Who has never grumbled that his internet connection was slow? Tired of waiting 5 minutes for the site to load? Tired of ads? So this article will allow you to speed up your internet browsing with the Hosts file.
The Hosts file
What is the Hosts file? This is a file needed for every Windows computer to connect to the Internet! It can speed up access to some sites and block access to others. We will only use blocking malicious sites and ad sites.
Why not use the feature that speeds up access? Because the Hosts file system is an old system. It is no longer really adapted to today's internet, the system has been replaced by DNS servers. But the Hosts file is in every computer, and is read before using the DNS server!
Basically, the Hosts file is only made up of a few lines but is considered empty. To activate it, you need to add a list of domain names with their IP addresses.
This list, which can be created and manipulated simply, with the Windows Notebook (Notepad), contains, on each line, an IP address, a space, a domain name. That's all!
If the IP address is that of the domain, its access is accelerated, but nowadays, a domain often has multiple IP addresses. For example, google uses multiple servers – multiple IP addresses.
If the IP address is that of the local Windows loop (i.e. address 127.0.0.1), the domain is blocked. That's all! And that's the method we're going to use.
- 126.96.36.199 www.google.fr speeds up access to Google France
- 127.0.0.1 www.google.fr blocks access to Google France
How to speed up your internet connection?
For ease, we'll first take a Hosts file management program, for example Hostsman (download here)
Install. Once all this is done, open Hostsman, click "File"-"Import/Export" –"Import," click "Browse" and go get your Hosts — "Next" file. You have it by default, but I advise you to take Steven Black's. This one is often updated and already includes several hosts files. Including some of those present by default in Hostsman. You have different possible lists that you can find here.
Once the Hosts file is activated, you'll have more than 50,000 blacklisted domain names, including ads.
This means that if the website or blog you visit has advertising, and the Hosts file blocks them, the site will load much faster! And hop, gain connection speed!
Hosts file or ad blocker?
The hosts file has its flaws and quality compared to an ad blocker: The Hosts file blocks at the source, while an ad blocker blocks after loading. The gain is greater with a hosts file. But an ad blocker is more flexible and therefore allows for example not to block a complete domain but just advertising.
The ideal is therefore to use an Hosts file coupled with an ad blocker such as ublock.
The Hosts file doesn't need the program to work. Even if you uninstall it, it will still work, but I advise you not to uninstall it as it is best to update its Hosts file once a month.
Be aware that there are other Hosts files and that they can be merged with Hostsman. But the more blocked sites, the more likely there is a risk that "normal" sites will be blocked by mistake…
Also, be aware that if your Hosts file is too large, it will have the opposite effect on your connection! I advise you to activate only that of Steven Black. Because the heavier the hosts file, the longer it takes to find out if the domain is in the file or not.
In short, to speed up its internet connection: use a custom hosts file. Even better is that it is coupled with an ad blocker.
But if you really want to use a large Hosts file, turn off the Windows "DNS server" service in this case.