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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Talking

    There is hardly a person alive today that has not used the internet at some point in their life, in fact, many people use the internet as either part of their job or browse through it on a daily basis. As this trend continues, it seems that every page you visit has ads, pop-ups and redirects to other sites, and in some cases, these can link to some very unwanted sites. So what do you do to help limit all of the “extra” stuff that appears to be coming from everywhere?

    Firewalls, Antivirus, and Anti-malware software seems to be everywhere and everyone has there own personal favorites. While these programs do a wonderful job of blocking and protecting against Viruses, malware, and hackers, they do not necessarily do a whole lot to help limit the extra junk that most web sites and web pages have on them. That is where the hosts file comes in.

    The host file is simply a text-based file that contains a list of web address and redirects. That is to say, you can use the host file to override the default location of a website. Say for instance you have computer MyServer that is located on your network. You can add MyServer to the host file and specify that MyServer is located at IP address 198.168.2.115, from that point forward whenever you look up MyServer, instead of having to check your network for the PC, your machine just goes to 198.168.2.115. In this same way, we can use the Hosts file in combination with other tools to help speed up our internet browsing and likewise enhance the security of the machine.

    In my years of working on computers, (I have been doing this type of work for about 15 years now) I have come up with my own personal combination of tools.

    1. I replace the hosts file on my machine with the one attached to this posting, (which I continually update on my own machine)
    2. Add the registry entries found in the hosts_reg.txt file attached to this thread
    3. Use a program called AdBin to update, sort, and manage my Hosts file
    4. Homer, which is a utility that in the developers own words, “Listens to IP address 127.0.0.1 on port 80 for Http requests, and serves up an image of your choice to your webbrowser.” “Homer can dramatically improve the speed of your browsing experience.”

While there is no replacement for a good firewall and good antivirus, a few extra tools can go a long way to speed up your internet browsing as well as enhance the security of your machine. The tools above are simple, easy to use, and if used correctly can provide a little bit of extra protection and can be easily removed if desired.
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  • #2
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    Blocking Adware, Spyware, and Malware using the Hosts File | TechExams.net Blogs is a decent although somewhat dated article on the subject. It does include a section about limitations of using the hosts file that everyone should know.

    Joe
    Joe

  • #3
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    As long as you don't mind updating the hosts file every day then this may work, but it is really only limited protection and none at all once you have malware - it will change the hosts file to suit itself. You are better off with a good software firewall, an anti virus and staying away from Pr0n sites.

    cheers, Paul

  • #4
    New Lounger
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    Like I said, it is not a replacement for a good antivirus or Firewall but rather when used in conjunction with these helps to speed up your connection and enhance security.

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