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  Frequently Asked Questions and answers  

Here you can find answers for some frequently asked questions. This page is composed of VentaFax users’ queries and is constantly updated.


Questions

I didn’t find a hardware compatibility list (HCL) on your site. What modem models do you recommend for use with your programs?

My modem isn’t on the list of modems in your program. Does this mean that the program won’t work with my modem?

I'm connected to the Internet via ADSL (cable, broadband) modem. For some reason your program doesn’t detect it. Can your program operate with my modem?

Your program informs me that my modem doesn’t support voice functions. But I know for a fact that it’s a voice modem! What could be the problem?

Is your program able to answer fax calls and not answer voice calls?

I have a telephone apparatus with Caller ID support that works perfectly. Why doesn’t your program display incoming call numbers?

In what format does your program save incoming faxes? Is it possible to open them on a computer that doesn’t have your program installed on it?

What format does the program save incoming voice messages in?

With your program, is it possible to record my own answering machine greeting/outgoing message (OGM)? How do I do this?

With your program, is it possible to configure my answering machine so that it has a number of voicemail boxes? How can I do this?

Is it possible to listen to answering machine messages remotely using your program? How can I do this?

Can you provide me with the settings of your program that are optimal for my modem? What do the various parameters mean?

How can I find out what an error message means?

How can I uninstall the program?

IP telephony

How to choose an Internet telephony service provider for sending faxes using IP telephony? I want it to be cheap and reliable

Which program should I choose, the network product Venta4Net or several licenses for VentaFax to be used by several employees at the office? We use IP telephony

We want to install your program to receive and send fax messages to a virtual machine? Is there anything we should know about? What would you recommend?

Our company uses IP telephony. Employees have SIP clients that, unfortunately, cannot send faxes. Can we do anything to enable our employees to speak through their SIP clients and be able to switch to VentaFax for sending (or receiving) a fax message, then switch back without breaking the connection?


Answers

  I didn’t find a hardware compatibility list (HCL) on your site. What modem models do you recommend for use with your programs?

The program works with many modems released to date. Unfortunately we cannot recommend a specific model for you. First and foremost, because it is physically impossible for us to test all the modem models available for purchase around the world. But even if we could, and we obtained favorable results when testing a particular modem, it wouldn't mean that this modem would also work well for you. The quality of operation of various functions, and even whether or not they will work at all depends on the properties of your own computer, on its operating system, on the electrical parameters of your telephone line, on the extra services provided by your telephone company, and on a series of other factors that we are incapable of simulating. Only you yourself can determine to what extent a certain modem can meet your particular requirements, under your particular conditions. An evaluation version of our program, designed for this purpose, is available from us for free.

If you are still in the process of choosing a modem for yourself, consult with your local computer retail outlet. Study the modem description to find out if it supports the functions you require (for example, Caller ID). Before purchasing a modem it is a good idea to make sure you’ll be able to return it to the store if it turns out to be unsuitable. You can obtain some more detailed information on modems here.

Once you’ve installed a modem on your computer, check to see how it works with our program. The Getting Started section of our Help file will help you set up the program to work with your modem. Familiarize yourself with our program, starting with the recommendations of our online tutorial. Check the operation of all the functions that you think you will need.

This way you can select the modem that best meets your own requirements.

Yet another problem is the choice of modems for multi-line versions of the program. It may happen that a certain modem demonstrates excellent results working with evaluation versions. But when you attempt to install several such modems into a single system to work with a multi-line version, you may find out that only one of the modems is available, whereas other lines produce error 102 - "Modem is being used by another application". The reason is that many popular inexpensive modems (and specifically PCI softmodems and USB modems) cannot operate if there are 2 and more modems in the system. This problem is no way caused by our programs. You can easily verify the presence of the problem by trying to run modem diagnostics for several modems simultaneously in the modem properties area of the Windows Device Manager or by trying to run the ATA command for several modems in Hyperterminal, a utility supplied with Windows. That is why you should consider using several external modems connected to COM ports or purchasing specialized multi-modem boards for multi-line systems.

  My modem isn’t on the list of modems in your program. Does this mean that the program won’t work with my modem?

No, it doesn’t mean this.

You probably mean the Command set list under the Modem - Properties - Voice tab. This is not a list of modems, but of provisional names for various voice command systems. A name on this list might resemble the name of your modem, but have nothing in common with it. For example, your modem is called Intel 536EP, but the voice command system for it would be called CIRRUS-MD56 PCI. Generally it’s not necessary to manually select your voice command system, since the program will do this itself if you click on the Detect button (see also the Getting Started section of the Help file).

