Email Message Size Overhead with attachments

Posted on 2009-04-21
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
We know that email size is bloated by the encoding when sending (mime encoding), however does anyone have decent documentation in nice laymans terms as to

Why this is done
Where this is performed
Effects to experience

I have a user that is screaming that the message was sent below the file size limits we deploy, however after encoding, it has increased and we have rejected the email at our gateway. I am finding it hard to explain it simply - anyone help out there?
Question by:SaaSSupport
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    what are the exact sizes of both the attachment and the message with content? what is your restriction?
    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    let's explain to him like a sending mail/parcel in real life.

    in reallife, if you send a mail in paper, you need your envolope and stamps.. that contribute to the weight. ( very little)
    and if you send parcel, you need to wrap them up nicely, and make sure it dont break when it send, and all those add-on contribute to the weight as well.

    so imagine mail = text, parcel = attachment.
    those addon to parcel is encoding overhead.

    In real life, if you overweight, you just need to pay extra.
    but in IT world, you overweight, you are not allow to send that emails out.

    It is quite layman to a non-technical but you can re-word as you go ...

    usually we say, if you put in attachment, you need to put a overhead of 30% of that email. the overhead is just your bubble, box, insurance in your parcel.

    so sending an email with attachment is usually used up alot of overhead.
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    by:Jian An Lim
    also , you can add on, if the size of your parcel is too big, the reciver post office might reject your email as well, so in internet world, we always limit our limit to 10MB (or 5MB) although some post office allow 20MB (like gmail and etc)

    but the limit should not be high....

    I would like to see whether my theory able to accept by the user :)


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