Hotlinking, which is often called bandwidth theft too, identifies linking to images which are on another Internet site. Essentially, if you have a site with some images on it, some other person can also develop a site and as opposed to using their own images, they can put links directly to your images. Even though this may not be such a big problem if you have one small personal site, it shall be something quite serious if the images are copyrighted, as someone might be trying to copy your Internet site and cheat people. If your web hosting package has a restricted monthly bandwidth quota, you might use up all your resources without getting real website visitors, simply because the traffic will be consumed by the other site. This is the reason why you should think about preserving your content from being hotlinked - not simply images, but also documents, because in rare occasions other types of files are linked as well.

Hotlinking Protection in Shared Hosting

There's a simple way of avoiding the hotlinking of your images through an .htaccess file within the website’s root directory, but if you are not very tech-savvy, we additionally give you a very user-friendly tool that will permit you to enable the protection with a few clicks and without entering any code. The tool can be accessed through the Hepsia CP, which comes with all our Linux shared hosting and the only two things that you'll have to choose are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and whether the protection should be activated for the main website folder or for some subfolder. Our system shall do the rest, so you won't have to do anything else manually on your end. If you wish to disable the hotlink protection option at some point, you'll just have to come back to the exact same section, to mark the checkbox beside it and to click on the Delete button.

Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Hosting

If you have a semi-dedicated server account with us and you discover that somebody has hotlinked any of your images, you can use the protection tool that we have developed and included in our in-house built Hepsia hosting Control Panel. As soon as you enable this option, a server-generated image will appear on the third-party site in place of your real images. You'll only need to visit the Hotlink Protection section inside the Control Panel and choose the domain or subdomain that your website uses from a handy drop-down menu - it is as simple as that. When necessary, you'll also have the option to enable the feature for a particular subfolder and not for the website altogether. Deactivating the feature is equally easy - get back to the same section, check the box next to the specific website and then click on the Delete button.