While everyone on the Internet loves hyperlinks (yes, that's what this is all about!), image hot linking is generally not welcome by most website owners and webmasters.
You see, every time I check through my logs I notice hundreds, perhaps thousands, of websites using images that are actually being hosted in our server. The impact of this kind of deep linking is huge: images are in general bigger than the text content and generate traffic that can impact in server performance - and our pocket. Yes, because hosting space and traffic are not free!
I was reading Craig Pringle's blog, where he tells us about a software for ISAPI rewrite, to solve some other problem. That sounded interesting, and following the link I found HotlinkBlocker, a software that does exactly what I was looking for some time ago.
The software blocks deep linking to folders on a Microsoft IIS webserver. There are three ways of doing this, and the most secure one includes the creation of random timed encrypted hyperlinks to folder(s) on the server.
I decided to give it a try, and see how it goes. I believe a lot of my traffic will be reduced, specially traffic originated from China, Taiwan and Russia.
If you have a website and want to keep deep linking to our images, contact us and we see what can be done. Otherwise you will have to provide disk space and traffic yourself.