Windows XP Fax Service

I have Windows XP Pro in my laptop. I have cable connection to the internet and want to use the FAX service. When I set it up, it asks for a modem to be installed. I have an internal modem but need to know if this modem needs to be connected to a phone line in order to use the FAX service. As I understand it, in order to send and receive a FAX, I need to have a FAX telephone number. So, do my main question is: Do I need to activate my modem and connect it to a phone line?

Yes, because you will call a fax machine, not connect to an internet site.

What about those online phone service providers? I have called people on their real phones using my cable modem. I would think the same could be done with faxes…

I expect that yes, you can send through the cable/DSL service, but to receive a FAX, I expect that you must have a dedicated phone number and a modem. Is this true???

Interesting solution at

People call a phone number in an area code/exchange that you select and then equipment there attaches the fax as an attachment to an email that it sends to you.

And if you want to send a fax, your reverse the procedure. That is, email the attachment that you want faxed to the efax machine.

For now, this seems to the way to do it over Cable, DSL, etc.

Down the road with the proliferation of Voice over IP, Fax over IP availability, then you will have an alternative solution.