Here is the scenario:

  • I want to store files (PDFs, DOCX, etc.) using Amazon S3 or similar
  • I want members to login to my site and download these files via a url
  • The link needs to be scrambled ie. www.mydomain.com/fdsfjksdksdasd
  • The site runs on HTTPs / SSL
  • The URLs can NOT be shareable i.e. members must be logged in (so deny hotlinks)
  • There are multiple files per entry

I currently have a version of this using the file manager, the files stored behind the root and Intoeetive's Protected Links to manage the urls (which prevents hotlinking). The problem I have is that the file manager is awkward for the users of the site.

Ideally, the users would be able to search for a document in Amazon S3 or similar and attach it to an entry.

At the moment, we're FTPing documents to the server, running the sync in EE file manager 9slow when you have a lot of files), then attaching the file to the entry (we're using Matrix to handle multiple files) and a few other admin tasks to satisfy Protected Links. It is also difficult when we want to move files into different folders (as that breaks the links).

I've looked at Assets, as the interface for the users will be easy to adopt, but has limitations.

Is there an alternative to using file manager that would handle what I am looking for a bit more out of the box?

Note: I understand this is more of a subjective question, but I was pointed here form Pixel & Tonic and I also posted on the forums but got no responses.

  • I think the question is only subjective because you added so much information (didn't ever think I'd say that). If you boiled it down to "is it possible to protect links using Assets and Amazon S3" it would be much easier to answer :) Feb 27, 2013 at 14:52
  • Ha thanks - I'm used to Stackoverflow and not enough info being provided with questions!
    – gelviis
    Feb 27, 2013 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


Just to follow up I ended up going with this solution:

"I want to store files (PDFs, DOCX, etc.) using Amazon S3 or similar"

  • I built an addon that creates Signed URLs for private Amazon S3 files

"The link needs to be scrambled ie. www.mydomain.com/fdsfjksdksdasd"

  • I used Intoeetive's Protected Links add-on

"The URLs can NOT be shareable i.e. members must be logged in (so deny hotlinks)"

  • Covered by Protected Links

"There are multiple files per entry"

  • I used Pixel&Tonic's Matrix module

Works well. Links below.


If Assets suits your needs for the file-management part of the equation, maybe Devot-ee's own Link Vault would fit the bill for your security-needs...

Does that help?

  • Thanks will look into it - not seen that before
    – gelviis
    Feb 27, 2013 at 15:03
  • Hey Gregor, if this helped would you mind marking this question as answered? Thanks!
    – Steven
    Mar 5, 2013 at 8:09
  • It helped, but probably not the solution I will go for (after some initial research). However, I will mark it has answered since it was helpful and no other answers came in. I will post the solution that I end up going with to complete the question (once I implement it).
    – gelviis
    Mar 5, 2013 at 16:17
  • Thanks alot! If you need any further assistance don't hesitate to update your question or add further comments.
    – Steven
    Mar 5, 2013 at 17:38

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