The HOSTS file in Windows (as well as in other operating systems) is taken into account when various programs try to translate the domain names into their respective IP addresses. For example, when you type in “trishtech.com” in your web browser, it first checks the hosts file whether an entry exists for this domain and if it exists then use that entry. If there is no entry for a domain name, then the application checks your configured DNS servers to get the corresponding IP address for that domain name. As we have posted in different articles, you can use the HOSTS file to block or redirect websites. You can edit the HOSTS file manually, or you can use the freeware hostsController to manage your HOSTS file in Windows.
The hostsController application is available as a setup installer. After the installation, you can launch it from its desktop shortcut or by searching it through the as Apps in Windows 8 (using the hotkey Win+Q). The program must be run with administrator level privileges so that it can make changes to the HOSTS file.
The hostsController program offers you two methods of editing the HOSTS file – through and editing of the file using a text editor. The first method is very easy and can be used to quickly block/unblock a domain name, redirect a domain name to another domain, or to boost/unboost a domain name.
Blocking the domain name blocks it from being opened in web browsers, redirecting a domain name can be used to redirect one site to another (for example, when you type in cnn.com, you can make it open usatoday.com instead) and boosting a domain name makes the DNS lookup faster by storing the resolved IP addresses in the HOSTS file itself.
In the plain text editor mode, you can choose the actions from the side menu to block or unblock a domain, redirect or remove the redirection and to boost or unboost a domain name. You can also just type in the text editor itself to modify your HOSTS file.
The hostsController program uses safe practice and creates a backup of your HOSTS file before modifying it. This way you can always switch back to an earlier version of the HOSTS file, in case something goes wrong. In addition to automatic backups, you can also create a backup file manually.
Conclusion: The hostsController program allows you to easily manage the entries in your Windows HOSTS file. It can be used to quickly block, unblock, redirect or boost a domain name. It keeps backups of your HOSTS file so that you can revert back to an earlier copy of your HOSTS file.
You can download hostsController from http://vancelancedance.wordpress.com/.