How can I sell files online and protect the download link?

Beeba May 22, 2010

How to code a file to sell online, so it will not be possible to send the link to others?

  1. Andre Bourque
    February 11, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Any good recommendations on where to externally host a PDF and have it password protected?  I tried Scribd and it doesn't appear to have that feature. 

  2. Amjobm
    June 20, 2011 at 6:32 am

    try they have a new interface too. It's a free service to sell your downloads and sell files. they also have a free online store membership

  3. Anonymous
    January 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Sell it on Facebook using the Files app.

    You get paid directly and immediately via Paypal, and it's protected so that only Facebook users who have purchased your file can download it (even if they share the link).

  4. Boolala
    August 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

    its simple, just sell it and use an expiring download link for say 24 hours, so once the file has been opened the link expires after 24 hours, or even 1 hour if you need making it unaccessible.

  5. Bryan
    June 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Try our service BitBuffet. I'd be more than happy to give you a temporary trial to give it a spin!

  6. Anonymous
    May 25, 2010 at 1:49 am

    If you want to manage the selling yourself, just put the downloads in the protected member area. Creating a member area is very easy in WordPress. All it takes is just a plugin.

    If you want to make everything easier and don't mind sharing part of the profit, use third party services like the ones suggested by Aibek.

    But please note that no matter how hard you try to protect your digital files, once they're online, people will find a way to get them one way or the other.

    I personally believe that there are more honest people out there who are willing to pay for your product if you can deliver good content. So instead of wasting time on trying to find the most secure way to protect the product, I prefer to spend the time creating another good product.

  7. Aibek
    May 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    There are many solutions for that. If you're looking for something specifically for what you need, see

    On the other hand, if you need to track you customers, keep their emails and email them when necessary then Aweber is the perfect service for you. Among other things, it allows you to easily integrate lots of payment systems to your signup/purchase pages with a couple of clicks.

  8. Jack Cola
    May 23, 2010 at 2:20 am

    The point of the URL is to allow people to access. If you sell something and theres no link, no one can download it.

    If it's a word document, you can use Scribd or Lulu to sell them online.

    Otherwise you can search for a a web script which allows you to sell files online. I know there are couple of them around, but I never found one I liked, and if I did, I can't remember the name.

    Although this isn't much help, but it's a start

    Or you can Google "password protect download" and set up paid subscription with paypal or something.

  9. pceasies
    May 23, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Just create an area where you need a username and password to access. You can share the link all you want, but it just leads back to a login page unless you are logged in. You could also create a system that attaches the document to an email depending on size.

  10. Anonymous
    May 23, 2010 at 1:28 am


    You might want to check this out:
    Great for selling downloads on a website.

  11. Steve Campbell
    May 22, 2010 at 11:44 pm


    I can't think of any way to accomplish what you're asking. Maybe send out specific URLs through a link-shortener like or something and once a file is accessed once from the link close it down. Making it so that each file can only be downloaded once would ensure that there would be only one download per purchase. Not sure if there's an easier option out there or not.

    • DonW
      July 22, 2010 at 2:30 am

      Here's one possible solution. MadBeeTech at includes a site builder that makes it fast and easy to set up your own site that includes support for fully automated digital download selling. Buyers end up at your PayPal page, so their money goes right into your PayPal account. I've got a website through them to sell PDF eBooks, but you can sell any type of file. Crazy cheap, like 5 bucks a month.

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