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A facsimile (fax) machine uses public switched telephone networks (PSTN) and the Internet for the electronic fax transmission of text and images.
Digital fax machines use modified Huffman and modified read data compression formats and scan 100-400 lines per inch (LPI).
Fax functionality is segmented by class, group, data transfer rate (DTR) and conformance with the International Telecommunication Union's Standardization Sector (ITU-T).
Fax machines are also known as telefax machines, telecopy machines or telecopiers.
In 1843, Alexander Bain introduced fax technology in the form of a two-pen and two-pendulum apparatus that reproduced handwriting via an electrically conductive surface. More recent fax technology advancements have facilitated a shift from traditional fax machines to server and cloud options. For example, direct fax routing, such as email, lowers costs by eliminating unnecessary hardware like landlines and printers. Fax machines continue to evolve to meet market demands for convenient communication methods.
Fax machines are grouped as follows:
Fax machine modem classes are designated according to CPU requirements as follows: