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Re: Hosts File

Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hosts File

My hosts file contains entries from a number of sources to block adware and malware sites. Spybot also has an in-built list which it can add to the hosts file and also makes it read only. It also has an immunise option to block sites via the registry.
There are various other ways to block access via IE and also by using spywareguard.
8 REPLIES
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Hosts File

Yes, I use a custom hosts file. Nothing too clever in there, just a handful of entries to block some persistently annoying sites that seem to be able to get past the pop up blocker in Firefox.
These are the main ones...
winfixer.com
ad.yieldmanager.com
media.fastclick.net
I've also used it in the past to redirect the connection of the AVG (Free version) server. In the older versions of this software, you could select from a number of servers and add more yourself. That functionality was removed in version 6, but the hosts file was a simple work around.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,429
Thanks: 331
Fixes: 4
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Hosts File

I've had a bit of a go at doing one, but must admit I'm no expert - have cobbled one together from what's been posted in the internet.
Main thing I've been trying to do is block the annoying Intellitxt/Context Link/(or whatever else you get), which do the context sensitive adverts in text. I can't stand reading text which has certain keywords underlined.
I've noticed there is a growing trend for sites to make money in this way, it's a shame as IMHO it makes the site unusable.
I haven't had much success in getting to work, does anyone know if it's possible to block these ads via a hosts file?
Failing that, I read that was a Firefox add-on which does it, so I may have to look at that.
grey_gorilla
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 23-07-2007

Re: Hosts File

Quote from: Peter
Do you use a Hosts File at home? Do you set them up for users you refer? Do you write your own or download one from the web- if so where do you get it?
If you don't use a custom Hosts File, do you write protect it to guard against malware mis-use?

My hosts file is extremely brief and isn't used for this purpose. I have a few filters on the router to block networks which have a certain reputation; these are quite limited. The primary tool I use to block unwanted browser content is a PAC file.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hosts File

I use the one maintained by Mike Burgess here, to which you can subscribe for free (you get sent a monthly update via email).
I  add a few lines of my own as well, and it's a simple matter to cobble together a batch file that merges my additions with each monthly update.
I use it under both XP and Linux; in the latter, big hosts files are reputed to cause slowdowns.
I also found that FF with the MVPS hosts file  can lead to some ugly 404s in the inline ads, but this can be ameliorated by using a tiny java http server called eDexter that returns a blank gif for calls to localhost. (I use Opera and never see the problem; and never use IE so haven't bothered checking)
Overall it suits me not to have distracting ads all over the pages I view, but it does mean I end up with a lot of whitespace which can be distracting in its own way.
Paul
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Hosts File

Likewise - mvps.org, though if I see an ad the URL gets added to the bottom of the list. I'm not so bothered about the 404's though - I like to point and laugh. As long as it's not flashing at me (I guess that works both ways) I don't find it too distracting.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hosts File

Quote from: orbrey
if I see an ad the URL gets added to the bottom of the list.
Ads that use Flash Player are hard to get around though -- I can never  find their IP or dns name (I have a flash blocker css in Opera but it's global &  there are some Flash sites I want to see)
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Hosts File

I tend to find that each site has its own directory or subdomain for adverts like this - a quick nosy at the source generally shows these up, and this hasn't caused me a problem yet, touch wood.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Hosts File

Slightly different approach, I've got a list of ad servers and such and added them to my DNS server rather than using a host file. That way any PC on my network will get the same lists and I only have one place to update. Keep meaning to set up some content filtering in Squid proxy as well.