Implementing Rate Limiting in ASP.NET Core WEB API


Rate limiting is a crucial aspect of web application security and performance management. It helps prevent abuse, protect resources, and ensure fair usage of APIs and services. In this article, we'll explore how to implement rate limiting in an ASP.NET Core application. We'll cover the concept and its benefits and provide a step-by-step guide with code explanations.

Understanding Rate Limiting

Rate limiting is a technique that restricts the number of requests a client can make to a server within a specified time period. This mechanism is employed to prevent malicious or excessive usage of resources, ensuring that a single user or IP address cannot overload the server and degrade its performance.

In ASP.NET Core, rate limiting can be achieved through various packages, but we'll focus on the AspNetCoreRateLimit package, which simplifies the implementation process.

Benefits of Rate Limiting

  1. Security: Rate limiting helps prevent brute force attacks, DDoS attacks, and other malicious activities that involve overwhelming a server with requests.
  2. Fair Usage: It ensures that no single client monopolizes the server's resources, providing a fair experience to all users.
  3. Stability: By preventing excessive requests, rate limiting contributes to the stability and reliability of your application.
  4. Resource Conservation: Rate limiting conserves server resources and optimizes its performance by distributing requests evenly over time.

Implementation Steps

Let's walk through the process of implementing rate limiting in an ASP.NET Core application using the AspNetCoreRateLimit package. We'll start from scratch and explain each step along the way.

Step 1. Create a new ASP.NET Core Project

Begin by creating a new ASP.NET Core project using your preferred development environment. You can use the following command in the terminal.

dotnet new web -n RateLimitExample

Step 2. Install the AspNetCoreRateLimit Package

In the terminal, navigate to your project's root directory and install the AspNetCoreRateLimit package using the following command.

dotnet add package AspNetCoreRateLimit

Step 3. Configure Rate Limiting in Startup.cs

Open the Startup.cs file and locate the ConfigureServices method. Add the following code to configure rate limiting using the IPRateLimitPolicy.


using AspNetCoreRateLimit;

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    // Other configurations...


    services.AddSingleton<IRateLimitCounterStore, MemoryCacheRateLimitCounterStore>();
    services.AddSingleton<IIpPolicyStore, MemoryCacheIpPolicyStore>();
    services.AddSingleton<IRateLimitConfiguration, RateLimitConfiguration>();

    // Other configurations...

Step 4. Configure Rate Limiting Settings in appsettings.json

In your appsettings.json file, add the following configuration section to specify the rate-limiting settings.

"IpRateLimiting": {
  "EnableEndpointRateLimiting": true,
  "StackBlockedRequests": false,
  "RealIpHeader": "X-Real-IP",
  "ClientIdHeader": "X-ClientId",
  "HttpStatusCode": 429,
  "GeneralRules": [
      "Endpoint": "*",
      "Period": "1s",
      "Limit": 5

This configuration limits each IP address to 5 requests per second for all endpoints.

Step 5. Apply Rate Limiting to Endpoints

To apply rate limiting to specific endpoints, you need to add the [RateLimit] attribute to your controller actions or methods, for example.

public class ValuesController : ControllerBase
    [RateLimit(Name = "CustomLimit", Seconds = 10, Requests = 2)]
    public ActionResult<IEnumerable<string>> Get()
        // Your action logic...

In this example, the Get action is limited to 2 requests every 10 seconds.

Step 6. Test the Rate Limiting

Run your ASP.NET Core application and use a tool like curl or Postman to test the rate limiting. You will observe that if you exceed the configured rate limits, you will receive a 429 Too Many Requests response.


Implementing rate limiting in your ASP.NET Core application is crucial for maintaining security, fair resource usage, and optimal performance. The AspNetCoreRateLimit package simplifies the process by providing easy-to-use middleware and attributes. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully implement rate limiting and protect your application from abusive or excessive requests.

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