The Best Fax Machines of 2022

Secure your sensitive data transmissions and get professional print quality with these fast and convenient print-copy-fax machines.

By Mark Wolfe | Updated Nov 17, 2021 11:24 AM

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The Best Fax Machine Option

Photo: amazon.com

In many industries, fax machines are still considered a necessity; in fact, they are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Faxing is a very secure way to exchange information since they cannot be easily hacked, and unlike email attachments, they cannot transmit computer viruses.

The best fax machines for home offices are more compact than those used in corporate settings but offer similar capabilities. Look for standard fax-copy-print capabilities in any machine; however, a closer look reveals differences in connectivity, print type, speed, capacity, and other features.

To help you compare the different models, this list contains some of the best fax machines available for a home office.

  1. BEST MONOCHROME PRINTER: Brother Monochrome All-in-One Wireless Laser Printer
  2. BEST BUDGET PRINTER: Epson Workforce WF-2860 All-in-One Wireless Printer
  3. BEST COLOR PRINTER: HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e Color All-in-One Printer
  4. BEST DEDICATED FAX MACHINE: Brother FAX-2840 High Speed Mono Laser Fax Machine
  5. BEST ADVANCED FEATURES: HP Color LaserJet Pro M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer
The Best Fax Machine Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fax Machine

Your home office digital network is probably more compact and flexible than a typical corporate office setting, but your fax machine must work within your network. Read on to learn more about the options in fax machines and how to choose a machine to best fit your needs.

Print Type

Other than sending and receiving documents, printing is the primary job of a fax machine. Choose from laser or inkjet printing technology.

  • Laser printers are fast, produce high-quality images, and are more expensive than inkjet. Laser printing uses toner, a dry, powdered material that lasts longer than ink. Toner replacement is expensive, and the drums must be replaced every fourth toner replacement. This is a good choice for those who do lots of printing.
  • Inkjet printers are inexpensive, produce a more resilient finish, and the cartridges are easier to replace than toner. Inkjet printers use liquid ink that produces better photo images and color documents that resist smudging better than toner. They print more slowly and print fewer pages over their life span than laser printers. Choose inkjet if you want great-looking, long-lasting color documents and photos, or if you only print occasionally.

Monochrome vs. Color

Many shoppers are inclined to move straight to a color printer with built-in fax capabilities, but a more practical solution may be in order. Monochrome (black/gray only) printers are popular in professional offices because of their fast print speeds, low operation costs, and high-quality text.

Monochrome may be a better choice for those who print large quantities of simple text. If, however, you plan to print your own brochures, flyers, advertisements, or any document involving color graphics, a color printer/fax machine is your obvious choice.

Wired vs. Wireless

Fax machines are incorporated into the home office network via a network cable or wireless connection. To use a fax machine, you need a telephone landline. In a wired network, transmission is fast, and the connection is interrupted only if the power goes out. Wireless networking eliminates the clutter of wires throughout the house. However, the signal can drop or suffer interference, and transmission is a little slower than in a wired connection.

Wired fax machines connect to your computer with an ethernet cable through a network router using Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth connection. Wi-Fi connections may run through a network router or connect the computer or smartphone directly to the fax. Bluetooth can connect the computer or smartphone directly to the fax machine. While connected to your device, these modern fax machines can send a fax. Some machines can receive a fax and forward it to email.

Modem Speed

A fax modem allows the fax machine to send and receive fax transmissions over phone lines. The speed of the modem is the maximum rate at which the transfer can happen, which is generally 14.4 kilobit per second or faster. A faster modem speed can help clear the phone line faster, which may be helpful if the line is shared with phone calls.

The actual amount of time it takes for a document to fax depends on the size of the document, the amount of detail it contains, and the clarity of the connection to the machine on the receiving end. A text-only document takes about 30 seconds per page to transmit, while a page-sized photograph could take a full minute. A faster modem can deliver documents more quickly.

Auto-Dialing and Memory

Like with a phone, users can program their favorite fax numbers into a fax machine for quick recall. The larger the memory, the more information it can store. Some hold as many as 200 preprogrammed contacts or more. Review the number of preprogrammed numbers the fax machine can hold if you plan to fax to a lot of different numbers.

Memory also stores documents and is used in processing. The larger the memory, the more it can do at once. A larger memory allows a longer document queue and improves the details in document quality.

Security

Password protection is available to allow operation only by authorized users. Encryption software scrambles the transmission, so it can’t be intercepted by a third party between transmission and reception. Fax machines that store fax information offer an added level of security against data loss in case of power failure.

