MFC-8870DW

FAQs & Troubleshooting

FAQs & Troubleshooting

I'm using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and am having problems receiving faxes.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of phone system that uses an internet connection instead of a traditional phone line.

 

Although your Brother machine does not support the use of VoIP, the receiving problem you are experiencing may not be related to your VoIP service. You should verify that your telephone line connection, paper feeding process, and machine functionality before making any adjustments related to the VoIP service.

 

  1. Verify if your Brother machine has a dial tone. Click here to see the details of how to verify if the Brother machine has a dial tone.

     

    • If there is a dial tone, go to STEP 4.
       
    • If there is no dial tone, verify one end of the telephone line is connected to the jack (socket) on the Brother machine (labeled "LINE" for some countries). If there is still no dial tone, go to STEP 2.

     

    When using VoIP, the other end of the telephone line may be connected to a modem, interface box, phone adapter, splitter, etc. This is determined by your VoIP provider.
     

     

  2. Verify the date and time are displayed on the LCD.

     

    • If the date and time show on the LCD, go to STEP 3.
       
    • If the LCD displays an error message (for example, "Paper Jam") or status message (for example, "Toner Empty" or "Toner Life End"), refer to the solution for the message that is appearing on the LCD.
       
    • If the LCD is blank:

       

      1. Verify the power cord is connected to the AC power outlet (electrical socket) and the back of the Brother machine.

        If the power cord is connected to a surge protector or power switch, remove the cord from the device and connect it directly to the outlet (socket) to determine whether the issue is related to an external device or the Brother machine.

     

    Brother strongly recommends that you connect your machine to a surge protector to protect it from power surges and lightning. In particular, we suggest that you use a surge protector that is compatible with both standard AC power cords and telephone line cords. Surge protectors equipped with telephone jacks (sockets) will assist in insulating your machine from any power surge that might travel through a telephone line.
     
    1. Press the Power switch on the side of your Brother machine to verify the machine is powered on.

      When the Brother machine is off, its LCD will be blank.
       
    2. If the LCD is still blank, plug the Brother machine into a different known-working electrical outlet (socket) at your location.

      If the LCD is still blank, please contact Brother Customer Service from "Contact Us."

     

  3. If there is still no dial tone, you should contact your VoIP provider for assistance.
    If there is a dial tone, go to STEP 4.
     
  4. Select the correct Receive Mode.

    The Receive Mode you select should be determined by the devices and features that are on the same telephone line as your machine.

     

    • Will you be using a Distinctive Ring number for receiving faxes? Go to STEP 5.
       
    • Will you be using the Brother machine on a dedicated fax line? Go to STEP 6.
       
    • Will you be using the Brother machine on the same line as your telephone? Go to STEP 7.
       
    • Will you be using a telephone answering machine on the same line as the Brother machine? Go to STEP 8.
       
    • Will you be using voice mail on the same line as your Brother machine? Go to STEP 9.

     

  5. Using a Distinctive Ring number:

    Distinctive Ring is a function of your Brother machine that allows a person with one line to receive fax and voice calls through two different phone numbers on that one line.

    Brother uses the term "Distinctive Ring" to describe this service, but telephone companies market it under a variety of names, such as BT Call Sign, Custom Ringing, Personalized Ring, Smart Ring, Ring Master, Ident-a-Ring, Ident-a-Call, Data Ident-A-Call, Teen Ring, SimpleBiz Fax & Alternate Number Ringing, Telstra® FaxStream® Duet® and FaxAbility.

    This service establishes a second telephone number on the same line as your existing telephone number, and each number has its own ring pattern. Typically, the original number rings with the standard ring pattern and is used for receiving voice calls, and the second number rings with a different ring pattern and is used for receiving faxes.

    • You must pay for your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service before you program the machine to work with it.
       
    • Contact your telephone company for availability and rates.
     
