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Hoster - website blocking for everyday use

Website - FreeWare

reviewed by TeMerc, Sept 05, Feb 06


Notes from Clif, Hoster v3.0 final release (Feb 2006)

Tom at TeMerc reviewed this HOSTS file manager in September of last year, he still likes it and has this to say about the new version.


Clif it has basically gotten a couple of extras much the way several other host file managers have gotten, giving users more control of how the use the tool.


What I liked most about it, was it's simplicity. I hope it does not continue to get too 'advanced' for lack of a better word. There are aleady a few other advanced managers out there for 'power users' so to speak. And most users are not, based on what I have seen around the forums.



Review by Tom (Sept 2005)

This past week, I decided to try a few of the latest host file manager applications available. I see recommendations for several, via the many security forums I routinely visit thru the day.


Hosts files, whose original intention was to resolve DNS and IP addresses, have developed into more of a security and privacy tool. They are an excellent way to block ads from appearing on your browser too.


As more and more servers began to host sites which were of a malicious intent, they have evolved to the security feature they are now. And with this newly emerging security feature, it has become almost a requirement to have some sort of a hosts file manager.


You can find a great bit of reading about hosts files here on Wikipedia.


After trying four of these managers, I have come to the conclusion that Hoster seems to fit all of the things I thought would be handy for most users.


Firstly, of course, its free. Secondly, its an app created by someone in the security community, with a close ear to the ground for timely updates to add the most recently found nasty sites, or to add new advert sites which popup regularly.


Tho most have very similar options, Hoster is setup the easiest to use. Everything in one tidy GUI. It gives you a count of however many hosts entries there are. You can make the file writable or lock it. You can delete any selected line, and add line simply. Backing up your hosts file is another option.


Its especially nice if you do any amount of host file testing for compatibility. And what I think is the neatest option, is that you can revert your hosts file to what it came with from MS. If you do any amount of malware testing, this is a very nice feature. Say you're looking to get yourself infected. Well, you can't do it rightly if you're protected by a hosts file. So, first click the 'backup hosts file' button, then click the 'restore original hosts' button and you're ready.


About the only option that I'd like to see, and a couple of others have it, is an option to DL the latest hosts file from a number of selected host file sites.


And while some of the others have some more advanced options, for the everyday user, this app suffices quite nicely.


Here is a screenshot of the main interface:


Hoster screenshot

click to expand


Other managers I tried:



Bluetack Hosts File Manager


These were also very good apps, and in some cases, a bit more advanced. Depending on your level of involvement with host files and editing and so forth, you will need to find which best suits your needs.


Quote from the author of Hoster - Hoster is an ultra-groovy Hosts file Manager, Editor and Helper-outter.