Hotlinking, which is sometimes called bandwidth theft as well, identifies linking to images which are on another Internet site. In simple terms, if you have a site with some images on it, another individual could also develop a website and as opposed to using their own images, they could put links directly to your images. While this may not be such a serious issue if you have a smaller personal website, it will be something very serious if the images are copyrighted, as somebody may be trying to copy your Internet site and deceive people. If your hosting package has a restricted monthly bandwidth quota, you could use up all your resources without getting actual website visitors, due to the fact that the traffic will be consumed by the other site. This is the reason why you need to consider protecting your content from being hotlinked - not only images, but also files, because in rare occasions other types of files are linked also.
Hotlinking Protection in Cloud Web Hosting
There is a way of avoiding the hotlinking of your images via an .htaccess file inside the website’s root directory, but if you are not very tech-savvy, we also offer a very easy-to-use tool that will permit you to enable the protection with several clicks and without typing any code. The tool can be accessed through the Hepsia CP, offered with all our Linux cloud web hosting and the only 2 things which you'll need to select are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and whether the protection has to 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 personally on your end. If you decide to turn off the hotlink protection option eventually, you will simply have to return to the same section, to mark the checkbox at the side of it and to press the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers
If you don't want others to use your images on their Internet sites without your consent, you could easily switch on the hotlink protection function, that's available with all semi-dedicated server packages. As an alternative to creating an .htaccess file yourself in the website folder and writing some code in it, which is the common way to deny direct linking to files, you can use a really simple tool, which we've included in the Hepsia Control Panel. From it, you will only have to select the Internet site that has to be secured and our system shall do the rest. Moreover, you can determine whether the .htaccess file needs to be set up straight in the root folder or within a subfolder, if you would like to activate the hotlink security feature only for some content and not for the entire website. Disabling it is just as simple - you will only have to mark the checkbox beside the specific website and to click on the Delete button.