Usage of SpamDonkey
You can use SpamDonkey DNSBL in the Full List mode or in Compatibility mode. In the Full List mode, you will have all the capability of SpamDonkey to filter and classify email messages. In the Compatibility mode, SpamDonkey can be used as a traditional DNSBL, such as Barracuda or Spamhaus. If your email server supports the Full List mode, such as hMailServer, we strongly recommend you do so.
As any DNSBL, you should use SpamDonkey as your first line of defense against spam. You will need a second layer with an anti-virus (e.g. Clamwin, MS Defender) and an anti-spam (e.g. SpamAssassin). SpamDonkey is not intended to be used as your only tool for filtering email.
A query to SpamDonkey DNSBL is performed with the reversed IP address. Let us assume, for instance, you want to check the IP 18.104.22.168. The query is performed as below.
- Linux systems
$ host 22.214.171.124.dnsbl.spamdonkey.com (Full List mode)
$ host 126.96.36.199.b.dnsbl.spamdonkey.com (Compatibility mode)
- Windows systems
C:>nslookup 188.8.131.52.dnsbl.spamdonkey.com (Full List mode)
C:>nslookup 184.108.40.206.b.dnsbl.spamdonkey.com (Compatibility mode)
The result of each query is explained below.
Full List Mode
In order to use the Full List mode, your SMTP server must allow you to set different scores for each result from the DNSBL service. If your server only allow you to set an incoming message as either blocked or unblocked, you should use the Compatibility mode.
The Full List mode will always give you a valid answer. If you need an error level as a response for a not-listed IP you should use the Compatibility mode.
For any IP query, the possible answers in Full List mode are:
- 220.127.116.11 - Whitelist level - The IP belongs to a serious and recognized email service which provides person to person communication and does not allow mass mailing through its servers.
- 127.0.0.0 - Clean level - It means either there is no data about it or it belongs to someone who does not send mass mailing.
- 127.0.0.1 - Level 1 - There was some report of unsolicited mail coming from this IP, but it should be safe to deliver its messages. The IP does not have a spotless reputation. However, there is not enough evidence to classify it as a spammer
- 127.0.0.2 - Level 2 - The IP belongs to a service which sends legitimate mass emails and takes care about spammers operating on their servers. Their clients are asked to use their own lists of emails and the service does care about how those addresses have been obtained. Some unsolicited mail may come from this source, but not as a rule and its messages cannot be classified as spam by this criterion alone. Social media email falls under this classification too.
- 127.0.0.3 - Level 3 - The IP belongs to an email marketing service that sends both solicited and unsolicited advertisement. It is a threshold for spam. You must decide what to do with this level, but we recommend sending it to the spam folder
- 127.0.0.4 - Level 4 - The IP belongs to a mass email service that sends mostly unsolicited advertisement. Messages coming from it should go to spam folder.
- 127.0.0.5 - Level 5 - This is not a legitimate service and anything coming from this IP should be discarded without concern.
The Compatibility mode is accessed by adding a “b” just after the reversed IP address, as shown above. There are only two possible answers in this mode:
- 127.0.0.2 - The IP is listed as level 5 and the message should be discarded.
- Non-existing - The IP is not listed as level 5.
By using the Compatibility mode you will lose all the subtlety about classifying messages, but you still have full protection against illegitimate email.