Q&A: Why is my FAX machine taking down my Internet connection?

dsl-filterQuestion from Roger:  Rick, I’ve had DSL through Verizon for 3 years with no problems whatsoever till 3 days ago when I installed a new FAX machine. Whenever the FAX machine is connected to the phone line my Internet stops working until I unplug it.

Before I bought this FAX machine I’d never had one connected to my phone line before. I’d always just used eFax. It’s hard to believe that one piece of equipment can stop the Internet connection dead in its tracks, but it does.

Do you know what I need to do to fix this problem? It’s a pain having to stop using the Internet and plug in the FAX machine every time I need to use it (which is several times a day).

Rick’s answer:  Roger, check to make sure you installed a DSL Filter along with the new FAX machine. If not, you can pick one up at Best Buy, Radio Shack or one of your other local electronics retailers for just a few dollars.

If you used an old DSL Filter when you installed the new FAX machine, there’s always a chance that it’s bad and not doing the job it was designed to do. I’d try replacing it just to see if it helps.

Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

Update from Roger:  I found the problem – it was ME. I forgot to buy a DSL filter to go with the FAX. It’s been so long since I last plugged anything into my phone line that I forgot all about having to install a filter with each device that’s plugged into it. Thanks for your help.