What it does ...
Example - the following entry 127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net blocks all files supplied by that DoubleClick Server to the web page you are viewing. This also prevents the server from tracking your movements. Why? ... because in certain cases "Ad Servers" like Doubleclick (and many others) will try silently to open a separate connection on the webpage you are viewing, record your movements then yes ... follow you to additional sites you may visit.
Using a well designed HOSTS file can speed the loading of web pages by not having to wait for these ads, annoying banners, hit counters, etc. to load. This also helps to protect your Privacy and Security by blocking sites that may track your viewing habits, also known as "click-thru tracking" or Data Miners. Simply using a HOSTS file is not a cure-all against all the dangers on the Internet, but it does provide another very effective "Layer of Protection".
In case you're wondering ... this all happens in microseconds, which is much faster than trying to fetch a file from half way around the world. Another great feature of the HOSTS file is that it is a two-way file, meaning if some parasite does get into your system (usually bundled with other products) the culprit can not get out (call home) as long as the necessary entries exist. This is why it's important to keep your HOSTS file up to Date. How to get notified of MVPS HOSTS updates.
How to get notified of MVPS HOSTS updates.
This download includes a simple batch file (mvps.bat) that will rename the existing HOSTS file to HOSTS.MVP then copy the included updated HOSTS file to the proper location. For more information please see the Windows version that applies to you ...
Windows 8 requires special instructions - over there see here
Windows 7 requires special instructions - over there see here
Win Vista requires special instructions - over there see here
Manual Install Method - Unzip in a "temp" folder and place in the appropriate installed location:
If you are having trouble downloading or extracting the HOSTS file [click here]
Note: the below locations are for the typical default paths, edit as needed.
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC
Windows DNS Client Service
In most cases the DNS Client Service is not needed, it is recommended to turn it off. These instructions are intended for a single (home-user) PC. If your machine is part of a "Domain", check with your IT Dept. before applying this work-around. This especially applies to Laptop users who travel or bring their work machines home. Make sure to reset the Service (if needed) prior to connecting (reboot required) to your work Domain ...
To resolve this issue (manually) open the "Services Editor"
Start | Run (type) "services.msc" (no quotes)
Win8 users - Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services
Scroll down to "DNS Client", Right-click and select: Properties - click Stop
Click the drop-down arrow for "Startup type"
Select: Manual (recommended) or Disabled click Apply/Ok and restart.
My recommendation easy way to do it:
Hostsman includes an option to turn off the DNS Service [screenshot]
Workaround for using the MVPS HOSTS file and leaving the DNS Client service enabled (set to: Automatic)
If you find after a period of time that your browser seems sluggish with the DNS Client service enabled you can manually flush the DNS cache
Close all browser windows ... open a "Command Prompt" from the Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
Win8 users - Charms Bar > Search > (type) command prompt > Select: Command Promt (left pane) Ok the UAC prompt
(type) ipconfig /flushdns (press Enter) Then close the Command Prompt ...
A better Win8/7/Vista/XP workaround would be to add two Registry entries to control the amount of time the DNS cache is saved. (KB318803)
Flush the existing DNS cache (see above)
Start > Run (type) regedit
Win8 users - from the Charms Bar, select: Search (type) run and select Run (left pane) and (type) "regedit" (no quotes)
Navigate to the following location:
Click Edit > New > DWORD Value (type) MaxCacheTtl
Click Edit > New > DWORD Value (type) MaxNegativeCacheTtl
Next right-click on the MaxCacheTtl entry (right pane) and select: Modify and change the value to 1
The MaxNegativeCacheTtl entry should already have a value of 0 (leave it that way - see screenshot)
Close Regedit and reboot ...
As usual you should always backup your Registry before editing ... see Regedit Help under "Exporting Registry files"
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