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What Is Hotlink Protection

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Hotlink protection ensures that you are protected against bandwidth theft. It prevents other websites from directly linking to your site’s files, which in turn puts a stop to other website owners benefiting from your domain’s data resources. As a result, source files will not be leached from the server hosting your website.

By not enabling this protection, you risk receiving no credit for all the hard work you put into your website on top of an ever-increasing bandwidth bill.

Hotlink Protection through cPanel

In essence, hotlink protection will cause cPanel to evaluate a URL that is requesting access to your website’s files, and block that request if it is not coming from an approved domain. cPanel gives users an intuitive graphical interface which minimizes the need to use the command line, especially when it comes to accomplishing simple tasks.

To enable hotlink protection through cPanel, follow the following steps:

  • Log into your cPanel and click on the HotLink Protection option.

  • Allow access to certain domain names by typing their URLs into the “URL to allow access” field.
  • Block certain extensions from accessing your files by entering them into the “Block direct access for these extensions” field.
  • In the “Allow direct requests” field, type in the URL of your own site in addition to any other domains belonging to you.
  • Use the “Redirect request to this URL” if you wish to redirect someone that hotlinks to your site.
  • Lastly, click on “Submit” and test it out.


You can also make use of an approved htaccess plugin, suited to your content management system, to do the job for you. However, it is important to note that HotLink Protection enabled through cPanel may cause problems when using a CMS. If you are experiencing this problem then rather try to manually edit the .htaccess file yourself.

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