Hotlink Protection

You are running out of traffic quota with your hosting provider but see no reason for that excessive use? Then you may be a victim of hotlinking, otherwise known as bandwidth theft. NTC Hosting is offering you hosting services backed up with a Hotlinking Protection capability to prevent other sites from linking to your images, video, audio, etc files and stealing from your pre-paid traffic quota.

Hotlinking

Hotlinking (can also be referred to as: inline linking, leeching, piggy-backing, direct linking, offsite image grabs) refers to direct linking to a website's files from someone else's website. This type of direct linking uses your traffic resources and can make you end up having to pay for extra traffic quota or even go offline. In addition to being a resource theft, hotlinking is often considered as an intellectual property theft as well, since in most cases the hot-linked file owner is not asked for their permission. A typical act of hotlinking is when a forum user hotlinks a picture from another website to use it as an avatar or a signature image. Blogs also tend to use hotlinking, using pictures in the posts by just creating a link to them.

Hotlink protection is your option to save your images from inline linking. It relies on an .htaccess file, which will check if the requests for your files are coming from inside your hosting server or from a different one and handle the situation accordingly.

An example of an .htaccess file preventing hotlinking

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\\.)?yoursite\\.com [NC]
RewriteRule \\.(gif|jpe?g)$ - [NC,F]

The code above will check from where the requests are coming and if they do not originate from your site, a 403 error page will be served. In the .htaccess file you can specify also other types of files, not just .gif or .jpg files, as seen in the example above. However, image and media files are the most common victims of hotlinking.

Hotlinking protection with NTC Hosting

With any of the hosting packages offered by NTC Hosting you will be able to protect your website's multimedia files from unsolicited resource-consuming linking. The easy to use Hotlink Protection tool, located under the Elefante Administration Tools, will allow you to protect your whole website or a specific folder, and will save you the trouble of fiddling with .htaccess files manually. All you need to do is simply specify the folder you want to protect and then rest assured that your content is safe.

how to enable the hotlink protection via the NTC Hosting Control Panel

Also, with the help of an .htaccess file that you can create with our .htaccess Generator tool, you will be able to specify which files in particular you wish to protect and which ones can be subject to hotlinking, if needed. With this additional layer of security added and available for you to use, you can feel safer being online.