Yahoo Plagued By Slow E-Mail, Analysis Shows - InformationWeek

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Yahoo Plagued By Slow E-Mail, Analysis Shows

Yahoo's E-mail servers can accept messages only about half the time on average, making it likely that E-mail takes longer than normal to deliver, a security firm says.

A small security firm in Iowa says it has discovered why Yahoo's email is sometimes slow.

An analysis of Yahoo Inc. mail servers found that they were only able to accept email about half the time on average, making it likely that email was taking longer than normal to deliver, the security firm said Friday.

In testing 16 Yahoo mail servers, Dymeta Inc., based in Bettendorf, Iowa, found on average that the servers were unable to accept email 45 percent of the time, and the number of available servers ranged from as low as four to as high as 12, Aaron Gillette, chief technician for the company, said.

"We're not saying that mail isn't going to get through, but it's likely to take longer than normal," Gillette said. "Normally, when you send email from one account to another, you can expect it to be delivered in minutes. With the problems they've got, it could take hours or even days to get through, or it could be bounced back entirely."

Yahoo, among the largest Web mail providers in the world, sending more messages per quarter than the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express and the United Parcel Service combined in a year, declined a request for an interview. The company, however, did email a statement that blamed its problems on fighting spam.

"As spam attacks continue to hit all e-mail services at unpredictable rates, Yahoo is constantly enhancing technologies and improving operations in order to deal with the load," the statement said.

Dymeta, which sells the email security appliance TrimMail Inbox, conducted the analysis April 12 after receiving what it considered an unusual number of complaints from email administrators at a number of businesses. The company posted its finding in its online publication Email Battles.

Dymeta embarked on the analysis out of curiosity and as an opportunity to test its new tool called Mail Server Profiler, Gillette said.

In establishing a SMTP connection with Yahoo servers, the testing tool found that they were able to get a response only 55 percent of the time. The rest of the time, there was no response at all. SMTP, or simple mail transfer protocol, is the standard means for communications between mail servers on the Internet.

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