How long does it take to send a fax?

Fax transmission time can range from a few seconds to several minutes per page.

How long a fax takes to go through depends on the means by which you’re sending it and the speed of your internet connection or phone line.

Traditionally, fax machines send files to a number linked to a printer or another fax machine.

Now, though, you can fax a range of file types, like Microsoft 365 or Google Docs, using an online fax service or an app.

You can also use a free fax app to send faxes from your iOS or Android device.

Why is faxing still relevant?

Many organizations worldwide still send important documents by fax.

Faxing is one of the most secure ways to send documents, as it’s not vulnerable to malware or interception. 

Faxing is also very reliable. Unlike emails and texts, faxes sent over phone lines can’t get lost in transmission.

Plus, since traditional fax machines don’t need the internet, you can send a fax even in areas with poor (or zero) connectivity.

Another reason for its popularity is that you’ll always get confirmation when a fax is received.

Confirmation pages include information like the date and time of transmission and the sender and receiver’s fax numbers.

Confirmation pages provide an important audit trail and can provide legal protection. They’re also HIPAA compliant, so faxing is widely used in the healthcare industry.

Even for businesses moving toward a paperless office, faxing is still relevant.

Thanks to online fax apps, you can fax pages in a variety of formats without a fax machine, toner, or extra software, all while enjoying the same security and accountability as traditional faxing.

How long does it take for a fax to send?

How long a fax takes depends on several factors.

First, the transmission speed depends on the type of fax machine or online app you use. It also depends on the performance of your fax line or internet connection. 

If you send a fax from a machine, it usually takes around 30 seconds to a minute per page.

If you send a fax online, it’s usually much faster 一 sometimes, it’s sent instantly.

The type of document you send also affects transmission speed. Documents that are text-only or have lots of white space transmit faster than documents with lots of graphics. 

Fax machine transmission speed

Transmission time varies according to the type of fax machine you use. Historically, there have been three main standards for fax machines: Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3.

Group 1 machines are the oldest and take the longest to send or receive faxes.

Sometimes, the sending time can be up to six minutes per page.

Group 2 machines take around three minutes, while Group 3 machines—the standard to which most modern machines conform—should only take a minute per page.

Transmission time also depends on the baud rate (transmission speed) of the sending and receiving fax machines.

The transmission speed will be that of the machine with the lowest baud rate. 

You can set the baud rate to between 2400 and 28800 bps, but it’s usually set at 9600 bps to improve reliability and reduce data loss.

At this speed, faxing takes around a minute per page. 

Online fax app transmission speed

If you’re looking at how to go paperless, you could consider switching from a fax machine to an online fax app. Online faxing (or eFaxing) lets you send faxes over the internet.

This makes it a much faster option than traditional faxing.

With online faxing, transmission speed depends on the speed of your internet connection (or mobile data).

As long as you have a fast, reliable connection, it should only take a few seconds per page to send an eFax. Bear in mind, though, that large files or files with lots of images take longer to send.

Is faxing faster than mailing?

If we’re talking about using the traditional postal service, then yes.

If we’re talking emails, the short answer is “no.” Emails take from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on your internet speed.

It’s the same for online faxing, whereas traditional faxing takes at least 30 seconds per page.

Also, with traditional faxing, you have to wait at least five minutes before you can retry a busy machine, whereas this isn’t the case with emails (or online faxes).

The main downside of emailing一and online faxing一is that there’s a limit to the size of the attachments you can send, and sending multiple emails takes time.

There are alternatives, though, such as an all-in-one document solution like PandaDoc or an app. 

Can you text a fax machine?

Yes, you can text a fax machine, but only if the machine you’re sending it to can accommodate it.

You may also need to download a mobile app, but some phones can text fax machines directly. 

If that’s the case, you can text a fax machine by:

  1. Opening the messaging app on your iPhone or Android device.
  2. In the “To” box, enter the recipient’s ten-digit fax number. Be sure to include the area code. 
  3. For virtual fax machines, you’ll need to add an email fax number in the “To” box. This is usually a fax number followed by the “@” symbol and the virtual fax company’s name, like 0123456789@virtualcompanyname.
  4. Type your message, then tap “Send.”

A quicker way of sending than faxing

Online document automation tools remove the need for both fax machines and online faxing.

For example, with PandaDoc, you can share documents via email or link. You’ll also enjoy robust security that complies with the latest data protection rules, such as HIPAA and the GDPR.

If you need to sign a document, you can sign and send it electronically in the PandaDoc app.

Then, after you send it, you can view analytics like whether the recipient downloaded the document and how long they spent viewing it. 

With a solution like PandaDoc, you’ll get all the benefits of faxing and more.