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  1. #1
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Exclamation A HOSTS File Dilemma!
    A few years ago, I was having some problems with the HOSTS File blocking some sites once in a while, so I decided to delete it from my computer until today, that I add it again........

    Well, for more than two years I have run my computer without any HOSTS File, and I have never encounter any problem, or any nasty program, or nothing that have done any damage to my computer. (Maybe because of luck, or who knows.)

    I have been reading a lot about all the bad stuff that is out there lately, so today I decided to add the HOSTS File back to my computer.

    Now, here is the HOSTS File dilemma!

    I already knew about how the HOSTS File works, so that's no big deal. I know that if I want to block a site that I don't want to see, that I must send that bad site to the 127.0.0.1 localhost.

    Wow, I didn't knew how many bad, and questionable sites IP addresses can be, and are, included on this HOSTS file!

    But..............

    As a regular safe searcher, I would have no problem with this HOSTS file as is, because I may feel that I am being protected from a lot of bad things out there.

    As an online customer, I would not like to go to a shopping site, and not be able to see the images of the products I am browsing before I buy.

    As an affiliate marketer, I don't think, I know, that we are getting screwed big time with many different HOSTS files out there.

    Should we only worry about parasites, cookie stuffers, bad affiliates, etc....? How about worrying about some of the best HOSTS files too?

    -------------

    Today after I put a HOSTS file on my HD again, the first thing I did was to visit one of my sites, and a few other affiliates site. I didn't like what I saw!

    I will just give one example:

    I went to a page on where I have different links and banners, all the banners from one network didn't show up, but the link was there, so since I was able to see the Alt-tag descriptions, and on hover I saw the links too, I clicked on those banners, but I didn't get to no merchant, all I got was a page not found, even though the address bar say what it normally says, just before it goes to the merchant site.

    Ok, so I went and removed all of the common IP addresses that I know belong to that network, but the links and banners still didn't work, it was not until I removed about 70 lines from that file, that I was able to make the links work.

    Maybe some people reading this may say, "what the big f. deal for this thread, just remove the stupid file, or deal with it."

    But I didn't open this thread to complain about what I can or can't see, or just to waste my time writing about what the HOSTS file is causing on my computer, because I probably will keep that file on my computer after I unblock the sites that I want to see.

    My only worry is how much extra money we are losing daily, because of host-files similar to this one, on other people computers.



    Too many 's = less

    --------------

    There is a lot of talk out there about parasites, unwanted adware, spyware, and nasty stuff that may damage the people computers, and the regular site visitors and shoppers, don't necessarily read about all that nasty stuff in here, they may hear some of that on the radio, TV, or other places, but the main thing is, that they may run to any of the search engines to find more about it, and how to protect themselves, and some times they even get infested with other stuff, just because they trusted some hype, that some sneaky bad programs claim to do.

    Also, depending on what they search for, and depending on what they do with that info, we might be the one's losing money because of the paranoia that many people will suffer after reading or listening to incomplete information about parasites, unwanted adware, spyware, and nasty stuff that may damage the people computers.

    Today I found a good place that talks about the Hosts File amongst other things, and you can even download a good updated and complete Hosts File there: Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File

    Btw, that file covers over 7k lines of bad IP addresses!

    So.......... How many of our visitors may already have this entire Hosts File as is, on their computer?
    And......... It's true, they're #1 on the SE's for Host file search!
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  2. #2
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    I don't think you need to worry a bunch about the average user (or corporate users) adding a complicated HOSTS file to their computer.

    I would worry if they start to come preloaded with large HOSTS files but I'd guess HP/DELL help desks don't want to get a bunch of calls - why can't I ...

    The ones I worry about are the misguided anti-virus and anti-adware vendors who still mark cookies as malware scaring home computer folks and clobbering us.

    Charles

  3. #3
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    I don't think you need to worry a bunch about the average user (or corporate users) adding a complicated HOSTS file to their computer.

    I would worry if they start to come preloaded with large HOSTS files but I'd guess HP/DELL help desks don't want to get a bunch of calls - why can't I ...

    The ones I worry about are the misguided anti-virus and anti-adware vendors who still mark cookies as malware scaring home computer folks and clobbering us.

    Charles

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    I agree that you shouldn't worry about the average user putting a big hosts file on their computer. You need to be pretty technically-minded to even know what a hosts file is, much less what to do with it or where to get a beefed-up one.

    Besides that, while we may be losing some income from people using hosts files, I don't have a problem with it. It's a user-initiated thing, like a pop-up blocker or turning off javascript. If the user is making a conscious choice to block ads in this fashion, I respect that choice.

  5. #5
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Host files are for the paranoid, delete it

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    And that just about sums it up

  7. #7
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Try installing Spybot, then go look at your hosts file and your sites.

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    HOSTS file blocking is by far the most common link problem I have reported to me. Does anyone know of any simple software that will restore (or just delete) the default HOSTS file? The location can vary depending on the version of Windows, and many consumers have a hard time following directions to find and delete it. I would much rather just direct them to a simple program that would remove/restore it.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    HOSTS file blocking is by far the most common link problem I have reported to me. Does anyone know of any simple software that will restore (or just delete) the default HOSTS file? The location can vary depending on the version of Windows, and many consumers have a hard time following directions to find and delete it. I would much rather just direct them to a simple program that would remove/restore it.
    Michael,

    You can get RenHosts.bat from the same place I linked above.

    Safely Rename the HOSTS file
    You can use a simple batch file to rename the HOSTS file "on-the-fly". (98/ME/2K/XP)
    Download: RenHosts.bat [right-click and select: Save Target As]
    Note: This was updated to add a color change to the status screen. Source: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hostsfaq.htm
    On that hostsfaq.htm page they explain what, and how to do it.

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