Hosts Profiles Management

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If you don’t know what the Hosts file is and how it works, check this out.

The hosts file is one of several system facilities to assist in addressing network nodes in a computer network.

Or, it’s a file responsible for correctly translating a host name (domain name) to an specific IP address. In Windows, it always be the first place for system to look and resolute the address. So it’s vital to keep it clean and correct because if you have the wrong entries in there pointing the domains to the wrong address, you would not get access to the right content. Usually, keeping it clean with a DNS server that you trust set up in your network setting is good enough, unless you are a web developer working on a test website that requires to use a formal domain name to access.

The Hosts file is always located in the following folder in Windows system, even from the Windows 9x time.

%windir%\system32\drivers\etc

And because it’s in an inconvenient location in a format that doesn’t have an associated extension name, it’s not that easy to access and manage. And that’s why I found this open source tool, Hosts Profiles, quite handy.

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It’s a portable tool to control, switch and management the hosts files on your computer. In the program, you can easily,

  • View what’s in the current hosts file
  • Create a hosts file on your own
  • Replace the current hosts file with the one you created
  • Flush the DNS on your computer, which I assume is the same as the commend “ipconfig /flushdns”, which is purging the DNS resolver cache.
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