Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
The hosts file can play an important role in your internet security should you choose to use it. Many Windows users have no idea that this file exists, and wouldn't know what to do with it if they did know it exists.
Others have heard of it, and some may have even read an article like this one, explaining the crucial part it can play in securing your PC from accidentally browsing a malicious website, but have no idea how to do it themselves because it wasn't adequately explained to them.
i will attempt to do that now.
What is a host file?
The Hosts file contains addresses and web site names. This file starts when windows does, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it opens any web site, which enables it to stop any web site from loading, that is listed. This changes access back to the local (your) machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is its ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, if they are added to the hosts file.
There is a Simple way to set up your hosts file to block the most well known, and some not so commonly known malicious websites.
The easiest method I know of, is to run SpyBot Search and Destroy.
Whether you want to keep it installed or not doesn't really matter, because once it changes the hosts file by adding the list of bad websites, your host file is pretty well up to date at that time. Though I would suggest updating it at least once a month.
You can also change or add to your hosts file by navigating to:
You will see the hosts file with no extension there.
After all, the hosts file doesn't really need an extension since it is primarily a reference file. Editing the Hosts file is fairly easy since you only need notepad to open it. Remember to keep the lines you add just like the lines above it with the name of the website you want to block as the entry after the IP (internet protocol) address.
This website is now officially redirected back to the address of 127.0.0.1, which is the address your computer considers Home, or your PC, rather than the IP associated with that websites name.
Now all you need to do is save and close.
If for some reason your file gets named hosts.txt, simply remove the .txt part by renaming it, and you're done.
Also remember that this file will not work unless it is located in the C:windowssystem32driversetc folder.
That's my tip for today!
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Posted by Bob Sloan on
Oct 22, 2010 | Computers & Internet
Jun 01, 2010 | Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2008: Windows
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