John from Toronto, Ontario, Canada writes:
I have unlimited download privileges with my IP. Do the other web based email accounts provide unlimited download space? Thank you.
The topic of usage caps or bandwidth caps is a controversial one, as many service providers advertised unlimited or didn’t specify any limit and have now decided to institute a cap on usage. These caps are usually advertised as “more then the vast majority of our customers use,” but can vary in size greatly from provider to provider. If, like John, you’re on an unlimited or very high cap provider, do you need to worry about data caps from other services such as free web based e-mail?
The question is a good one and is dependent on your specific e-mail provider’s terms of service. In general the answer is no, you don’t need to worry about usage caps. That does not mean that the service can be used for anything, as most terms of service specifically forbid anything illegal and permit the service to disconnect you at any time should your usage become abusive or excessive. Examples of reasons for disconnecting users include: sending mass spam from an account, send threatening e-mails and sharing copyrighted information without permission.
If you’re using your e-mail to send family photos to dozens of friends, run an online business or sell items on eBay don’t worry. The cost of an e-mail is surprisingly low, so unless you start sending tens of thousands of e-mails per month you’re probably safe. You can read some of the most popular free e-mail providers’ Terms of Service below.
- Gmail Terms of Service
- Hotmail / Live Terms of Service
- Yahoo (& Yahoo Mail) Terms of Service
- AOL Terms of Service
P.S. If you are concerned about transferring large files via e-mail, a great alternative is to use cloud services such as Dropbox. You can read more about cloud storage by clicking here.