The problem with your satellite phone is that it can only download around 20Kb/min (perhaps more if the data can be compressed). That's probably a meaningless number to most people, so to put it in perspective consider that the pictures which drop out of a typical digital camera are around 1,000-2,000Kb each...! And so an innocent message from a friend, even if they resize their pictures to something more reasonable, could easily take between 10 mins to a couple of hours to download!
The same is equally true of other types of attachments, such as Microsoft Word documents or Adobe PDF files. No one ever looks twice at the file size of some attachment they are sending by email, and so they will not even realise the problems they cause to some innocent satellite user by sending the digital equivalent of a letter wrapped around a brick!
Mobile phone users aren't much better off either... The bandwidth is there to download the data (just), but for example Vodafone's overseas price for using computer data is £17 per 1,000Kb (as of Aug 2005), so our hypothetical email of pictures could cost an awful lot to download!
The final insult is that email is a very inefficient method of sending data around the internet and typically an email is around 5x larger than it needs to be due to the excess computer baggage that it contains. Email programs are also generally very inefficient and spend a lot longer online than they need to.
At MailASail we think we have a very effective solution to these problems.
- Take a copy of the original email in case you want to retrieve it later!
- Virus scan the message with TWO virus scanners, updated hourly! Optionally apply spam scanning (We really don't want customers in the middle of an ocean to be fighting viruses and other junk!)
- Remove big attachments and convert them to text where possible (except for weather grib files which are untouched)
- Convert the message to plain text and remove any HTML (reduces the size of the email by around 80%!)
- Heavy duty compression used to transfer data across the internet (typically gives a x3 or x4 speedup) - See diagram
- Lots of other tricks used to reduce the amount of airtime your email program wastes sitting around nothing (like receiving new messages in the background while the email program sends out messages) - See diagram
Note: Some people seem to misinterpret the above to mean you can’t receive attachments with our system! Of course you can. In fact receiving grib files via email is extremely common and lots of our customers are doing so every day. You can also pickup any large attachments from an internet cafe or arrange for certain messages to bypass the system completely!
A picture tells a thousand words, so please see the diagram below for a visual aid to show how effective our compression is (just steps 5 & 6 above), while sending and receiving a hypothetical four emails:
All these features might sound a little complicated, but the end result is that it "does what you expect". You can simply get on with their day to day business without worrying about some huge attachment blocking up their inbox.
If you wish to receive an attachment then you can either pick up the original message by logging in at the internet cafe, or you can arrange for the sender to resend the message directly in a way which bypasses the attachment "mangler".
Note also that Word, HTML and PDF documents are converted to plain text and sent inline with the main email. This gives you the text only version of your document (which is usually sufficient) at a tiny fraction of the size of the receiving the original.
And if those benefits weren't enough the system installs and configures itself automatically as a one time process. And once installed you need never touch it again, it sits quietly working away in the background. Regardless of whether you use satellite, mobile phone, broadband, wireless, etc, the system keeps on working and never needs to be reconfigured when you move!
- Email Compression Exposed - A more technical look at how we accelerate your email
If you would like to know more then please don't hesitate to drop us a line with any questions, or to request a free trial: firstname.lastname@example.org