Using an SPF Record to Prevent Spam

Especially for a business, it is important to prevent the sending of spam using your email addresses. An effective protection against abusive email sending is an SPF record that you can add to your domain at 1&1 IONOS. You can use it to strictly define that only email coming from 1&1 IONOS mail servers are authorized to be sent using your email addresses. Any attempt to deliver mail from another mail server will either fail or result in these emails being classified as suspicious and moved to spam folders.

Configuring an SPF Record

You can configure an SPF (TXT) record in the DNS settings of your domain.

Please Note

You can only create a single SPF record. If you are using a service such as Mailjet, it will be necessary to extend the existing SPF record with any changes you would like to apply.

  • Log in to 1&1 IONOS and go to the Domains & SSL section.

  • Click on the gear symbol for the desired domain under Actions and select DNS.

  • Click on the gear symbol for the desired SPF record under Actions and select Edit Record .

  • Optional: In the Host name field, specify the desired host, such as www or @. The @ character is used as a placeholder in this case and ensures that the domain is called with www and all subdomains.

  • Optional: Select the Custom weighting if it is not selected.

  • In the Value field, add the required entries. Make sure that the existing entries are not deleted. Example: To use the SPF record also for Mailjet, the rule include:spf.mailjet.com must be added. In this case the value field will read:

    v=spf1 include:_spf.perfora.net include:_spf.kundenserver.de include:spf.mailjet.com ~all

  • Optional: Adjust the TTL (time-to-live) if desired.
  • Click SAVE.

Creating an SPF Record

If an SPF record does not yet exist for your domain, follow these steps to create it:

  • Log in to 1&1 IONOS and go to the Domains & SSL section.

  • Click on the gear symbol for the desired domain under Actions and select DNS.

  • Click ADD RECORD and select SPF (TXT).

  • Enter the required entry in the Host name field.

  • Select the desired weighting: If you activate the Softfail or Hardfail option, the recipient's mail server checks whether the received email originates from an authorized mail server. This is done by the mail server comparing the sender information with those entered in the SPF record. If the information matches, the email will be delivered. If they do not match, the emails are handled as specified in the SPF record.

With Softfail, all emails will be delivered to the recipient. However, all emails that do not originate from 1&1 IONOS mail servers are automatically moved to the recipient's spam folder as suspicious emails. The softfail entry contains an ~all command, as seen in this example:

v=spf1 include:_spf.perfora.net include:_spf.kundenserver.de ~all

With hardfail, the recipient only receives emails sent by 1&1 IONOS mail servers. All emails from other mail servers are not delivered. The hardfail entry contains an -all command, as seen in this example:

v=spf1 include:_spf.perfora.net include:_spf.kundenserver.de -all

If you choose User-defined instead, you can make your own entry in the VALUE field.

After selecting the required weighting, a preview of the SPF record is displayed.

  • Optional: Select the desired TTL. By default, your settings will become immediately active.
  • Click Save.

Your changes are effective at 1&1 IONOS immediately. It can take up to an hour for the change to be updated worldwide due to the decentralized structure of the Domain Name System.