EmailAddress Validator

Zend\Validator\EmailAddress allows you to validate an email address. The validator first splits the email address on local-part @ hostname and attempts to match these against known specifications for email addresses and hostnames.

Basic usage

A basic example of usage is below:

$validator = new Zend\Validator\EmailAddress();

if ($validator->isValid($email)) {
    // email appears to be valid
} else {
    // email is invalid; print the reasons
    foreach ($validator->getMessages() as $message) {
        echo "$message\n";
    }
}

This will match the email address $email and on failure populate getMessages() with useful error messages.

Supported Options

Zend\Validator\EmailAddress supports several options which can either be set at instantiation, by giving an array with the related options, or afterwards, by using setOptions(). The following options are supported:

Complex local parts

Zend\Validator\EmailAddress will match any valid email address according to RFC2822. For example, valid emails include bob@domain.com, bob+jones@domain.us, "bob@jones"@domain.com* and "bob jones"@domain.com

Some obsolete email formats will not currently validate (e.g. carriage returns or a \\ character in an email address).

Validating only the local part

If you need Zend\Validator\EmailAddress to check only the local part of an email address, and want to disable validation of the hostname, you can set the domain option to false. This forces Zend\Validator\EmailAddress not to validate the hostname part of the email address.

$validator = new Zend\Validator\EmailAddress();
$validator->setOptions(['domain' => FALSE]);

Validating different types of hostnames

The hostname part of an email address is validated against the Hostname validator. By default only DNS hostnames of the form domain.com are accepted, though if you wish you can accept IP addresses and Local hostnames too.

To do this you need to instantiate Zend\Validator\EmailAddress passing a parameter to indicate the type of hostnames you want to accept. More details are included in Zend\Validator\Hostname, though an example of how to accept both DNS and Local hostnames appears below:

use Zend\Validator\EmailAddress;
use Zend\Validator\Hostname;

$validator = new EmailAddress( Hostname::ALLOW_DNS | Hostname::ALLOW_LOCAL);

if ($validator->isValid($email)) {
    // email appears to be valid
} else {
    // email is invalid; print the reasons
    foreach ($validator->getMessages() as $message) {
        echo "$message\n";
    }
}

Checking if the hostname actually accepts email

Just because an email address is in the correct format, it doesn't necessarily mean that email address actually exists. To help solve this problem, you can use MX validation to check whether an MX (email) entry exists in the DNS record for the email's hostname. This tells you that the hostname accepts email, but doesn't tell you the exact email address itself is valid.

MX checking is not enabled by default. To enable MX checking you can pass a second parameter to the Zend\Validator\EmailAddress constructor.

$validator = new Zend\Validator\EmailAddress([
    'allow' => Zend\Validator\Hostname::ALLOW_DNS,
    'useMxCheck'    => true,
]);

Alternatively you can either pass true or false to setValidateMx() to enable or disable MX validation.

By enabling this setting, network functions will be used to check for the presence of an MX record on the hostname of the email address you wish to validate. Please be aware this will likely slow your script down.

Sometimes validation for MX records returns false, even if emails are accepted. The reason behind this behaviour is, that servers can accept emails even if they do not provide a MX record. In this case they can provide A, A6, or AAAA records. To allow Zend\Validator\EmailAddress to check also for these other records, you need to set deep MX validation. This can be done at initiation by setting the deep option or by using setOptions().

$validator = new Zend\Validator\EmailAddress([
    'allow' => Zend\Validator\Hostname::ALLOW_DNS,
    'useMxCheck'    => true,
    'useDeepMxCheck'  => true,
]);

Sometimes it can be useful to get the server's MX information which have been used to do further processing. Simply use getMXRecord() after validation. This method returns the received MX record including weight and sorted by it.

Performance warning**

You should be aware that enabling MX check will slow down you script because of the used network functions. Enabling deep check will slow down your script even more as it searches the given server for 3 additional types.

Disallowed IP addresses

You should note that MX validation is only accepted for external servers. When deep MX validation is enabled, then local IP addresses like 192.168.* or 169.254.* are not accepted.

Validating International Domains Names

Zend\Validator\EmailAddress will also match international characters that exist in some domains. This is known as International Domain Name (IDN) support. This is enabled by default, though you can disable this by changing the setting via the internal Zend\Validator\Hostname object that exists within Zend\Validator\EmailAddress.

$validator->getHostnameValidator()->setValidateIdn(false);

More information on the usage of setValidateIdn() appears in the Hostname documentation.

Please note IDNs are only validated if you allow DNS hostnames to be validated.

Validating Top Level Domains

By default a hostname will be checked against a list of known TLDs. This is enabled by default, though you can disable this by changing the setting via the internal Zend\Validator\Hostname object that exists within Zend\Validator\EmailAddress.

$validator->getHostnameValidator()->setValidateTld(false);

More information on the usage of setValidateTld() appears in the Hostname documentation.

Please note TLDs are only validated if you allow DNS hostnames to be validated.

Setting messages

Zend\Validator\EmailAddress makes also use of Zend\Validator\Hostname to check the hostname part of a given email address. You can specify messages for Zend\Validator\Hostname from within Zend\Validator\EmailAddress.

$validator = new Zend\Validator\EmailAddress();
$validator->setMessages([
    Zend\Validator\Hostname::UNKNOWN_TLD => 'I don\'t know the TLD you gave'
]);