TechSpot

Host File

By TheJediSlayer
Oct 13, 2007
  1. I thought I'd fill everyone in on a great host file that'll protect and save you bandwidth against such things as ads, pop-ups, and parasites etc. This host file's goal, is to provide you with enhanced security, and still faster web browsing.

    Source: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

    My Review:

    I've been using this host file site for many months now. I must say that I'm very impressed with how much ads and banners it does away with. It's probably saved me a few times from some harmful online material too. The only real problem I've ever had with using this host file, is one time I wasn't able to login to Xfire because of it. Although I did manage to get my Xfire working again by replacing the host file and then later on reinstalling the host file from this site. I've never really had a problem since then.

    Want an example? Use MS regular host file and check out Myspace.com. Heck, even long into it if you have an account there. Notice how you probably get a lot of banner ads etc? Now install the host file from the website I've provided above and watch those banner ads disappear!

    Level: Intermediate

    Best of all, it's free!
     
  2. BlameCanada

    BlameCanada TS Rookie Posts: 320

    Good idea !

    Or you can use Opera browser,and right click,

    and block content as you go.
     
  3. TheJediSlayer

    TheJediSlayer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 164

    Yes, but should be noted that not everyone uses Opera. Plus, this will help against parasites etc. I do recommend that everyone stays updated with their preferred choice in web browser, as more security is added, just like in Opera.

    Don't only trust this host file as your only layer of security, it stops a lot, but not enough.
     
  4. evilfantasy

    evilfantasy Banned Posts: 428

  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,322   +622

    yes, yes, yes! :)

    FYI: the host file is a manual alternative to a DNS lookup which converts a name
    like www.google.com into its proper ip address (74.125.19.147) so a connection can be made.
    You can actually put this line (but don't!) in the host file and avoid the DNS lookup: eg
    74.125.19.147 www.google.com

    If you examine the host file, you'll see almost all lines are like
    127.0.0.1 $some-domain-name​
    this forces any request for $some-domain-name to your local loopback address
    which will ALWAYS fail (by design) and therefore you are protected from that site!

    WHAT DOESN"T WORK?
    Let's say that $some-domain-name has a real ip address of 123.456.654.321.
    The bad guys don't always use their domain names! Instead, they access
    their servers using the ip address! If there's a request for a site using an
    ip address, then there's no need for a DNS lookup nor to access the host file
    and you get caught!

    SO, the host file will shield you from known, undesireable domain-name, but not access via ip-addresses!

    Enter the need for the firewall, backlists, popup blockers and email scanners.
     
  6. Denman007

    Denman007 TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Should we be doing this in Vista too - replacing the default Host file?
     
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,322   +622

    it's a good idea for ALL system except those that have real LAN names in their existing host file (eg: a small Linux network)
     
  8. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 327   +13

    the hosts file does a lot

    sure the hosts file doesn't block everythig.
    but the hosts file does a lot.
    i wouldn't go online without it.
     
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