DOMAIN ADMIN TOOLS

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Easydmarc vs Dmarcly

Easydmarc vs Dmarcly

There are a bucketload of dmarc monitoring and management services out there to choose from, ranging from free to stupidly expensive.

This time round we are going to take a look at Easydmarc vs Dmarcly.

If you don’t know what Dmarc is all about, please take a look at our “what is Dmarc and how does it work” article.

Easydmarc have a FREE plan which is great for personal domains or small business that just want the basics, it also allows you to manage unlimited domains. Prices are then $17.99 / month for the Plus plan and $39.99 for the Premium plan. Plans are cheaper if you go yearly.

Dmarcly does not have any free plan but they do offer trials, and their prices are pretty identical, with the professional plan at $17.99, growth at $39.99, business at $69.99 and Enterprise at $199 per month.

For the purposes of this article, we will be comparing the $39.99 growth and premium plans.

FEATUREDMARCLYEASYDMARC
PlanGrowthPremium
Price (per month)$39.99 monthly
$35.99 yearly
$39.99
Domains84
Emails250k100k
SPF Flatteningticktick
Hosted Bimicrosstick
Hosted Dmarccrosstick
MTA-STS/TLS-RPT reportingtickcross
Data history6 months1 year
DNS Timelinetickcross
DKIM checkerticktick
DKIM Record Generatorticktick
Processing/rendering of aggregate reportsticktick
Processing/rendering of forensic reportsticktick
Email Investigationcrosstick
Aggregate Reports (RUA)ticktick
Aggregate Geomapsticktick
Users3unlimited
Automatic Subdomain Detectionticktick
2 Factor Authenticationticktick
Reputation/Blacklist Monitoringcrosstick
Report FrequencyDaily,weekly,monthlyweekly,monthly
Email Reportscross
notifications only
tick

Dmarcly

Easydmarc vs Dmarcly: dmarcly aggregate report
Domain Aggregate Report

The dmarcly system is very text based no frills solutions, not very visually appealing at all and feels very much like a legacy web 2.0 app from 20 years ago.

Overall I did not find the dmarcly system very intuitive or nice to use compared to Easydmarc.

The reports are very minimalistic . The whole site/admin interface feels like it was created by developers with no real UI/UX experience. The target audience here is definitely techies, not end users or business owners.

Below is one of the email summary reports. As you can see, rather than an actual report, you get a notification that a report is available, which you have to login to view. This is just time consuming and annoying having to do this. Compare this to the lovely email reports from easydmarc.

Easydmarc vs Dmarcly: email report
Dmarcly email report

Safe SPF

Frustrated with “SPF PermError: Too Many DNS Lookups“? This can cause emails to not reach the inbox.

SPF allows up to 10 DNS queries upon validation. However, some domains have SPF records requiring 10+ DNS queries, which results in SPF validation failures and deteriorated email deliverability.

The good news is, DMARCLY’s Safe SPF feature solves this problem perfectly.

  • Precise SPF validation
  • Always up to date
  • Boost email deliverability
  • No manual maintenance

ARC support

DMARCLY renders Authenticated Received Chain (ARC) results when the final disposition is overridden by the local policy.

ARC preserves email authentication results across subsequent intermediaries that may modify the message, allowing legitimate messages from indirect mailflows to be delivered.

MTA-STS/TLS Reporting

Your email is susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, if you allow messages to be delivered to your domain via unencrypted connections.

Implement MTA-STS/TLS reporting to identify and fix email security issues.

Adaptive Blacklist Monitoring

Monitor the reputation of IP addresses from which your outbound emails are actually sent.

Dmarcly check against these industry standard blacklists: Spamhaus ZEN, SpamCop Blocking List, Barracuda Reputation Block List, and Passive Spam Block List.

Multiple Email recipients

One feature I initially thought was useful was that dmarcly allows you to setup multiple email recipients for each domain. Which I thought would make it useful for consultants or MSP’s who want to send reports directly to customers.
But alas, this turned out to not be very useful due to the aforementioned fact that the system doesn’t actually send reports via email, just notifications telling you to login to view the report. Meaning that every email recipient would actually need a login in order to be able to see the report.

This feature is further deprecated by the limited number of users per account and and there does not appear to be any way to limit a user to a specific domain. So even if you did sent a report to every client, they wouldn’t actually be able to login to view it.

Support/Customer Service

I contacted their support a few times with various questions, and while they responded within a timely manner, I found their responses to be very terse. The customer service/support felt as minimalistic as the website UI/UX.

