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What is Bandwidth Stealing - Direct linking - Hot linking?

What is Bandwidth Stealing / Direct linking / Hot linking?

Simple way to explain "Bandwidth Stealing" is, Suppose you are displaying website images or icons hosted on some other's server with out their permission on your blog/ website, then it is a Bandwidth theft and you are stealing their bandwidth.
The owner of that website is paying for bandwidth of the site from where you linked an image.



Now there are millions of websites or blogs hosted today, knowingly or unknowingly people may be doing this with out the knowledge that ,it is a CRIME. Site owner of the website from where you have linked an image is actually paying for displaying THEIR image on YOUR website.

The amount of information you receive when browsing a website is considered as bandwidth or traffic. So when a user browser your website which has images from other website, then the user is receiving certain amount of information from other website from where you have pulled the image.

Watch How Hot linking done


So next time when you want to use an image on your blog, Save the image and upload to your server and link your post to it. You should be aware of the copyright of the images.

How you can check whether you are a victim of Bandwidth Stealing?

Check your server file access logs, If you can find an images or scripts (Like javascript files) that accessed too much, then there is a chance that the image / script is being hot linked by some others.
In such case :

1. you can contact those website admin to remove the direct linking
2. Rename the file

To prevent Direct linking : You can use JS right click blocker scripts, HTML encryptions, htaccess blockings, Server scripts that control Image serving

How to stop direct linking / Hot linking / Bandwidth stealing, read : http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Bandwidth-Theft-%28or-Direct-Linking%29



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