The list of modems actually installed in the system can be found under the tab Modem - Interacting with Modem, to the right of the via TAPI setting. If there is nothing in this list, it probably means that your modem hasn’t been installed as a setting in the Device Manager in the Windows Control Panel (Start - Settings - Control Panel - System - Hardware - Device Manager). It’s possible you have an external modem that wasn’t turned on when you booted up and so wasn’t detected by Windows. If instead of the name of your own modem in the list you see something like PCI SoftV92 Modem or 56K Data Fax Modem PnP, it means that Windows has installed a standard driver that it thinks your modem requires. In this event it’s possible that some of the modem functions won’t work (this relates to the Caller ID and Distinctive Ring voice functions in particular). Install the driver that has been provided with the modem or is available on the modem manufacturer’s website, following the installation instructions. If you encounter difficulties in selecting or installing the proper driver, contact the technical support of the modem manufacturer.

  I'm connected to the Internet via ADSL (cable, broadband) modem. For some reason your program doesn't detect it. Can your program operate with my modem?

No. ADSL (cable, broadband) modem is actually not a modem but a type of network adaptor that uses a telephone cord as a network cable. It is meant for organizing high-speed connection to the Internet. This device has no connection whatsoever to telephony: it cannot answer incoming calls, or dial numbers, and what is more, it has no means of working with fax or voice.

  Your program informs me that my modem doesn’t support voice functions. But I know for a fact that it’s a voice modem! What could be the problem?

Most likely your modem belongs to that category of modem referred to as ‘softmodems’, whose capabilities are generally defined by the driver, and not the modem apparatus itself. To our program the modem may appear to be non-voice if a driver that doesn't support voice functions has been installed on your modem system (for example, some kind of generic driver). It's possible that with a suitable driver your modem will work as a voice modem. Check to see if this is indeed the case, and if so, obtain the required driver from your modem manufacturer.

  Is your program able to answer fax calls and not answer voice calls?

Only if your telephone company offers Distinctive Ring services and your fax-modem is ‘Distinctive Ring capable’.

In all other cases the program is capable of distinguishing a fax call from a voice call only after the modem picks up the handset and the program can analyze the sounds coming from the telephone line. For this it is necessary to use a modem that supports voice functions.

  I have a telephone apparatus with Caller ID support that works perfectly. Why doesn't your program display incoming call numbers?

Support of Caller ID functions is totally dependent on the type of modem you have. Not all modems support these functions. For softmodems, Caller ID support depends on whether or not it’s supported by your driver. These and other possible reasons for Caller ID not working are discussed in the Troubleshooting section of our Help file.

  In what format does your program save incoming faxes? Is it possible to open them on a computer that doesn't have your program installed on it?

Our program saves incoming (and outgoing) faxes using file format types TIFF Class F (TIF extension). This graphical format is specifically intended for saving faxes, including multi-page faxes. TIFF Class F files are easily opened with the image-viewing software included with Windows.

With the Business version of our program, incoming faxes can also be automatically converted to PDF files, which can be opened by the free program Adobe Reader.

  What format does the program save incoming voice messages in?

In WAV format.

  With your program, is it possible to record my own answering machine greeting/outgoing message (OGM)? How do I do this?

Yes it is. In order to do this you have to first create a sound file in WAV format and then select it as an answering machine greeting under the program settings (Answering machine greeting parameter under the Folders and Files - Service Files tab). The procedure for recording sound files is described in the Transmission - Voice message preparation section of the Help file.

You can also use a text file as an alternative to a sound file, which can be reproduced using a text-to-speech engine provided by your operating system or installed separately (for details see the Additional Voice Features - Using a Speech Synthesis Engine (TTS) section of the Help file).

  With your program, is it possible to configure my answering machine so that it has a number of voicemail boxes? How can I do this?

This can be accomplished using remote-control answering machine script, which allows you to control the behavior of the program from another telephone through the use of tone commands.

The theory of script development and language syntax is described in The answering machine remote-control script editor section of the Help file. In addition to this, our program offers a number of ready-to-use examples of remote-control answering machine scripts (files with VFA extensions in the sub-folder \service within the program folder). These files are in the form of text files and contain detailed comments. A scalable example of a script that supports two voicemail boxes is called 2mailbox.vfa. A variation of this, which uses text-to-speech software (TTS) is called tts_2mailbox.vfa.

  Is it possible to listen to answering machine messages remotely using your program? How can I do this?

This can be accomplished using remote-control answering machine script, which allows you to manage the operation of the program from other telephones through the use of tone commands.

The theory of script development and language syntax is described in The answering machine remote-control script editor section of the Help file. In addition to this, our program offers a number of ready-to-use examples of remote-control answering machine scripts (files with VFA extensions in the sub-folder \service within the program folder). These files are in the form of text files and contain detailed comments. An example of a script that lets you listen to answering machine messages from another telephone is called siemens.vfa. A variation of this, which uses text-to-speech software (TTS) is called tts_siemens.vfa. These scripts use a tone command control system similar to that used by Siemens answering machines.

  Can you provide me with the settings of your program that are optimal for my modem? What do the various parameters mean?

Upon program installation and determination of your modem’s properties (see the Getting Started section of our Help file), the program itself selects those settings which it considers best for your particular modem. Do not change these settings without having a clear idea of what they mean and of what consequences such changes might have.

