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How Long Does It Take To Fax Something

Sending a fax normally takes between 30 to 60 seconds per page.

The factors that affect the duration of sending a fax are:

  1. The number of pages in the fax. Clearly, the more pages there are in a fax the longer it will take to send it.
  2. The resolution setting on the fax machine - Fax machine resolution can be "standard" at 204 x 98 dpi or "fine" at 204 x 196 dpi. A higher resolution setting will cause each fax page to take longer to send.
  3. The fax machine speed - Fax machines can send faxes at different rates, with modern machines typically being capable of faster rates than older machines. Standard rates (also called baud rates) of fax machines range from 2,400 to 28,800 bits per second, with nine steps in between. These exist so that fax machines can negotiate the optimal rate between them given various conditions.
  4. Phone line quality - "Noisy" phone lines will affect the fax machine speed. The sending and receiving fax machines know how to negotiate the rate at which they will communicate, and will reduce it on noisier lines, taking the fax longer to send.
  5. Phone line type - Phone lines can run on different types of infrastructure, one of which is Voice over IP (VOIP). VOIP is optimized for voice calls, meaning it is capable of relaying a large number of voice calls on a relatively low-bandwidth IP connection. Unfortunately for faxing, VOIP takes advantage of our brain's capacity to fill in occasional missing bits in speech transmission, a capacity which does not exist on fax machines. Therefore, faxing is likely to fail on a regular (non-fax-optimized) VOIP lines similarly to how it would fail on a very degraded regular phone line.
  6. The level of detail in the fax - This will reduce the compression that a fax machine can apply to the transmission. Low-detail faxes get compressed more than high-detail faxes. So, a high-resolution document will take longer to transmit than a lower-resolution document.
  7. Error Correction Mode - Also known as ECM, this is a setting that determines whether the sending and receiving fax machines should verify absolute correctness of the image being transmitted. While it raises the reliability of the fax, it also reduces the transmission speed slightly.