22

Protecting Files

DAP File Protection

DAP is one of the few membership plugins that can protect all kinds of web site files on your web site. But this feature comes with a few caveats. Read this page completely before you decide.

DAP can protects files “in-place” – meaning, the exact same files that will actually be accessed by your members when they’re eligible to.

Most other membership plugins resort to all sorts of “gimmicks” – like hiding the real location of the main file, cloaking it, trying to obfuscate the link, etc.

Not only is it a inefficient way of securing files, but it’s also extremely insecure.

On top of that, with other membership plugins, you cannot send protected links via email, because that would then give away the location of the true file, which they are not protecting.

DAP is among the very, very few membership plugins that protect files in place, which means even if the true location of the file is passed around by your members to their non-member friends, the file cannot be accessed without having to log in first with a valid member account that is actually eligible to access that file.

DAP provides the ultimate security for your files – and ultimate peace of mind for you – like no other plugin can, knowing that your content can never be illegally shared online with un-authorized users.

And DAP can protect any kind of file – including videos, audio, images, reports, zip files, even Javascript files – with any kind of extension: like .pdf, .doc, .zip, .jpg. .js, .mp3, .mp4, .mov., etc etc.

RECOMMENDED: Amazon S3 File Storage

Highly Recommended

The ideal and best way to store files is to store them on Amazon S3, and then use a plugin like our own S3MediaVault.com to insert secure, expiring links to those files within your WordPress pages. That way, the page itself is protected by DAP, your files on Amazon S3 are protected by the S3MediaVault plugin, and you have two layers of protection for your content.

If you decide to store your files on Amazon S3, then ignore the rest of this article, and head over to Storing files on Amazon vs your Webhost

The steps below are only useful if you are going to use all of your files on your own web hosting account – which is not ideal and is not recommended.

Section I: Protecting Files Under WordPress

This is the easiest way to protect files on your server, in DAP.

1) Upload them to your WordPress blog when you are writing a new post. All such files will be stored in a folder called “wp-content/uploads/….“.

For large files, you could simply upload them directly using FTP, directly into the “wp-content/uploads/” folder and DAP is configured right off-the-shelf to “look” for any file inside the “wp-content/uploads/” folder. But once the file is under the “wp-content/uploads/…” folder (either directly under it, or under a sub-folder, like wp-content/uploads/videos/), you will now still need to let DAP know that this file is to be protected as part of a Product.

NOTE: You DO NOT have to upload files using the WP file uploader (like some of our competitors force you to do!). You can use regular, plain ol’ FTP, using a client like FileZilla or CuteFTP, or your webhost cPanel’s FTP feature.

2) Go to the product you wish to protect the file as part of, and then scroll down to the “ContentResponder” section.

2.1) If you know (or can figure out) the full URL to your file – like http://www.YourSite.com/wp-content/uploads/coolreport.pdf – you can simply paste that directly into the field “A” (in the image below)

2.2) Or, if you can’t figure out the full URL, then you can enter “wp-content” (if your blog is directly in your root folder) – or “blog” or “members” (if your blog is not in your root, and is in a sub-folder) into field “B” below, and then click on “Load Files”, and it will show you all files under that folder. And you will be able to scroll through and look for your file. And there click on the “Add” link right next to that file name you wish to protect.

Once you do (2.1) or (2.2) above, the file will get added to the Product, and will now be protected.

Section 2: Protecting Files Outside of WordPress

This is NOT RECOMMENDED, unless you are technical and you know what you’re doing.

There is a one-time setup process involved, if you wish to protect files outside of your WordPress directory.

1. You need to add the following code to the .htaccess in the root of your web site. So, in your web site’s root folder (where you have your home page – like index.php or index.html for example)…

i) if you already have an existing .htaccess file there, then just open it, COPY the text from below and PASTE it at the very end of this file.

ii) If there is no .htaccess in your root folder, then create one, and then open it, COPY the text from below and PASTE it at the very end of this file.


NOTE: BE SURE TO MAKE A BACK-UP OF YOUR EXISTING .htaccess FILE FIRST

#Paste this at the very end of your .htaccess file
#in your web site's root folder

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
#dap
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !dapclient.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/dap/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !(.*)(\.php|\.css|\.js|\.jpg|\.gif|\.png|\.txt)$
RewriteRule (.*) /dap/client/website/dapclient.php?dapref=/$1&plug=wp&%{QUERY_STRING} [L] </IfModule>

 

Doing the above enables file protection for files outside your WordPress installation folders.