You can read more detailed information on the meaning of various settings in the “what is?” help topics. To open a pop-up window, first click on the question mark button which you will find in the upper right-hand corner of any settings panel. Your cursor will change into a question mark. You can then click on the name of any setting you are interested in to open up an explanatory pop-up window.

  How can I find out what an error message means?

The majority of error messages are self-explanatory. A list of errors with their explanations – and, in many cases, with descriptions of the reasons for their occurrence and ways of dealing with them – can be found in the Completion codes section of the Help file.

  How can I uninstall the program?

You can easily uninstall the program without a trace in two ways

1. In Programs and Features (also known as Add or Remove Programs in certain versions of Windows) applet in Windows Control Panel.

2. By clicking Unistall VentaFax icon under Venta/VentaFax entry in Windows Start menu.

Optionally you can uninstall the program itself but leave the program data (configuration files, sent and received faxes, logs etc.) untouched.

  How to choose an Internet telephony service provider for sending faxes using IP telephony? I want it to be cheap and reliable.

First, there is almost always choice between cheap and reliable. Second, the situation changes all the time. Providers come and go, switch to different platforms for new features and apply new settings. Some are cutting costs, some are improving the quality. You can’t keep an eye on all of them, and we don’t want to. Also, connection quality obviously depends on the call destination and the route the signal takes to get there.

Try different providers. If you don’t like one, you can always cancel the service and connect to a different one. Some providers even let you try their services for free by giving you a small credit or specifying free call destinations (for instance, within the telephony area). However, there is no guarantee that you will have access to all of the features (such as the T.38 fax protocol), and routing will be not be organized for low cost instead of high quality. It may also appear that the paid service will be considerably better than the free one.

Internet Service Providers often provide Internet telephony services as well. Start the search by contacting your provider. If they provide access to their SIP server and support the T.38 protocol, this option may be the best choice for you.

  Which program should I choose, the network product Venta4Net or several licenses for VentaFax to be used by several employees at the office? We use IP telephony.

Venta4Net is a convenient tool for situations where the number of employees who actively use telephony – for instance, for sending faxes – exceeds the number of available phone lines. Venta4Net solves this problem by placing fax transmission tasks to a server-side schedule where is they wait for their processing queue and compete for access to a free line with other tasks.

When IP telephony is used, there is usually no shortage of phone lines. As a rule, providers use a time rate that does not depend on the number of accounts. Therefore, you can install a VoIP client under a separate account on each employee’s machine, which can be used for phone calls and faxing, both automatic and manual. In this case, we recommend purchasing several (matching the number of workplaces) MiniOffice or Business VentaFax licenses. The use of Venta4Net in this case is fully justified if you need to control the fax traffic of your employees for security reasons (they will be sent through the central Venta4Net server) or if you use thin clients and a terminal server (in this case, you will need to purchase Venta4Net Plus).

  We want to install your program to receive and send fax messages to a virtual machine? Is there anything we should know about? What would you recommend?

We recommend avoiding virtualization in any case, especially when using IP telephony. The thing is that fax protocols are very sensitive to deviations of the data transmission rate from the established average value (so-called jitter). In other words, when page data is being transmitted, the transmission rate should remain constant. If the next chunk of data is not received by the moment of digital-analog conversion (that is, conversion of a stream of digital data into fax machine sounds), this will result in a data reception error. Talking about numbers, the T.38 protocol packet requires that packet irregularity should not exceed 1/1440 s, i.e. around 70 ms. If T.38 is not supported, and fax data is transmitted inside a digitized sound stream (G.711 passthrough codec), jitter requirements are even tighter – under 1/8000 s, i.e. 12.5 ms.

A virtual machine brings additional levels of data processing due to buffering while the data travels between virtual and physical devices. This creates considerable data stream irregularities because of the increased number of intermediate data processing procedures (any test will demonstrate dramatically increased latency on the virtual system compared with a host system on the same machine) and their frequent interruptions, since a virtual machine is just one of the tasks from a multi-task host system’s perspective.

You may not notice this problem altogether while testing fax reception and transmission between two VoIP clients, especially when using the T.38 protocol, thanks to the absence of digital-analog conversions. In reality, however, when you need to send a fax message to a device connected to a non-digital phone line (that is, a regular fax machine), jitter is most likely to be above the critical threshold.

  Our company uses IP telephony. Employees have SIP clients that, unfortunately, cannot send faxes. Can we do anything to enable our employees to speak through their SIP clients and be able to switch to VentaFax for sending (or receiving) a fax message, then switch back without breaking the connection?

There are no "parallel phones" in IP telephony. Better give up using alternative SIP clients (or a hardware SIP phone) and use VentaFax for both voice and fax communications. With VentaFax, you will be able to send and receive faxes in the manual mode, switching between voice and fax connections without breaking them.

If it’s not possible for some reason, you may want to try using your SIP client and VentaFax, but with different accounts. In this case, if the SIP server supports call transferring, you can use this feature. However, it will require a double number of accounts (whereas the total number of accounts supported by an office IP-PBX may be limited by the license).

 

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