Hotlinking, which is sometimes referred to as bandwidth theft too, describes linking to images which are on another website. In simple terms, if you have an Internet site with some images on it, some other person can also build a website and instead of using their own images, they can put links directly to your images. Although this might not be such a major issue if you have one small personal Internet site, it'll be something quite serious if the images are copyrighted, due to the fact that somebody could be attempting to copy your site and trick people. If your website hosting plan has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, you may exhaust your resources without getting real visitors, simply because the traffic shall be consumed by the other site. This is the reason why you should think about protecting your content from being hotlinked - not only images, but also documents, since in rare occasions other types of files are linked also.
Hotlinking Protection in Shared Website Hosting
There is a way to avoid the hotlinking of your images via an .htaccess file inside the website’s root directory, but if you aren't very tech-savvy, we additionally offer a very time and effort saving tool that will allow you to activate the protection with a few clicks and without typing any code. The tool could be accessed through the Hepsia Control Panel, provided with all our shared website hosting plans and the only 2 things which you will have to choose are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and if the protection should be enabled for the main website folder or for some subfolder. Our system will do the rest, so you will not have to do anything else manually on your end. If you decide to disable the hotlink protection option at one point, you'll just have to go back to exactly the same section, to mark the checkbox next to it and to press the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers
If you do not want other individuals to use your images on their sites without your authorization, you can easily switch on the hotlink security feature, that is available with all semi-dedicated server package deals. As an alternative to setting up an .htaccess file yourself in the site folder and writing some code in it, which is the conventional approach to deny direct linking to files, you could use an incredibly simple tool, which we have included in the Hepsia Control Panel. With it, you will simply have to choose the website that has to be protected and our system will do the rest. Furthermore, you can decide if the .htaccess file should be created directly within the root folder or inside a subfolder, if you would like to switch on the hotlink security function only for some content and not for the whole Internet site. Deactivating it is just as simple - you will only have to mark the checkbox next to the specific website and to click on the Delete button.