This article covers the process of checking if your domain uses SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records, and how to update those records to work with your Arlo platform. All of the steps involved are done outside of Arlo and require knowledge of and access to edit your domain settings. Please review this article and make any required changes before your platform goes live to the public to make sure emails from your platform are delivered properly.
A set of quick summarized steps are provided below, along with an extended walkthrough if you're not sure what SPF records are or if you don't know if your domain uses them.
You need to find your existing domain SPF record, and update it to include the Arlo SPF reference (underscore inclusive):
For example, a full SPF record after this addition might look like:
v=spf1 mx ip4:126.96.36.199 include:_spf.arlo.co -all
Once this updated DNS record has propagated, Arlo will be authorised to send email using your own domain.
SPF Records Explained
What is SPF?
SPF is an extension to internet e-mail. It prevents unauthorized people from forging your e-mail address.
What if my domain doesn't use SPF Records?
Not all domain administrators choose to configure SPF records. If your domain doesn't use SPF records, there's nothing more that needs to be configured. As a best practice, Arlo does recommend that domain admins consider creating an SPF record. This decision and configuration change should be planned though, as creating a record without proper testing might disrupt mail delivery for other email systems in your organisation.
Why do we need to change anything?
Arlo sends out emails when individuals place orders, or register for events, etc. The emails that Arlo sends out will often have a From address of something like
firstname.lastname@example.org where mycompany.co.nz is your domain, and our systems need to be authorised to send messages on your behalf.
When processing mail and looking for spam, servers will look for SPF records on mycompany.co.nz when trying to determine whether incoming mail is being sent by an authorised server. SPF records represent a list of authorized systems that your domain administrator has configured.
If the server receiving the mail cannot find an SPF record that authorizes Arlo's servers to send mail, the messages that we send may be marked as spam. The specific action taken when a message fails an SPF check depends on how the mail administrator has configured their server. Some may drop the message, some may record the SPF check fail, but still allow it to be delivered.
So that your registrants/customers receive all event communications, it is important any existing SPF record on your domain is changed to specifically include the Arlo mail system references.
How to Check and Update an SPF Record?
Step 1: How to look up an SPF Record
- Confirm your company email address domain e.g. email@example.com. In this case
mycompany.co.nzis the domain name to check in the SPF tool.
- Navigate to https://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx. On this page, enter the domain name to be checked in the Domain name field and click SPF Record Lookup.
- On the results screen, check to see if your domain has an existing record.
Example output if you have no records:
Example output if you have existing records (that may look something like the text below):
- If you have an existing record, you need to update it. Proceed to step 2.
- If you have do not have any existing SPF record, you don't need to do anything further.
Step 2: What needs to be added to the Record
The existing record needs to be changed to include the clause:
include:_spf.arlo.co (underscore inclusive)
For example, a full SPF Record with this addition might look like:
v=spf1 mx include:cmail.com ip4:188.8.131.52 include:_spf.arlo.co -all
The include clause must be added before the "all" clause at the end. Note: it doesn't matter where in the record it is added, as long as it isn't after the "all".
Step 3: Testing the updated SPF Record
- Navigate to https://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx and check your domain again.
Note: Any change you made may take several minutes to appear, so don't worry if your changes don't immediately appear at this point.
- Check there are no warnings given for your record. The test results should have green ticks as illustrated below
Note that DNS changes take time to propagate. Once the record is updated on a live DNS server, it may take 1-24 hours for the change to affect your email delivery. The exact time depends on the TTL setting for your SPF DNS record. If you are updating your SPF records because you are having problems with email deliverability, please give the records time to take effect.