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HOST FILES


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#1
wendy k. walker

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Hi Everybody,

I'm running Windows XP Home Edition with SP2. I kind of know what a Host file is, well generally speaking that is, but I don't really know what its job is or how it works.

I've been kind of puzzling my brain here of late as for some odd reason SpyBot Search and Destroy has started adding a bazillion items to my Host File every time that I update it and then when I run AVG it reports a change to my Host File.

Is SpyBot supposed to be adding all that stuff like it is or do I need to start worrying?

Thanks for any insight into this.

Wendy
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#2
Ztruker

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Yes, that's one of Spybot's protection mechanisms. The hosts file is like a local phone book. When you want to connect to a site, the hosts file is the first place checked to see if it's in there. If yes, the IP address associated is then used to connect to the site.

Since the IP address set by Spybot is 127.0.0.1 no connection is actually made as that address is known as the local loopback address, in effect a null or do nothing address.

This is how Spybot prevents you from connecting to known bad web sites.
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#3
wendy k. walker

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Hi Ztruker, Thanks for the prompt reply.

I was thinking that it was something along those lines. I was just worried about it because I've been using SpyBot for several years now and for some reason it hadn't been doing anything to my host file before.

Now all of a sudden SpyBot has been having a fit and adding all kinds of stuff to my host file just about every time that I update it.

Thanks for the information.

Wendy
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#4
Ztruker

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I use Spybot and my hosts files has over 7000 entries.
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#5
wendy k. walker

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Hi Ztruker, Thanks for the reply.

Don't brag Boo, mine is catching yours if it hasn't passed that count already. I was just wondering 'why' SpyBot had started doing that all of a sudden and was making changes to my host file because it hadn't been doing that up till just a few weeks ago.

Now today I ran a little thingy called tcpview.exe and discovered that I'm over run with all kinds of host files... other than the 127.0.0.1, what are they all about, are they evil?

Thanks,

Wendy
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#6
Ztruker

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I just ran TCPView and I don't see anything to do with hosts files. Please describe what you see that concerns you. There are 7 svchost entries show for my laptop but that is normal and is not related to the hosts file.
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#7
wendy k. walker

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Hi Ztruker,

I think that I might have been looking at that thing wrong. What I have is a dozen or so host file entries that are all looking at different ports. Click on options and un-check Resolve Addresses and see if that doesn't show you some 127.0.0.1 entries.

Wendy
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#8
Ztruker

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Yes, I have 9 of them. They are absolutely normal.

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#9
Chopin

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Ever heard of the MVPS HOSTS file? :) It's quite useful.
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#10
wendy k. walker

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Hi Ztruker, Thanks for the reply.

OK, that's kinda what mine looks like and if it's all normal I guess I'm happy.

Hi Fredil Yupigo, Thanks for the reply.

Now all I have to do is take an 'attention' pill the size of a 50¢ piece so that I can read it all and investigate all of those links on that page too.

Thanks,

Wendy
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