How to set up Hotlink Protection to prevent content misuse and bandwidth theft - video tutorial

Using Hotlink Protection in cPanel


How to set up Hotlink Protection to prevent other websites from directly using your content in their files.


Hotlinking is also known as Bandwidth Theft. Its the act of using someone else's content from their web site. For example, someone can use your images on their own site by using full |URLs to the images in their code. Each time someone views their page your graphics are downloaded to their page from your own site (using up bandwidth in the process). Some site developers prefer to prevent this kind of bandwidth theft and content misuse. Hotlink Protection offers a way to do this, and cPanel offers a simplistic interface for configuring Hotlink Protection by writing the proper code to your .htaccess files. You can also allow certain sites to use your content in this manner should you wish to.

To proceed with setting up Hotlink Protection you must first log into your cPanel hosting control panel.

Once logged in, we will enable and configure Hotlink Protection in cPanel ...

How to set up Hotlink Protection video tutorial...

First, click on the Hotlink Protection icon cPanel Hotlink Protection icon in the Security section

Adding Hotlink Protection

Once at the Hotlink Protection page, enabling Hotlink Protection is as simple as clicking the Enable button near the top of this page.

Excluding Sites from Hotlink Protection

In the next large entry box titled URLs to allow access, we will see a list of any sub/addon domains that you have previously added to your account, this list is the domains/websites that you want to allow access to your content while preventing hotlinking from any other site. Go ahead and add any other site you wish to this list.

The next entry box titled Extensions to allow permits you to list file types that you wish to allow access to thereby bypassing Hotlink Protection for the list of allowed web sites above. You can leave the default wild card entry .* (which allows all file types) or add specific file extensions which must be separate by commas (i.e. jpg, png, gif).

Redirecting to a URL

The next entry box titled Url to Redirect to allows you to specify a web page that hotlinkers will be redirected to when they try to include your content in their web pages and are not listed in the URLs to allow.

Allowing direct access

The next item to complete is the check box titled Allow direct requests and if you check this you will allow visitors to directly access the files by entering the full URL to the file(s) in their web browser. This is quite different to using your content within someone else's web site.

Once all the information is provided, click the Submit button to apply Hotlink Protection as you have specified.

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