Hotlink protection of web site images and files: What is Hotlinking? Hotlinking is when a web site is linking directly to images, video's or other files that are served from another site. Hotlinking can be considered bandwidth theft, because images served on the page are remotely hosted on the owners page. As visitors arrive to view the page, the remote host has to conjour up the images for viewing which consumes additional bandwidth of the image owners site. In the following, I cover one way a site owner can protect their images and files from being hotlinked to help prevent bandwidth theft.