2) Now go to the DAP Product you wish to protect the file as part of, and then scroll down to the “ContentResponder” section. Then…

  • If you know the full URL to your file – like http://www.YourSite.com/reports/coolreport.pdf – you could simply paste that directly into the field “A” from the image above (make sure you “visit” this URL first and verify that there is actually such a file at this link)
  • OR… if you can’t figure out the full URL, then you can enter the text “reports” (the name of your top-level folder where your file is) into field “B” from the image above, and then click on “Load Files”, and it will show you all files under that folder. And you will be able to scroll through and look for your file. And there click on the “Add” link right next to that file name you wish to protect.

The file is then added to the Product, and will now be protected as part of that Product.

That’s it.

Testing File Protection

Open a different browser (not different window – a totally different browser – like, if you’re logged in as DAP admin in FireFox, then open IE)  and try to access your file directly and see if DAP redirects you to the login screen.

If not, take a deep breath – it’s NOT DAP 🙂

It’s just that you probably missed something during the setup.

Revisit the steps above, and if you still can’t figure it out, you might want to think about uploading the file to Amazon S3.

This feature can be hit-or-miss depending on server software, PHP version, security software on your server, etc. So if it works, then great.

If it doesn’t work, then it is specific to your server. So if you want us to log in to your site and troubleshoot this, if you are a Platinum member, we can do this for free.

And if you’re not a Platinum member, you will have to purchase a premium support slot in order for us to log in to your site and troubleshoot this.

So while you can try it and see if it works, especially if you’re protecting just a couple of ebooks and reports, if it doesn’t work, then it’s in your best interest for the long-term, to switch to Amazon S3 for hosting your premium files.

Recommended Reading

If you have a number of large files to deliver to your members, then you should consider hosting your files on Amazon S3. And here’s why…

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 22 comments
Julie - April 19, 2010

Hi. Will this also work if the folder/files you want to protect is a subfolder of the root?

For example in the root is a folder called “protect” I want all files and pages within this folder protected, but not any other pages/files in the root itself

I tried to add the .htaccess file inside the “protect” folder, but that didn’t work.

I am doing this right, or will it not work for sub folders?

Reply
Ravi Jayagopal - April 29, 2010

Julie,

>>Will this also work if the folder/files you want to protect is a subfolder of the root?<<
Yes, absolutely. You just have to add a few lines of code to your .htaccess file in the root.

If you already have dap, then just open the file dap/client/website/.htaccess – and copy the entire .htaccess into your root folder. Or if you already have a .htaccess in the root folder, then simply copy-paste the contents of the DAP .htaccess file mentioned previously, at the end of the .htaccess file in your root folder.

Reply
jerome - May 19, 2010

@Ravi >>Will this also work if the folder/files you want to protect is a subfolder of the root?<<
Yes, absolutely. You just have to add a few lines of code to your .htaccess file in the root.

What would that line be?
thank you

Reply
Ravi Jayagopal - May 21, 2010

See the .htaccess file in /dap/client/website/

Reply
Sarah - July 13, 2010

Can you add a single blog post to multiple products or would I need to create a new post for each product?

Reply
Kevin - September 2, 2010

Ravi,

It would be nice if you would replace the batteries in your smoke alarm before making videos. I looked all around the house for the smoke alarm with a weak battery and couldn’t find it, so I gave up. But, I kept hearing the beep, so I rewound the “Creating a Product” video and there it was — the beep.

Have a great day 😉

-Kevin

Reply
Ravi Jayagopal - September 2, 2010

Haha… sounds good. Yeah, have heard that before from a couple of “keen listeners” 🙂

That won’t be a problem any more – we’ve moved to a new house, in a completely new city (moved a few weeks ago from NY to San Diego, CA) 🙂

Reply
Edit - October 28, 2010

This section is about “Protecting Files Under WordPress”.

But I have one more question: How can I create something like a “download gallery” for my protected files?

I want to have a members page in WP where the members can download many files e.g. PDFs, Audios, Videos, etc.

I found a nice little WP plugin called “WP-DownloadManager” which does exactly what I want. But it seems that it doesn’t work together with DAP.

Thanks,
-Edit

Reply
Ravi Jayagopal - October 28, 2010

Please see further down on this same post – there’s another section called “Section 2: Protecting Files Outside of WordPress”.

If you are protecting files using DAP, you should not (and need not) try to use any other download protector, as DAP already takes care of that for you.

Reply
Veena Prashanth - October 28, 2010

To create a gallery, you have to hand-code the images (like thumbnails of PDF file, video, audio etc) to make them look pretty, and link them up to the protected files, and DAP will take care of protecting them in case they get passed around. DAP by itself will not give you a gallery-like download page for your files.

