This is post is now quite old and the the information it contains may be out of date or innacurate.
Some hosts disabled the ini setting allow_url_fopen. This also means that the ability to easily grab images by calling imagecreatefromjpeg($img) where $img is a url for an external image does not work.
This is a shame as this technique is pretty easy..
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However I was tearing my hair out trying to get a product feed integration system to work on a host that has disabled the allow_url_fopen mechanism which meant the above wouldnt work.
Thankfully cURL was still working. So here is the function I made for grabbing and saving an image using cURL instead:
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Another Problem Solved :–)