PROS

  • More domains and email traffic with each plan.
  • MTA-STS & TLS Reporting

CONS

  • Poor UI/UX, lack of visualisations. Lacks the intuitive look and feel of easy dmarc.
  • No email reports, just notifications.
  • no free plan
  • No support for MSP’s/Resellers
  • Terse support

EasyDmarc

Easydmarc vs Dmarcly: easydmarc aggregate report
Domain Aggregate Report

The Easydmarc app has a beautiful and intuitive interface that is a joy to use and easy to understand, very visual with nice looking icons, graphs and charts everywhere with all the info you need at a glance.

You can tell that a lot of thought went into the UI/UX and that actual UX designers were involved in the process, unlike damrcly. Easydmarc is definitely the better solution for users and business owners but is great for techies too.

The email reports are beautiful and visually tell you everything you need to know, without having to login to your account.

During my time testing Easy Dmarc, I did however discover issues with the reporting, the stats would randomly change every time I reloaded the page, giving completely different data for every domain. Same on the aggregate reports.

It took more effort than it should have done to get them to investigate this issue and finally realize the system was broken, and I found it rather worrying that they were oblivious to it and that I was the only user who had noticed it and reported it.

Easydmarc vs Dmarcly: easydmarc email report
Easydmarc Email Report

Hosted Dmarc

Hosted DMARC

The Hosted DMARC tool provides a unique CNAME record to update your DNS and start using the feature, preventing the need to visit your DNS each time.

Hosted BIMI

Hosted BIMI helps you to manage BIMI record easily directly within their platform. You need to add a single CNAME record to your domain DNS, after which you can securely host the SVG logo and VMC certificate with Easydmarc.

Easy SPF

By default SPF can not exceed 10 DNS lookup. If it does, then this results in “Too many DNS lookups” issue causing “permerror”.

Easy SPF solves this by providing an SPF flattening solution that allows you to Add, remove, update lots of email service providers without being concerned about SPF 10 DNS lookup limitation.

Mitigate and avoid outgoing emails’ loss by automatically authorizing new email sending sources even when your DMARC policy is “quarantine” or “reject”

Real-time Reputation Monitoring

Keep an eye on your domain, IP address, and mail server reputation with the advanced blacklist monitoring service. They notify you once you appear in blacklists, so you’ll be able to quickly act to get them delisted and avoid potential delivery issues.

easydmarc Reputation Monitoring

How does Reputation Monitoring work?

EasyDMARC’s Blacklist Monitoring service provides indispensable information about your domain, IP address, and mail server blacklist status. Our system delivers automated checks and notifies you if they are found in any blacklist. You can monitor both IP addresses (IP4 and IP6) and domains.EasyDMARC’s automated checks run real-time. Our email alert system gives you the link to every IP blacklist provider’s website. From there, you’ll be able to quickly delist your domain or IP address, and mitigate any damages your email sender reputation may experience.

Email Investigation Tool

Setting up domain alignment initially can be quite a complex task, especially if you have multiple sources such as a CRM, ticket system, billing system, blog etc all sending email from your domain.

The email investigation tool makes this easier. It will generate a special email address, which you use to send emails from each of your sources, and Easydmarc will then tell you if that email passed the domain alignment checks.

However during my time using EasyDmarc, I found that the email investigation tool was incorrectly reporting the domain was not aligned and was failing both SPF and DKIM checks because the domain did not match the return path. This was false, both SPF and DKIM were fine, verified via other tools, Even the error clearly showed that the domain and return path both matched.

When I contacted Easydmarc to report this, they were not interested and told me I needed to upgrade to the Enterprise plan if I wanted them to even look into it.

I had to resort to posting the issue on Twitter to get them to look into it, at which point they confirm there was an issue with the tool.

I understand that they must limit providing support to free users, but bug reports should be taken seriously regardless.

MSP/Reseller Features

Easydmarc state that they have MSP features, however these are very basic and I would disagree that they are MSP features.

All it really gives you is the ability to manage multiple domains and users and to assign a user to a domain. There is no ability to generate reports and send them to clients. If you want a client to get reports, then you must add them as a user so they can set this up themselves.

There is no option to setup branding, so if you do give a client access, they will know they are using Easydmarc.

