Educational ICT Virtualisation Specialist 

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Precedence Technologies Ltd
Technology House, 36a Union Lane
Cambridge, CB4 1QB, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)8456 446 800 / +44 (0)1223 359900
F: +44 (0)8456 446 899 / +44 (0)1223 359459

Problems with forwarding mail

It is easy to set up mail redirections to forward mail onto an existing email address. For example, you may choose to forward to where is hosted on our servers, but is not. When this is in the place the following happens when sends an email to

  1. Mail server for (assume called looks up the mail server designated to handle mail for This will be one of our servers.
  2. sends mail to our mail servers
  3. Our mail servers look up the mail server for (assume called
  4. Our mail servers send mail to addressed to

Compare this to when sends an email to directly:

  1. Mail server for (assume called looks up the mail server designated to handle mail for (assume called
  2. sends mail to addressed to

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) allows you to tell people which mail servers will send out email from your domain. This is entirely optional, but it allows the recipient servers to spot if someone has spoofed up your email address (e.g. a spammer) as they would not be sending from your 'official' mail servers. Problems arise if the final mail server (e.g. blocks email that does not come from your 'official' mail servers.

In the above example, let us assume that the person in charge of declares that mail will only come from You will see that when delivered directly, this is fine, but when forwarded the mail will come from our servers not Therefore, the mail might be rejected. Google, in particular, is very strict about this and so forwarding onto a or address is unlikely to be successful.

Note that the SPF record is under the control of and the checking is done by Neither of these are anything to do with you, or our servers and thus there is nothing you can do to prevent this (besides not use mail forwarding).

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