Prompted by a request from staff at a client's head office, a couple of days ago i posed this question to a couple of the mailing lists i'm on: what is your size limit on individual email messages?
I was blown away by the speed, quantity, and quality of the responses i received from the AusNOG and SAGE-AU communities. Within an hour i had some hard data and a useful recommendation to take to my client.
I've published the statistics and the raw figures to separate sheetes in the same Google Docs workbook; a few explanatory comments about the results are necessary:
- A number of responses indicated two values, often broken down by receive/send or internal/external criteria (with the latter being the smaller). This is indicated as "Tier 1" vs. "Tier 2" in the raw results. I've used the "Tier 1" figure to calculate the results.
- Answers which were ambiguous or indicated no limit were not included in the calculations, nor was one answer of 5 GB, since it skewed the results unrealistically.
- Number of responses: 64
- Number of numerically quantifiable responses: 57
- Mean: 30.105 MB
- Median: 25 MB
- Mode: 20 MB
- Standard Deviation: 20.929 MB
For those who are interested in the decision: my client and myself were both previously part of the "10 MB is the industry standard" camp, but found the argument about gmail compatibility compelling, and have decided to increase to 25 MB, much to the delight of the staff member pushing for the change.
- Disclaimer: I am not a statistician; this is not a scientifically- or statistically-valid survey; all online polls are inherently bogus due to the respondents self-selecting; i have no idea whether this sample is statistically significant or valid; i did not attempt to authenticate or validate the responses in any way; YMMV; no warranties expressed or implied, etc.