Hotlink Blocker is an IIS plug-in that will protect your web site from bad people stealing your traffic by directly linking to the content on your server. If you have an image collection, video or document archives, Flash games or any other downloadable content, HotlinkBlocker is the right product for you.
After installing HotlinkBlocker your site will continue working as before, all search engines and backward links will still be valid, all user’s favorites will remain working. But if someone tries to embed your stuff directly on their site, they will only see an error message or your site’s logo. You can save tons of traffic and thus money. You can even turn these hotlinks into real visitors by redirecting hotlink request to your site’s homepage.
HotlinkBlocker provides three different methods of protection that you can choose from. The simplest method can be applied to your site with Zero Administration Work. The most comprehensive method gives you unbreakable protection technology based on a cryptographic signing and link expiration. As a small bonus you can use HotlinkBlocker to restrict unauthorized access to the files.
Here is a brief description of all three methods:
Simply checks HTTP Referer header and rejects all requests to the protected content from unknown sites. Supports white and black lists based on Referer and User-Agent values to allow friendly sites requests and protect against some ugly hacks. This method does not require any configuration or modification to your site and is a convenient way to protect image archives.
Checks Referer header value, but issues a redirect to a temporary signed link instead of returning content. It may be difficult to understand the theory of this method, but the only thing you need to know is that it provides moderate protection level to preserve some embedded content that cannot be protected by a REFERER method - content like PDF files, Flash and Media Player movies, sounds and so on. Just as in the previous method you don’t have to change anything, only enable HotlinkBlocker and specify a protection folder.
Performance impact to your server is less than 1% so you don’t loose anything, only gain.