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My boss asked me to set up Google Apps for a client and basically I have done everything including setting up MX records in DirectAdmin and re-creating the email accounts in Google Apps.

I also sent a few test emails to ensure that it actually works and it seems fine.

But then I discovered this article talking about changing the SPF record for the domain.

http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=178723

After reading the introduction I think it would be better for me to change the SPF record according to this article.

So I logged in to the DirectAdmin and navigated to the DNS management, and then I found that there's already a TXT SPF record there:

v=spf1 a mx a:spf.cabin.com.hk include:gmail.com -all

And it looks like it's already including gmail.com, but according to the article it should be:

_spf.google.com

rather than:

gmail.com

I dare not to change it before I understand what this record actually means.

What would you do with this record if you were me?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The include option in an SPF record simply says that you want to include someone else's policy in addition to what's defined in your own record.

If we look at the SPF record for gmail.com:

dig -ttxt gmail.com

; <<>> DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 <<>> -ttxt gmail.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 52705
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;gmail.com.         IN  TXT

;; ANSWER SECTION:
gmail.com.      255 IN  TXT "v=spf1 redirect=_spf.google.com"

;; Query time: 18 msec
;; SERVER: 10.0.1.1#53(10.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Sat Jan  8 14:31:43 2011
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 71

We see that it simply redirects to _spf.google.com, so you can change it or not, and it will make no difference. I would probably go ahead and change it, in case Google ever turn off the redirect.

(The instructions for setting up SPF for Google Apps say that you should include aspmx.googlemail.com: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hlrm=en&answer=33786

But that also just redirects to _spf.google.com.)

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