SMTP timeout value

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jw2002, May 21, 2009.

  1. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    Is it possible to control the value of the SMTP time out setting? Occasionally when I send an email, attempts to use an SMTP server that is available only via a VPN connection (such as the SMTP behind the corporate firewall at work). When it can't reach such a server, it takes about 5-10 minutes until it finally brings up a dialog to let me switch to a reachable SMTP host. I would like to change that 5-10 minute value to something more reasonable like 30 seconds. Thanks.
  2. gje21c macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2010
    Shortening SMTP timeouts


    Just adding my request to the earlier message. I have various SMTP servers set up in Mac Mail (4.2 on OS X 10.6.3), to send email on various nets in Aus, eg. Bigpond cable broadband, Vodafone wireless, Optus broadband, depending where I am. I have yet to finder an SMTP server that works on all these, altho I think there probably is one.

    Inevitably I mess up and send email with the wrong SMTP server. Sometimes even the main Bigpond server doesn't respond (this is the Telstra network, Australia's largest provider) and I need to use another one. As per the previous post, the timeout is enomously long, several minutes, and once Mail is locked into trying to send you can't do much, not even manually quit the send. This usually happens when you're on the phone in ahugely importnt conference call and are under pressure to send something immediately. I would like to reduce the timeout to maybe 15 seconds, so that I can regain control and try another server. Really I'd like Mail to automatically cycle around several servers.

    I think the SMTP protocol is so old (1970's) that it's carrying a basic set of default assumptions about dial-up networking and speeds like 2400bps, and needing to wait for a modem to dial and sync etc. But that's all old hat now for most of us. If an SMTP server doesn't respond in a few seconds it's not going to, you've reached it for sure but there's some authentication problem.
    The protocol doesn't seem to return an error for most of these, just stalls.

    Hope we get a reply here !!

  3. gje21c macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2010
    Updating my own post. Someone else kindly pointed out the big red Stop button in the Activity window. Yes it does let me cleanly stop a stalled send, that helps a lot. Can't believe I never saw that.

    I have done some research and it seems that in RFC 5321, section Timeouts, the long 5 minute timeouts (they vary from 2 minutes to 10 minutes for various message types) are pretty much mandated and fixed. They're not based on dial-up slowness but mainly potential overloads in the email server. There seems to be no option to change them. I understand the design but I think we need an update for the modern-era user .. with IM and chat and Skype video messaging and any number of "immediate" services, there's no place in most people's mindset for 5-10 minute timeouts.

    Cheers, GE.

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