HostsMan


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HostsMan
Hosts File Manager

The hosts file is basically a hard-coded DNS address system. As most people know the internet uses IP addresses: 4 nodes from 0 to 255 for each node. But people are more comfortable with words like www.w7forums.com. When a DNS conversion request is made, it firsts checks the hosts file to see if it can resolve the address there; if it doesn't resolve the address from the hosts file then it passes it off to your assigned DNS server. To block ads etc you simply point the words back to your own computers local IP address or to 0.0.0.0 (0s means stop processing). Once the computer has numbers it uses them, not knowing if they came from the hosts file or a dns server. Since the ads don't exist on your computer the browser simply shows the "Not found" X.

The hosts file is maintained as Read-only to help prevent accidental editing. HostsMan makes it easy for you to edit without having to manually disable and enable the Read-Only flag.

Some anti-malware programs, including Spybot S&D, actually block ads by adding entries to your hosts file edit so you may have entries here and not even be aware. Hostsman also has an Update option which allows you to add entries from some sites that maintain lists of these dangerous IPs including the most popular MVPS.

If you have multiple programs updating this list then you will invariably end up with some duplicates. If your hosts file gets extremely large you may actually notice the system freeze as the DNS server is updated (This will appear as a particular SVCHOST entry in Process Explorer). Again HostMan to the rescue as it can remove duplicates and organize the file/combine entries to make it process faster.
HostsMan

Automatic update of hosts file, enable/disable hosts file, built-in hosts editor, scan hosts for errors, duplicates and possible hijacks, hosts file backup manager.
 
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TrainableMan

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This is another one of those valuable utilities for ÜberGeeks and Security Techs but is not for everyone; If you aren't familiar with the Windows Hosts file and have never edited it then you don't need this utility. If you have a large hosts file and are experiencing system freezes then I would definitely give it a try!
After etalmar posted it I downloaded and used Hosts Manager. I had a huge hosts file (10,000+ entries) which I read was likely causing my SVCHOST Service: DNSCache to max up CPU usage every 15 minutes or so.

It sorted the entries and removed duplicates and stacked multiple on the same line (which I was unaware I could do). So now it doesn't look so pretty but it works like 900 entries and I have not seen the CPU spike in services since.

I estimate my hosts entries block at least 90% of the ads I would otherwise be subjected to. I get the entries from Spybot Search & Destroy and Winhelp 2002 but this utility manages them nicely including removing dups no matter where your list comes from.

===>
HELPFUL TIPS:
1.This tool can actually merge the list from MVPS Hosts for you; which is really awesome !!!! To do that, just open the Hostsman window and go to Hosts Menu ... Check for Updates. Check the box by MVPS hosts (I personally don't use any of the other available sources but you may be interested in those as well) and select "Merge with current hosts", then hit UPDATE. The MVPS Hosts list is usually updated quarterly so you will want to run this about that often.
2.Some sites require you allow their ads for videos to display properly. A really nice feature is the ability to simply turn off your hosts file. Simply right-click on the Hostsman icon in your notification tray and uncheck "enable hosts". Just remember to check it again when you leave the site.
<===

For me I was glad he posted it. Again I see this as a techy program. Though it's simple for anyone to use, the whole idea of editing the hosts file is not for everyone.
 
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clifford_cooley

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For me I was glad he posted it. Again I see this as a techy program. Though it's simple for anyone to use, the whole idea of editing the hosts file is not for everyone.
I did notice when you thanked him for posting. I must admit that this area of computing is still over my head. I have no clue what the software does and in turn wonder if it should be added to the list for general use.
 

TrainableMan

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Clifford, a few weeks back you asked what the hosts file was for and I explained it the best I could but I never realized that my hosts file was actually doing it's job right here on these forums. I have been here for 5 months and up until yesterday (when I came here from another persons computer) I didn't realize that most of you see google ads on these webpages. In five months I had never seen an ad on these pages.

I would definitely recommend adding the entries from Winhelp 2002 to your hosts file entries and then installing HostsMan to disable your hosts file with the click of a button when you visit sites that won't function without your ad blocker disabled (the website only knows the ads aren't showing, it can't tell if it is your hosts file or ad blocking software in your browser). There is actually an option in HostsMan (Ctrl+U) to go fetch and merge the MVPS Hosts from WinHelp 2002 for you :beer: !!!

