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ImgRed Solves the Picture Hotlinking Problem

ImgRed is a smart solution to the age-old photo hotlinking issue.

Say there's an image on the internet that you would like to post on some discussion forum or in an eBay auction or somewhere else.

The routine workflow is that you download the image to your hard-drive, upload it to another image hosting website like ImageShack or PhotoBucket, and then paste the new URL of the image copy to the message board.

That's way too much effort but ImgRed makes the process extremely simple. Just copy the location (URL) of the original image and prepend that with Now paste this new image URL on the message board. ImgRed will download a copy of the image to their servers and serve it from that new location.

For instance, instead of hotlinking the Google logo image from, you can use the following URL:

But before you get excited about ImgRed, here are a few things that you may want to consider:

1. Hotlinking is bad since that increases the bandwidth bills of the hosting website. But making a copy of the image without the owner's permission is not the best approach either.

2. What's the business model of ImgRed ? That's not immediately known and if the service closes after some time, what happens to your existing images hosted on ImgRed.

3. ImgRed says that it downloads an image only once from the original location and then serves it from their cache. What if the original image has changed ? ImgRed will still serve the old copy of the image and you may see some unexpected visuals.

4. The website has absolutely no information about the developer, a privacy policy, contact details and there's no way for webmasters to opt out of the service. That's the biggest concern so far.

Update: The service is no longer available.