Image compression is desired for many image-related applications especially for network-based applications with bandwidth and storage constraints. The face recognition community typical reports concentrate on the maximal compression rate that would not decrease the recognition accuracy. In general, the wavelet-based face recognition methods such as EBGM (elastic bunch graph matching) and FPB (face pattern byte) are of high performance but run slowly due to their high computation demands. The PCA (Principal Component Analysis) and LDA (Linear Discriminant Analysis) algorithms run fast but perform poorly in face recognition. In this paper, we propose a novel face recognition method based on standard image compression algorithm, which is termed as compression-based (CPB) face recognition. First, all gallery images are compressed by the selected compression algorithm. Second, a mixed image is formed with the probe and gallery images and then compressed. Third, a composite compression ratio (CCR) is computed with three compression ratios calculated from: probe, gallery and mixed images. Finally, the CCR values are compared and the largest CCR corresponds to the matched face. The time cost of each face matching is about the time of compressing the mixed face image. We tested the proposed CPB method on the “ASUMSS face database” (visible and thermal images) from 105 subjects. The face recognition accuracy with visible images is 94.76% when using JPEG compression. On the same face dataset, the accuracy of FPB algorithm was reported as 91.43%. The JPEG-compressionbased (JPEG-CPB) face recognition is standard and fast, which may be integrated into a real-time imaging device.