The Windows host file has several uses that include blocking, redirecting and creating shortcuts to websites keep on and continue reading more on Windows Host File For Beginners in here.
Domain names are a common way for people to access websites. Most times, people who surf the web can use a website’s domain name to gain access to it.
Internet applications, however, do not use domain names and instead connect to sites via their IP addresses. As a result, when you input a target domain name on your system, your it has to change to an IP address to connect successfully.
In the modern world, the resolving of hostnames or domain names to their IP address is done by the Domain Name Server (DNS). Before the invention of DNS however, hosts file were used to solve this problem. The significant difference between the two is the host file can be directly controlled or edited locally by the computer user, while the DNS cannot.
The host file was used on older computer models to achieve domain to IP mapping. It is however still present on several devices today including computers and androids. It is a text file that can easily be edited using Notepad and other text editing apps but it does not carry the txt file extension.
What is the Purpose of Host File?
The Windows host file has several uses that include blocking, redirecting and creating shortcuts to websites to mention a few. It ultimately serves as a means for converting human language (domain names) to numeric addresses (IP address) that can be understood by the computer network.
By editing the host file, you can connect a domain name to an IP address, and also modify a domain name to whatever version of the name you want. The host file is sometimes the target of viruses and redirects users to a website to increase its traffic without their consent.
What is the Content of the Host File?
The host file comprises of lines of IP addresses found in the first text field and accompanied by hostname(s). White spaces separate the fields and are created using the spacebar or Tab can also be used to separate fields. Comment lines can be added using a hash symbol (#) in the first position of such lines, and completely blank lines in the file are overlooked. Sometimes several host names can be linked to an IP address. In this case, the hostname is resolved to both IPv4 and IPv6 IP addresses.
For example, a hosts file may contain the following:
127.0.0.1 localhost loopback
Where is the Windows Host File Location?
The host file is located in windows\system32\drivers\etc\, for Windows Xp and Windows 7. If you cannot find it on your computer, you may need to enable the “view hidden files” feature to see it.
The host file can be a helpful tool if you gain a proper understanding of how to use it. You can customize Domain Name Resolution to suit your needs. You can also block off harmful programs from your computer.