HTACCESS means HyperText Access.
.htaccess files should be used in a case where the content providers need to make configuration changes to the server on a per-directory basis, but do not have root access on the server system.
Some main features of .htaccess file are:
- ability to password protect folders
- ban / allow users using IP addresses
- stop directory listings
- enable complete error reporting
- redirect users to another page or directory automatically
- create and use custom error pages
- Adding MIME types
- Setting server timezone
- Enable SSI (Server Side Includes) with .htaccess
- Ensuring media files are downloaded instead of played
- Preventing requests with invalid characters
- change the way files with certain extensions are utilized
- use a different file as the index file by specifying the file extension or specific file.