#IT – Blocking Websites Using The Hosts File

If you want to stop access to certain websites there are many ways to achieve this. One of them is through the HOSTS file on a Windows machine.

On Windows 7 you can find it in
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

If you go to search and look for

hosts

you should find a file without an extension. Open it up in Notepad and you will see that you can add to the end of the file.

An example would be
127.0.0.1 localhost
127.0.0.1 http://www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 http://www.twitter.com

This can be useful for restricting access to certain websites on specific machines/devices and also you could use this trick to actually block most ad sites so that you don’t need to run things like AdBlock Plus.

Parents might find it useful to protect younger eyes from the darker corners of the internet also.
No filter or censorship will ever make up for good parenting though so I’d say it’s always better to educate them rather than trying to restrict them hoping that will be enough.

Most routers (even ISP provided devices) allow for certain filters etc to be applied to the router but kids are more resourceful than you think and most know they just need to factory reset the router back to defaults. This hosts method means that they may not realise where the block actually is.

I honestly don’t know if similar things can be done on Android, UNIX etc but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is also possible on Linux distros and maybe even Mac OS X

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