    To program your Brother machine to receive faxes using a Distinctive Ring number, follow these steps:

     

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Fax => Miscellaneous => Distinctive, BT Call Sign or FaxAbility => Set(On).
    2. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    3. The Brother machine will begin to play a ring pattern. Choose the stored ring pattern you want to use. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
      There are four ring patterns available, you need to choose the one that matches the Distinctive Ring pattern assigned by your telephone company. You will hear each pattern as you scroll through the four patterns, which should help you make the correct choice.
      • Long-Long (this ring pattern is often called Short-Short by phone companies)
      • Short-Long-Short
      • Short-Short-Long
      • Very Long (this is the standard telephone ring pattern)
      Please note that you can only choose one of these ring patterns at a time. If the ring pattern assigned by your telephone company is not listed, please call your telephone company and request that they assign one of the selectable ring pattern.
      If you do not know the ring pattern assigned by your telephone provider, we recommend selecting ring pattern 1, Long-Long. This is the most commonly used ring pattern. If your Brother machine does not recognize this ring pattern you will need to contact your telephone provider to verify which ring pattern they have assigned.
    4. Press Stop/Exit.
      Distinctive Ring is now on.

     

    After you have turned Distinctive Ring on, your Distinctive Ring number will receive faxes automatically. The Receive Mode is automatically set to Manual and you cannot change it to another mode while Distinctive Ring is turned on. This ensures that the Brother machine will only answer the Distinctive Ring number and not interfere when your main telephone number is called.
     
    Go to STEP 10.
     
  6. Using a dedicated fax line.

    You should use Fax Only Mode if you have a dedicated fax line and want your Brother machine to automatically answer all incoming faxes. When using this mode, your Brother machine will automatically answer every incoming call with fax-receiving tones after a certain number of rings. In Fax Only Mode, you can make outgoing voice calls, but you cannot receive incoming voice calls unless you answer before the Brother machine does.

    You can use the Ring Delay setting to adjust the number of times your Brother machine rings before answering in Fax Only Mode. Your Brother machine's Ring Delay is set to 4 rings by default.

    To change your Brother machine's Ring Delay setting, follow the steps listed below:

     

    1. Press the FAX key to illuminate it.
    2. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Fax => Setup Receive => Ring Delay.
    3. Choose how many times the line will ring before your Brother machine answers it.
      (For some countries, if you choose 0, the line will not ring at all.)
    4. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    5. Press Stop/Exit.

     

    To put your Brother machine in Fax Only Mode, follow these steps:

     

     

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Initial Setup => Receive Mode => Fax Only.
    2. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    3. Press Stop/Exit.
      The LCD will display Fax.

     

    Go to Step 10.
     
  7. Using a telephone on the same line as the Brother machine.

    You cannot receive voice messages on either voice mail or an answering machine when choosing the Fax/Tel Mode. If you are using an answering machine on the same line as the Brother machine, go to STEP 8. If you are using a voice mail service on the same line as the Brother machine, go to STEP 9.
     
    Use Fax/Tel Mode when your Brother machine shares a single line with your telephone. In Fax/Tel Mode, the Brother machine automatically answers every call upon completion of the Ring Delay unless you manually answer first. Ring Delay is the number of times the Brother machine and all telephones on the same line will ring before the Brother machine answers the call.

     

    • If the call is a fax, your Brother machine will print the fax.
       
    • If the call is a voice call, your Brother machine signals you to pick up the call with a double ring that is different from the standard phone company ring.

     

    You can control the amount of time your Brother machine produces the double ring through a setting called F/T Ring Time.

    If you mistakenly answer an incoming fax before the Brother machine does, you can still receive the fax.

    If you answer a call on an extension telephone and hear a beep every 3 seconds (automatic fax), or silence (manual fax), follow these steps to receive the fax:

     

     

    1. Press *51 (fax receive code, *91 for New Zealand) on the telephone's dial pad.
    2. Wait until you hear your Brother machine's receiving tones (chirping sounds).
    3. Hang up the telephone's handset.
      Your Brother machine will receive the fax.

