Prevent hotlinking with a .htaccess file

Hotlinking refers to linking directly to non-html objects on other servers, such as images, movie files etc. This can greatly impact bandwidth usage, and in some cases GPUs if you are on the (gs) Grid-Service. You can prevent these requests on your server using a .htaccess file.

If you already have an .htaccess file simply add one of these two snippets of code to your existing file, or create a new plain text document with this code and upload it to your domains directory, or a particular sub directory to localize the effect to just one of your sites, or section of one of these sites:

To simply stop hotlinking you can add the following to your .htaccess file:

Replace mt-example.com on line 3 with your own domain name.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?mt-example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .(gif|jpg|jpeg|bmp|zip|rar|mp3|flv|swf|xml|php|png|css|pdf)$ - [F]

To serve alternate content when hotlinking is detected:

You can set up your .htaccess file to actually display different content when hotlinking is attempted. This is more commonly done with images suggesting your displeasure of this activity, such as serving up an "Angry Man" image in place of the hotlinked one. Once again replace mt-example.com on lines 3 and 4 with your own domain name.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?mt-example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .(gif|jpg)$ http://www.mt-example.com/angryman.gif [R,L]
  1. Its is very helping article here about Preventing hotlinking with a .htaccess file. Keep it up. Its is nice one.

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