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What is the difference between the ThreatWave Sensor Network and the Return Path Reputation Network?

Within the platform, Return Path exclusively leverages two data networks that provide senders insight into their sending reputation across the email ecosystem. Each network provides different insights into the reputation landscape and access to both networks offers a more comprehensive view of deliverability.

What is a Sensor Network?

A Sensor Network is a collection of domains managed and operated by ThreatWave that are similar to Spam Traps. When you send mail to these addresses, they function as an indicator of poor list hygiene and offer critical message-level insights, but differ from Spam Traps as they do not directly affect your reputation as a sender.

The ThreatWave Sensor Network

ThreatWave owns and operates one of the world’s largest sensor trap networks, as well as the resulting data set. After Return Path acquired ThreatWave we gained access to a proprietary Sensor Network of trap-like data. We then in turn use this data to provide you with insight into list quality, sending reputation, and the causes behind sending reputation issues. Here is where you can go for more information on ThreatWave.

ThreatWave traps differ from Spam Traps because they do not directly affect reputation or land you on blocklists. However, high volumes of ThreatWave trap hits signal that you may have traditional traps on your list that could result in blacklisting or bulking. ThreatWave’s global email data provides unparalleled visibility into the threats facing the email ecosystem—spam traps, bad sending practices, and more.

What is a Reputation Network?

A Reputation Network is a collection of traditional traps and domains that can directly affect reputation when you send to them. Oftentimes these networks are configured through industry partnerships with mailbox providers and security/filtering providers.

The Return Path Reputation Network

The Return Path Reputation Network consists of more than 80 mailbox providers and security/filtering providers around the globe. These partners give us trap data that we share with you so that you can send in line with the sending best practices that resonate with our partners and providers. Access to the Return Path Reputation Network ensures that senders are receiving data and insights directly from the mailbox providers and security agencies themselves. This allows us to provide you with information about reputation-affecting trap hits.

Whereas the ThreatWave Sensor Network offers visibility into the reason behind list hygiene problems, Spam Traps monitored by our Reputation Network do not offer this visibility. Instead they are owned by security providers and mailbox providers and can end with filtering or blocklisting. Return Path has visibility into Spam Traps via the Return Path Data Exchange. Visibility into these types of Spam Traps is critical to having the best view into how your email program is being perceived in the ecosystem. Return Path provides this level of visibility in the Certification program as well as through reputation monitoring in our platform.

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