Rate-limit any operation, backed by Redis

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Rate-limit any operation, backed by Redis.
  • Inspired by ratelimiter
  • But uses a fixed-window algorithm
  • Great performance (>10000 checks/sec on local redis)
  • No race conditions

Very easy to plug into Express or Restify to rate limit your Node.js API.


Step 1: create a Redis connection
var redis = require('redis');
var client = redis.createClient(6379, 'localhost', {enable_offline_queue: false});

Step 2: create your rate limiter
var rateLimiter = require('redis-rate-limiter');
var limit = rateLimiter.create({
  redis: client,
  key: function(x) { return },
  rate: '100/minute'

And go
limit(request, function(err, rate) {
  if (err) {
    console.warn('Rate limiting not available');
  } else {
    console.log('Rate window: '  + rate.window);  // 60
    console.log('Rate limit: '   + rate.limit);   // 100
    console.log('Rate current: ' + rate.current); // 74
    if (rate.over) {
      console.error('Over the limit!');



A pre-created Redis client. Make sure offline queueing is disabled.
var client = redis.createClient(6379, 'localhost', {
  enable_offline_queue: false


The key is how requests are grouped for rate-limiting. Typically, this would be a user ID, a type of operation.
You can also specify any custom function:
// rate-limit each user separately
key: function(x) { return; }

// rate limit per user and operation type
key: function(x) { return + ':' + x.operation; }

// rate limit everyone in the same bucket
key: function(x) { return 'single-bucket'; }

You can also use the built-in ip shorthand, which gets the remote address from an HTTP request.
key: 'ip'


This is the duration over which rate-limiting is applied, in seconds.
// rate limit per minute
window: 60

// rate limit per hour
window: 3600

Note that this is not a rolling window. If you specify 10 requests / minute, a user would be able to execute 10 requests at 00:59 and another 10 at 01:01. Then they won't be able to make another request until 02:00.


This is the total number of requests a unique key can make during the window.
limit: 100


Rate is a shorthand notation to combine limit and window.
rate: '10/second'
rate: '100/minute'
rate: '1000/hour'

Or the even shorter
rate: '10/s'
rate: '100/m'
rate: '100/h'

Note: the rate is parsed ahead of time, so this notation doesn't affect performance.

HTTP middleware

This package contains a pre-built middleware, which takes the same options
var rateLimiter = require('redis-rate-limiter');

var middleware = rateLimiter.middleware({
  redis: client,
  key: 'ip',
  rate: '100/minute'


It rejects any rate-limited requests with a status code of HTTP 429, and an empty body.
Note: if you want to rate limit several routes individually, don't forget to use the route name as part of the key, for example using Restify:
function ipAndRoute(req) {
  return req.connection.remoteAddress + ':' +;

  {name: 'routeA', path: '/a'},
  rateLimiter.middleware({redis: client, key: ipAndRoute, rate: '10/minute'}),

  {name: 'routeB', path: '/b'},
  rateLimiter.middleware({redis: client, key: ipAndRoute, rate: '20/minute'}),