Q&A | Is SPF2.0 Dead?

I’ve spoken with several folks and am still confused about whether or not SenderID is actually needed when sending to MSN/Hotmail.

What’s the verdict? Is SenderID dead? Do spfv2 records need to be published? Is it sufficient to just publish SPF (v1) records when sending to MSN/Hotmail?

Sincerely confused on this one…

I was intrigued by this question, as it was not something I had ever been told while working with the support teams at Hotmail, so I sent a note off to my contacts within Microsoft and got back the official word;

“In the majority of cases, using the SPF record will satisfy both SPF as well as SenderID verification within the Hotmail systems. Organizations that wish to publish a SenderID record are encouraged to do so. This second record will be used for SenderID validations, of the PRA domain only, and will take precedence over the classic SPF record.”


  • SenderID is not dead – in fact it’s still the one method used by Hotmail’s authentication services.
  • SPF (v1) implementations will continue to validate the MAIL FROM domain unless the sender has published a spf2.0/pra record.
  • Publishing both records is not going to hurt your delivery to Hotmail.
  • SPF is still being checked in the absence of SenderID – SPF is supported ongoing because most senders don’t have just a 2.0 record yet.
  • While only one records is sufficient, my recommendation continues to be publish both, as some other ISPs continue to pick one over the other.

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

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  1. Is there evidence of anyone besides Microsoft checking SenderID?

    If not, what’s the point of doing both?

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  2. Anonymous – The ESPC [http://www.espcoalition.org/ESPC_Authentication_Report.pdf] shows that AOL/Netscape/CS/AIM, United Online (Juno/NetZero) and Microsoft (MSN.com/Hotmail) and partners (Sympatico) are all checking SID and SPF.

    Spamfighter – I believe this is because the number of domains only publishing SPF still out number those publishing SID or both.

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