Internet Tsunami – Which EMail Is Still Running?

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Dec 29 2006
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There’s a saying “only during disaster will you be able to judge a system” – in this case the telecommunications across Asia after earthquakes off Taiwan damaged cables and knocked thousands offline. While most of Asia’s telephone traffic and Internet access in many countries had improved it is still far from the acceptable performance – the web is still crawling as of the writing.

For those whose web or blog servers are hosted outside of the disaster area (mostly U.S.), including FinanceTwitter, it was a truly frustrating days as it was nearly to impossible to blog. Even if you managed to open the session, it’s not possible to upload to the servers. From the day the internet tsunami hit on Tuesday, 26-Dec-2006 till Thursday,28-Dec-2006 it took hours and tons of lucks to be able to surf, blog, email or upload to these servers hosted in U.S.

However today, Friday 29-Dec-2006, while it gets better for Google’s (Nasdaq : GOOG) blog and email, things are still patchy for Yahoo (Nasdaq : YHOO) when its’ main page and email are crawling like the 200-years-old turtle. A basic testing by “pinging” www.yahoo.com and www.google.com or www.blogger.com demonstrates which service is up and running – lost traffic packets are so obvious with Yahoo (even with Yahoo Finance).

Another test was done with email service between both Yahoo and Google. Trying to attach a 2.5 MB Microsoft document file took ages (in fact, the operation was terminated manually after 45 minutes) with Yahoo email but with Google’s mail, it took less than a minute to send.

This does not mean that Yahoo Mail sucks – it could be due to routing or infrastructure not properly designed or configured for optimum performance during such disaster. Yahoo Messenger however works fine. But a failure to satisfy users is still a failure no matter what’s the reason(s) or excuse(s). So in time of disaster, I would say Google performs better than Yahoo in terms of service availability.

# TIP: It pays to have redundant e-mail accounts as you’ve more option during disaster. In addition you won’t be held ransom should your email provider try to be funny. Competition is GOOD.

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