Customer Service/Support

In stark contrast to dmacly, I found Easydmarc to very pleasant to deal with and generally more helpful with their responses. While testing out their service I noticed that I was getting emails sent through postmark servers passing the DKIM tests. When I quizzed them on this, they spotted an old dkim record I had left in my DNS.

PROS

  • Very visual, easy to understand UX/UI that is pleasant to use.
  • Nice email reports.
    Pretty, easy to understand email reports that show you current alignment status at a glance.
  • Free plan with unlimited domains
  • Friendly customer service
  • Reputation monitoring included
  • Handy email investigation tool

CONS

  • Less domains & email traffic compared to dmarcly
  • No MTA-STS & TLS Reporting (although they say it is coming soon)
  • Very limited/Basic MSP features
  • Buggy reports

Summary

So which solution is best? This very much depends on your requirements, although you can probably tell I prefer Easydmarc.

If you want a solution that looks nice, generates attractive, easy to understand reports either for yourself or to send to clients or you are an MSP looking for a solution to resell, then I would go for Easydmarc.

If you are looking for the cheapest solution with the most domains and don’t really care about the visuals and UI or your specifically need MTA-STS & TLS Reporting, then go for Dmarcly.

What is DKIM?

What is DKIM?

DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail and is used for the authentication of an email that’s being sent. Like SPF, DKIM is an open standard for email authentication that is used for DMARC alignment. A DKIM record exists in the DNS, but it is a bit more complicated than SPF. DKIM’s advantage is that it can survive forwarding, which makes it superior to SPF and a foundation for securing your email.

Starting in 2004 from merging two similar efforts, “enhanced DomainKeys” from Yahoo and “Identified Internet Mail” from Cisco and has since been widely adopted for email authentication.

What is a DKIM Record?

A domain owner adds a DKIM record, which is a modified TXT record, to the DNS records on the sending domain. This TXT record will contain a public key that’s used by receiving mail servers to verify a message’s signature. The key is often provided to you by the organization that is sending your email, for example SendGridPostmark, or Google Apps.

What is a DKIM Signature?

DKIM gives emails a signature header that is added to the email and secured with encryption. Each DKIM signature contains all the information needed for an email server to verify that the signature is real, and it is encrypted by a pair of DKIM keys. The originating email server has what is called the “private DKIM key,” which can be verified by the receiving mail server or ISP with the other half of the keypair, called the “public DKIM key.”

These signatures travel with the emails and are verified along the way by the email servers that move the emails toward their final destination.

How does DKIM work?

When an inbound mail server receives a message, it will detect the DKIM signature and look up the sender’s public DKIM key in DNS. The variable or DKIM selector provided in the DKIM signature is used to determine where to look for this key. If the key is found, it can be used to decrypt the DKIM signature. This is then compared to the values retrieved from the received mail. If they match, the DKIM is valid.

Read about DKIM Selectors and how to discover which ones your domain may be currently using.

Why use DKIM for Email?

Implementing DKIM for email provides major benefits:

  • Protection of message integrity. The content of the email can be verified that it hasn’t been changed while being sent.
  • Increases domain reputation and email deliverability.
  • One of the foundational methods of email authentication for DMARC.

How do I know if DKIM is working?

Test your domain’s DKIM settings – Our DKIM Inspector is a free diagnostic tool that check if the public part of your DKIM signature—using the selector—has been implemented correctly in the DNS of your domain. Our free DKIM Validator can help you verify that your DKIM record is properly formatted. 

What happens when DKIM fails?

When DKIM alignment fails—or when the d= value in the Header From does not match the d= value in the DKIM signature—it can negatively impact deliverability as mailbox providers may send the message to the spam folder or block it entirely.

It is important to examine all messages that have failed to identify the sources as valid or as malicious. If you recognize a source as legitimate, you can investigate and set up DKIM correctly. If a source is not recognized, make sure to research it because this could indicate an attempt to send malicious emails on behalf of your domain.

Why DKIM-Only Isn’t Safe Enough

DKIM on its own isn’t a reliable way of authenticating the identity of the email sender and does nothing to prevent the spoofing of the domain visible in the header of the email. DMARC solves the problem by guaranteeing that the domain the end user sees is the same as the domain that is validated by DKIM and SPF. Learn more about DMARC alignment.

Furthermore, the addition of DMARC provides email received instructions on what to do with emails which do not match these checks via DMARC policy enforcement.

What is DMARC and how does it work?

What is DMARC and how does it work?

Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is a free and open technical specification that is used to authenticate an email by aligning SPF and DKIM mechanisms. By having DMARC in place, business owners large and small can fight the massive cybersecurity problems caused by phishing and reputation damage caused by spoofing.

With DMARC you can tell the world how to handle the unauthorized use of your email domains by instituting a policy in your DMARC record. The three DMARC policies are:

p=none

Monitors your email traffic. No further actions are taken.

p=quarantine

Sends unauthorized emails to the spam folder.

p=reject

The final policy and the ultimate goal of implementing DMARC. This policy ensures that unauthorized email doesn’t get delivered at all.

How does DMARC work?

DMARC is based upon the results of SPF and/or DKIM, so at least one of those has to be in place for the email domain. To deploy DMARC, you need to publish a DMARC record in the DNS.

A DMARC record is a text entry within the DNS record that tells the world your email domain’s policy after checking SPF and DKIM status. DMARC authenticates if either SPF, DKIM, or both pass. This is referred to as DMARC alignment or identifier alignment. Based on identifier alignment, it is possible that SPF and DKIM pass, but DMARC fails.

A DMARC record also tells email servers to send XML reports back to the reporting email address listed in the DMARC record. These reports provide insight on how your email is moving through the ecosystem and allow you to identify everything that is using your email domain.

Because reports are written in XML, making sense of them can be tricky, and they can be numerous. dmarcian’s platform can receive these reports and provide visualization on how your email domains are being used, so you can take action and move your DMARC policy towards p=reject.

What is a DMARC Record?

As a mission-driven company, dmarcian is focused on spreading the adoption of DMARC. Because of this, we interface with a wide range of people with varying degrees of knowledge. We thought we’d take a step back and take a look at something fundamental: What is a DMARC record?

A DMARC record is a text entry within the DNS record that tells the world your email domain’s policy when it comes to checking to see if your SPF and/or DKIM has passed or failed.

A DMARC record also tells the servers that touch your email on its way to its final destination to send XML reports back to the reporting email address listed in the DMARC record. These reports provide insight on how your email is moving through the ecosystem and allow you to identify everything that is using your email domain.

More information on publishing DMARC records can be found here.

The DMARC Record; what does it look like?

an example of a dmarc record
  • v=” indicates this is a DMARC record 
  • p=” indicates the DMARC policy 
  • rua=” indicates where data should be sent 

RUA is reporting that provides an aggregate view of all of a domain’s traffic. The other option is RUF reports that are redacted forensic copies of the individual emails that are not 100% compliant with DMARC. While RUA reports show the traffic of the email, RUF reports contain snippets from the actual emails themselves. While RUA reporting is all that is needed for DMARC deployment, more advanced users may also add the RUF tag, which will send more sensitive information.

These reports are in Extensible Markup Language (XML), which isn’t easy to read:

There are tools that can translate these XML files into a human-friendly format. Services like Dmarcly, where the RUA reports can be pointed to, automatically process the reports and give you insight via a powerful dashboard to make identifying the valid uses of your email domain easier while disallowing abuse. A dmarcian account will store past reports so you can observe trends and be alerted when new threats arise.

Why Use DMARC for Email?

why dmarc illustration

Email is involved in more than 90% of all network attacks and without DMARC, it can be hard to tell if an email is real or fake. DMARC allows domain owners to protect their domain(s) from unauthorized use by fighting phishing, spoofing, CEO fraud, and Business Email Compromise.

By always sending DMARC compliant email, the operator of an Internet domain can tell the world “everything I send is easy to identify using DMARC—feel free to drop fake email that pretends to be me.”

DMARC’s utility as an anti-spoofing technology stems from a significant innovation; instead of attempting to filter out malicious email, why not provide operators with a way to easily identify legitimate email? DMARC’s promise is to replace the fundamentally flawed “filter out bad” email security model with a “filter in good” model.

If you’re curious about the health of your domain or anyone’s, use this free Domain Checker for a quick check. It inspects DMARC, SPF and DKIM and tells you which actions you need to take to reach compliance.

Benefits of DMARC

If you use email, you’ll benefit by incorporating DMARC.

When strong security controls are deployed against fraudulent email, delivery is simplified, brand reliability increases and visibility is granted to domain owners on how their domains are being used around the Internet.

Security

  • Security
    Disallow unauthorized use of your email domain to protect people from spam, fraud, and phishing.
  • Visibility
    Gain visibility into who and what across the Internet is sending email using your email domain.
  • Delivery
    Use the same modern plumbing that mega companies use to deliver email.
  • Identity
    Make your email easy to identify across the huge and growing footprint of DMARC-capable receivers.

