Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    Has anyone used an image hosting service?

    As the web-heads may know, one of the problems of having images on your site is bandwidth theft and hotlinking - in other words, other websites who not only use your images without authorization, they use the image while it is still stored on your web hosting service's hard drives rather than downloading a copy of the image and the uploading the copy onto their own web hosting service's hard drives.

    So, as a result, some of the "hits" on your site (instances in which people had viewed your images) are actually occurring when visitors are viewong your images on someone else's web site - but you have to pay for the bandwidth that's being used up to serve up those images.

    I have heard that there are outfits which will host your images for you in exchange for ad space on yuor site, so even if there's no real way to avoid the problem of bandwidth theft, then at least you're not paying for the bandwidth that's being consumed by the thief.

    One such service is

    I don't know much about this & I assume that the webmaster-type forums can perhaps answer my queries, but since I assume a lot of photographers have most-images sites, was curious if anyone has encountered this problem, and has considered/used this solution?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    Iím new to this, but I was talking about this yesterday with my site host, and they said I could place a file called .htaccess in my Apache site root directory to prevent hotlinking. See this siteÖ

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Hudson Valley, NY

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    I use traditional hosts so I cannot answer your question directly. Most traditional hosts provide reporting such as WebTrends. These reports generally include a page or more that detail how people get to your site (or an image on your site) - this is good to know anyway. Anybody sending significant volume to your site by a link to an image will be very evident on this report. A quick email to the "linker" is generally enough to get them to stop. I have caught several bloggers that put a link to one of my images in their blog text by looking at my WebTrends report.

    Most traditional hosts also provide an option to stop providing bandwidth if you are near to exceeding the amount that comes free with your account (this sucks because your site is down until the next month but at least you are not at risk of running up a huge bill).

    If you watermark your images with your web site URL then you at least get lots of free advertising if a high volume site hijacks your images.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    htacess works in many cases, as does IP banning etc but the hackers have ways around it - I don't think this is as much of a concern for the usual photography website though. Anyway another benefit of the image hosting systems is that they keep your bandwidth usage down even if you don't have a problem with theft. I guess its not much of a problem for most people though.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    I have no idea what any of this thread is about!
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  6. #6
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    people complaining about hotlinking always seems like a lot of whining imo - if you don't want hotlinks to your images, don't put them on the internet.

    It means people are seeing your photographs - which presumably is the reason you put them up? If not, see point 1 again....
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn blog

  7. #7
    unexposed darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    Quote Originally Posted by resummerfield
    I’m new to this, but I was talking about this yesterday with my site host, and they said I could place a file called .htaccess in my Apache site root directory to prevent hotlinking. See this site…
    I use a similar technique that seems to work well. This is the link that appears for all images (except category thumbs) on the site:
    Last edited by darr; 29-Aug-2006 at 13:53.

    A Photo A Day Project:
    My Other Website:

    LF Print Exchange Gallery

  8. #8
    WTF?! 400d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Image Hosting & bandwidth theft

    Add a big fat ugly watermark then.
    But, seriously how much BW are you losing from hotlinking?!
    I have 5GB a day and I can't even exceed that limit for 3 months in total!

Similar Threads

  1. Web Sites - Protecting our displayed images?
    By Jack Brady in forum On Photography
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 10-Aug-2006, 22:13
  2. Resolution limited by diffraction?
    By William Mortensen in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 6-Jan-2006, 16:09
  3. lense coverage and image circle
    By phil sweeney in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-Nov-2004, 13:16
  4. really thin film = positive image + negative image
    By jnanian in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 17-Aug-2004, 10:24
  5. Double image when making long exposures
    By chris jordan in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 16-Apr-2001, 17:38


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts