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Frequently Asked Questions about SMTP Rate Limiting
SMTP Rate Limiting
  • Article ID: 38729
  • Last modified date: February 11, 2010 7:02
Frequently Asked Questions about SMTP Rate Limiting
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SMTP Rate Limiting?

SMTP Rate Limiting is a server-side cap on the number of emails that an individual user can send in a rolling 24 hour period.

Why is EarthLink instituting this policy?

EarthLink is concerned with the problem of spam, and is dedicated to making sure that it's servers are not being abused by customers to send spam. This policy will stop spammers from using EarthLink 's mail servers to send hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of emails that nobody wants.

What is the maximum number of emails that can be sent?

The limit will change from day to day, depending on server load and other factors, but in all cases with be far more than a user will send in the course of normal, legitimate email purposes.

How can I tell if I have exceeded the maximum number of emails sent in a day?

Customers whose SMTP privileges have been suspended will receive an error when trying to send, stating "error 554:  - Outbound message limit exceeded," similar to the one below.


Error Message

What will happen if I exceed the limit?

You will receive an email with a link to a web page, similar to the one below, asking for specific information about your email habits. This is not intended as an invasion of your privacy, but rather to simply ensure that your use of your email privileges is consistent with the EarthLink Acceptable Use Policy.



A member of EarthLink 's Abuse team will investigate the circumstances that led to your SMTP privileges being suspended. If it is deemed that your use was legitimate, then your SMTP privileges will be reactivated within 24 hours.

What can I do to keep from exceeding the limit?

If you have a legitimate need to send out massive amounts of email (over 1,000 or so,) first determine if all your recipients really do need this email. If you can reduce the number by eliminating recipients that don't want or need your email, you will reduce the frustration on everybody. Second, try to spread out your distribution so it happens over several days.

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