Web page Inquiry and Control Features

Command line options for seeing web-transfer logs

To see how much data is being transferred from your web page, you can log into the secure server at config.panix.com/shell and navigate Setup tools -> Web transfer report, or you can run getclogs or getlogs from the command line (in your shell account). (The getclogs command provides the data in Common Log Format, which is useful if you want to run the data through most data analysis programs.

Limiting transfer charges

For your personal web space, your cheap-web domain, or any web directory which is covered by Panix's Standard Web Plan, you can use the limitme command to set the dollar limit you are willing to pay in transfer charges per month. If you have a webspace under a plan other than the Standard Plan, you should not use limitme to limit the web transfers for it. Instead, please ask Panix staff to install the limit for you.

The limitme command will guide you through the process of setting the limit, asking you for the amount to which you want it set and for the name of a custom access-control file, if you want to use one.

Your monthly bill is calculated on a specific day of each month, between 1:30am and 3:30am. The exact day of the month when this occurs depends on the date when your Panix account was first created. You can find out both the creation date of your account and your next billing date either by using the command whenami from your Panix shell, or by logging in to config.panix.com/acct and selecting "Check your current balance".

At the beginning of each monthly billing cycle, starting shortly after the time your bill is calculated, your web page will be generally accessible. Every hour, the accounting system totals the web charges for the previous hour from all the servers. If your directory had transfers, your total transfer charges for the current billing cycle will be checked against your pre-set limit, and if the limit has been reached or exceeded, access to your website from outside the Panix system (i.e. all billable access) will be turned off. Access will be automatically restored at the beginning of the next billing cycle. You can also restore access manually by again invoking the limitme command, which detects that your access is currently turned off and gives you the option of turning it back on.

In addition to allowing you to limit your monthly transfers, limitme permits you to apply this limit on a daily basis, with the effect of spreading the allowed transfers more evenly over the whole billing cycle. If you select this option, the transfers allowed each day will be determined by dividing the total monthly transfers you still have not used up, by the number of days remaining in the cycle. Each day, when you reach the limit for that day, no more transfers will be allowed, but transfers will again be permitted the following day.

For instance, suppose that, in your personal web directory, you set your transfer limit at $1/month, and choose to apply this limit daily. $1/month amounts to 10 GB of transfers each month beyond the free personal-web allocation of 10 GB, so your monthly transfers will be limited to 20 GB. On the first day of each 30-day billing cycle, your transfer limit will be 341.33 MB (that is, 10240 MB divided by 30 days). If on that day your transfers hit 341.33 MB, the accounting system will prevent further transfers. The next day you will have 341.33 MB worth of transfers available again. But if, on that first day, you use only 100 MB, you will have 10140 MB left for the rest of the month, which means you will have 349.65 MB available on the second day (10140 MB divided amongst 29 days).

Irrespective of whether or not you choose to limit your transfers by day, you are assured that your monthly transfers will not significantly exceed the dollar amount you have specified to limitme. Note that it is possible for your monthly transfers to exceed the limit somewhat, since the accounting program that performs the checking only runs once an hour.

The limitme command also offers you a "notify-only" option. Under this option, when your transfer limit is reached, the system will merely send you a notification email for your information, but not take any other action (such as making your website inaccessible).

Once you set a limit - whether daily or not - on your transfers, the limit will stay in effect, and control your transfers each month, until you use limitme again to remove it. If you invoke limitme while you already have a limit on your transfers, limitme will give you the option of removing the existing limit, or modifying it.

Data files used by the limitme mechanism

The way the accounting system turns off access to your website is by installing a file called .htaccess in your web directory. Accounting has a default .htaccess file which it uses for this purpose. This default file will deny access to your website from remote hosts, but still allow access from hosts in the panix.com and access.net domains, since those transfers are free.

Since you may wish to restrict access to your directory somewhat differently (maybe you don't want dialup.access.net users to see your files), limitme permits you to specify an alternate "deny file" which the accounting system will use to create your .htaccess file if your transfer charges get too high.

If, at the time your limit kicks in, you already have an active .htaccess file in your web directory, it will be saved to a file called .htaccess.limsav in the same directory, and will be restored as the active .htaccess file when the accounting system lifts your access restrictions (which will occur either around 3:30am on the next day, if you have elected to limit your transfers on a daily basis, or at the beginning of your next billing cycle) or when you lift them manually by using limitme.

For information on Web authentication (including use of the .htaccess file), see httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/howto/auth.html.

You can put a separate .htaccess file in each subdirectory of your web directory to fine-tune control. The .htaccess file in a particular directory overrides that of the parent, so be very careful with this feature, or you may wind up incurring transfer charges after your limit has been reached.

When you use limitme, several data files may be installed in your web directory for the internal use of the accounting systems. The names of those files are .limit.data, .limit.daily, .limit_on.monthly, .limit_on.daily, .notify_on.monthly, and .notify_on.daily. You should not modify or remove those files in any way other than by using limitme.

Removing or modifying your transfer limit

If you have installed a limit on your web transfers and you wish to remove or modify it, you can do so by using the limitme command again. limitme will detect that your transfers are currently being limited and will give you the option of modifying or removing the limit.

Removing or modifying the existing limit on your transfers will not, by itself, restore external access to your website, if the access has been blocked due to reaching or exceeding the previous limit. When you use limitme to modify or remove your limit, it will also give you the option of restarting transfers, if they are currently blocked.

Restarting your web transfers after the transfer limit has been reached

Transfers will automatically be restarted by the accounting system either around 3:30am on the next day (if you have elected to limit your transfers on a daily basis) or at the beginning of your next billing cycle. If you wish to restart them manually, you can do so by using the limitme command again. limitme will detect that your transfers are currently being blocked and will give you the option of restarting them.

Last Modified:Tuesday, 22-Feb-2022 08:47:29 EST
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