How can I limit the access of files to be download from my web site through my web pages only? It seems others are just copying my "downloads" web page onto their web site, and then their visitors are pulling down the files from my web server without ever even knowing the "real" site exists. It is very confusing for the users of my software. Not to mention that this is bleeding off over 100GB of bandwidth each month!
It seems that there would be a simple settings to limit the access to visitors of my web site only.
I think what you are looking for is some of the functionality available via mod_rewrite on apache.
The basic theory is that the referrer is checked and if its not your site then block them.
Better would be a message saying - "link to me - don't steal my downloads". And hope they test - spot the message and link.
Blocked In-line Images
Assume we have under [quux-corp.de...] some pages with inlined GIF graphics. These graphics are nice, so others directly incorporate them via hyperlinks to their pages. We don't like this practice because it adds useless traffic to our server.
While we cannot 100% protect the images from inclusion, we can at least restrict the cases where the browser sends a HTTP Referer header.