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Posted: 12/12/2001 6:12:43 AM EDT
Here at work I administer our network services. We are on a local ISP with DSL. So far it works great, but our hangup is E-mail file size limits. Since we are a graphics and printing shop, we have the need to send and recieve large E-mail files to and from customers. Right now our limit with the ISP E-mail server is 3Mb. FTP is not really an option, since we have customers who aren't capable of sending that way and we don't have time to set them up and explain it. I have hit the ISP up about "turning up" the limits or even paying for more, but they seem really clueless on even what we want or how to do it. So does anyone know what they need to do to increase our E-mail limits, how to explain it to them or any other ideas to solve this? We also have 50Mb of web server space, is there an easy way to setup web based file shareing through this and make it secure? Sorry this may seem like a long detailed question or request, but I know if anyone has the answer it is this diversified group on here. Thanks IAJack
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 6:38:11 AM EDT
well, you're not going to like my answer but... SMTP ( email ) was designed many years ago to transfer small txt files... SMTP( email ) was simply never meant to handle large files... that's what FTP is for... you may get away with sending large files via email, but it's a roll of the dice each time... there's not an ISP out there that can "turn it up", if they have a limit it's for a reason and usually that reason is to insure that their mail servers don't get "clogged" up... again, FTP was developed for the sole purpose of moving large files around... FTP only takes 10 minutes to learn, if someone can learn to use an email client then they can learn to use an FTP client... unless they're too lazy... FTP the files up to your webspace, give the web address to the person needing files, they go and download files... rock on...
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 6:59:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 6:55:08 AM EDT by rocko]
Seems like you are using your ISP's mail server. First, if they don't how to make a change this simple, I would suggest finding another ISP. It is one thing for them to refuse your request, another to be totally clueless on how to perform it. As for how to make the change, it depends entirely on what type of SMTP server they are using. If sendmail, there is a MaxMessageSize field in /etc/sendmail.cf that they can uncomment to change it from the default. However, remember that the recipient's SMTP server will also have a size limit. Your SMTP server could allow huge messages to be sent, but if the limit on the recipient's side is still 3MB, it will still be rejected on their end (and most mail servers rarely will accept more than 5MB). But the previous poster is correct - FTP is better for sending large files. Another option would be to set up your own mail server. There is almost certainly nothing you can do on your end to make your web space on their web server secure. Any sort of authentication would need to be set up at the ISP's side. Rocko
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 7:58:24 AM EDT
If you can't teach them ftp, I'd setup my own Exchange 5.5 mail server with no size limit on the files.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 8:01:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 7: If you can't teach them ftp, I'd setup my own Exchange 5.5 mail server with no size limit on the files.
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No..No..No..No.. He said he want's something that works. Exchange doesn't fall within that category. It will be years, if ever, before Micro$oft gets that product to work.[:D]
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 12:32:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 12:28:03 PM EDT by Steel_Rat]
What you need to do is screw using the ISP's mail server and set up your own. A buddy of mine set up his own mail server on an NT 4.0 box using NTMail - http://[url]http://www.gordano.com/[/url] He not only used it for his own purposes, but also to set up private mailing lists and multiple accounts to use for business. If you have a static IP then just go register the domain you want. My buddy was on a typical cable modem set-up (DHCP) and used tzo.net's "dynamic DNS service" and it worked like a champ! http://[url]http://www.tzo.net/[/url] This, of course, assumes that your ISP is not blocking Port 25, but you can still get around that if you have to.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 12:54:15 PM EDT
You really have a few options here. Like a poster said earlier, SMTP (the protocol you use to send mail) was not meant to handle large files. MIME (a set of guidelines for the attachment of inherently binary data to email messages) was proposed later and adopted. Sending binary files (pictures in your case) over email is not the most efficient, because MIME data is encoded using a scheme called Base-64 (which is the primary encoding used for binary files AFAIK), which is much less efficent than straight binary encoding. Tech talk bla bla bla. In short, if you need to transfer big files, look into a protocol called FTP (file transfer protocol). Setting up your own email server is another option. If you know anyone with technical know how get a Linux/FreeBSD box and run qmail on it, as a properly set up Linux/BSD box will give you much less problems than NT in most cases down the road, and the software is cheaper (i.e free [:)]. Another option is using HTTP to transfer files. Just have a webserver set up, and tell the client to go to some web address where you have the file sitting at. This is better than FTP as your clients may not know about FTP, but I bet they all use web browsers. SSL allows for secure HTTP (web) communications (i.e. https:// URI's). The webserver must have these SSL extenions installed, ask the administrator of the webserver about that. If you're worried about the security of the files, look into a utility called SSH, "scp" is a part of ssh and lets you copy a file from machine x to machine y over a secure channel, however this tool has a bit of a learning curve attached. At least in UNIX land, the SSL implementation uses SSH in the backend AFAIK. Good luck, Robby
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 1:25:21 PM EDT
