According to Google’s documentation, https://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=178723

It clearly says Create a TXT record containing this text: v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

Why is this not a SPF record?

RFC4408 defines SPF records, but it seems it’s not really used https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4408#section-3.1.1

Is that right? Should I create both TXT and SPF ?


  • 4
    Not many domain registrars provide tools for creating and managing actual SPF records while TXT support is quite common (just for example: popular GoDaddy). That's, of course, if you are not running your own DNS server. If you can -- create both. This will also be beneficial for services that actually support SPF records (because they first check SPF and if absent -- TXT). – LazyOne Mar 28 '12 at 16:24

I realize this is a fairly old question, but in case anyone else stumbles upon it, here is what I found. It appears that the SPF record type is now obselete. See:

Studies have shown that RRTYPE 99 has not seen any substantial use, and in fact its existence and mechanism defined in [RFC4408] has led to some interoperability issues. Accordingly, its use is now obsolete, and new implementations are not to use it.

From: https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-spfbis-4408bis-15#section-13.1

See also a post on cPanel's feature request forum on this topic.

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    Also RFC 7208 obsoletes 4408 and states: SPF records MUST be published as a DNS TXT (type 16) Resource Record (RR) [RFC1035] only. – Stoinov May 10 '15 at 13:16

Please read status of RFC4408 "Category: Experimental" and definition of this status.

Also, from RFC

It is recognized that the current practice (using a TXT record) is not optimal, but it is necessary because there are a number of DNS server and resolver implementations in common use that cannot handle the new RR type.

and, after all, SPF RR haven't any added value, compared to TXT version


I would create both, since you have that ability. After you done, you can send and email to "mailtest@unlocktheinbox.com", it will auto-respond and give you a complete diagnosis of the email you sent letting you know, if you have everything set up correctly.


Considering that it is now 7 years after the RFC was published, I say that anyone still using DNS servers that can't handle unknown RRtypes is basically THEIR problem for not keeping software up to date. (Also consider that by not upgrading, how many know exploits for which they remain vulnerable). RFC 4408 said that the overloading of the TXT RRtype was a temporary measure until the IANA issued the SPF RRtype (type 99), which also happened 7 years ago.

Therefore, I say that use of the TXT RRtype for SPF purposes expired long ago. People running resolvers which check only for the TXT type are broken.

I disagree that the SPF RRtype didn't "add value." It keeps machine processible data OUT of a human readable DNS RRtype.

  • You may like to change your mind considering Dominic's answer? – user11478 Apr 25 '14 at 15:57

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