Most 56k modems today have fax capability, DSL and cable modems do not have fax capabilities!
A modem, or modulator/demodulator, lets your computer exchange information across
telephone lines with another modem. It does this by converting a computer's digital
signal to an analog signal that can travel over phone lines and then converting the
signal back to the digital form a computer can understand. Some modems can exchange
data only; others, called fax/modems, can send and receive fax messages. Other modems
add voice capabilities, letting you record messages on your computer.
Modems are available in internal and external versions. An external modem, the
easiest to install, connects to a port on the back of your computer and sits on
your desk. If you'd rather save the port (and desk space), you can install an
internal modem, which is contained on an expansion card. (An expansion card
provides additional features for your computer and plugs into a narrow socket
inside the computer, called an expansion slot.)
Your faxmodem can share a line with a voice phone--but the faxmodem cannot tell
the difference between voice and fax/data on incoming calls. To share a line,
plug the phone into the "PHONE" connector on the faxmodem.
Beyond hardware connections, there are other steps you can take to ensure good
modem performance. One thing to remember: Once you install your modem, you
generally shouldn't have to mess with it again.
Fax modems cost from about $14.00 to $100.00