How to control the total requests in Ngnix

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Fri Dec 1 02:08:29 UTC 2017

Here is a log of real life IP limiting with a 30 connection limit: British Telecommunications PLC Level 3 Communications Inc. The Boeing Company

security.5.bz2:Nov 29 20:50:53 theranch kernel: ipfw: 5005 drop session type 40 58714 -> myip 80, 34 too many entries
security.6.bz2:Nov 29 16:01:31 theranch kernel: ipfw: 5005 drop session type 40 10363 -> myip 80, 42 too many entries
above repeated twice
security.8.bz2:Nov 29 06:39:15 theranch kernel: ipfw: 5005 drop session type 40 34056 -> myip 80, 31 too many entries
above repeated 18 times

I have an Alexa rating around 960,000. Hey, at least I made to the top one million websites. But my point is even with a limit of 30, I'm kicking out readers. 

Look at the nature of the IPs. British Telecom is one of those huge ISPs where I guess different users are sharing the same IP. (Not sure.) Level 3 is the provider at many Starbucks, besides being a significant traffic carrier. Boeing has decent IP space, but maybe only a few IPs per facility. Who knows.

My point is if you set the limit at two, that is way too low. 

The only real way to protect from DDOS is to use a commercial reverse proxy. I don't think limiting connection in Nginx (or in the firewall) will solve a real attack. It will probably stop some kid in his parents basement. But today you can rent DDOS attacks on the dark web. 

If you really want to improve performance of your server, do severe IP filtering at the firewall. Limit the number of search engines that can read your site. Block major hosting companies and virtual private servers. There are no eyeballs there. Just VPNs (who can drop the VPN if they really want to read your site) and hackers. Easily half the internet traffic is bots.

Per some discussions on this list, it is best not to block using nginx, but rather use the firewall. Nginx parses the http request even if blocking the IP, so the CPU load isn't insignificant. As an alternative, you can use a reputation based blocking list. (I don't use one on web servers, just on email servers.)

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