cFax Documentation & FAQ
How does secure store-and-forward differ from traditional fax service?
cFax Traditional Analog (POTS) Faxes sent and received in real-time No 1 Yes Test calls will ring into the fax machine No 2 Yes Supports Alarms or Other Modem Devices No 3 Yes Supports 911 No 4 Yes HIPAA Compliant Yes 5 Yes Free long distance for outbound faxes Yes No Works regardless of line quality Yes No Receive and queue faxes when machine is busy Yes No Hold faxes for later delivery when there are problems with the fax machine Yes No Hold faxes for later delivery when phone lines are down Yes No Ability to send/receive via email in addition to fax machine Yes No Delivery Reports Generated by cFax Generated by the fax machine
- 1 Delivery is typically near-real-time, but if the fax machine is busy or the Internet service is having problems, faxes may be queued until they can be successfully delivered. See this FAQ for more details.
- 2 See this FAQ.
- 3 See this FAQ.
- 4 See this FAQ.
- 5 HIPAA compliant if properly configured and used. See this FAQ.
How do I connect my fax ATA to Clearfly's service?
The physical connections are very straightforward and are detailed in Clearfly's Fax ATA Quick Start Guide.
How do I reset my ATA to factory defaults?
To reset your ATA to factory defaults, simply unplug power, hold down the reset button, plug the power back in and keep the reset button depressed for 10 seconds after reconnecting power. A detailed guide can be found here.
How can I tell what IP address my ATA is using?
The fact that the WAN light on your ATA is green doesn't necessarily indicate that it is connected to the Internet. To verify if the device has obtained an IP address from your network, plug a phone into line 1 on the ATA (or use your fax machine's handset, if equipped) and dial
If the ATA has an IP address it will be read back to you. If not, you won't hear any audio and eventually the call will fail with a reorder tone.
I don't have DHCP on my network. How can I configure a static IP address on the ATA?
The fax ATA requires access to the Internet. If your network doesn't support dynamic IP address allocation via DHCP then it will be necessary to configure a static IP address on your ATA. Detailed instructions are available here.
Can I use the LAN port on my ATA?
No, the LAN port on the ATA is unused and, in fact, is disabled when the device downloads its configuration for the first time.
I already have an ATA. Can't I just connect it to your service?
No. In order to obtain maximum reliability and security, Clearfly uses ATAs with special HTTPS firmware versions on them that are programmed to connect directly to Clearfly's servers for provisioning and in order to send and receive faxes.
What happens if my fax machine is busy?
In order to deliver the most reliable fax service possible over any kind of Internet connection, Clearfly's fax service uses store-and-forward technology. This means that incoming fax calls connect to Clearfly's servers, which then relay the images to your fax ATA via a secure, reliable HTTPS connection. As a result of this design, callers will never receive a busy signal when sending you faxes. Even if your fax machine is busy the servers will receive and store the fax until your machine is ready to receive, which allows for very high deliverability even when running high volume on a single fax line.
Why doesn't my fax machine ring when I call my fax number?
In order to deliver the most reliable fax service possible over any kind of Internet connection, Clearfly's fax service uses store-and-forward technology. This means that incoming fax calls connect to Clearfly's servers, which then relay the images to your fax ATA via a secure, reliable HTTPS connection. If you want to verify that your fax ATA is working properly, simply click the "Send Test Page" button for your fax account in the Clearfly Portal.
Why can't I call my desk/cell/etc phone from my fax machine?
In order to deliver the most reliable fax service possible over any kind of Internet connection, Clearfly's fax service uses store-and-forward technology. This means that outgoing fax calls connect directly to the fax ATA, which then relays the image to Clearfly's servers via a secure, reliable HTTPS connection.
Can I plug a credit card machine, postage meter or modem into my fax ATA?
No, Clearfly's fax ATAs only support faxing. No other type of calls will complete over the device.
Can I dial 911 from my fax ATA?
No, Clearfly's fax ATAs only support faxing. No voice services are provided, including calls to 911.
I can receive faxes but receive an error when I try to send. What gives?
Ensure that your fax machine is configured to send digits via tone instead of pulse. Pulse dialing is not supported.
What's the maximum number of fax pages I can send?
Clearfly supports a maximum of 150 pages per fax.
What types of attachments are supported when I send a fax from an email account?
Clearfly supports one attachment per email up to 25 MB in size. Attachments must be letter-sized (8.5x11 inches) and the following file types are supported:
- Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
- Tagged Image File Format (TIF/TIFF)
- Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX)
- Plain text (TXT)
- Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
If I enable a password on my fax-to-email account, what kind of encryption is used?
If a fax account has a password enabled, any inbound faxes will be delivered as a PDF image that is AES-128 encrypted. Also, enabling a password on your account allows you to send encrypted faxes using the same password. The cFax service will automatically decrypt any PDFs using your account password before sending them to their ultimate destination, ensuring end-to-end privacy even if your mail provider doesn't support TLS.
I'm getting a lot of junk faxes. Is there a way to block them?
Yes, this is something you can configure in the Clearfly Portal. A few notes:
- You can specify up to ten numbers that will be blocked on our servers.
- Your fax record history will show the calls that have been blocked (status="Blocked"). You will not be billed for any blocked faxes.
- You can specify that callers should be blocked by calling number (ANI), by remote CSID or both.
- If your fax machine supports call blocking, we recommend disabling this functionality and using Clearfly's call blocking, as our servers will keep trying to deliver the fax to your machine if it fails, which will likely cause faxes to queue up behind the fax your machine is trying to block.
Is Clearfly's fax service HIPAA compliant?
Clearfly's cFax service supports several configurations that are HIPAA compliant.
- Secure ATA - Faxes are sent and received by a fax machine directly connected to the secure ATA via a standard telephone cord. The ATA utilizes HTTPS via an Internet connection to encrypt all communication between the ATA and the cFax servers. When a fax machine sends a fax to the ATA, it is received by the ATA, transmitted via HTTPS to the cFax servers, and is then AES-256 encrypted at rest. The encrypted fax is not accessible by Clearfly personnel. The encrypted fax is then transmitted by cFax servers to the destination fax number via the PSTN. This process is reversed for incoming faxes.
- Email - Clearfly's cFax servers support opportunistic TLS for sending and receiving faxes using email. This allows cFax email communications to be encrypted when the user’s email servers support TLS. As with the ATA, all faxes are AES-256 encrypted at rest and are not accessible by Clearfly personnel. Outbound faxes are sent as an attached document emailed by the user to the cFax servers via a connection supporting opportunistic TLS. The fax is then decrypted and transmitted by cFax servers to the destination fax number via the PSTN. This process is reversed for incoming faxes. If your mail provider's TLS is unreliable, Clearfly supports the use of an account password to automatically encrypt and password protect PDFs for inbound faxes, as well as to decrypt password-protected PDFs received via email.
- Hybrid Email/Secure ATA - Users receiving inbound faxes via email have an option to configure a password on their cFax account which automatically converts every inbound fax into an AES-128 encrypted and password-protected PDF document before being emailed as an attached file by the cFax servers to the user. The user configures the password needed to decrypt the document using the Portal. By using this feature for inbound faxes and the secure ATA for outbound faxes, a cFax user can still have security measures in place even when their email servers do not support TLS.
A HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is available from your account manager upon request.
Are there any restrictions on how many simultaneous faxes I can send?
No, Clearfly doesn't restrict the number of faxes you can send at once. We send one fax at a time per account, so additional faxes will simply be queued up and will be delivered as soon as the faxes in front of them have completed.