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Thread: Will Editing HOSTS file in Windows Improve my Network Security?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2014
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    Will Editing HOSTS file in Windows Improve my Network Security?

    It is my first post so I say hello to everyone and thumbs up for the SG team providing us for quite a while with excellent tools for improving network speed and security.

    Back to my post, I have been testing during the past days 2 different ways of editing the "hosts" file in Windows for the purpose of blocking webpages and domains tracking my computer, and I am a little confused because there are guys who recommend editing the "hosts" file usually located in c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts by using 127.0.0.1 before adding a page address to be blocked and there are guys who recommend using 0.0.0.0 before adding a page address to be blocked.

    I have tested both ways, and all I can tell is that using a template in this form:

    127.0.0.1 google-analytics.com
    127.0.0.1 ssl.google-analytics.com

    is not good at all for my system, and it can slow down even the most common operations.

    But I have found that using a template in this form:

    0.0.0.0 google-analytics.com
    0.0.0.0 ssl.google-analytics.com

    seems to be ok as far as system stability is concerned, and even the webpages are loading faster. I also made the "hosts" file read-only after editing it, following some piece of advice I have read on the Internet.

    My question is whether this method (editing the hosts file) will truly work for blocking webpages and domains tracking my computer or not. I know very little about network security and computers in general so I can't test if I am actually more protected now than before after editing the hosts file the way I have seen it is meant to be done in the tutorials from the Internet. And if it does work, I would also be interested if the same method can be used to edit the hosts file in Linux, adding the same lines in /etc/hosts or wherever this file is located.

    So, to conclude, I only have these questions:

    1. Which one is better to use before adding the page address to be blocked, is it 127.0.0.1 or 0.0.0.0?

    2. How to test if my network security is better after editing the hosts file?

    3. If successful, can I use the same method in Linux?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2

    Smile

    I asked the same question on AskUbuntu forums, and it seems that 127.0.0.1 is the right call for the loopback address. I tried it in Windows and Linux, and it works fine. I guess "google-analytics.com" and "ssl.google-analytics.com" were not the best examples for blocking web addresses and/or domains but I managed to get a very long list of web addresses and domains well-known for cookie tracking and similar, and I used some piece of software called HostMan to get the above mentioned list. I am not saying my network security meets some higher standards now but I guess it is a little better now than before .

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