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SPF: We are changing our SPF policy from soft to hard fail.

Stewart -



  • atmail cloud US-EAST

What is SPF?

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an email authentication protocol that checks the senders IP address against a list of IP’s located on the domain listed in the return path of the email. This list is known as the SPF record.

What does an SPF failure mean?

SPF Failure occurs when the senders IP address is not found in the SPF record. This can mean the email is sent to spam or discarded altogether.

Currently the domain is set to softfail. 

SPF hard fail:

v=spf1 -all

In the above example the minus “-” in front of “all” means that any senders not listed in this SPF record should be treated as a "hardfail", ie. they are unauthorised and emails from them should be discarded. In this case only the domain will be authorized to send emails.

SPF soft fail (current setting):

v=spf1 ~all

In the above example the tilde “~” in front of “all” means that any servers not listed in this SPF record should be treated as a "softfail", ie. mail can be allowed through but should be tagged as spam or suspicious. In this case the authorizes the atmail cloud to send emails. Any emails originating from different servers should be marked as spam by the receivers. 

Using SPF hard fail instead of a soft fail will mean that anyone using the base domain for mail will need to ensure all messages are sent via the platform and as such outbound will be via IPs listed on the SPF record. If you are sending from that domain from other external IPs then there is the possibility that the emails will bounce, however, the receiving servers determine what they do with the emails coming in. If you are using your own domain with the atmail cloud services, you will not be affected by this change. 


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