The Hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory (cache) at startup, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it queries any DNS servers, which enables it to override addresses in the DNS. This prevents access to the listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is its ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, providing the entry exists.
This is a host file that many use (including me) and is offered for everyones use with regular updates and at the great cost of nothing.http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm