SPF, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Mon Jun 25 19:56:25 MDT 2007

Dave Smith wrote:
> Some alert readers may recall a discussion I started some time back
> trying to solve the mystery of why hotmail would drop my emails. Today I
> finally setup an SPF record for my domain hoping to solve the as yet
> unresolved problem. Does anyone know how long it ought to take hotmail
> to notice my SPF record? And more imprtantly: will it even make a
> difference?

It's possible.  Most servers are permissive when there is no SPF record,
but perhaps Microsoft is choosing to be restrictive.

> According to dnsreport.com, the SPF record showed up immediately, but
> enterprisey services like hotmail tend to cache stuff like this I
> imagine. Thoughts?

Well, your MX record is self-referential.  "dig mx thesmithfam" says:

thesmithfam.org.        6349    IN      MX      0 thesmithfam.org.

I had trouble with certain mail servers until I created a "mail" alias.
 I noticed that nearly every other mail server is set up this way, so it
couldn't hurt.  "dig mx hathawaymix.org" says:

hathawaymix.org.        22945   IN      MX      0 mail.hathawaymix.org.

Both names map to the same IP address, but some mail servers seem to
like the indirection.

I solved other problems by forwarding all outbound mail to an SMTP
server provided by my ISP.  If you also decide to do that, don't forget
to update your SPF record, like this:

v=spf1 a mx a:mail.example.com ~all


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