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Author Topic: HOSTS file  (Read 20388 times)

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Dilbert

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    HOSTS file
    « on: May 14, 2006, 09:54:57 PM »
    Question
    What is a HOSTS file?

    Answer
    A HOSTS file redirects things from a site you specify to the IP address you mention. This is a very effective popup blocker, and it provides a fairly effective barrier against malware. Your HOSTS file can be set to send things from a multitude of sites to 127.0.0.1, a non-existent IP address.

    How it works

    Web pages look at a HOSTS file before displaying a page. This is nearly instantaneous. Anything not covered in the HOSTS file is displayed. This is why it's such a good popup blocker; if the domain is mentioned, it is blocked.

    The location of your HOSTS file

    The following are the defaults:

    Windows XP: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC

    Windows 2000: C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC

    Windows 98/Windows ME: C:\WINDOWS

    Blocking sites

    To block a site, open your HOSTS file in Notepad and add lines. To block MSN.com (not recommended), type this on a new line:

    Quote
    127.0.0.1 www.msn.com

    msn.com is officially blocked. But, I'd remove that if I were you.

    Stopping as many as possible
    Sure, you could manually enter sites. But a lot of them you don’t even know about. It’s usually best to download a HOSTS file from a site that frequently updates their HOSTS file. A good site is this one. It updates frequently, and their HOSTS file is currently about 440 KB. That’s a lot of blocked ads, a lot of stopped malware!

    Updating
    It’s not enough to have a HOSTS file – it must be maintained. I recommend HOSTS Secure. It can run at Windows Startup (minimized if you prefer), and it will automatically update (but you have to push the button to start the search), keeping your HOSTS file up-to-date. Note that you need .NET Framework 1.1 to run it.

    Your HOSTS file is not a replacement for AntiVirus, firewalls, or other protection. However, a HOSTS file backs you up, basically watching the firewall’s back in case something slips through.
    « Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 11:56:54 PM by Carbon Dudeoxide »
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    CBMatt

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    Re: HOSTS file
    « Reply #1 on: May 29, 2007, 05:08:45 AM »
    Because HOSTS Secure is currently unavailable, please visit the following post made by Dilbert...
    http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php/topic,35558.0.html
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