Basic Troubleshooting

As we start the new year it’s a good idea to remember the basic steps when dealing with faxing issues. We recommend that all techs have an ATA and vFax account. Even if these are shared it’s a good idea to have at least one of each. Often just sending a fax and checking if it is received will aid in finding the source of a problem.

We work through the following checklist and it forms a handy guide when you are in the field:
Are the settings in the portal correct for the account?

– The right service is checked off?

– The phone number, email and mac address (if an ATA account) are all present and correct?

– If there is a MAC address it should be 12 digits long starting with 0090BF. The last 6 digits following are unique.
Does the phone number work?

– Do you get a strong clear signal and fax tones when calling the number?

Checking the portal reports for the account when was the last time it sent/received a fax?

– This check can help determine if the error is consistent or intermittent or if the account is OVERLIMIT

– The problem might have occurred earlier in the day or week and now not be an issue. We can usually go back 24~48 hours to look for a possible explanation.
To test a vFax (email to fax) account you can read the following wiki article:

To send using the account you must use the u=username in the subject line. You should also send a fax to the vFax account and confirm it can receive.

For an ATA there are more things to check before sending/receiving a fax.

Is the ATA powered on?

Assuming the ATA is powered on the we need to check the cables are in the right port. People move equipment around and cleaners have been known to bump things so cables get put into the wrong ports as a result. The network cable must always be in the WAN port. The phone cable should be in Line 1 (and/or Line 2) and connected to the fax machines LINE port. Some fax machines have a telephone port as well. This is used for connecting a phone so can’t be used by the fax machine for sending and receiving faxes.

Is the ATA ‘ONLINE’ in the Portal? If yes then you can try sending to it and receiving a fax from it.

If the ATA is ‘OFFLINE’ then a simple way to fix most issues with the ATA being offline is to use the webGUI to re-enter the account password. This is described here: in Step 12.

More often than not the faxing issues most clients experience are resolved by checking the above. The more you become familiar with this process the quicker you will be able to determine if the issue is something that requires our help.

As always we are here to support you and help your customers have a worry-free faxing.


by William Jordan, FaxSIPit Manager of Operations