What Are SPF Records?

If you don’t consider yourself to be a techie, the only SPF that might come to mind concerns sunscreen strengths. In email hosting, however, SPF Records are an important aspect of keeping your email reputable and secure. Below we explain what SPF Records are and why you should know how they work in your own email account:

Sender Policy Framework

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework, and represents your main defense against being marked as spam or forgery in your email account. SPF Records prevent spoofing by referring to a range of IP addresses allowed to send mail. If the IP address is within the range allowed within your SPF Record then a connection can be made for the two servers to send email. If the IP address is not within the range allowed, then no connection between the two servers will be made. The SPF Record is a part of the domain’s DNS file in the form of a TXT record. Once the TXT record is created, no further configuration is required. The agreement between the two servers is established and continues until the SPF Record is changed.

How Do SPF Records Work?

An SPF Record can be thought of as the door list at an expensive club. If you walk to the door and your name is on the list, you get in. However, if the bouncer checks the list and your name isn’t there, then out you go. When an email is sent from your domain or the last part of your email address like gmail.com or yourwebsite.com, the mail servers check to be sure that the IP address that you are sending from is on the SPF Record. When you send email from IP addresses approved in the record, the email is sent without issue. However, if someone pretending to be you sends email from your email address on an IP address not included on the record, then it is marked as unauthorized or spam and rejected by not connecting with the receiving mail server.

How to add an SPF Record to your domain.

Just like any security measure, sometimes the filtering we have set in place works too well and needs to be adjusted. In the same way that you can lock your keys in your car, sometimes our security measures work against us. In the event that you need to add a range of IP addresses to your domain, you can follow the simple steps below.

For CHI email accounts:

To add an SPF Record to your CHI email account, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Log into your CHI account with your username and password.
Step 2. Navigate to the domain you would like to add a record for.
Step 3. Click on the DNS tab for the domain. Select Show Advanced DNS Options.
Step 4. Find the TXT record section and choose Add New TXT Record.
Step 5. In the popup box, enter the SPF Record you would like to set:
Name: domain.com
Value: v=spf1 a mx ip4: -all  
TTL:  86400 (1 day)  
Note that the SPF Record will take 4 to 24 hours to take effect due to the propagation period.

For cPanel email accounts:

For cPanel email, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Log into your cPanel account with your username and password.
Step 2. In the Mail section of the cPanel home screen, click Email Authentication.
Step 3. Under SPF, click Enable.
If at any time during this process you have questions or need assistance, please contact our expert support staff who are happy to help.

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