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Limit the download speed with Apache

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My adventures in retro gaming have brought me back into the semi-seedy world of piracy websites and the technological considerations that dictate their business model . Annoying pop-ups and pornographic ads aside, the most obvious technological observation I made was that each of these sites used bandwidth limitation as a way to make money. Do you want to download that game quickly? Stump $ 10 per month and it will be lightning fast; otherwise you have been degraded to sleep-inducing download speeds.

When investigating download speed limits, it became clear that dynamic speed restriction is incredibly inefficient, and the best way to slow down downloads is to configure different servers or virtual folders with different download speeds and send each user to each server based on of the download speed that they should have.

Configure the download speed of Apache

Enable the mod_ratelimit extension to lower the download speed on Apache servers:


LoadModule ratelimit_module modules / mod_ratelimit.so

Then set different download speeds per folder with the following Apache configuration:


SetOutputFilter RATE_LIMIT
SetEnv rate limit 100

SetOutputFilter RATE_LIMIT
SetEnv tariff limit 500

Some types of dynamic Apache config would allow custom URLs per user that would obscure the download speed URLs, so that users could not dynamically fade URLs to avoid the download speed of a to obtain another.

The download speed limit and throttling business seem booming: just look at MEGA and other similar services. The science behind download throttling is big business and I hope to learn more from it. In the meantime, it's nice to know that the download speed limits can be done with a few Apache guidelines!


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