Sag Rising

Notes to Myself

Use cPanel to Stop Bandwidth Thieves Hotlinking to Images

Posted by Richard Cockrum on February 5, 2008

I run several sites, one of which is the online home of my family's movie theatre, The Ambridge Family Theatre. Over the weekend I noticed that bandwidth usage jumped to several megabytes daily. In trying to find out why, I discovered that a popular Polish site was hotlinking to the movie poster images I use.

That is just unacceptable. It isn't that I paid for or drew the images. I found them online and sized them to what I needed, then uploaded them to use on the website. But I do pay for my bandwidth, so hotlinking is theft as much as mugging me.

If your host uses cPanel, stopping the hotlinking is easy.

  1. Go into cPanel.
  2. Click on HotLink Protection in the Security pane.
  3. Click the Enable button.
  4. In the textbox below the Enable button, list all the websites that are allowed to link to your images. Put one site per line.
  5. In the next textbox, make sure all the image formats you use are listed. The list should look like this: jpg.jpeg.png.gif
  6. If you want the thieves redirected to another url, enter it in the next text box and click the checkbox below it. If you don't care, leave this box empty. They'll just get a 404 file not found error page.
  7. Click the submit button.

That's it. The bandwidth thieves, try though they might, won't be able to hotlink to your images and steal your
bandwidth. That's money not taken out of your pocket.

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3 Responses to Use cPanel to Stop Bandwidth Thieves Hotlinking to Images

OH MY GOSH! Dopey me, Rick! I've been telling people how to post pictures for Share a Square and letting them use images from my url. No wonder my bandwidth usage tripled! I'm going to have to write a post and ask people to upload the pics on their own servers. EEK! I assume I can link to your test blog without you being upset. I feel so dumb!

I kind of wondered about that, Shelly. I'll get a copy of the graphic and link to it from my own site.

What do you think of the theme? Well, except for the words 'required' appearing in the text boxes for your name and email address. I've got to fix that.

What do you think?
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