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Windows Hosts File


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#1
mrblue

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Hi there

I recently discovered the use of the HOSTS file in Windows, as a means to prevent the access of certain web sites. I downloaded the free MVPS one from http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002.

I spent a few minutes testing it out by typing in a selection of the web addresses it contains, and the vast majority come back as "web page cannot be found" or whatever, which is the correct result I believe. However, there are a few of the addresses contained in the hosts file that DO come up Removed

Why is my system not blocking ALL the names in the Hosts file?

Second question: I tried to use "hostsexpert" to edit my hosts file but it seems to be locked. How do I unlock it so I can amend it?

Regards
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#2
Chopin

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The second one is because the MVPS hosts file locks itself to prevent tampering by malware. Not so sure about the first question, so you'll have to wait :)
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#3
mrblue

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Ok, that makes sense.

I take it that your hosts file (and everyone else's) works properly and any address contained therein is prevented from being accessed???

Maybe I have to clear my cache or something? However, it happens even if I reboot my machine!!
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#4
RatHat

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Have a look here to see how to use the hosts file as a means of malware prevention.
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#5
Johanna

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A couple of possibilities off the top of my head-
1. The info in the hosts file is outdated or incorrect.
2. Something else is doing the DNS requesting (like a proxy or security software)
3. The site has done something devious to get around the HOSTS file
4. The info in the HOSTS file has been updated.
5. A security program like Norton or an Ad Blocker like the former Ad Subtract can make changes to the file.

What I'm wondering is why you are sitting around typing in known bad sites just to see if they come up? If you call it "research", use a Spybot log for more grins and giggles. Depending on the HOSTS file for malware protection is not recommended. It's only another tool in the arsenal. Of course, prevention of malware starts with safe sane surfing, so it's not a good idea to be calling up every site on someone's HOSTS list without understanding and accepting the risk.
Johanna
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#6
mrblue

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A couple of possibilities off the top of my head-
1. The info in the hosts file is outdated or incorrect.
2. Something else is doing the DNS requesting (like a proxy or security software)
3. The site has done something devious to get around the HOSTS file
4. The info in the HOSTS file has been updated.
5. A security program like Norton or an Ad Blocker like the former Ad Subtract can make changes to the file.

What I'm wondering is why you are sitting around typing in known bad sites just to see if they come up? If you call it "research", use a Spybot log for more grins and giggles. Depending on the HOSTS file for malware protection is not recommended. It's only another tool in the arsenal. Of course, prevention of malware starts with safe sane surfing, so it's not a good idea to be calling up every site on someone's HOSTS list without understanding and accepting the risk.
Johanna


1. The MVPS Hosts file data is dated February 9th 2008.
2. As far as I know I don't have a proxy and I'm only running AVG free and Spybot S+D.
3. This is very likely in my view.
4. I'm viewing it in notepad to get the entries!

I only came across its use a few days ago, and thought I'd try it out. I never get malware etc so I have no worries.
I only ever visit about 6 web sites!!!!

I just wondered if someone might have had a quick answer as to why a few of the entries are displayed, when they shouldn't. It's not really that important and I'll leave it alone now....

Incidentally I found that you can "lock" the hosts file in Spybot S+D in Advanced Settings/Tools/IE Tweaks. However, when I unlocked it I still couldn't edit it.

Anyway, it's not an issue so I'll leave it as it is.

Thanks for your reply.
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#7
Johanna

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Using Windows Explorer to locate your HOSTS file, right click and see if it is set to "read only". (You must be logged in as an admin.)

Check the entries that didn't work to see if the proper format is followed- no trailing slashes/ and no http:
Also, IP addresses are invalid (numbers). If an entry has a # in front, it is disabled.
Johanna
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#8
mrblue

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As you can see from this excerpt, the MVPS Hosts file looks fine....


Removed IS DISPLAYED by my browser.
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#9
ScHwErV

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The sites in that list are blocked by that list for a reason. Please stop posting links to those sites here.
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#10
mrblue

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The sites in that list are blocked by that list for a reason. Please stop posting links to those sites here.



Very sorry for that post. It was a silly thing to do.

Please accept my apology.


Regards
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