Wi-Fi and Smart Technology

Fax machines may connect to the home office network with an ethernet cable, but it’s becoming more common to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi office connections use radio frequencies to link devices through a router hotspot. As long as the router is functioning properly, the various devices on the network can communicate with one another. Other devices may connect to the fax machine with a Bluetooth connection.

Most fax machine makers have developed apps to connect and manage fax machines remotely. These apps allow users to scan remotely, then fax the scanned image through the fax machine or receive faxes on a remote device. The app also allows users to check the status of ink or toner, the fax history, and other functions. Some fax machines are compatible with voice-activated smart devices like Amazon Echo or Apple’s Siri.

Additional Features

Fax machines offer other convenient features, too. While basic fax machines require the user to manually place and flip the document to be scanned, those with auto document feeders perform this task automatically.

Caller ID displays the source of incoming faxes or phone calls on a shared line, which will help users decide whether to answer a call or let the fax machine pick up. Dual access functionality lets users print one document while transmitting another. Machines with broadcast capability allow a document to be sent to multiple recipients.

Our Top Picks

Whether you need a robust print-copy-scan-fax machine with professional-quality color output and advanced security or a fast, simple, dedicated fax machine, the right machine may appear in this list.

Best Monochrome Printer

The Best Fax Machines Option: Brother MFCL2750DW Monochrome All-in-One Wireless Laser Printer
Photo: walmart.com

Those looking for a fast, reliable, monochrome printer may want to check out the Brother Monochrome Laser Printer. It prints up to 36 pages per minute, features a 250-sheet paper capacity, and handles letter and legal sizes. A manual feed slot handles a variety of other paper options, including cardstock, envelopes, and more.

The 50-sheet automatic document feeder saves time on multi-page copy, scan, and fax projects. It comes network-ready and includes a default setting to print both sides of the page. For even more flexibility, it uses a wireless connection to print and fax from a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Product Specs 

  • Print Type: Laser
  • Wired/Wireless: Wireless
  • Monochrome/Color: Monochrome

Pros

  • Prints up to 36 pages per minute
  • Compatible with letter and legal paper sizes
  • Network-ready
  • Wireless connectivity included

Cons

  • High yield cartridges sold separately
  • No color printing

Best Budget Printer

The Best Fax Machines Option: Epson Workforce WF-2860 All-in-One Wireless Printer
Photo: walmart.com

For a fax machine with plenty of functionality at a value price, consider the Epson Workforce WF-2860 All-in-One Wireless Color Printer. This inkjet color printer offers precision printing and a compact, space-saving design. It prints 14 pages per minute in black and 7.5 pages per minute in color. It features a 30-page auto document feeder for copying and scanning and a 150-sheet paper capacity for printing.

To save paper, it automatically prints double-sided. It supports mobile printing from iOS and Android devices (no network required with Wi-Fi connection), as well as ethernet connectivity. This printer is compatible only with Epson cartridges; it won’t work with third-party cartridges or ink.

Product Specs 

  • Print Type: Inkjet
  • Wired/Wireless: Wireless
  • Monochrome/Color: Color

Pros

  • Fast print speed
  • Mobile-printing compatible
  • Multiple cartridges included
  • Compact construction

Cons

  • Limited print speed
  • Requires Epson cartridges

Best Color Printer

The Best Fax Machines Option: HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e Color All-in-One Printer
Photo: amazon.com

For those who need to print, scan, copy, and fax with full-color capabilities, this fast inkjet model may be the right choice. The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 Wireless Printer offers fast 24-page-per-minute printing speed and a 35-page automatic feeder. It connects to your home office network via Wi-Fi, USB port, or ethernet cable. Two 250-sheet paper trays help users stay productive on high-volume projects.

This printer syncs to QuickBooks, Google Drive, and other programs with Smart Tasks to eliminate repetitive tasks and organize receipts and business documents 50 percent faster. Use the HP Smart app to access your printer and scanner, monitor ink levels, and print, copy, and scan on the go.

Self-healing Wi-Fi automatically detects connectivity issues and reconnects seamlessly to keep you connected. Built-in security features include basic encryption, password protection, Wi-Fi security, and document protection. This value set comes with 6 months worth of free ink and optional HP+ access.

