Knowledge Base

How to configure hotlink protection in cPanel

This article describes how to configure hotlink protection in cPanel. By enabling hotlink protection, you can help prevent other web sites from using your web site's bandwidth.

About hotlinking

Hotlinking, also known as inline linking or direct linking, is when another web site links directly to files that are hosted on your web site. For example, another site's web page may contain direct links to image files that are stored on your web site. As a result, when visitors go to the other site's web page, your site serves the image files, and your bandwidth is effectively “stolen.”

To prevent this scenario from occurring, you can configure hotlink protection in cPanel.

To enable hotlink protection, follow these steps:

  1. In the Security section of the cPanel home screen, click HotLink Protection.
  2. Click Enable.
  3. In the URLs to allow access text box, type the URLs of the web sites that can access your files.
  4. In the Block direct access for these extensions text box, type the file extensions for which you want to block direct access.
    Image files and other multimedia files, such as video files, are often hotlinked.
  5. In the Redirect request to this URL text box, you can optionally type a URL. Users from blocked sites will see this page instead of the hotlinked file.
  6. Click Submit.

When another web site no longer links directly to your files (or if you don't mind that the external web site links to your files), you can disable hotlink protection.

To disable hotlink protection, follow these steps:

  1. In the Security section of the cPanel home screen, click HotLink Protection.
  2. Click Disable.