     

    If you answer a call on an external telephone connected to your Brother machine's EXT jack (socket) and hear a beep every 3 seconds (automatic fax) or silence (manual fax), follow these steps to receive the fax:

     

     

    1. Press the Start key on the Brother machine.
    2. Press 2 on the Brother machine.
    3. Wait until you hear your Brother machine's receiving tones (chirping sounds).
    4. Hang up the telephone's handset.
      Your Brother machine will receive the fax.

     

    If your Brother machine's Easy Receive or Fax Detect function is on, then you do not have to press the Start key on the Brother machine to receive a fax. Simply wait until you hear your Brother machine's receiving tones, hang up the telephone's handset, and your machine should receive the incoming fax automatically.
     
    To change your Brother machine's Ring Delay setting, follow these steps:

     

     

    1. Press the Fax key to illuminate it.
    2. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Fax => Setup Receive => Ring Delay.
    3. Choose how many times the line will ring before your Brother machine answers it.
      (For some countries, if you choose 0, the line will not ring at all.)
    4. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    5. Press Stop/Exit.

     

    To set the F/T Ring Time, follow the steps listed below:

     

     

    1. Press the Fax key to illuminate it.
    2. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Fax => Setup Receive => F/T Ring Time.
    3. Choose the amount of time you want the Brother machine to double ring.
    4. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    5. Press Stop/Exit.

     

    To put the machine in Fax/Tel Mode, follow these steps:

     

     

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Initial Setup => Receive Mode => Fax/Tel.
    2. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    3. Press Stop/Exit.
      The LCD will display F/T.

     

    Go to STEP 10.
     
  8. Using an external answering machine.

    In External TAD Mode, your Brother machine can share a single line with an external answering machine. Your answering machine automatically answers every incoming call, but your Brother machine "listens" for fax sending tones while your answering machine's outgoing message is playing. If your Brother machine detects fax-sending tones, then it will take over the line and receive the incoming fax. If your Brother machine does not detect fax-sending tones, then the caller can leave a message on your answering machine.

    For External TAD Mode to work correctly with your answering machine, you must connect your external answering machine to a telephone jack (socket) on the same line as the Brother machine or to the Brother machine's EXT jack (socket).

    Brother recommends you program your answering machine to answer within 4 rings. If you are having problems receiving faxes in External TAD Mode, try programming your answering machine to answer within 2 or 3 rings.

    - We recommend this because when faxes are being sent, fax tones are transmitted for approximately 35 seconds. If it takes your answering machine too long to answer, the sending fax machine may disconnect before your Brother machine can detect and receive the fax.

    Brother also recommends the answering machine's outgoing message be a maximum of 20 seconds with a 5-second pause before the message starts. End your outgoing message by giving your Fax Receive Code for people sending manual faxes. For example, "After the beep, please leave a message or send a fax by pressing *51 (*91 for New Zealand) and Start."

    - We recommend beginning your outgoing message with 5 seconds of silence because your Brother machine may not be able to detect fax-sending tones over a voice. You can try omitting this 5-second pause, but if your Brother machine has trouble receiving, you should re-record your outgoing message with the pause included.

    To put your Brother machine in External TAD Mode, follow these steps:

     

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Initial Setup => Receive Mode => External TAD.
    2. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    3. Press Stop/Exit.
      The LCD will display TAD.

     

    Go to STEP 10.
     
  9. Using voice mail on the same line as the Brother machine.

    If you have a voice mail service on the same telephone line as your Brother machine, there is a strong possibility that the voice mail service and the Brother machine will conflict with each other when receiving incoming calls.

    For example, if your voice mail is set to answer after 4 rings and your Brother machine is set to answer after 2 rings, then your Brother machine will answer first. This will prevent callers from being able to leave a message in your voice mail.