Product Specs 

  • Print Type: Inkjet
  • Wired/Wireless: Wireless and/or wired
  • Monochrome/Color: Color

Pros

  • Works as a printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine
  • Prints 24 pages per minute
  • Multiple internet connection options included
  • 2 paper trays and 6 months worth of ink included

Cons

  • Some customers report loud operation
  • Expensive compared to similar models

Best Dedicated Fax Machine

The Best Fax Machines Option: Brother FAX-2840 High Speed Mono Laser Fax Machine
Photo: amazon.com

Those looking for a fast, simple, secure dedicated fax machine may want to check out the Brother FAX-2840 High Speed Mono Laser Fax Machine. It features a 20-page capacity auto document feeder for scanning and an adjustable 250-sheet capacity paper tray for printing incoming faxes. The 33.5 Kbits/second modem sends a page in just 2.5 seconds and its 16MB memory stores up to 400 pages.

A built-in high speed USB 2.0 interface can connect to your computer for 21-page-per-minute laser printing. This fax machine is compatible with the Brother TN-450 toner cartridge, which can print up to 2,600 pages. Plus, it comes with 200 speed dial numbers to send faxes through traditional phone lines.

Product Specs 

  • Print Type: Laser
  • Wired/Wireless: Wired
  • Monochrome/Color: Monochrome

Pros

  • Built-in 16MB memory
  • Prints 21 pages per minute
  • Comes with TN-450 toner cartridge
  • Affordable compared to similar models

Cons

  • Replacement cartridges are expensive

Best Advanced Features

The Best Fax Machines Option: HP Color LaserJet Pro M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer
Photo: walmart.com

For those who need more functionality, such as upgraded security features and automated workflow functions, the HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer is an excellent choice. It supports high productivity with single-pass two-sided scanning, a 50-sheet auto document feeder, a 250-sheet input tray, and print speeds up to 28 pages per minute. The energy-efficient design saves up to 18 percent more energy than comparable printers.

Built-in Wi-Fi Direct allows smart devices to connect directly to the wireless printer for easy mobile printing with no local network connection. Embedded security features in this laser fax machine include instant threat notifications and optional PIN/Pull printing that help protect the printer from being an entry point for cyberattacks and to ensure the security of sensitive data. Advanced settings allow you to save preferences and automate complicated workflows.

Product Specs 

  • Print Type: Laser
  • Wired/Wireless: Wireless
  • Monochrome/Color: Color

Pros

  • Integrated single-pass, double-side printing
  • Prints over 28 pages per minute
  • Energy-saving capabilities
  • Mobile-printing compatible

Cons

  • Expensive compared to similar models

Our Verdict

While there are many printers on the market, select options are better suited for light or heavy faxing or printing needs. One of the best options available for high-volume laser faxing is the Brother monochrome printer which is compatible with letter and legal formats for your work or home office. Alternatively, for color inkjet printing and faxing, the Epson Workforce offers mobile printing and a compact footprint at a budget price.

How We Chose the Best Fax Machines

The right fax machine should offer convenience and versatility as a desk accessory and tool for the office or home. Selection for the best fax machines on the market depended upon print type, color, paper capacity, wired/wireless capability, and other special features included.

The above picks offer color or monochrome capability with the help of inkjet or laser printing technology. Many of these fax machines also come with compatible cartridges making many of them ready-to-use. For added convenience, select fax machines listed above have high paper capacities for less refilling required.

Multifunctionality is also prioritized in the above list as many of these picks also work as scanners, printers, and copiers. Plus, many of these fax machines come with wireless printing that can be done via smartphone.

Finally, these models are also fast with the ability to print up to 36 pages per minute. Please note that some of these options do come with a higher price tag and have large constructions that may not fit on your bookshelf or computer desk.

FAQs

If you’re still deciding on a fax machine or just have a few questions about setting one up, you’re not alone. Keep reading to find out more about owning and operating one of these devices.

Q: What is the difference between fax machines and internet faxing services?

Internet faxing companies are able to fax documents that are digital or scanned through your phone which can then be sent via email. Alternatively, physical fax machines require paper documents to scan in order to fax them.

Q: How does a fax machine work?

Fax is a digital signal that travels over analog telephone phone lines. A fax machine scans an image of a document, converts it to an electronic signal, and transmits it to another fax machine, much the same way that a telephone transmits voice calls to another phone.

Q: How long does it take to send a fax?

It takes an average of 30 seconds for each page of text you’re faxing and a minute per photo. Faster equipment and clear lines can reduce the time significantly. Larger documents may take longer.