By Carsten | April 2, 2010
If you think I’ve been a long time in replying to your e-mails in the past month or so, there’s a good explanation for that.
For the past many years, I’ve been using an e-mail hosting provider that prides itself on offering a special class of services. Things have actually been very good, with few hiccups along the way. However, for the past month, things have seriously gone downhill with e-mails taking hours or even days to arrive.
And the problem is indeed with the provider: The Received: headers tell their own very sad story on just how long it takes for an e-mail to progress through their internal systems.
Worse, the support people are being less than helpful, refusing to recognize the problems and doing nothing to communicate what they are doing to resolve their problems.
Below is a quick analysis of just how things have been in March. The times shown are from the time an e-mail first enters the provider’s network (according to the first Received header with the provider’s IP) until actual delivery (last Received: header, which coincides with the time that I see the mail in my client).
Some 40% of the emails take more than 5 minutes to arrive. Whenever I trigger something in a web form that requires me to confirm an e-mail, there’s a 1 in 5 chance that I’ll be waiting for an hour or more before that e-mail arrives.
Clearly, this doesn’t work. What’s worse, this isn’t just a single-day fluke: This has been going on throughout the month:
(Note that avg/median times are on the scale to the left; max times are on the scale to the right. Click for larger version)
So now the hunt is on to find an e-mail hosting company which can provide a proven, stable service, preferably one in Scandinavia or elsewhere in Northern Europe.
Yes. I’ve considered Google Mail. But I value my privacy too much.