Hosts File

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The hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory (cache) at startup, then Windows checks the hosts file before it queries any DNS servers, which enables it to override addresses in the DNS. This prevents access to any listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is it's ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, providing the entry exists. You can use a hosts file to block ads, banners, 3rd party Cookies, 3rd party page counters, web bugs, and even most hijackers.

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Hosts File Information