Who is using SPF and why is it needed?

Who is using SPF?
Many major ISP's (Internet Service Providers) are now publishing SPF records as well as enforcing them. Here is a small list of the many that are using SPF:

  1. AOL.com

  2. Earthlink.com

  3. Hotmail.com

  4. Google.com

  5. Spamhaus.org

  6. Symantec.com

As you can see, these are some major players in internet services.

Why is SPF needed?
The sheer amount of spam being transmitted daily is growing exponentially and one of the most widely used methods of sending spam is by forging or "spoofing" the sender's email address (making a mail server think that an email is sent from one person/domain when it is actually sent by a different person/domain). SPF allows your mail servers to easily distinguish forged and spoofed email from real mail. More importantly, SPF works before the message body is transmitted, saving you the bandwidth cost of downloading the message and the CPU cost of filtering it. Some large ISP's are already requiring SPF records to be published before they will white list the Web Host. This policy helps keep their end users from getting spam and also helps Web Hosts because the ISP can block an individual domain versus a Web Host's entire mail server.

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