hosts : Java Glossary




A file used in Windows to provide shortcuts for DNS (Domain Name Service) to IP (Internet Protocol) lookup.

The hosts. file needs to contain at least one entry: localhost to let you access server apps on the local machine. You can maintain the file with a text editor, or for more automated error-free maintenance use QuickDNS.

There are two reason to put an entry into the hosts. file.

  1. Because the name is not known to the DNS lookup system. It is a local name, or an IP without an official domain name. localhost router
  2. For speed. Hosts. lookup is faster than asking a DNS server on the net, e.g.
    The problem is, if the IP changes, the hosts file will not be automatically updated. You have manually update it with a text editor or semi-automatically update it with a hosts file manager.

Hosts Managers

Hosts. File Managers
Program Cost Notes
QuickDNS free I wrote this, frustrated there was no decent replacement for TweakDUN. It lets you optionally mark your domains in your hosts as # leave to have the IPs left alone. Periodically you ask it to look up the latest IP of the plain domains and replace the values.
TweakDUN free Unfortunately no longer available. It let you mark your domains in your hosts. file as either #SKIP or plain. You would each day ask it to look up the latest IP of the plain domains and replace the values. I may have to write one myself.
Abelhadigital HostsMan free Complicated. Takes over entire DNS system. I could see no way to get it to simply refresh the IP in your host file. However, it would at least look up an individual IP if you typed the domain name. It’s main function is to download large lists of rude domains so that you can deflect DNS look up.
Mike Meyer HostsToggle free Open source. Written in VB. All it does is toggle two different hosts. files. Last revised: 2002 Verified: 2007-05-20

Surprisingly, you don’t have to reboot after changing the hosts. file in order to have the changes make effect.

Hosts. File Format

Here is what a typical hosts. file looks like that overrides DNS lookup for a selected set of commonly used domains.

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