OT: email size limits

Glenn Steen glenn.steen at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 08:06:26 GMT 2009

2009/1/21 Steven Andrews <sandrews at andrewscompanies.com>:
> I have a client who employs a lot of consultants and we provide them with an
> email address on the corp system and they pretty much have to do everything
> through the corp systems; mostly terminal server.  They do have the ability
> to work offline and send the generated content into the main office.
> Anyway, from time to time we get complaints from these folks that we have
> email size limits in place even though for larger stuff we give them ftp
> access that we can throttle.  I think our limit is somewhere around 10 meg
> right now although we tell them it's less so we can deal with the overhead
> they won't understand.
> So I get an aol user today telling me what an asshat I am (which may or may
> not be true, but for the purposes of discussion today I'm not) and how much
> our systems suck because I have email size limits in place and his email is
> being blocked.  Of course, we never saw it in our mailserver, which means he
> got hit with aol's 16 meg size block, but he was all talk and no listening.
> He then goes on to tell me about "lynux" and how it's free and better than
> the crap Microsoft has been selling us…yadda yadda yadda; oh wait, what's
> the banner on our mailserver?  It's sendmail….but I digress.
What did you say to him, after you stopped laughing?:-)

> So, just for self-evaluation, what's everyone else doing for email size
> limits?  I want to make sure we're in the range of the rest of the world.
16 MiB enforced over the line (GW as well as mailstore). We very
rarely (<1/year) see violations of this... Have been at that level for
quite a few years now (4-5, IIRC).
I chose that limit as, at that time, most home/free mail was limited
to 5-10 MiB/message... and most seem to still be there.
But what the limit should be is very dependant on your userbase... I
suspect the .edu world (at least universities et al) need have
substantially higher limits... And it depends on how many times you'd
like to answer "What does this darned DSN really mean?" type o'

> Thanks,

-- Glenn
email: glenn < dot > steen < at > gmail < dot > com
work: glenn < dot > steen < at > ap1 < dot > se

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