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Free Hotlinking Checker
Test Your Hot Linking Protection

Also see: Definition of "hotlinking" ("hot linking")
and Definition of "Direct Linking"

You can use the free hot-linking checker below to test if your images and multimedia files have hotlinking protection enabled, or if instead they are susceptible to "leeching" and "bandwidth theft".  Common methods of preventing hotlinking are by using an .htaccess file or using the "Hotlink Protection" offered in control panels such as Cpanel (see our free Cpanel hosting list).

The hot linking checker below is also useful to check if the URLs given by free image hosting services can be direct linked (most free image hosts allow this).

Enter the full URL in the form below and click the button to test if your picture/image could be hotlinked by a remote server (such as someone posting the image as an avatar or signature in a messageboard forum).

Image URL: (for example,

Please only enter URLs of images you own that are web hosted on your server, or on a free image hosting service that allows direct linking.
(Image file names will be checked only if they are less than 256 characters long, and ending with one of these file extensions: .JPG, .JPEG, .GIF, or .PNG.)

After entering the URL, if you see a broken image icon (a red X in a box in Internet Explorer) instead of an image above, the image cannot be hotlinked. If you see the image display, it's time to tweak your .htaccess (or other hotlinking countermeasures) settings. If you are having problems with your site's htaccess or server settings, contact your web host provider for additional assistance.

NOTE: If you have previously loaded the image, you may need to refresh and clear your browser's cache to prevent the image from loading from your local hard drive instead of the server you are testing for hotlinking protection.  Things that could possibly prevent a hotlinked image from showing are mistyping the URL (case sensitive?), the image's server being down, or ad blockers or browser settings that prevent images from loading from a website other than the one being viewed.


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