For anyone who has not discovered the benefits … Take a bit of time out to read this Its worth it
Of course you can lead a horse to water but getting them to drink as they say is another matter …
Easy Plugins for browsers such as AdBlock Plus use a similar method and have earned popularity among firefox fans - But it only protects Firefox for instance, and is dependant on the homebrew plugin developer not getting burned out constantly updating the plugin.
Whereas the hosts file prevents all communications software on the same machine (messengers aswell as browsers) connecting to bad sites.
@ Comodo - Regularly updating a hosts file from MVPS.org has been an extra layer of protection which I have found to be invaluable in helping to keep all of my family machines free from harm (we have had no malware problems for about eight years now).
Its problems are purely down to user misunderstanding, the need to manually update either by running the batch file extracted from the zip, or by having to learn a new program in the form HostsXpert.
There is another Program in the form of HostsMan, which will auto-update a hosts file … However getting it to play nice needs a few advanced steps in some cases - And in the case of family machines where it would be most beneficial it will not update on a limited (non-admin) user account.
And of course the whole thing is a bit on the technical side for people who just want stuff to work - Unfortunately the demographic is more than likely the main carrier of malware / malvertisement propagation, easy target cash cows.
Both utilities are linked on the mvps.org website above, each having its own dedicated very appreciated programming author … But their dedication / OS expertise will not keep up forever.
HostsMan is close to what we need. But Ideally upon installation on any windows OS newer than XP, I would like it to ask to install for All Users of the same machine, running as a very low resource useage systray utility, which can check for updates to the mvps hosts file periodically (say once per week) for any user who is on the machine …
And actually update the hosts file even if the machines admin user is not around. Keeping the family users of that machine protected.
If not possible to update the main hosts file, could a limited user specific hosts file be set in addition affording the same ability of preventing any communications from that machine connecting to bad sites no matter what software tried to achieve such connections (as is the case with the main hosts file setup).
Problems of course will come in the form of malware trying to take over the process if it ever became really popular … But this is Comodo’s ball park hopefully
Probably upset a few advertisers / market research methods along the way too, but thats their fault for earning themselves a place on the hosts list to start with allowing malware to take advantage of their methods / sites which sadly are often hand-in-glove.
Is Comodo capable ?, is it a worthy addition to the trust garnering array of free software you can produce ?
See also the Criteria for detection as to how they judge a site / link url for inclusion in the hosts file. Its quite comprehensive, and the team are veterans at avoiding legal comebacks for their decisions. In the end its user choice if we decide to use the list and block them. Not the creators of the list / or free software implementation method