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Explanation of an SPF Record

An SPF record can prevent unauthorized e-mails being sent from your domain.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an anti spam method which is based on the authorization of the sender of an e-mail. The SPF record is additional information in the DNS settings of your domain. It defines which mail servers are authorized to send e-mails. This means:

  • The receiving mail server checks if the received e-mail comes from an authorized mail server.
  • The e-mail will only be delivered if the sender information of the e-mail matches with the information saved in the SPF record.

Setting your SPF record:

For example, you may use the following:

"v=spf1 -all"

You own the domain As a result of using the above SPF Record, the recipient of the e-mail can reject the receipt of any e-mail if it has not been sent using one of the 1&1 mail servers.

With the command all you can define how such e-mails should be treated:

  • -all means Hardfail, so the unauthorized e-mails will not be delivered to you at all.
  • ~all means Softfail, so the unauthorized e-mail will be delivered but marked as spam.

Please note:
You can also set the Hardfail or Softfail parameters of your SPF records in the 1&1 Domain Center instead of doing so manually. Simply follow the steps below.
Step 1
Log in to your 1&1 Control Panel and select the relevant package.
Step 2
Click on Domains under My Products in the left side menu.
1&1 Control Panel
1&1 Control Panel
Step 3
If necessary, you can use the Search or Filter options at the top to find the domains in the contract you selected.

Click the Actions icon next to the domain you are managing, then select DNS Settings.
Domain List
Domain List
Step 4
Scroll down to the MX Records section and choose either Hardfail, Softfail, or Disabled. Once selected, scroll down and click Save.
1&1 Domain Centre
1&1 Domain Centre
Step 5
Click Yes to confirm your selection.
Edit DNS Settings Prompt
Edit DNS Settings Prompt

You will see a prompt to confirm that your changes have been applied. These changes will take effect within an hour.

DNS Change Confirmation
DNS Change Confirmation