Need Help?

If you are interested in a fully managed email security, domain alignment, Dmarc service

What is DKIM?

What is SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is used to authenticate the sender of an email. With an SPF record in place, Internet Service Providers can verify that a mail server is authorized to send email for a specific domain. An SPF record is a DNS TXT record containing a list of the IP addresses that are allowed to send email on behalf of your domain.

How does SPF work?

To take advantage of SPF, you publish an SPF record in the DNS. The record is a list of all the IP addresses that are allowed to send email on behalf of the domain. 

The SPF mechanism uses the domain in the return-path address to identify the SPF record. When a sender tries to hand-off an email to an email “receiving” server for delivery, the server checks to see if the sender is on the domain’s list of allowed senders. If so, then a link has been established between the piece of email and the email domain. If not, then the server continues processing the email as usual without this link, as any number of things could be going on. 

The email might be real, but the list of senders might not be accurate. Real email might have been forwarded which means the email could have come from anywhere and the list of allowed senders doesn’t help too much. Or, the email is fake and unwanted. Too many possible outcomes makes it difficult to attach meaning to the absence of the link that SPF can provide. DKIM fills the gap in the DMARC technical framework as an additional way to try and link a piece of email back to a domain.

how does SPF work

What is SPF Format?

More information about how an SPF record is formatted, and how you can create one for your email domain, can be found here: How to Create and Add an SPF Record

Already have an SPF record? We have also developed a comprehensive guide to SPF record formatting to increase your understanding and help troubleshoot any SPF issues that our free SPF Surveyor may bring to your attention:  SPF Record Syntax

SPF and DMARC for Email

By itself, SPF can associate a piece of email with a domain. With the DNS records in place, DMARC ties the results of SPF to the content of email, specifically to the domain found in the return path or From: header of an email. For SPF to work correctly in the context of DMARC, the return-path address has to be relevant to the domain of the From: header, which is the item that ties together DMARC alignment.

Why is SPF Important?

SPF has become exceedingly vital to help verify which sending infrastructure can relay email on behalf of your domain. Implementing SPF for email provides major benefits:

  • Increases domain reputation and email deliverability.
  • Fights domain impersonation and email spoofing to protect your brand reputation.
  • One of the foundational methods of email authentication for DMARC.

How do I check my SPF Record?

Check your domain’s SPF settings – dmarcian’s SPF Surveyor is an SPF diagnostic tool that presents a graphical view of SPF records. It allows you to quickly identify which servers are authorized to send on behalf of a domain.

Why SPF-Only Isn’t Safe Enough

Though SPF is a layer of proven email authentication that has been around since the late 1990s, it does have its challenges. Simply put, forwarding of email happens on the Internet and the SPF mechanism doesn’t survive the forwarding process. Forwarding typically happens when you send email to [email protected] and that person has set their email to be forwarded to another address, like [email protected] In this example, your email appears to be coming out of infrastructure that appears to have nothing to do with you. 

DKIM signing can survive forwarding. If your domain is covered with DKIM, dmarcian’s ability to detect forwarding increases. SPF does not work in the context of forwarding, as SPF is simply a list of servers that are authorized to send on behalf of your domain, and it isn’t possible for a domain owner to maintain a list of forwarders.

SPF Misconceptions

Companies often misunderstand how SPF works and instruct their customers to include the company’s own SPF record. However, this ends up doing nothing if the company uses its own domain in the bounce address. When an email receiver processes a piece of email, it will look at the company’s SPF record—not the SPF record of the customer.

Two unwanted things happen because of this misconception:

  1. Unnecessary “includes” are added into their SPF records. This causes SPF records to bloat and introduces management challenges
  2. Confusion is introduced as people just want to get SPF into place to complete their DMARC deployment. The result is that SPF passes, but DMARC fails.

For SPF to work correctly in the context of DMARC, the bounce address has to be relevant to the domain of the From: header. Unfortunately, many companies that send email on behalf of others do not currently allow their customers to change the bounce address to the customer’s domain. This is slowly changing, but companies first have to understand the basics of how SPF works. We have resources available to help companies send DMARC compliant email on behalf of others.

Note: There is obsolete technology called SenderID that tried to perform SPF-like checks, except it used the From: header domain (among others) as the item to check. SenderID also attempted to reuse existing SPF records, causing even more confusion.  

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