551212 is the fax number

Some people reduce the speed on the fax machine. My fax doesn't have that option.
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thogan
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 11:38:39 am »

I can send faxes with my Obi200 but can't receive faxes with it (I was successful in 1 of about 20 attempts).  I'm wondering what kind of fax machine you are using as I would be willing to buy a new fax machine if that would solve this problem for me.  Thanks,/Tom
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azrobert
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 03:57:50 pm »

I have a Brother MFC-9440CN multi-function printer and have no problems sending or receiving faxes with GV, although I only send or receive a few faxes a year. This machine is several years old, so I don't know if it's still available. I think any fax machine should work unless it's broken. I said in the above post I started having problems. I traced the problem to a bad ethernet cable. I had no problem making/receiving voice calls with the cable, so any little thing can cause fax problems. Even a bad phone cord can cause problems.

Did you run the quality test using the link above?

I would think inbound faxes should work better than outbound. Download speeds are usually 2-3 times faster than upload.

Do a speed test here: http://www.speedtest.net/index.php?nojs=1

I used a DSL filter before I switched using GV. The DSL filter greatly reduced the number of failures on my non-GV DID. I have a cable provider, so you don't need DSL to use the filter.

I used a filter like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2Wire-DSL-FILTER-for-2-Line-phones-Free-Shipping-/181605216611?pt=US_DSL_Phone_Cables_RJ_11_&hash=item2a4883b163
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azrobert
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 05:03:08 pm »

You said in another topic:
Quote
I am able to send ok but can't seem to receive getting the message "no answer" or just "failed".

Does the inbound call ring the OBi phone port?
Does the Fax answer the call?
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 06:44:05 pm »

As Robert pointed out, fax over VoIP is just really sensitive to any sort of call quality issue.

If you're willing to pay for a new fax machine, a much better option is to not use a fax machine at all.  Get with the 21st century, and use an inbound fax mailbox.

For example, you can get a free or paid inbound phone number (a "DID") from Callcentric, and route inbound calls to their fax server.  It will then store the fax and optionally, email it to you.  This is far more reliable than using a fax machine, which suffers from the long chain of analog<-->digital<-->analog<-->digital conversions.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
LTN1
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 09:08:03 pm »

I can send faxes with my Obi200 but can't receive faxes with it (I was successful in 1 of about 20 attempts).  I'm wondering what kind of fax machine you are using as I would be willing to buy a new fax machine if that would solve this problem for me.  Thanks,/Tom

Seems like Brother machines work well with Obi and GV faxing. If you don't want to get another machine and since you can fax out, consider signing up for a free CallCentric account with NY number and make it your fax number. CallCentric receives e-faxes really well. If you put the CallCentric number on your fax ID, you can fax out with that showing and just have people fax back to the CallCentric number.

However, if this is for a business and you want to use your local number, you might want to try buying a Brother fax machine to see if it works well for you--keep the receipt to return it if it doesn't.
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thogan
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 03:46:04 pm »

Thank you all for the replies, you guys are great!  With the Visualware tests my download speed was 4.48 and my upload was 754 kbps.  The line quality assessment showed Packets Norder 3 (which I have no idea about) and Bytes Lost 175692, which can't be good.  On the VOIP test Jitter was 20.8, which was labeled as relatively unpredictable, Packet Loss was 0 and MOS score was 3.7 (which I also don't really understand).  I am going to try a new Ethernet cable as well as a new phone line cord since both have been in use for years to see if this helps.  I'm having second thoughts about buying a new Fax machine because I don't send all that many faxes and I do have a limited use (9.99 per yr) RingCentral account that I've used when I need to send or receive one.  I do like the Callcentric idea for incoming faxes especially since I do seem to be able to send faxes out using GV.  Oh, and for a few bucks I think I'll also buy the filter to see if that helps...and to answer Roberts question, I'm pretty sure the incoming fax rings the Obi port and it's the fax machine that doesn't answer the call. 
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azrobert
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 08:27:44 pm »

(to answer Roberts question, I'm pretty sure the incoming fax rings the Obi port and it's the fax machine that doesn't answer the call. 

If the OBi200 is ringing the Fax should answer the call. The fax should answer any call including voice calls. If the phone port is ringing the phone port LED (the right LED) will flash. Is it flashing when you call the GV number?

Is the fax setup to answer automatically? It should be set to answer on 1, 2, 3 or 4 rings.

Do you have another option that would prevent the fax from answering like Distinctive Ring?
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Lavarock7
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 12:06:35 pm »

I can send faxes with my Obi200 but can't receive faxes with it (I was successful in 1 of about 20 attempts).  I'm wondering what kind of fax machine you are using as I would be willing to buy a new fax machine if that would solve this problem for me.  Thanks,/Tom

If having inbound problems, why not get a free Callcentric number (configure it for faxes).

Your outbound faxes could show the Callcentric inbound number as the ID.

