If you are on this page reading this blog, chances are that you have come across either one of the following prompts:
- No SPF record found
- SPF record is missing
- No SPF record
- SPF record not found
- No SPF record published
- Unable to find SPF record
The prompt simply signifies that your domain is not configured with the SPF email authentication standard. An SPF record is a DNS TXT record that is published in your domain’s DNS to authenticate messages by checking them against the authorized IP addresses that are allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain, included in your SPF record. So naturally, if your domain is not authenticated with SPF protocol you might come across a “No SPF record found” message.
What is Sender Policy Framework (SPF)?
SPF email authentication standard is a mechanism used to prevent spammers from forging emails. It uses DNS records to verify that the sending server is allowed to send emails from the domain name. SPF, which stands for Sender Policy Framework, allows you to identify permitted senders of emails on your domain.
SPF is a “path-based” authentication system, implying that it is related to the path that the email takes from the original sending server to the receiving server. SPF not only allows organizations to authorize IP addresses to use its domain names when sending out emails but also provides a way that a receiving email server can check that authorization.
Do I Need to Configure SPF?
You’ve probably been told that you need SPF (Sender Policy Framework) email authentication. But does a business really need it? And if so, are there any other benefits? That question is usually understood when the enterprise becomes a large e-mail exchanger for their organization. With SPF, you can track email behavior to detect fraudulent messages and protect your business from spam-related issues, spoofing and phishing attacks. SPF helps you achieve maximum deliverability and brand protection by verifying the identity of the senders.
How Does SPF Function?
- SPF records are specially formatted Domain Name System (DNS) records published by domain administrators that define which mail servers are authorized to send mail on behalf of that domain.
- With SPF configured for your domain, whenever an email is sent from your domain the recipient’s mail server looks up the specifications for the return-path domain in the
- DNS. It subsequently tried to match the IP address of the sender to the authorized addresses defined in your SPF record.
- According to the SPF policy specifications, the receiving server then decides whether to deliver, reject or flag the email in case it fails authentication.
Breaking Down the Syntax of an SPF Record
Let’s take the example of an SPF record for a dummy domain with the correct syntax:
v=spf1 ip4:29.337.148 include:domain.com -all
Stopping the “No SPF Record Found” Message
If you want to stop getting the annoying “No SPF record found” prompt all you need to do is configure SPF for your domain by publishing a DNS TXT record. You can use our free SPF record generator to create an instant record with the correct syntax, to publish in your DNS.
All you need to do is:
- Choose if you want to allow servers listed as MX to send emails for your domain
- Choose if you want to allow the current IP address of the domain to send an email for this domain
- Fill in the IP addresses authorized to send emails from your domain
- Add any other server hostnames or domains that may deliver or relay mail for your domain
- Choose your SPF policy mode or the level of strictness of the receiving server from Fail (non-compliant emails will be rejected), Soft-fail (Non-compliant emails will be accepted but marked), and Neutral (Mails will probably be accepted)
- Click on Generate SPF Record to instantly create your record
In case you already have SPF configured for your domain, you can also use our free SPF record checker to lookup and validate your SPF record and detect issues.
“No valid SPF record found” / “No valid SPF record”
A similar variation to the “no SPF record found” error is the “no valid SPF record found” error. This means that while there is an SPF record present on your DNS, it just isn’t valid. This may be a result of a syntax error and redundant or invalid mechanisms in your record.
A solution around this would be to:
- Check your record using an online tool
- Optimize the record to remove existing errors
- Discuss the issue with your ESPs
- If all else fails, outsource management to an external service provider, or contact us to talk to an email authentication expert
Is Publishing an SPF Record Enough?
The answer is no. SPF alone cannot prevent your brand from being impersonated. For optimal protection against direct-domain spoofing, phishing attacks, and BEC, you need to configure DKIM and DMARC for your domain.
Furthermore, SPF has a limit of 10 DNS lookups. If you exceed this limit your SPF will break and authentication will fail for even legitimate emails. This is why you need a dynamic SPF flattener that will help your stay under the 10 DNS lookup limit, as well as keep you updated on changes made by your email exchange providers.
Hopefully this blog helped you resolve your problem and you never have to worry about the “No SPF record found” message bothering you again. Sign up for a free email authentication trial to improve your email deliverability and email security today!