How long does it take to send a fax?

Sending a fax takes about 1 minute per page of text, assuming a clear connection (for both machines) and using today’s technology.

Graphics and bad phone connections can drastically slow the transmission speed down, while pages with lots of white space can speed a transmission up.

Why is fax so slow?

Fax is slow compared with modern technology such as email, however it wasn’t always that way.

For decades, fax was the fastest way to transmit a complicated document.

Fax relies on telephone technology to transmit information. The technology works exactly the same way a dial-up modem does – by using an audible tone over a phone connection.

Compression makes faxes faster, but more difficult to estimate transmission time

Fax uses compression in the transmission to reduce the amount of time a fax takes. Compression reduces the amount of repetitive information that is transmitted with the fax.

Compression throws the 1 minute per page estimate off as the amount of white space on the page as well as where the white space is located can make it more difficult to determine transmission time.

Sometimes a slower transmission is better for difficult connections

Slower fax transmissions can sometimes help with difficult phone lines, such as ones having noise on the line or using a VoIP connection.

A slower transmission speed is better able to handle interruptions in the fax transmission.

If a fax is giving difficult in transmitting, try slowing down the transmission speed. Some fax machines do not have this ability, however it is possible to call the person you’re faxing and ask them to reduce their speed.