Hotlinking, which is sometimes referred to as bandwidth theft too, identifies linking to images which are on another website. Basically, if you have a website with some images on it, somebody else can also create a site and as opposed to using their own images, they can put links directly to your images. Even though this might not be such a big problem if you have one small personal site, it'll be something rather serious if the images are copyrighted, as somebody could be aiming to copy your site and trick people. If your website hosting plan has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, you may run out of resources without getting real visitors, because the traffic will be consumed by the other website. That is why you should consider protecting your content from being hotlinked - not simply images, but also documents, as in rare occasions other types of files are linked also.
Hotlinking Protection in Website Hosting
It will not require more than a couple of mouse clicks to enable the hotlink protection feature that we offer even if this is the first website hosting account which you use, because all of our Linux website hosting feature a rather simple and easy-to-use tool that will enable you to prevent direct links to your content. The tool is part of our innovative Hepsia Control Panel, so it features the very same easy-to-use point & click interface. When you log in to your account’s back office and visit the Hotlink Protection section, you'll only need to pick the domain or subdomain that you want to protect from a drop-down list. If you'd like to activate this function only for a particular site folder, you've got the option to do that. All Internet sites with enabled hotlink protection will appear in this section and you can deactivate the service by selecting the checkbox alongside the given Internet site and clicking on the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers
If you do not want other people to use your images on their Internet sites without your permission, you could easily activate the hotlink protection feature, that is provided with all semi-dedicated server packages. As an alternative to creating an .htaccess file yourself in the website folder and writing some code inside it, which is the conventional approach to deny direct linking to files, you may use a really simple tool, which we have included in the Hepsia CP. From it, you will only have to select the site which should be secured and our system will do the rest. Additionally, you can determine whether the .htaccess file needs to be created directly within the root folder or within a subfolder, if you want to switch on the hotlink protection function just for some content and not for the entire Internet site. Disabling it is just as easy - you will only have to mark the checkbox beside the respective Internet site and to click on the Delete button.