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Kudos0

Another Host File question

   I read an old post, about a Host file questions, and decided to look at my Host file.  I found hundreds and hundreds of site addresses placed there by an old program.  These were put there to help protect my PC, so I guess they had some value.  I no longer use that old program, so are all these sites still being used?  The OP said something about Norton Security would remove all of these files and empty the Host file.

   What does the Host file really do and should all of these sites still be there?       

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Another Host File question

   I read an old post, about a Host file questions, and decided to look at my Host file.  I found hundreds and hundreds of site addresses placed there by an old program.  These were put there to help protect my PC, so I guess they had some value.  I no longer use that old program, so are all these sites still being used?  The OP said something about Norton Security would remove all of these files and empty the Host file.

   What does the Host file really do and should all of these sites still be there?       

Accepted Solution
Kudos3 Stats

Re: Another Host File question

Hi PC_Confused

This, from Wikipedia, will explain Hosts files for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file)

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. ~William Ewart Gladstone
Kudos3 Stats

Re: Another Host File question

Hi PC_confused,

Many organizations make Hosts file lists available and some programs, such as Spybot Search and Destroy, will also populate the Hosts file with entries for dangerous sites.  Using the Hosts file is an excellent method of preventing your PC from connecting to bad sites.  Like anything else though, the block list needs to be updated periodically to include the latest known bad sites.  So your Hosts file is still protecting you, but is probably somewhat dated.  If you are no longer interested in keeping the current entries that appear in your Hosts file, Microsoft offers a tool that will reset the file to its default configuration for you automatically, available here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972034

Running the Fix-it tool will erase nearly all of the entries and your Hosts file will then no longer block any known bad sites unless you replace the entries with a new list.  Microsoft makes this tool available because malware sometimes uses the Hosts file to redirect search requests and the like to its own sites or to block access to security company sites.  So it is helpful to be able to reset the Hosts file in these situations.

Kudos0

Re: Another Host File question

SendOfJive - Thank you for your additional explanation.  I went to the site, suggested by mdturner, and I think it was printed in English.  I read through it twice and I still didn't grasp what it was saying.  I saw where Microsoft Support had that "Fix It" program, but I wasn't ready to download and use it yet.  If the list isn't hurting anything, maybe even still being helpful, I'll leave it alone.  You mentioned there are sites out there that maintain a list of "Bad" sites?  Where would such a listing be found and are they trustworthy? 

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Another Host File question

Hi PC_confused,

Bleepingcomputer has a very easy-to-understand article on the Hosts file with links to the ready-made lists that can be downloaded online.  The MVPS Hosts file is widely used.  You can read about it and get it here:

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

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