Thanks again Etalmar, I used to have to copy an empty hosts file each time I needed to "disable ad-blockers" and with the file being read-only I usually found it easier to just not bother with that website. Now I can just run hostsman, click disable hosts, and browse, then re-enable. So simple yet so useful :D
 
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clifford_cooley

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Clifford, a few weeks back you asked what the hosts file was for and I explained it the best I could but I never realized that my hosts file was actually doing it's job right here on these forums. I have been here for 5 months and up until yesterday (when I came here from another persons computer) I didn't realize that most of you see google ads on these webpages. In five months I had never seen an ad on these pages.
Interesting - The only time I see those adds are when I am not logged in.

Are you sure you was logged in?
Did you post anything, because that would have required logging in?
 

TrainableMan

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Well when I got here I definitely wasn't logged in, I didn't notice if they went away after I did sign on. But on my computer I never see them anytime.
 
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Clifford, a few weeks back you asked what the hosts file was for and I explained it the best I could but I never realized that my hosts file was actually doing it's job right here on these forums. I have been here for 5 months and up until yesterday (when I came here from another persons computer) I didn't realize that most of you see google ads on these webpages. In five months I had never seen an ad on these pages.

I would definitely recommend adding the entries from Winhelp 2002 to your hosts file entries and then installing HostsMan to disable your hosts file with the click of a button when you visit sites that won't function without your ad blocker disabled (the website only knows the ads aren't showing, it can't tell if it is your hosts file or ad blocking software in your browser).

Thanks again Etalmar, I used to have to copy an empty hosts file each time I needed to "disable ad-blockers" and with the file being read-only I usually found it easier to just not bother with that website. Now I can just run hostsman, click disable hosts, and browse, then re-enable. So simple yet so useful :D
You're welcome! I have been using Hostsman for a long time and I appreciate the easy access buttons and simple but comprehensive approach to blocking ad and malware sites, along with maintaining an updated hosts file. Besides enabling and disabling the hosts file with the click of a button,you can also create an encrypted copy, as well as save a copy to an external backup folder. I have the DNS Client service disabled. My host file isn't terribly large, but I haven't noticed any slowdown in browser performance. I don't know if you've tried the HostsServer feature yet, but it really isn't necessary.

Glad you like HostsMan. I think it is the best hosts file program out there and I have tried just about all of them.
 
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TrainableMan

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My host file isn't terribly large, but I haven't noticed any slowdown in browser performance. I don't know if you've tried the HostsServer feature yet, but it really isn't necessary.
My hosts file is huge (10,000+ entries) and the sort and remove duplicates option fixed a problem I had for months with my system slowing down about every 15 minutes to run DNS svchost at 50% or more CPU for a couple minutes at a time - I have not noticed this issue once since.

I haven't tried the HostsServer, not sure what it's purpose is or what I would use it for. I'm sure I could read up on the other features but HostsMan has already done and is doing everything I could have hoped for.
 
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My hosts file is a little less than half the size of yours, as I try to clean it out on a regular basis and keep it streamlined, mostly with entries that I add to it, not just by downloading the MVPS list, which is good, but a little excessive to me.

Also, I use the 0.0.0.0 IP protocol, not 127.0.0.1, as it seems to be faster. If you use 127.0.0.1, every time an ad server tries to connect to a blocked site, the computer will try to communicate with itself and the connection has to time out. If you set it to 0.0.0.0, the computer will immediately recognize it as invalid and you won't be stuck with lots of open connections, especially if a web site tries to load images from a blocked host. 127.0.0.1 = your computer .. 0.0.0.0 = nowhere.
 
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TrainableMan

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Also, I use the 0.0.0.0 IP protocol, not 127.0.0.1, as it seems to be faster. If you use 127.0.0.1, every time an ad server tries to connect to a blocked site, the computer will try to communicate with itself and the connection has to time out. If you set it to 0.0.0.0, the computer will immediately recognize it as invalid and you won't be stuck with lots of open connections, especially if a web site tries to load images from a blocked host. 127.0.0.1 = your computer .. 0.0.0.0 = nowhere.
Well thanks again, I will need to give that a try as I didn't know this :) You do learn something new every day!
Already changed, I shall see how it goes.
 
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