SPF Record Introduction
SPF full name is Sender Policy Framework, SPF is a DNS record which allows administrators to specify which hosts are allowed to send e-mail from a given domain. So in a word, SPF record is set to reduce spam and spoof email on DNS level.
Where to configure SPF record?
SPF record is not set by yourself although you may have full control over your domain dns records. The spf record has to be configured by your ISP, if you're hosting your domain under a service provider, they should help with the configurations.
The standard format for most SPF records will look like this, unless you have special MX modifications or other arrangements for outgoing mail:
"v=spf1 a mx ~all"
Best SPF Record Web Hosting
Not all hosting providers be able to support SPF records on their dns server, especially when you're dealing with a reseller hosting (more and more hosting providers are actually reseller based). In order to configure proper spf record, you must have full access to your domain dns records and you can easily add/delete it. the most important is the hosting server is not spam friendly and not in spam list or else the next work will not be functional. SPF record support is a sign of effort about how the hosting company is trying to reduce email spam.
The best way to configure SPF record is to setup your own DNS server. In this way you have full control of DNS settings. You can do this by VPS or dedicated server easily. For high qualify SPF record web hosting provider, we highly recommend Arvixe based our 5+ years working experience and their professional spf record management. Learn more about arvixe hosting on www.arvixe.com.
Besides SPF record, arvixe team setup lots of hardware/software configurations to stop spoof email and ensure the cleanness for your email box. At low cost hosting plan, you get more than expected service!
How Does SPF Reduce Email Spam?
Email spam is a headache to many people in the world and the number is increasing everyday. what worse is some day you find your email address is being abused by other people. For example you receive an error message saying that a message sent by you could not be delivered to the recipient, but you never sent a message to that address. it definitely generated much worries to us and make us afraid of the email security and reliability. Yes you're right, your email address is being abused!
You may curious about how spammers managed to do this, here I'll share some basic email technical documents. For example if you want to send an email to someone, instead by logging to your web interface email account, you can use a simple "Telnet" command to do so, sample as below:
telnet mail.domain.ext 25
Connected to mail.domain.ext.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 mail.domain.ext ESMTP Sendmail ?version-number?; ?date+time+gmtoffset?
You will then need to delcare where you are sending the email from:
This should give you:
250 mail.domain.ext Hello local.domain.name [loc.al.i.p], pleased to meet you
Now give your email address:
MAIL FROM: email@example.com
250 2.1.0 firstname.lastname@example.org… Sender ok
Now give the recipients address:
RCPT TO: email@example.com
250 2.1.0 firstname.lastname@example.org… Recipient ok
To start composing the message issue the command
If you want a subject for your email type Subject:type your subject here then press enter twice
You may now proceed to type the body of your message (e.g. hello email@example.com from firstname.lastname@example.org)
To tell the mail server that you have completed the message enter a single "." on a line on it's own.
The mail server should reply with: 250 2.0.0 Message accepted for delivery
You can close the connection by issuing the QUIT command.
The mailserver should reply with something like
221 2.0.0 mail.domain.ext closing connection
Connection closed by foreign host.
The above steps are some basic email knowledges and not doable anymore to most email providers for security leak, but it's also available to some providers who do not have very strong protection.
Beside the telnet commands, the typical method a spammer used is known as "script email" where local SMTP is enabled on hosting server, the spammer just use a simple email script or some third party applications to send a big amount of spam.
How to solve the problem? SPF is the solution. The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an open standard specifying a technical method to prevent sender address forgery. SPF protects the envelope sender address, which is used for the delivery of messages, it also allows the owner of a domain to specify their mail sending policy, e.g. which mail servers they use to send mail from their domain.
About how spf record works, you can refer to this official site for further details.