Depends on the type of DDoS attack, depends on the size, etc.
Please be more specific.
Today, there are such a wide range of attacks to deal with. If you are looking at a full fledged solution you can either rent an external Proxy with built in ddos protection, or purchase the physical hardware to filter.
Some attacks can be dealt with on the server, but it's typically a moderate percentage.
TRUE ddos protection can only come from a hardware firewall.
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If you receive small attacks then you may try blocking the IPs which are attacking the server and to do this you can install CSF firewall and dos_deflate. Now if you receive big attacks you must need some hardware firewall to fight with big attacks.
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isn't the DNS server a better target for DDoS attacks, instead of going after the host? how many providers are actually advertising DNS DDoS protection, besides the basic firewall and redirect techniques?
DNS isn't really a popular target. For one, it's a lot easier to take down a TCP based service like HTTP/HTTPS. Second, there are many anycast DNS services one can use to distribute traffic and reduce the likelihood of being affected by an attack.