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Thread: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sites)

  1. #11
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    Re: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sit

    BTW, instead of reading a Wikipedia article on DynDNS, you should rather go to the DynDNS web site and see for yourself. It is a pretty good service. I have configured it for use on the public computers at a number of family centres.

    IMHO, trying to filter out internet cruft is a huge waste of time, best done by a large service company like DynDNS. It is not something that a single person can do properly.

  2. #12
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    Re: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sit

    Quote Originally Posted by rocksockdoc View Post
    Can you suggest improvements to this process of maintaining a large hosts file?
    Sure: don't ;-p Blocking ads and trackers is a Sisyphus task. Using /etc/hosts is crude because it is a static listing and only deals with resolving domain names. And by using an external block list you let the creator define what is bad or unwanted. Depending on your browsing habits ninety nine percent of its contents may not even be of any use to you.

    To gauge what such a kludge really is worth try explaining how you would block these using /etc/hosts:
    - incrementally update your block list,
    - block ad-tracking cookies,
    - block ads residing in a path on the same server you visit,
    - block ads from a host name of which the domain name is the same as the server you visit,
    - block ads on the same server you visit presented through Javascript or Flash,
    - block ads by host or path substring match,
    - block only web bugs,
    - block ads server over HTTPS,
    - set session-only cookies for a range of sites,
    - selectively block pop-ups, refresh-tags and redirects,
    - keep images with specific sizes from displaying,
    - block visiting domains based on content,

    Well actually you don't need to try because you can't. If you don't like OpenDNS or Google DNS then you could use a persistent caching DNS server like Pdns. It speeds up lookups, allows you to block IP addresses using /etc/hosts-style files and change what's blocked or not dynamically. Add to that a proxy like Privoxy because filtering is the single most efficient way of blocking ads and trackers. It can do everything /etc/hosts can't and besides, every time anyone suggests using /etc/hosts a puppy dies ;-p

  3. #13
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    Re: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sit

    I just came back here to remember how to update my hosts file and merge & delete duplicates.

    Quote Originally Posted by unspawn View Post
    Blocking ads and trackers is a Sisyphus task. Using /etc/hosts is crude because it is a static listing and only deals with resolving domain names.
    While this statement is inherently true, the statement is too black & white & may discourage others.

    Personally, my 32K line long /etc/hosts file is not any bother whatsoever to manage (in practice, I only update it en masse whenever I feel like it, which turns out to be about once every few months).

    In addition, whenever I go to a repeat site (e.g., the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.) and I see ads, I simply add the URL from the ad itself to the hosts file - and blissfully continue reading the news sans ads on the side.

    While I don't claim to block all the ads on the planet, this simple easy-to-maintain system works for me. And, I'm sure for many others (otherwise the main /etc/hosts file wouldn't be constantly maintained on the net).

    So, in summary, it's not perfect - but it works. And, it's trivial to maintain.

    Now, I'm still not making use of the suggested programs to constantly change 'my' IP address so I'll have to explore that separately.

    Also, I've set the Google open DNS servers in my home broadband router as my DNS servers, but I don't know how that plays a role in blocking domains.

  4. #14
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    Re: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sit

    I use OpenDNS and havent noticed any ads

  5. #15
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    Re: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sit

    Quote Originally Posted by rocksockdoc View Post
    the statement (..) may discourage others.
    One can only hope. If only one in a billion would experience the method to be way more efficient than any prior millennium kludge can ever hope to be I'm happy already.

    Simple but fundamental example: 'egrep "[[:blank:]](ad|ad[0-9])\.' the hosts file currently yields 385 results. Any host not in your list you would have to search for (as you update sporadically) and add manually. What do I have? Just one line:
    Code:
    ad*.
    which blocks any such host name.
    Without any effort.
    All of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by rocksockdoc View Post
    this simple easy-to-maintain system works for me.
    Well good for you. The fact you only address maintenance and conveniently disregard the rest of my post, plus the fact you dismissed using external filtering DNS servers right from the start, does make me wonder though if you actually are interested in a quality solution...


    Quote Originally Posted by rocksockdoc View Post
    And, I'm sure for many others (otherwise the main /etc/hosts file wouldn't be constantly maintained on the net).
    *shrug* (Continued) Existence of things on the 'net itself is no proof of sanity, usability or the author not being misguided ;-p

  6. #16
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    Re: Easiest way to meld multiple large huge hosts files (block unwanted parasitic sit

    Quote Originally Posted by unspawn View Post
    One can only hope. If only one in a billion would experience the method to be way more efficient than any prior millennium kludge can ever hope to be I'm happy already.
    Simple but fundamental example: 'egrep "[[:blank:]](ad|ad[0-9])\.' the hosts file currently yields 385 results. Any host not in your list you would have to search for (as you update sporadically) and add manually. What do I have? Just one line:
    Code:
    ad*.
    which blocks any such host name.
    Without any effort.
    All of the time.[/code]

    Which is why I abonded a hosts file as well. There are several proxies that use this principle (Privoxy). The result is much easier to maintain, although there is a bit of a learning curve.
    Last edited by nothingspecial; February 17th, 2012 at 05:40 PM.
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