One of the useful features that will be enabled on your account by default is a filter which removes incoming attachments.

How does it work

The first thing we do is take a backup copy of the incoming email before we play with it. A copy of the original version of all your incoming email over the last 30 days is held in the "Archive" folder that you can access by logging into the Web Mail system

We then filter the copy of the message that goes into you main inbox. Where possible these attachments are turned into plain text and included in the body of the email message, for example PDF, MS Word, text and HTML documents are all processed in this way.

Any remaining attachments, such as pictures are removed from the email and will only be available if you go into the webmail folder and fetch the original version of the message (for example in an internet cafe).

Why do we do this

The problem you face with mobile internet connections is that they are pretty slow in comparison to broadband at home (or even dialup!). A satellite phone will typically download at around 20Kb/min - to put that in perspective a decent dialup connection will download at around 5Kb/second!

Now a typical photo attachment might be between 50Kb to 2000Kb in size and so will take a huge amount of time to download over Iridium. This then leaves you in a pickle with a huge message jammed in your inbox that you can't possibly download over the satellite phone, and most email programs won't let you download just the small messages and leave the large ones...

If you really do need an attachment sent to you

OK, sometimes you really do need to receive an attachment and presumably you have checked with the sender and made sure it's small enough that you can download it ok...

1) Either pop into the internet cafe and look in the Archive folder (folders are listed down the left of the screen), and if you want to download the message you can also "tick" the message and then click the option to "move" it into the Inbox (Outlook will then download everything in the Inbox as though it were new).

2) Ask the sender to (re)send the message to a modified version of your email address which will trigger the attachment filter not to run. Suppose your email address were, then ask the sender to send their message to and the attachments won't be removed. It's the "+attach" bit which is used to trigger the filter program not to remove the attachments