How To Block Website Using Host File – You may have heard of your computer’s hosts file. If not, you haven’t missed much. Literally, it’s a file with “hosts” as the name. It does not have an extension that identifies the file type.
So the file itself is completely irrelevant. However, when placed in a specific location on your computer, it can be an effective tool for controlling your computer’s access to the outside world – the Internet. In that case, I would call it that
How To Block Website Using Host File
If you are interested in a simple and effective way to block certain websites from your computer, or if you are wondering what the magic is, you are reading the right post.
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I’ll explain how the hosts file works, its location, and a quick way to edit it on your Windows or Mac computer. If you’re a Linux user, you don’t need help editing a random file.
Here is the hosts file on the Windows computer. Except for the last four sublines, the rest is standard content, which is as good as blank – all text after the hash (#) sign is unaffected.
In programming, a comment is a way to explain what a line of code does without affecting the code itself. The computer ignores the # character itself and the text that follows it on each line.
If the hosts file has a # at the beginning of each line, which is the default, it’s as good as an empty file from the computer’s point of view.
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In effect. It’s there, but it doesn’t do much more than give a brief explanation of what it is and how to use it.
In other words, you can delete the default hosts file and nothing will happen. We don’t need it. And we can always recreate it.
The hosts file was the original method of associating a domain with an IP address in the early days of the Internet, when computers were interconnected before the advent of DNS servers.
A DNS server is like a public directory of the Internet. It will show you where you want to go.
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When you visit a website using a domain name like tech.com, the browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.) first asks your DNS server.
For most homes, the Wi-Fi router stores the DNS server information in use. By default, this is the ISP’s server.
This server then looks up the website’s domain name (known as a web address or URL) and returns its IP address, a string of seemingly random numbers to the browser – the IP address each website is located at. The browser follows this IP address to load the website.
This process is necessary because computers only understand numbers, and humans are very bad at remembering them. This page will now appear on your screen because such a process has worked.
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In many ways, a DNS server is similar to the once common telephone directory service, where you only need to remember his name, not his phone number.
So when you map a domain to a non-existent IP address or to the computer itself, you are effectively blocking the domain for users of the computer.
It blocks the localhost IP, the computer itself, and actually the computer from accessing Facebook. In particular, when you go to facebook.com, you get a message that the website is unavailable or not available.
This mapping is system-wide and takes effect immediately, meaning it affects all user accounts on the computer and you don’t even need to restart the computer.
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The way it works is that every time you try to access a domain, such as typing it into a browser, the computer checks its hosts file for mappings, and if the domain is manually mapped, it uses that and no longer makes the request. DNS server for the domain.
And as long as you know what you’re doing and don’t abuse it, you can manually map as many domains as you want.
In the hosts file, each mapping entry (per domain) takes up one line. You can host multiple domains on one IP. So use it
So let’s find out where this glorious hosts file is located on your computer and how to edit it.
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In the rare case that Windows is installed on another drive instead of c:, change the drive letter accordingly.
Here is the location of the hosts file on a Windows computer. Note the address bar, which indicates the path to the folder.
Now you can manage any file, including deleting, renaming, or making a copy. By the way, if you move the hosts file to another location, it no longer has any effect.
It takes some work to open the hosts file for editing. Since it doesn’t have an extension, double-clicking it normally won’t work. You also need to open with it
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To make changes – otherwise the file is read-only and you can only see the contents.
In general, you can open it with any text editor, such as Windows’ built-in Notepad application.
If you’re not familiar with the application or don’t know how to work with files in general, the fastest way to open hosts for editing in Windows is to
When done, save the file. (Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S or simply close the file and select save when prompted.)
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To test, make sure you visit a page on a website you haven’t visited recently to avoid local caching of content. Or clear your browser data first.
For Windows users, there is a handy free program that makes it easy to work with the hosts file called HostsMan.
The application has a built-in hosts file editor and many other tools for managing records. It can even disable/enable the hosts file via a small icon in the notification area.
It’s generally not a good idea to use an app if you don’t have to. But if you are interested in using the app, you can download it from this link.
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By the way, the hosts file has the same syntax across platforms. So you can use the same file between Windows and macOS. Or you can copy file contents between them.
As shown in the screenshot above, here are the steps to find the hosts file on your Mac:
Similar to the Windows situation above, you must use an administrator-level account to make changes to the hosts file on a Mac.
2. The hosts file will open in the Nano application. You can now use the arrow keys to move around and enter data as needed.
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Before using a hosts file to block, ask yourself why you want to block a domain and not just a domain
Whatever your answer, this blocking mechanism is used when you want to control something you don’t have (enough) control over. Examples:
A security measure, it is a control measure. Blocking a domain doesn’t make your computer more secure, it just prevents a machine from accessing it.
By the way, if I know about the hosts file now that you do, we have to assume that the bad guys know about it too. As a result, given how easy it can be to modify a file, be aware that it can be used for malicious purposes.
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Using the hosts file is a reliable way to control whether a domain binds to an IP address on a computer, and all of this applies. So, among other things, this is a simple and effective way to block certain websites from your machine.
Adding one domain at a time to the hosts file can be time-consuming. Because of this, there are many pre-made host files where someone has compiled a long list of blocked domains that can be downloaded.
However, be careful with these prepackaged host files. They include hundreds of domains to block anything, including legitimate services. Not to mention that these might be malicious records.
Many domains are interconnected, and blocking one of them may cause the others to not work properly. Incorrect domain blocking can also cause critical computer functions such as automatic updates or security/integrity checks to fail.
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On top of that, a large hosts file can also have a negative impact on performance. It’s a good idea to keep it under a few hundred kilobytes. Normally, you should only use such entries
Well, it’s a great tool if you use it for the right purpose. But it can also be painful when you abuse it or are unaware of it. This can cause a lot of unexpected connection problems – it’s like a deliberately modified phone book.
It is a good practice to focus on this file and use an empty (default) hosts file when troubleshooting connection problems or connectivity issues. When in doubt, you can safely disable the file by renaming it, deleting it, or moving it away from the default location. There are many reasons why we block certain websites from accessing our browser. Maybe we don’t want our kids to access some naughty websites. Just that
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