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How to Enable SPF Authentication on Plesk?

When it comes to emails or email marketing, for businesses, ensuring their emails reach their intended recipients and aren’t mistaken for spam is crucial. One essential tool to do this is Sender Policy Framework or SPF authentication. SPF helps validate the authenticity of the sender’s domain, thereby reducing the chances of email being marked as spam, or it also helps in preventing spoofing & phishing attacks. If you use Plesk as your hosting control panel, enabling SPF authentication is essential for tightening your email security. Today, we will learn how to enable SPF authentication on Plesk – so let’s begin.

What are SPF Records?

Before jumping on to the main element, i.e., how to enable SPF authentication on Plesk – it’s better if you have a basic understanding of SPF Records. SPF records are DNS (Domain Name System) records that specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of a particular domain. These records contain a list of IP addresses or domain names permitted to send emails from a particularly specified domain, essentially acting as Whitelisted. When an email is received, the recipient’s mail server checks the SPF record of the sender’s domain to verify if the email originated from an authorized source. If the email’s originating server is listed in the SPF record – that email is considered legitimate; otherwise, it may be flagged as suspicious or rejected altogether. In simple words, SPF records help prevent your emails from being marked as spam.

Why are SPF Records Important?

SPF records have several more benefits. They play a crucial role in email authentication and combating email. Look at some benefits below:

1. Preventing Email Spoofing

SPF records help prevent email spoofing by specifying the authorized mail servers for a domain. This prevents malicious actors from impersonating legitimate senders and sending fraudulent emails that appear to originate from trusted domains but actually are not.

2. Reducing Spam

By accurately identifying legitimate senders, SPF records help reduce the likelihood of legitimate emails being classified as spam. This improves email deliverability and ensures necessary communications reach their intended recipients’ primary inboxes.

3. Tightening Email Security

Enabling SPF authentication adds an additional layer of security to your email infrastructure. By verifying the authenticity of the sender’s domain, SPF helps protect against phishing attacks and other forms of email fraud.

How to Enable SPF Authentication on Plesk?

On Plesk, enabling SPF authentication is crucial for your email security measures. Follow this guide, and you will know how to enable SPF authentication on Plesk.

Step-by-Step Comprehensive Guide to Enable SPF Authentication

Accessing the Plesk Control Panel

Start by logging in to your Plesk control panel using your credentials. Once logged in, you will be greeted with the Plesk dashboard, which provides access to various management tools & settings.

From the dashboard, locate and click on the “Mail” option. Depending on your Plesk version & configuration, you may find this option under one of these tabs, such as “Websites & Domains” or “Tools & Settings.”

Selecting the Domain

Within the Mail settings, you will see a list of domains associated with your Plesk account. Select the domain you wish to enable SPF authentication by clicking on it.

Managing DNS Settings

Once you’ve selected the domain, look for the option to manage DNS settings or DNS records. You can add the SPF record to your domain’s DNS configuration here.

Adding SPF Record

In the DNS settings for your domain, locate the option to add a new DNS record. Choose “TXT” as the DNS record type, as SPF records are implemented using TXT records.

Enter the SPF record in the provided text field. The SPF record begins with – v=spf1 – followed by mechanisms specified in the authorized mail servers. For example:

v=spf1 ~all

In this example, “” directs the recipient’s mail server to check the SPF record of “” for additional authorized mail servers. The “~all” qualifier indicates that emails from sources not explicitly listed in the SPF record should be treated with suspicion but not necessarily rejected.

Saving Changes

After adding the SPF record, don’t forget to save your changes. Look for a “Save” or “Apply” button within the DNS settings interface & click on it to ensure your modifications are applied.

DNS changes may take time to implement. While some changes may be visible almost immediately, it’s not uncommon for DNS updates to take several hours or even up to 48 hours to fully propagate worldwide.

Verifying SPF Configuration

Once you’ve added the SPF record, it’s essential to verify that it has been configured correctly. You can use various online SPF checking tools to validate your SPF record and ensure it’s properly formatted.

Also, you can send a test email from your domain to an email address with SPF verification enabled to confirm that the SPF authentication process is functioning as expected.

Regular Maintenance & Updates

Email communication is dynamic, and your SPF authentication setup should evolve along with changes to your email infrastructure. Regularly review & update your SPF records to reflect changes in your mail server configuration or authorized sending sources.

For example, if you add new mail servers or third-party email services to your infrastructure, include them in your SPF records to prevent email delivery issues.


Enabling SPF authentication on Plesk is a straightforward process that significantly enhances the security of your email communications. Specifying authorized mail servers for your domain can help prevent email spoofing, phishing attacks, and delivery issues. Follow the step-by-step guide to add an SPF record to your domain’s DNS settings, and remember to regularly review & update your SPF records as your email infrastructure evolves. With SPF authentication, you can have greater confidence that your emails reach their intended recipients securely, maintaining trust & reducing the risk of email-based threats. If you need help with SPF authentication, you can connect with top server providers like Leasepacket to get help.


Q1. What is SPF authentication?

SPF authentication, or Sender Policy Framework authentication, is a method used to validate the legitimacy of email senders by specifying authorized mail servers for a domain.

Q2. Why do I need SPF authentication?

SPF authentication helps prevent email spoofing, reduces the risk of phishing attacks, and enhances the overall security of your email communications.

Q3. How do I add an SPF record?

To add an SPF record, you must access your domain’s DNS settings and create a new TXT record containing the SPF information, specifying authorized mail servers and their mechanisms.

Q4. What happens if I don’t have SPF authentication?

Without SPF authentication, your emails may be more susceptible to being flagged as spam or phishing attempts, potentially leading to delivery issues and a loss of trust with recipients.

Q5. How much time does it take for SPF changes to update?

SPF changes typically take some time to propagate across the internet, ranging from a few minutes to several hours or even up to 48 hours in some cases.

Q6. Can I test my SPF configuration?

Yes! You can use online SPF checking tools to verify the correctness of your SPF record and ensure that it’s properly configured to authenticate your email senders.