SPF Sender Policy Framework
The dreaded spam folder. One thing all businesses try to avoid when it comes to sending out emails. A lot of times emails end up in spam due to email authentication not being set up properly, or DNS changes were made and never updated. This page will provide some information, that with the assistance of your IT person or whoever looks after your Domain Hosting, so that that may correct how you can authenticate your domain for emails via your ISP. (This is for users that send emails via their ISP only. If you use your own internal mail servers, please ignore).
What is Email Authentication?
A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record is a type of Domain Name System (DNS) record that can help to prevent email address forgery. You can specify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain.
This email authentication allows your emails to send email on your behalf, but also as your domain. Even though email authentication is generally not required, we are now typically seeing that those that don’t set it up end up with a majority of their hotmail.com emails going straight to spam and or not being delivered.
Setting up email authentication is simply a matter of creating a few additional DNS records or uploading a file to your server using information provided from your email ISP provider. Don’t worry, example information is provided for your IT person below.
SPF - Primary Email Authentication
SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. According to the SPF website: “SPF authenticates the envelope HELO and MAIL FROM identities by comparing the sending mail server’s IP address to the list of authorized sending IP addresses published by the sender domain’s owner in a “v=spf1″ DNS record.” Currently, these are in the form of a TXT record.
In other words, when you receive an email, your ISP uses the SPF record to check the IP address of the sender as well as the IPs of the website. If they match up, then your good to go. Large companies such as Google, Comcast, Verizon, Live.com, and Cox.net all use SPF records. Below is an example of an SPF TXT records for geedee.com.au Domain.
If you are with Westnet, iinet or TPG you will require similar SPF information placed into your Hosting DNS Settings (copy below).
Westnet, TPG & iinet SPF Recommended Settings
How to check current SPF information.
Example Current Settings for - spf:geedee.com.au
202.XX.XXX.XXX - Your public IP address.
Suggestion for iinet, Westnet & TPG
v=spf1 ip4: 202.XX.XXX.XXX ip4:126.96.36.199/24 ip4:188.8.131.52/24 ip4:184.108.40.206/24 ip4:220.127.116.11 ip4:18.104.22.168 include:spf.iinet.net.au include:61537620.ppspf.net include:spf.smtp2go.com ~all
Email information from Westnet, iinet and TPG. See below email advice on settings required directly from Westnet.
The new settings do additionally assist. We also experienced delays and halts when we removed our SPF Records for iinet in our Hosting Domain settings. Adding them back in guaranteed 100% success rate of emails to @hotmail.com & @gmail.com addresses.
We did in fact notice emails to @hotmail.com not arriving when the SPF Records geedee.com.au were removed.
What is PTR record for mail server? Do I Need To Create One?
PTR records are used for the Reverse DNS (Domain Name System) lookup. Using the IP address you can get the associated domain/hostname. An A record should exist for every PTR record. The usage of a reverse DNS setup for a mail server is a good solution.
A Pointer (PTR) record resolves an IP address to a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) as an opposite to what A record does. PTR records are also called Reverse DNS records.
Here is what it looks like when performing external DNS lookup:
PTR records are mainly used to check if the server name is actually associated with the IP address from where the connection was initiated.
If you are using both internal mail servers and external mail servers and the external server does not belong to your infrastructure, you need to create PTR record because it will help your server pass some security tests when connecting to other mail servers. To do that, you will need to contact the company which owns the IP address of the server. Usually it is your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
You can check your PTR record in external DNS lookup solutions like MX Toolbox.
Example for SMTP2GP - https://support.smtp2go.com/hc/en-gb/articles/223086887-SPF-and-DKIM-Setup-for-GoDaddy
Highly recommended: To test your SPF record's validity, you can use the following SPF validity checker: https://dmarcian.com/spf-survey/
The above link will conduct various checks and may catch a problem you have overlooked.
An additional resource is: http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html
The following website explains the SPF syntax: http://www.openspf.org/SPF_Record_Syntax
You can also test by using the service at http://www.isnotspam.com/.
Gmail Limits - https://support.google.com/a/answer/176600?hl=en
The current Gmail email sending limit is 500 emails per 24 hours when sending from their web interface.
It’s important to note that this means 500 in any combination (i.e. 1 email to 500 people or 5 emails to 100 each, etc.).
If you’re sending from a desktop email client, that limit is much smaller – 100-150 emails per 24 hours, depending on the size of the emails.
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