Remembering the OG ad/malware blocking hosts file


For the longest time the first thing which I installed on new computers / computers I was asked to “help with” was the MVP hosts file (archive.org link). I credit this file with keeping many, many computers safe and running they way their owners intended to for almost two decades now.

Sadly it seems like the maintainer might have passed sometime last year (or is at least gravely ill). From the page:

Folks … sorry for the delay (again) in getting out an update … just got out of the Hospital … I now have some severe health issues to deal with (complete Kidney failure … need a Kidney transplant) plus another operation … large needles inserted into my spine …however I will try to better maintain the MVPS HOSTS file. Well just got back from Hospital again (excessive water in lungs)

If you could … please consider a donation. Thanks to all that contributed … every little bit helps.

https://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm (archive.org link)

So, I donated – may it be of some use to them / their family! And I encourage to do the same if you benefited from this great file!

As for alternatives, there are several good ones:

  • I now use nextdns.io on the machines/mobile devices I maintain
  • pi-hole is also an alternative
  • Specifically for Windows, HostsMan is a good software to manage/update hosts files
  • Browser plugins like uBlockOrigin are also very useful

For the last decade it has been the case – and continues to be the case in my opinion – that ad/tracker blocking is the single most effective way to keep devices from being infected with all kinds of malware (and, it generally makes web browsing faster!)

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