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Rate limiting in six paragraphs
2 min read
Rate limiting is a technique used to control the amount of traffic that is allowed to access a website or application. This is typically used to prevent server overload, protect against denial of service attacks, and ensure that all users have access to the resources they need.
Rate limiting works by setting the maximum number of requests that a user or client can make within a specified period of time. When this limit is reached, any further requests are blocked until the rate limit period has expired. This ensures that the server is not overwhelmed by a large number of requests and that all users have a fair opportunity to access the resources they need.
There are several different ways to implement rate limiting, depending on the specific needs of the website or application. One common approach is to use a token bucket algorithm, which allows a user to make a certain number of requests in a given time period. Once the user has used up their allotted tokens, any further requests will be blocked until the rate limit period has expired.
Another approach is to use a leaky bucket algorithm, which allows a user to make a certain number of requests in a given time period, but also allows for a small number of additional requests to be made if the user’s rate limit has been exceeded. This can help to prevent sudden spikes in traffic from causing the server to become overwhelmed.
In addition to controlling the number of requests a user can make, rate limiting can also be used to limit the amount of data that can be transferred in a given time period. This can help to prevent large downloads or uploads from consuming all of the available bandwidth, and ensure that all users have access to the network resources they need.
Overall, rate limiting is an essential technique for managing traffic on websites and applications, and can help to ensure that all users have access to the resources they need. By carefully controlling the amount of traffic that is allowed to access the server, rate limiting can help to prevent server overload and protect against denial of service attacks.