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Would it be reasonable to think of these expletive redacted botnets as a force of nature? As something useful to harden resources against, or just disasters that you hope don't hit? (I'm thinking of this in terms of sour grapes, not poor planning.)

Most hosts (Linode, SoftLayer) will null-route you in a heartbeat when you get a massive influx of traffic that affects their network.

DDoS protection is expensive. Unless it is economically feasible for you to pay for the protection, most sites don't have it until they're a high target.

Isn't this the situation that Cloudflare was designed to protect against? Their service is free as well.

CloudFlare will protect you from DDoS attacks to an extent.

There are 2 kinds of DDoS attacks I know of (there are more but they're similar): bandwidth exhaustion and computer resource exhaustion.

Bandwidth exhaustion DDoS mitigation is difficult, because it requires you to have a fat inbound pipe to let all the bogus traffic through. Fat pipes are _expensive_, there are few hosting providers that allow you to have a dedicated line more than 1 Gbps.

Supposedly their Business plan ($200/month) protects against this, and their free plans protect much smaller amounts of traffic.

You can prevent against some common resource exhaustion attacks (SYN floods) by having a proper firewall setup.

CloudFlare has been known to let the attack traffic route to your server if it's big enough.

with CloudFlare spreads the load over loads of sites you need more then 1000GB/s to bring them down under an pure DDoS bandwidth exhaustion, they have loads of sites spread all over the world

computer resource exhaustion is more likely to work then bandwidth exhaustion on CloudFlare

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