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how-to block ads

The short answer is that the Hosts file is like an address book. When you type an address like www.yahoo.com into your browser, the Hosts file is consulted to see if you have the IP address for Yahoo. If you do, then your computer will "call it," and the site will open. If not, your computer will ask your ISP's (Internet service provider) DNS Server (domain name services) for the IP address before it can "call" that site. Most of the time, you do not have addresses in your "address book" because you have not put any there. Therefore, most of the time your computer asks for the IP address from your ISP to find sites.

If you put ad server names into your Hosts file with your own computer's IP address, your computer will try to connect to your own computer each time it's pointed to that ad server, and since there's no ad on your own computer, nothing is displayed, nor will any tracking take place.

Your choices for blocking sites are not just limited to blocking ad servers. You may block sites that serve advertisements, sites that serve objectionable content or any other site you choose to block.

You can read more about the Hosts file and how it works here. Download (eDexter or HostsToggle) to make browsing with the Hosts file smoother, faster and easier.

Here are two different Hosts files (updated frequently):

hpguru's Hosts file

MVPS Hosts file

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by Lucif4 See Profile edited by JMGullett See Profile
last modified: 2007-06-06 14:41:30