Monday, December 06, 2004

Blocking ads and parasites with a HOSTS file

My friend Todd sent me a copy of the HOSTS file that you can download here. In the creators' words:

The Hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory at startup, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it queries any DNS servers, which enables it to override addresses in the DNS. This prevents access to the listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is it's ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, as long the the entry exists.
I loaded it onto my work laptop and will use it for a little while, then see what Spybot and Ad Aware turn up. But it looks promising.


Anonymous said...

The hosts file is nothing new. I have been using it for years to link to servers locally -at work- for development. Typically when you develop an in-hous application you don't make the development servers available to users so as developer you got to link to them without DNS, aka via the hosts file.
Simply copying the hosts file over your existing hostsfile can be a very bad decision.


Dave Markowitz said...

Oh, I've long been aware of the hosts file. It was the particular hosts file that I linked to which points a lot of malware and tracking sites to that I wanted to make note of.