Leeches! Who are they and why do you have to protect your downloadable content from them? If you offer any files for download from your web site, other sites have to ask your permission in order to publish your materials on their sites. All your images, audio files, documents (etc.) are protected by copyright law. But, others still can offer your files to their visitors without crediting your site by simply putting direct download links that point to the files on your server. This method is called "hot linking" and the people who do this are called "leeches". You pay for the traffic, you lose visitors, you receive less revenue from any advertisements on your site and you compete with your own content. Leeches do not infringe any laws and thus you cannot complain to their hosting providers.There are many anti-leech solutions around. Most of them are intended for Unix servers and require you to install and configure PHP scripts. Helicontech offers HotlinkBlocker, a surprisingly powerful anti-leech solution for Windows-based hosting. It installs as an MS IIS plug-in. You can easily install it on your dedicated Windows server or under your shared hosting account.We've already reviewed several anti-leech solutions. Normally, they simply encrypt links on your site. This is not always feasible, since you may have to make changes to a large number of static pages or edit your server-side scripts. It's OK if you have enough time for this and you are a web programmer...HotlinkBlocker allows you to choose from three different protection methods. You can use all three methods simultaneously by choosing the most appropriate method for each folder. The program hides your downloadable files and generates temporary links for every visitor. Links are valid only for a specified amount of time and cannot be published on other sites. This can also be used as a basic user authorization scheme.
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