Hot link protection prevents other websites from linking directly with files and pictures which exist on your website. This form of hotlinking will contribute to your montly usage. By enabling cPanels inbuilt hot link protection, other sites will only be able to link to specific file types that you specify.
Example of Hot Linking
People chose to hotlink for a variety of reasons. It may be that they link an image displayed on your website and rather than copying the image and uploading it to their web-space, they link directly using the absolute address for the image. This would mean that each and every time that their website is loaded, a request is made to your hosting to retrieve the image and as a result, counts towards your bandwidth usage. Alternatively, someone may have copied the image URL to post on a form or bulletin board if that is the case each time the forum gets looked at, a call is made to retrieve the image from your web-space and once again, contributes to your bandwidth usage.
Configuring Hot Link Protection
To enable / disable hot link protection, please do the following:
- Login to cPanel and click HotLink Protection.
- Ensure that the domain name you wish to add hotlink protection to is shown in the box called "URLs to allow access".
- In the box called "Block direct access for these extensions", provide the extensions for which you would like to block. (ie: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, bmp)
- It is recommended that you tick "Allow direct requests" to allow people to visit directly by adding the address to their browser.
- If you have a 'hot link redirect' page set up, enter the URL into the box titled "Redirect request to this URL" othwise leave this box blank and hit Submit.
Do not forget to add any additional domains to the allow list and to ensure that if your page uses https:// you add https://yourdomain.com to the list as well as http://yourdomain.