How to Hook Up Fax Machine With Cable Modem

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Updated November 18, 2022

The best printers often do much more than simply ink words onto a page. Printers now handle many tasks, like scanning, faxing, and copying. But for these functions to work, it requires the right setup. Below, we’ll focus on the faxing elements as we explain how to hook up a fax machine with a cable modem.


  • Many all-in-one printers include fax functions and are set up by running a telephone cable from the machine to a phone jack in the wall.
  • Once you have a compatible telephone cable, check the back of the device to find the correct plug.
  • Plug the cable into the “Line” jack. Then run the cable into the modem and from the modem to the wall.

Our coverage of the best all-in-one printers hits on a broad range of topics. Those looking to access their device’s fullest potential can read our article explaining how to scan from your printer to your computer. We also have an article that describes how to disassemble a printer.

Insider Tip

To know if you should fax the paper face up or face down, look for a small logo near the feeder tray; if the paper has lines (indicating text), fax face up. If not, fax face down.

How to Connect an All-In-One Printer/Fax to a Modem

Connecting to your cable modem is very easy, whether using an all-in-one device or having a traditional fax machine. All you need is a telephone cable and modem, and you’re set.

Although, if you’re wondering how to fax from a printer without a phone line, that’s a different ball of wax. Thankfully, our resource guides can help you.

Additionally, if you want some more guides on connecting your print/fax devices, we have another article explaining how to connect a printer with an ethernet cable. And for those trying to make a wireless connection, our article on how to find a printer’s IP address is a helpful place to start.

STEP 1 Determine What Type of Phone Cord Is Needed

Most of the time, any phone cable will work, especially with modern devices. However, some need a cable with a specific number of pins. To figure this out, check your user manual.

STEP 2 Set Up Printer/Fax Hardware

Plug in your machine’s power cord. Next, plug the telephone cable into the modem where it says “Phone Line 1.” Then run another telephone cable into the wall’s phone jack. Then take the telephone cord and plug it into the “Line” plug. Don’t plug the cord into the “Ext” jack. There will also likely be a USB port for connecting the printer and scanner.

STEP 3 Set Up Telephone and Answering Machine (If Desired)

If there’s a telephone you would like to connect to, take another telephone cable and put it into the extension jack. Then, plug the other end of the cord into the answering machine’s “Ext” jack. Then take another telephone cord and plug it into the phone.


To reduce the chance of electrical shock, never try setting up a fax machine connection during a lightning storm, and always use a surge protector.

STAT: There are still over 43 million fax machines in use globally. (source)

How to Hook Up Fax Machine With Cable Modem FAQs

Is it possible to send faxes wirelessly?

Many fax machines have wireless connectivity, allowing users to send and receive faxes without wires.

What is all necessary to send a fax?

To send a fax, you'll need the documents you wish to send and the intended recipient's fax number. From there, you can choose to add things like a cover sheet with additional details or include any international codes.

What is the print-to-fax function?

Print-to-fax is an option within an electronic document that allows a user to fax it directly instead of printing it out first.
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