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One of my clients sites has exceeded its 6000mb monthly bandwidth quota. I checked Analytics and the site has not had an unreasonable amount of visitors (only 700 in the last month). The site has no hosted videos or other large content.

Would anyone know what could be causing this?

UPDATE:

OK I determined that it is pretty much a DDOS attack. Had a look at the logs on cPanel and indeed there was one IP address that was accessing 20 - 30 files (not necessarily pages) a minute. I blocked this IP address in cPanel. Checked the logs a few minutes later and saw another different IP address was doing the same thing. Did some Googling and found a service called CloudFare apparently aided in blocking them. I signed my site up to them.

Has anyone had any experience or success with them?

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2 Answers 2

CloudFlare works great. I use them for several sites.

Here's a very basic summary of how it works:

  • You update your DNS settings so that traffic to your site goes through CloudFlare first.
  • Because they protect a large number of websites they are able to see things, like IP addresses, that are responsible for unusual activity.
  • Once a certain threshold is reached CloudFlare will block that IP address from accessing websites protected using their services.
  • Since they use the network of sites they protect to monitor things their system can learn as it goes, which is great.
  • CloudFlare can prevent DDoS attacks as well, saving you resources and bandwidth by blocking the malicious traffic before it reaches your server.

Having your DNS route through CloudFlare also doesn't cause any lag, as CloudFlare is one of the fastest DNS providers on the web: http://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-fastest-free-dns-among-fastest-dns

An additional benefit of CloudFlare is that they work like a Content Delivery Network, caching your files and serving them up from servers around the world.

On this page http://www.cloudflare.com/features-cdn they say:

your website, on average, loads twice as fast for your visitors regardless of where they are located

You can also see stats like how much quicker you pages load, how much bandwidth CloudFlare saved you, and a few other things through their Dashboard.

There are also a bunch of optional features that you can enable, such as the option to serve up copies of your pages from their cache even if your server is unavailable, keeping your site online in such cases when it would typically become unavailable.

You can't go wrong, since they offer the service for free, so it's worth giving it a try like you have to see the benefits for yourself.

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To clear up your initial confusion: Google Analytics uses Javascript, so only people visiting the site using regular browsers will register as visitors there.

Anyone can hit your site using something like wget. It's possible someone tried to download your entire site, or a bad search engine robot began crawling too fast (I believe search engines like Yandex are known for doing this). If you have access to server logs you should check those and see if it came from a particular user-agent or IP.

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