Protecting your bandwidth
You may be noticing, or your web hosting person may have contacted you,
that your website is using too much bandwidth.
"Bandwidth" is anything going "through the pipe" (the connection) to or from your site.
This could be a good thing!
If your site is getting very popular, and a lot
of people are visiting it, your bandwidth will go up.
If you are offering large files, like video or audio, that can use
a lot of bandwidth also.
But — these days,
in the wild world of the internet, it could also mean
that your site is being attacked.
Someone could be sending hits to your
site with a program, to use up its bandwidth so that the site will be unavailable.
(This is called a "denial of service" attack.)
Another reason for using too much bandwidth, is that your media: images, videos, etc
"optimised" for the web. That is, their file size is much bigger
than it needs to be.
So how to find out what is using your bandwidth?
CPanel has some very useful tools to help us see what is going on, and even to stop it.
Log in to your CPanel
Your CPanel may look different than the screenshots below, because it may have a different theme.
But the idea will be the same.
If you can't log in to your CPanel because your account is suspended because of over-bandwidth, you can access it by going to tibetbridges.com/cpanel . Just enter your own login info and you will be in your own site CPanel.
The "Bandwidth" tool in CPanel
1. Scroll down to the "Logs" section, and click on the "Bandwidth" icon
2. Check out the charts there.
It will show you bandwidth use by past week, and year, and by domains and subdomiains,
and by web/mail/ftp. You can click on graphs and connection types to see more details,
but the big picture is probably the most useful to us.
It's good to "fly over" the past months, and get an idea of the pattern.
If you have a sudden increase ... is it because your site suddenly got popular?
Or are you being hacked?
Ok that gives us the bandwidth pattern, but maybe we want more details.
The great Awstats in CPanel
1. Go back (or log in) to your CPanel
2. Scroll down to the same "Logs" section, and click on the "Awstats" icon
Your CPanel may look different, because it may have a different theme.
But the idea will be the same.
3. Click on the domain (website) whose stats you want to see.
TibetanGeeks.com has a lot of subdomains, and we can see separate statistics
for each of them - which is nice!
Right now we want to see the stats for the main TibetanGeeks website, which is
"tibetangeeks.com" ... so we scroll down and find it at the end of the list.
Click on the little magnifying glass icon.
4. View the countries accessing your website.
Now you are at the page showing statistics for your webesite.
There are a lot of interesting things on this page, and it is worth your time
to explore them!
But for right now, our interest is, who is eating our bandwidth?
So scroll down to the section labeled "Countries".
Things to know:
I am suspicious of the large numbers from Russian Federation.
Most of our hits are probably NOT coming from the United States.
So why does it show at the top?
The Awstats program (or any program) can't know exactly which country
a visitor is coming from. Every browser sends the i.p. number of its ISP (Internet Service provider).
Then the program does a "reverse lookup" on the i.p. number. If the answer to the lookup is
"vsnl.co.in", then good, Awstats can add the hit to India. But if it is "bsnl.com" ...
well, no way to really know. So Awstats adds it to United States hits.
There are small hits from many countries, and that's nice.
Hopefully they are real people — Tibetans are taking over the world!
I just don't think there are very many Tibetans, or people so interested in Tibetan Geeks,
in Russian Federation!
And it is known that a lot of spam and attacks come from there.
5. Check the I.P. numbers
If there is an i.p. number getting a lot more hits than all the others,
i would be suspicious of it.
6. Check the robots
Good robots will say who they are: "Yahoo Slurp" or "Googlebot".
I think that top "Unknown robot" is one of the bad guys!
Block the bad guys
Find out where that greedy i.p. number is coming from:
Copy it, and check it here to see if it is a good boy or a bad boy
Now find out more about the hostname that you found:
Block the bad i.p. number in your CPanel!
Back to your CPanel, scroll down to "Security" section,
and click on "IP Deny Manager"
There, the first thing is "Add an IP to deny" box.
Paste in that IP number, and click "Add".
Now any hits, DOS attacks, etc., will not be able to get to your site.
But remember, if that number is an ISP, this means that *anybody* coming through that ISP
will not be able to access your site.
Get your site back online:
If you have your own hosting, contact your good Support at your hosting
and tell them what you have done and ask them to unblock your site.
If you have an account with TibetBridges, contact TibetBridges
and tell them what you have done and ask them to raise your bandwidth
temporarily so that you can get visitors for the rest of the month!
The bandwidth raise is temporary, and will put back to your normal bandwidth
at the first of the month.
It may take a few hours for the site to be available -- the
cPanel program only checks the bandwidth limit once a day,
and i don't know when that is ...
In your local copy of your website, check your file sizes
Your regular images for pages, don't need to be bigger than 50 KB at the largest.
Most of them can be 20KB or much less.
Do a search on google for something like:
optimise images for web
and you will find lots of useful information for making your images.
Same for video and audio files. How big do they need to be?
That depends on what you are offering: High-quality download? Medium-quality streaming?
It will be up to you, but don't make them bigger if they don't need to be.
There is a great plugin for FireFox called YSlow.
It "analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance".
Check it out at
Get great protection from CloudFlare
Now get an account on
- to protect your website,
- which in turn protects other sites and people.
About DOS attacks:
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copyright © 2003–2010 James Walker.
License for use is the GNU Free Documentation License.
here in the
at the Free Software Foundation,
This content is copyright to the
author stated on the page.
It would be great to have Tibetan and Chinese translations of this page.
Can you help?