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One of the Best Ways to Avoid Malware, Ads, and Tracking


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12 replies to this topic

#1
NoelC

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Even better than anti-malware software, replacing your hosts file with one that defines virtually every parasite web domain as pointing to your local home IP address can both keep malware away from your system and also as a bonus kills ads and even keeps sites from tracking you.

 

This is quite possibly the best line of defense against all the bad stuff out there and It's free for everyone's use.

 

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-Noel

 

 

 

 




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#2
MrGRiM

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It says in that article that the Hosts file will usually have very little in it, well I just looked at mine and it has over 15 thousand sites listed in it, I was thinking of doing this but now I am not so sure I want to touch it, if the list had been small like it was in one of the old backup files I would have but this file has already been updated by MS a couple of times, the last time being the 3rd of the October 2013.



#3
NoelC

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# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
#      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
#       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#	127.0.0.1       localhost
#	::1             localhost

You didn't add all those sites to your hosts file yourself?  It's possible you have an anti-malware package that maintains that file.  You're probably right not to interfere with that.

 

A stock Microsoft hosts file has the above in it.

 

-Noel



#4
bphlpt

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Yep, in my experience, with every version of Windows that I have had the MS OS itself has NEVER touched the original hosts file, which has always essentially had nothing in it, as NoelC posted above.  If it has something else in it, then something else put it there, either you did it yourself so long ago that you have forgotten, or one of the anti-malware apps that you either have installed now, or did at one time, made the changes.  Apparently whatever it is still is updating the file, since it made an update a month ago, so I would check with all your anti-malware apps to see which one of them is updating the hosts file.  [There is even malware that updates the hosts file to suit its own purposes, so I would strongly suggest making sure you know what it is that is doing it.]

 

Cheers and Regards


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#5
MrGRiM

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I use Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7, the same as Windows defender that is now default in Windows 8, I have used MSE since the first BETA and never had a problem, so I can only assume that MSE is the one updating it, this may also be the case with Windows 8 when not using an alternative Anti Virus program.



#6
NoelC

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As far as I know Microsoft's own anti-malware software does not maintain that file (in Windows 8+).  Is there commentary inside it that implies otherwise?

 

But I have never had Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7, and on Windows 8 / 8.1 I have been off of the included Microsoft security package  for a while, preferring instead to run Avast! in all systems.

 

-Noel


Edited by NoelC, 09 November 2013 - 04:17 PM.


#7
MrGRiM

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well I looked on my Windows 8 setups and it's still the default HOSTS file, it may be Spybot S&D or Malwarebytes that updated it, more likely it was Spybot S&D immunization setting.



#8
bphlpt

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Yes, I think that is an option for Spybot, if I remember correctly.

 

Cheers and Regards


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#9
DosProbie

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Here are 2 Hosts editors , BlueLifeHosts and HostsMan I personally use the BlueLifeHosts which is a portable app from the context menu..DP

Edited by DosProbie, 09 November 2013 - 09:22 PM.


#10
NoelC

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HOSTS is a plain text file.   You need only edit it with a text editor.  Even Notepad will do.  Entries are in the form:  address <whitespace> name

 

-Noel



#11
MikeRL

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Oh of course. I use the MVPS hosts file. Tried combining them but then Windows 8.1 slowed to a crawl. But I use it on Linux as well. No nasties allowed anywhere, anytime. I also recommend AdAway if you have Android. Unfortunately, as decent as Windows Phone is, it hasn't attracted jail breaking enough yet to create an equivalent. I wonder if mobile IE on Windows Phone 8 has TPL? Adaway is great but needs root. Otherwise I recommend Firefox for Android with Adblock Plus. See https://f-droid.org/app/org.adaway for Adaway.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

#12
Aloha

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Spywareblaster does the same job. Someone on this forum suggested using it a few years ago and I've had it since then. 

 

http://www.brightfor...areblaster.html



#13
maxXPsoft

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Been using the http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm host file for a long time and use Hostsman so I can simply start it and turn off host temporary

blocks a lot of ads


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