The way an operating system translates the easy to remember domain names like yahoo.com into IP addresses like 188.8.131.52 is by querying the DNS servers that you have configured for the network interface. But you can bypass the DNS servers by using the HOSTS file that contains entries with domain to IP address translations already done. This feature can also be used to block some of the malicious websites by translating their domains to invalid IP servers.
The free HostsShield does exactly that – it updates the hosts file in Windows computers using some of the well know entries in order to block some of the malicious websites and provide you with protection from them. The program is designed using .NET 4.5 and so you will need to install Microsoft .NET 4.5 framework before installing it in your PC.
HostsShield shows up with a very small window and you can toggle the disable or enable the HostsShield by clicking on the respective buttons. By clicking on this Enable HostsShield button, you are making it download the ready-made hosts file from the servers of MSVP servers (http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm). And when you click on the Disable HostsShield button, it will restore the default hosts file once again undoing all the changes.
Apart from this basic function, you can also view and edit the hosts file by clicking on the Edit/view hosts file database button. This will open the hosts file in Windows’ Notepad so that you can edit the entries manually. If you do not know how to edit the hosts file, then you can read our previous posts about how to block websites using hosts file.
Once you have enabled the HostsShield in your Windows PC, you will receive all the automatic updates to the hosts file downloaded from the MSVP servers as and when new updates are released.
You can download HostsShield from http://www.saucessoftware.com/.