Like it has been said above: 1. Email was never meant for large file attachments. FTP is. FTP is not that complicated, and there are free simple FTP programs out there to direct your customers to. 2. Dont blame your ISP. It is possible they wont up your limits as a matter of policy, or it is possible that their mail server software is not capable of per-mailbox limits. 3. As an alternative to FTP, there are web based file sharing services you can pay for. These use the web browser to easily upload/download files. 4. If it just HAS to be done in email, you have three options. a) You can pay for a simple email account from some email provider, with prediscussed limits, and use that email account for your customers to send the large attachements. This way, you only incur the expense of 1 email account outside of your ISP. b) You can find another ISP strictly for email services, or find another ISP for all your services and agree on mail size limits in advance. c) You can set up your own mail server on your premises. It would be good to have someone tech savvy if you are going to depend on it. I too, would recommend Exchange 5.5/Small Business Server. It is rather inexpensive for a small office to afford, and works VERY WELL, no matter what the nay sayers wish to say. Keep in mind, you will have to deal with securing your mail server from spam, adding antivirus solutions, etc..etc.. which become complicated, and lead you to go with an ISP in the first place. Please keep in mind, that a 3MB limit is not all that uncommon, and several of your clients will also have these sort of limits as well, leading one again, to FTP.... your easiest and cheapest solution. Might I recommend, that you find a free FTP client, and then write up a nice short Word document, that explains the location of this client for download, how to install it, and how to upload files to your FTP server. This way, written in a plain and simple format, you can offer this as a solution for your clients. You will need to cover this from the PC and MAC perspective, in a graphics world.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 1:43:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 1:36:52 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Uhmmm........my email programs allows me to break up large attachments and send them in parts automatically. The parts are automatically reassembled on the other end. It's a secret program that most haven't heard of - Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.
Break apart large messages when you send them This procedure only works if the recipient of the message uses Microsoft Outlook 98 or later. On the Tools menu, click Accounts. Click the Mail tab. In the Account box, click the account you want to change. Click Properties, and then click the Advanced tab. Select the Break apart messages larger than check box, and enter a number in the box.
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You could do the same thing manually by ZIPPING the file into multiple parts, sending them seperately, then use UNZIP to put them back together again. Speaking of which, compression might solve your problem if you aren't too far over the limit.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:23:25 PM EDT
If he thinks FTP is a headache, think of how much of a headache breaking them apart would be! Especially since not every client will have Outlook or OE. Keep in mind, MAC's here. As to ZIP, again, the sender would have to do this. They would need Winzip or the like, and most people will not know how to do this. Not to mention, the compression probably will not help. He said graphics, and most graphics have compression built into their code.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:34:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 4:29:40 PM EDT by BenDover]
all that you need and want is at [url]http://www.aspin.com[/url] [url]http://www.hotscripts.com[/url] Exchange server is an excellent alternative. I implement and manage MS networks for large county governments all day long. State supreme courts. 3000+ users. Buy an MSDN subscription and get development copies of ALL their products. ($2800?) Edited to add: You could also easily implement an email-only solution with iMail from [url]http://www.ipswitch.com[/url]
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:38:21 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies so far! Yes we have Outlook, problem is as stated, breaking apart with compression, embedded fonts etc. Plus the fact that most of our "customers" have no idea how to zip, break apart, compress, or FTP. keep in mind the normal user and deduct IQ points accordingly!!! I'm looking to see if ICQ is an option, but then again, we would need to "set up" each customer with that as well. I'm thinking a web site with a FTP submission folder on it with password may be the answer? Always looking for a simpler easier way though Later IAJack
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:44:52 PM EDT
No expert here, but isn't it possible to fire up a secure web page (HTTPS), and on that page have a download button that when clicked, fires up a CGI script that creates a randomly named directory, copies the file to send into that directory, and then FTPs it to the client? That should be somewhat secure.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:47:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja: No expert here, but isn't it possible to fire up a secure web page (HTTPS), and on that page have a download button that when clicked, fires up a CGI script that creates a randomly named directory, copies the file to send into that directory, and then FTPs it to the client? That should be somewhat secure.
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Why wouldn't you just use PGP? I mean... are we transferring PageMaker files to a printing press or are we just sending business operation data?
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 12:47:40 PM EDT
FTP would be a better bet because, even if you finally get a mail server that will allow you to send large attachements, your clients may not necessarily have a mail service which allows them the ability to receive such large attachements.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 11:36:52 PM EDT
We had the same problem at my last company and ended up using FTP because our ISP would not allow e-mail attachments over 1 meg.
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