Posted 21 December 2005 - 08:03 PM
I have a question concerning the use of a Hosts File Manager alongside certain antispyware products. After performing a ton of research and in an attempt to be more secure online, I switched browsers from Internet Explorer to Opera (best move I ever made) and also started reading about Hosts File managers. I began using the HostMan program and used it for a long period of time without any problems or conflicts. Lately, however, for whatever reason (possibly because of the size the hosts file has become), my Microsoft Antispyware and Counterspy programs are giving me fits. They used to scan fine, but now lock up when dealing with the Hosts File (at least that is my theory). Microsoft Antispyware runs fine until it starts to look for browser hijacks - then it just stops. I click anywhere in the program and above in the window bar is says ("program is unresponsive"), so I have to just click on the "X" and get out of the program. Counterspy scans a little differently, and does a complete scan without getting tangled up in the hosts file. However, when I go into "System Tools" and attempt to run "My PC Checkup," it says "Checking common host file hijacks," the status bar goes about halfway, then the thing just locks up. I am not asking for specifics on the software in this forum, as I have been trying to get answers from support on this issue, but not getting very far. There are also issues I'm having with Ad-Aware and Spybot. Both of them are apparently reading the host file entries as hijacker redirections while they are actually deliberate redirections by HostMan to 127.0.0.1 (localhost). Has anyone else had problems along this line. I have emailed Spybot support and posted in their forums but have never had a reply nor seen an answer to this question. Also, I'm not enough of a technical person to determine whether these are simply misreads by Ad-Aware and Spybot or if there really is a problem. Everything in my HOSTS file looks fine. The only DNS address listed for any of the entries is 127.0.0.1, as it should be. Nothing has been changed in the file (looking at it in notepad) that I did not deliberately change or was changed when I updated the hosts with HostMan's update.
Also, I noticed that Microsoft Antispyware says the hosts file should not be changed unless one is running Enterprise (I have yet to figure out what that is - all I know is that it has to do with networks), the hosts file should not be changed. But there are many security sites out there that suggest using a hosts file manager to block spyware, adware, etc. I do know that I have greatly enjoyed crusing the net, being able to go to a page and have all the crap-ads blocked. I would really hate to give that up. Does anybody know what the problem is as far as using these antispyware programs and if there is anything I can do to help them be more compatible? Boy, things were sure a whole lot simpler back when I was totally clueless (rather than just half-clueless as I am now) and didn't run any kind of antivirus or antispyware . . . and really had no problems, other than spyware I contracted from store-bought publishing software (COSMI) that loaded Webhancer on my computer along with the publishing software - Thank you very much, COSMI, for making me have to delete and reinstall Windows 98 (on a former computer)... Anyway, any info somebody may have on this topic would be welcomed with open arms.