HostMonster Web Hosting Help

Hotlink Protection


You can use the .htaccess file to enable HotLink Protection on your site. This will prevent people from linking to your images.
Note: You can also enable hotlink protection through the cPanel interface, or with mod_rewrite.

Apache has a built-in method for protecting images within directories from prying eyes, using the .htaccess file.

When your browser sends a request for an image, it usually also sends the URL of the page that linked to that image. The following .htaccess file causes the server to check this URL ("Referer" in the following snippet) and, if it is one of the authorized URLs that you specify, it will set an internal flag called "locally_linked". This internal flag is technically called an "environmental variable". If the URL sent is not in this list of authorized URLs, the flag (or ev) is not set. Note that we also set the "locally_linked" variable if the browser does not send any URL at all: this occurs when the visitor accesses your site using a browser or a proxy that suppresses the referring URL.

The web server then checks if the file requested has an extension in the list given below (gif, png, jpg and jpeg). If so, and the "locally_linked" variable is set, it will send the image. Otherwise, an error will be sent. If this is too complex, then you can use the Hotlink manager or the Password Protect icon in the cpanel.

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer    "^" locally_linked=1
        SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^$" locally_linked=1
        SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^" locally_linked=1
        SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^$" locally_linked=1
        SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^$" locally_linked=1
        <FilesMatch ".(gif|png|jpe?g)$">
          Order Allow,Deny
          Allow from env=locally_linked
Knowledgebase Article 55,779 views bookmark tags: hotlink htaccess protection (updated 639 days ago)

Was this resource helpful?

Did this resolve your issue?

Please add any other comments or suggestions about this content:

Recommended Help Content

How can I protect the images on my website? (updated 986 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 83,120 views tags: click code image images javascript protect save saving script tips tricks

Preventing bandwidth theft using the mod rewrite engine and .htaccess (updated 640 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 68,350 views tags: htaccess rewrite

How do I setup Hotlink Protection? (updated 639 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 65,012 views tags: link protection

Related Help Content

How do I password protect a folder on my website? (updated 1652 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 76,470 views tags: folder password protect

This tutorial will show you how you can password protect parts of your website by password protecting the folder(s) on your account. (updated 31 days ago)
Video "How-to" Tutorial 107,830 views tags: cpanel cpanelutilities login password protect

Why don't my images display on my site? (updated 1638 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 74,825 views tags: display image images link site website

How Do I Password-Protect a Folder in FrontPage? (updated 1662 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 76,510 views tags: frontpage page password protect

What is the .htaccess file and where can I find more information? (updated 370 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 1,107,426 views tags: htaccess tips tricks

What should I do if I am having problems with multiple password prompts on my password protected directory? (updated 1656 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 71,721 views tags: folder password protect

How do I make a sub directory (or sub folder) act as the public_html for your main domain? (updated 150 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 303,725 views tags: Drupal domain htaccess joomla wordpress

How do I Password Protect a single file on my website? (updated 631 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 79,557 views tags: file passwd password prompt protect secure single