SPF (Sender Policy Framework), an email authentication method, is used by email delivery services to prevent email spoofing. The problem is that SPF records flexible as email setups require because limited to a maximum of 10 DNS lookups. You probably did not know but a single service can use multiple DNS lookups and by combining services you may quickly exceed the limit.
Every Provider Adds Complexity
For example gmail.com uses 4/10, salesforce.com use 8/10 records, Office 365 2/10, your web hosting provider adds additional records as does your HR software, appointment reminders or any other small tools that send emails on your behalf. If you or your marketing team rely on third-party service providers to deliver their email can quickly exceed this limit.
The biggest problem with going over your SPF limit
You'll never know you did it. The way SPF works, once you exceed your DNS lookup limit, things start to break. The domain authentication or validation may break, or people may be able to spoof your domain for phishing. This means every email that needs a DNS lookup after that won't get the complete result. And since SPF comes with no error handling, you'll just have a bunch of emails that don't get delivered without any obvious warning, unless you know to look for it.
Flattened SPF with Monitoring
One solution to the SPF lookup limit is "SPF flattening." Flattening is simply replacing all the domains in the SPF record with their IP addresses, which eliminates the need for DNS lookups. The problem with this "manual" flattening is that email service providers may change or add to their IP addresses without telling you. Then your SPF record is inaccurate, which leads to the same email delivery problems. To do it right, manually flattening your SPF record requires that you constantly monitor your service providers for these changes. We will provide you with FREE SPF flattening and notifications for your domains.
Automatic SPF flattening is a better solution
What if you could update your SPF record automatically? Better yet, what if someone else automatically updated it for you and you never had to worry about it again? With AutoSPF you just add a single include in your SPF record that points to our server and we take care of the rest. AutoSPF always returns a flattened SPF record to public DNS queries. It's built on the real-time information held in the include statement. AutoSPF does all those things you'd expect from an SPF flattening service
Authenticate New Networks
With AutoSPF you won't need to constantly modify your DNS records in order to update SPF. You can add new networks or authenticate new senders at the click of a button.
Here is a typical record, this has 14 of the 10 permitted lookups.
v=spf1 include:sendgrid.net include:stspg-customer.com include:americas1._spf.secure22.com include:email.freshdesk.com include:servers.mcsv.net ip4:188.8.131.52 ip4:184.108.40.206 ip4:220.127.116.11 ip4:18.104.22.168 ip4:22.214.171.124 ~all
After we handle the automatic SPF management your records will look like this,
v=spf1 include:_s38420517.spfdemo.com ~all
and it will use only 4 DNS lookups
Pay only for the service you need.
Rather than SPF flattening being a feature of a larger and more expensive suite of software we have designed AutoSPF to solve just one issue. There is no need to pay hundreds or even thousands more per month for features that you don't need.
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