Are download files protected?

Yes, all files attached to Download products are protected from theft. When a file is uploaded to a Download product, it is automatically placed in a special folder on your server that is protected via a . htaccess file. This prevents a web browser from simply visiting the folder that holds your files and viewing them all.

How does the download work?

Easy Digital Downloads knows where the file is, and has permission to access it. The download link the customer receives goes to a special URL that does things like determine if the file is allowed to be accessed at all, fetch the file and send it to the browser, etc.

What about if it's hosted someplace like Dropbox, or Amazon?

Easy Digital Downloads knows how to keep these files safe as well, using the same method as above. Setup information for  Dropbox and Amazon.

What if my server isn't using Apache?

Files are only protected by default on servers that use Apache. If your server is running something else you will need to take a look at protecting them through another means. Here are some articles to help with different server configurations known to need custom tweaking:

What about images?

Image files are 1 exception to the "protected" rule. They are left unprotected so that your visitors can actually see the images you upload - like your download's featured image. Because of this, it's important to note that if you happen to be selling images, image files will not be protected even though they are in the protected directory. To fix this, we recommend that your actual deliverable files are compressed into a .zip file before uploading to your website. To read more about that, click here.