    Similarly, if your Brother machine is set to answer after 4 rings and your voice mail is set to answer after 2 rings, then your voice mail will answer first. This will prevent your Brother machine from being able to receive an incoming fax, as voice mail cannot transfer the incoming fax back to the Brother machine.

    In order to avoid conflicts between your Brother machine and the voice mail service, do one of the following:

     

    • Get a Distinctive Ring service from your telephone company.

      Distinctive Ring is a service offered by telephone companies that allows you to have two different telephone numbers on a single telephone line. Your Brother machine has a Distinctive Ring feature that allows you to take full advantage of your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service. By setting up your Brother machine's Distinctive Ring feature, you can choose to use one of your two telephone numbers specifically for receiving faxes. Brother uses the term "Distinctive Ring" to describe this service, but telephone companies market it under a variety of names, such as BT Call Sign, Custom Ringing, Personalized Ring, Smart Ring, Ring Master, Ident-a-Ring, Ident-a-Call, Data Ident-A-Call, Teen Ring, SimpleBiz Fax & Alternate Number Ringing, Telstra® FaxStream® Duet® and FaxAbility.

      For additional information about the Distinctive Ring feature, refer to STEP 5.
       
    • Put your Brother machine in Manual Mode.

      Manual Mode requires you to answer every incoming call in order to receive a fax. If the incoming call is a telephone call, then complete the call as you normally would. If you hear fax sending tones you must transfer the call to the Brother machine by pressing *51 (*91 for New Zealand) on the telephone's dial pad. Unanswered fax and voice calls will go to your voice mail.

     

    To put the machine in Manual Mode, follow these steps:

     

     

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set and choose Initial Setup => Receive Mode => Manual.
    2. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    3. Press Stop/Exit.
      The LCD will display Mnl.

     

    Go to STEP 10.
     
  10. Do one of the following:

     

    • If you did not change your Brother machine's Receive Mode, go to STEP 11.
       
    • If you changed your Brother machine's Receive Mode, have someone send a fax to your Brother machine.

      If you do not receive the test fax, go to STEP 11.

     

  11. Your Brother machine does not support the use of VoIP, but there is a Compatibility setting available with this machine that may assist with sending and receiving faxes when using VoIP by lowering your Brother machine's modem speed.

    To adjust the Compatibility setting, follow these steps:

     

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set => Fax => Miscellaneous => Compatibility => Basic (for VoIP) or Basic.
    2. Press OK, Set or Menu/Set.
    3. Press Stop/Exit.

     

    When you change the Compatibility to Basic (for VoIP) or Basic, the Error Correction Mode (ECM) feature is not available.
     
  12. Although lowering the Brother machine's modem speed may help with your receiving problem, keep in mind there are many environmental parameters that can also affect fax reception over VoIP:

     

    1. Verify no other applications or computers are downloading files.

      While VoIP operates separately from the computer and they do not normally interfere with each other, the amount of data that can be transmitted from all devices on the system at one time is limited. If a fax is being sent or received and a computer begins downloading, it will consume bandwidth and could prevent the fax from going through.
       
    2. Have someone send another fax to your Brother machine.

       
    3. If you do not receive the fax, try receiving the fax at an "off-peak" time.

      Faxing over VoIP is an internet application.

      If you have ever noticed a website that typically loads quickly taking a long time to load, then you have experienced network congestion. This can happen when you try to fax over VoIP. Data packets may get delayed, and since fax machines are time-sensitive, the transmission may time out. You may be able to avoid this by resending a fax later.
       
    4. Contact your VoIP provider and ask if they can optimize the network settings for fax transmission.

If your question was not answered, have you checked other FAQs?

Have you checked the manuals?

If you need further assistance, please contact Brother customer service:

Related Models

FAX-2820, FAX-2920, MFC-7225N, MFC-7320, MFC-7420, MFC-7440N, MFC-7820N, MFC-7840W, MFC-8220, MFC-8460N, MFC-8860DN, MFC-8870DW

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