Blocking websites without special software

Tips & Tricks

Although blocking software is readily available, here is a simpler method to provide an additional layer of security that does not involve installing any new software. In addition, if ad servers or trackers are blocked, it also protects privacy since browsing habits are protected.

This tip merely involves adding the blocked website or sites to the Windows Hosts file.  When first accessing the Hosts file, it may be blank or may include a number of sites already blocked by an existing anti-spyware or malware application.

To access and change the Windows Hosts file:

1) Open “Run” from the Start menu (or the Windows key plus r) and enter (Administrator rights may be requested):

c:/windows/system32/drivers/etc/hosts

2) Open the file with Notepad so it can be edited.

3) If an existing anti-spyware or malware app has not already added some URLs to the file, the following entry will be at the end of the Hosts file:

127.0.0.1 localhost

4) Then just add another line – one line for each website – using the same format and remember to include a space between local IP number and the URL. For example, to block www.example.com:

127.0.0.1 localhost

127.0.0.1 www.example.com

127.0.0.1 example.com

5) Close and Save the changes. A reboot may be necessary to activate the new Hosts file list.

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