Just make sure to call that Callcentric number at least once a month to keep it active.
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thogan
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 05:34:35 pm »

I seem to be having more success now receiving faxes.  I set the machine to answer after 4 rings (I also tried 1, 2 and 3 ring settings) and have successfully received 3 faxes in a row now...a 4th fax came in on the 3rd of 3 tries.  I did replace the ethernet and phone cables so I'm not sure if that has helped or if it is the ring setting that did the trick.  I'll keep testing but thanks for all the advice and help. Oh, and I looked into Callcentric but don't want to pay monthly fees for 911 service when I can keep the limited Ringcentral for $9.99 a year.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2014, 07:37:40 pm »

I can send faxes with my Obi200 but can't receive faxes with it (I was successful in 1 of about 20 attempts).  I'm wondering what kind of fax machine you are using as I would be willing to buy a new fax machine if that would solve this problem for me.  Thanks,/Tom

If having inbound problems, why not get a free Callcentric number (configure it for faxes).

Your outbound faxes could show the Callcentric inbound number as the ID.

Just make sure to call that Callcentric number at least once a month to keep it active.

"Four out of five doctors recommend", or in this case, three out of four posters recommend, get a friggin' Callcentric DID and use their fax server.  :-p
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
Rohl
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 09:09:09 pm »

I seem to be having more success now receiving faxes.  I set the machine to answer after 4 rings (I also tried 1, 2 and 3 ring settings) and have successfully received 3 faxes in a row now...a 4th fax came in on the 3rd of 3 tries.  I did replace the ethernet and phone cables so I'm not sure if that has helped or if it is the ring setting that did the trick.  I'll keep testing but thanks for all the advice and help. Oh, and I looked into Callcentric but don't want to pay monthly fees for 911 service when I can keep the limited Ringcentral for $9.99 a year.


 For those who wish to receive faxes and but already have the ability to send, I recommend Faxaway. I have been using them for years. I believe, since 1999. Possibly earlier.  All incoming faxes are free and go to your email.  It's been very reliable.  Outgoing are a low rate, and take some practice and lots of reading of instructions. However most of you seem to be able to send using a google  voice number  That is much easier to use for sending.  Faxaway provides a new number for you faxes and it is all free, with one exception. You must provide a ten dollar deposit to cover possible out going use. The money just sits there in escrow until you send a fax.
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Lavarock7
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2015, 02:39:34 pm »

A new player in the field (new with faxes that is)...

http://faxx.us

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zorlac
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2015, 07:10:25 pm »

A new player in the field (new with faxes that is)...
http://faxx.us
"Our free plan allows you to send up to 25 pages of fax per month, entirely free of charge. We add an extra page with an advertisement to each fax sent."

That's pretty bearable as long as the info in the pdf isn't sensitive this seems interesting.
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Lavarock7
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2015, 12:27:19 pm »

A new player in the field (new with faxes that is)...
http://faxx.us
"Our free plan allows you to send up to 25 pages of fax per month, entirely free of charge. We add an extra page with an advertisement to each fax sent."

That's pretty bearable as long as the info in the pdf isn't sensitive this seems interesting.

For those who have not been to the site, they also have paid service without the ads.

The company was started by one of the principals of UKDDS who supply the free UL phone numbers.
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A simplified Voip explanation: http://voip.planet-aloha.com
Almighty1
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Posts: 42


« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 10:42:30 am »

azrobert, many thanks for your post as the *01 solved everything for me.  I tried two faxmodems including the USRobotics Courier Dual Standard vEverything and it always disconnects after the first page, it did successfully send at 2400 but with *01, it sent successfully at 14.4k on a Obi202 just like how I used GV from my landline!
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Dranon2
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2016, 07:35:37 am »

OK so I am able to fax using a brother fax machine. BUT I have a Muratec multifunction machine and it does not seem to be able to work I just get a communication error message, bummer
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hapollo
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2016, 06:35:47 pm »

Having the Obi for 5 yrs like most frequent posters here, I found receiving faxes were possible but not sending so used FaxZero, FreeFax and all those other services for those occasional faxing needs.

Recently due to Obi FW fiascos, I opted to install RasPBX on an old Pi2 after upgrading to a Pi3. Must say, I've got to thank Obi FW issues and GV for shutting down SSL for TLS. As a result, I migrated my NAS, printserver and GV authentication to the PI2.

Just yesterday I discovered Hylafax and with the Asterisk on FreePBX have the ability to run a faxserver and fax in and out through the GV number error free. No longer have the need for Callcentric, Fax Zero and such.

Thank you GV and OBi for pushing me to find a solution that has worked out great!
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Harvey
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Posts: 17


« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2017, 11:17:06 am »

I just signed up for a free eFax account only for incoming faxes and they offer 10 pages per month free. https://www.efax.com/efax-free (goes to your email as pdf attachment).
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