But DAP does already provide you with the “My Links” page, but that page just lists all of your content – does not have images and thumbnails, etc.

Reply
Edit - October 28, 2010

Sorry, I didn’t write my question clearly enough.

I’m not talking about protecting the files, I’m talking about how I can create a “download gallery” for my already by DAP protected files.

I don’t want to use any other download protector. Just want to know how I can provide a nice download page.

Maybe it’s easy but I’m not very versed with WP.

Reply
Edit - October 28, 2010

Hi Veena,

thanks for your quick answer.

Please excuse my bad english. Maybe the word “gallery” was misleading. I didn’t want to have a gallery with thumbnails (even though WP-DownloadManager provides something like that). I just need a links page with all the downloads.

Maybe the “My Links” page provided by DAP is the right one. Unfortunately I didn’t find it in the documentation. Could you please give me a link to it?

Thanks.

Reply
Veena Prashanth - January 22, 2011

>> Maybe the “My Links” page provided by DAP is the right one. Unfortunately I didn’t find it in the documentation. Could you please give me a link to it? < < http://www.digitalaccesspass.com/doc/creating-member-affiliate-sections-within-wordpress/

Reply
Adam - February 13, 2011

Hi,

I tried to find everywhere in DAP Blog and Forum about possibility to protect and set time for download links, something like DLGuard. Is it possible to set link expiration in DAP?

Reply
Allan - February 3, 2012

Hello,

Can DAP protect downloads if the downloads are in a folder outside the public html folder (directly in the web root)?

Thanks.

Reply
Veena Prashanth - February 5, 2012

As long as it’s in the same domain as dap, dap can protect content. Protect the full url in dap contentresponder section and add the following to .htaccess file in that folder (create .htaccess if it does not already exist).


#dap
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !dapclient.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/dap/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !(.*)(\.php|\.css|\.js|\.jpg|\.gif|\.png|\.txt)$
RewriteRule (.*) /dap/client/website/dapclient.php?dapref=/$1&plug=wp&%{QUERY_STRING} [L]

Reply
Joe - July 16, 2012

What is the best way to protect media files such as .png .jpeg .gif .pdf that are located in WP?
DAP only shows pages and posts unless I do the root file search. Using this feature pulls up all of the content folder instead of just the uploads. – Is there a better way?
I tried attaching an image to a protected page but that didn’t protect the image (pdf). The problem I have is that Google searches for common keywords are showing some of my media files (forms and pdfs)

Reply
Russell Hall - August 3, 2012

Not sure if I’m doing something wrong but whereas I can and have protected a page relative to a product, when I try to protect a file through the “Protect a URL” field, the file does get uploaded into the protected content area but when I paste the URL of the file into another browser such as IE and Safari (when using FF for DAP) the file is still publicly downloadable.
I have update the site root .htaccess with the code as suggested.
The folder I created is called “vortex-nichevault1” and is placed in DAP site root. When I place that folder name into the field “Protect Files On Your Server:” it does display the folder with “add/remove link” and also displays all the files within that folder but when I try to click the “add” against any of the files I get an error box saying “There was a problem in the returned data”

As mentioned,.. the page protection works great,.. but the folder and file protection does not.
You input would be most appreciated.

Reply
Veena Prashanth - October 17, 2012

DAP does not support folder protection. If you get a “There was a problem in the returned data” when you protect files, please open a support ticket so we can troubleshoot it.

Reply
Teresa - January 7, 2013

I did this using the WP method and though when testing it won’t let me see the doc, the page the came up didn’t give option for member login but only had the error message of:

Sorry
The page you are finding seem doesn’t exist.

http://www.thepathtobliss.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Class-1.docx

Reply
Ken Kopelson - December 20, 2014

I was wondering how I can protect areas of my site, such as the “members” area? This page is not part of a single product, rather it has links to many products. How do I allow anyone who is a member of the site to have controlled access to a common page containing many products? All I can find in the docs is protecting pages associated with products. Also, if I do add the “/members/” page to a particular product, that page shows up in the list of “%%USERLINKS%%” under the “Links” for that given product…which doesn’t look very professional since there is already a way to get to the “Members” area through the menus.

Anyhow, what I’m really after is a way to protect a page of the site APART from any particular product. These pages would not show up in the USERLINKS since they are not associated with any particular product.

If there is a way to do this, I would really appreciate it.

Cheers!
Ken

Reply
Veena Prashanth - December 20, 2014

HI Ken,

You can add it to all the products but edit the content in the content responder tab and set the ‘display on my content’ page to “N”. This way it will not display under the user links section.

Thanks,
Veena

Reply

Leave a Reply: