#WinHOSTS – Block Ads / Spyware / Virus at the system level!

HOSTS1We have written a program called #WinHOSTS that may just save you from paying us a lot of money in the future.

Do you ever have troubles with ads showing up on websites? Do you end up getting spyware even without knowing how it happened?

Well, today is your lucky day. We have used winhelp2002 to block virus/spyware/adware for a very long time now, but we wanted an automated tool that would keep our HOSTS file updated.

Here is an easy to understand description of what the HOSTS file does:
The short answer is that the Hosts file is like an address book. When you type an address like www.google.com into your browser, the Hosts file is consulted to see if you have the IP address, or “telephone number,” for that site. 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) computer for the phone number 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 never be able to contact the ad server. It will try to, but it will be simply calling itself and get a “busy signal” of sorts. Your computer will then give up calling the ad server and no ads will be loaded, 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 that you choose to block.

What #WinHOSTS actually does:

We want to stress that this program does not remove spyware if you already have it, nor does it continuously run (it is not a scanner!). It is a massive list of ad/virus/spyware/malicious servers that gets put in your hosts file. It also updates your host file every time you restart your computer. This way, when you are browsing the internet, you are kept safe! It isn’t rocket science. It’s just that normal computer users (and even geeky tech guys) don’t know how to use the HOSTS file to their advantage. An internet connection is required!

Download #WinHOSTS

Disclaimer (If you read the above, you don’t really need to read this):
This software is provided “as is”. If it kills your computer, kicks your dog and BBQs your cat, it is your problem and only yours.

It should be noted that updating a HOSTS file isn’t exactly rocket science, and unless you manage to do something colossally dumb, this program should only have the effect of causing your computer to block ads/spyware/virus from the source. You can’t get a whole lot more effective than that.

If you are curious and want more details, visit: http://winhelp2002.mvps.org

Changelog:

4/18/12 – v1.4

• Rebuilt program using earlier version of BAT to EXE converter (1.5)

3/1/12 – v1.3

• Rebuilt program for 32bit users. Previously, if installed on a 32bit machine it would fail quietly. Now it should work for all 32bit and 64bit users.

2/24/12 – v1.2

• Cause the program to update to the latest versions of HOSTS that it has access to, so even if the end user doesn’t have an internet connection, his HOSTS file will still be updated to the latest that was downloaded (or if never downloaded, the HOSTS file included with the program.

2/24/12 – v1.1

• Add logic to fail gracefully and inform the user what happened if we are unable to grab the HOSTS file (I.E. It will ask you to check your internet connection and try again).

• Add confirmation that the HOSTS file has been updated