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Solved: HOW-TO: Filter internet and sites???

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by vookster82, Feb 14, 2005.

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  1. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    Hello, i was just wondering if there is an easy and effective way to filter our internet usage. We are in a workgroup environment. I don’t know too much about this on a large scale and if there is something out there that can work for us. We have about 10 computers that would need to be filtered. If I have to install something on each computer that is fine. I just need some info and suggestions on this b/c I have never dealt with something like this. I don’t know how Internet filtering software really works and whats good software for this so I’m clueless as of right now. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. hewee

    hewee

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  3. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    seems like a lot of work...ill look more into it. Thanks
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    What sort of filtering do you want? If you want to allow only a few IP addresses, that is easily done. On the other hand, if you want something more "global", such as a filter for "smut" or some other large and amorphous category of website, then the solution is more complex and may require software.

    Can you give some idea of your filtering parameters?
     
  5. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    well, basically theres a few sites that people keep going to even though we tell them not to. Mostly shopping sites, but a few other misc. ones. All in all its probably safe to say were trying to prohibit access to about 10-15 sites on 10 computers. Thanks, catch ya later.
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    For a list that small, I'd follow hewee's advice and just copy a pre-made hosts file to each machine from a floppy and block those sites.

    The IP's could also be blocked in the router or gateway setup, depending what sort of network configuration you have. Whole blocks of IP addresses are easily blocked by either method.

    You could also raise the security settings for Restricted Sites in Internet Options and add those sites to the list. An Administrator can easily block access to these settings so others can't change them. And the hosts file is a hidden file---if Folder Options are disabled, no one can even see the file.
     
  7. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    ok, i d/l and then copied and pasted/replaced my original host file with a premade host file on my comp from www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm. It's got a ton of adware/hijacker sites and stuff already on it to block....so i figure that would be a plus. (it was updated 2-12-05 too) Then at the bottom of the premade stuff i tested it out by putting "127.0.0.1 www.oldnavy.com" in and saved it. Then rebooted my comp and oldnavy.com is gone like i wanted it to be....this is sweet!!!

    Now, when i go to put the new hosts files on these computers....should i make a backup of each computers original host file? anything else you can think of that i might want to know or do is greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  8. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    The original hosts file is usually blank, so no need to back it up really. Saving any old Notepad file as "hosts" with no file extension creates a new one.

    Just one hint: If anyone uses a proxy, like CookieCop, Proximitron, FasterInternetPro, WebWasher, ZeroServe, IRejectTrash, etc., or some DNS server/caching programs, they will have their machines configured to use 127.0.0.1 for web access. For that reason, I usually use 0.0.0.0. instead. But it may make no difference for your purposes.

    There is one preconfigured in the 0.0.0.0 format here:

    http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/get_hosts.html

    Sounds like you've got it solved. Pretty easy, huh? If you find a fairly recent hosts file, let me know. Most I have are pretty old, but those same sites seem to still be pushing junk and ads. EDIT: Never mind. I just saw your link above. Thanks.
     
  9. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    yeah, it seems sooo much harder than it actually is....but its so easy. Well atleast with the great help on helponthe.net such as yourself Elvandil aswell as hewee......and all else that have helped me...which is many.

    The host file i used from http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.zip was updated on 02/12/05 so its fairly new... It uses the 127.0.0.1 and not the 0.0.0.0 though. But it seems to work great though. I was going to d/l the one you and hewee suggested but it was so old i figured id look for something recently updated and found the one above. Check it out and let me know what you think. Well, Thanks a bunch.....i figured this was going to be some huge task...ha... :D Ill be back.
    As for ratings... (y) (y)

    I could use the same host file for both XP and 2000 right?
    EDIT: DOH...too late ;)
     
  10. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Yes, you can use the same one.

    I have to admit, when you said, "seems like a lot of work", I thought, "What does this guy want, us to butler?" LOL. Glad you figured it out. And thanks for the updated file.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    LOL....it did seem like a lot of work at the time. That is from the first hour of reading up on it or so anyways. Then i came across a few good sites and with yourself and hewee's help, i realized all it really was, was copy and paste....nothing hard at all....especially with a nice premade hosts files that come with all the junk site blockers. It's just that the things that seem to be easy turn out ot be a hassle...and those that appear hard hurn out to be easy as cake. Life....

    I just get worried about changing things like that that have to do with windows...since windows is a spaz and all. What ya think of that host file i found...worth using? We'll catch ya later.
     
  12. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Yes, I like that file. But it will only be by using it that I will really be able to tell, see if it blocks any I don't want it to (easy enough to remove them). Thanks. Last time I looked, the newest I found was 2003.
     
  13. hewee

    hewee

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    I don't use that host file but the one from here that blocks a lot more sites. http://www.hosts-file.net/downloads.html
    But the one from here http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/get_hosts.html as Elvandil said you can get it with 0.0.0.0 and it should be just find for you. Just go tru the history files to find all the shopping site etc and make up a list of them.
    0.0.0.0 www.oldnavy.com
    0.0.0.0 walmart.com
    etc, etc
    Also guess you could also add the proxy sites, like CookieCop, Proximitron, FasterInternetPro, WebWasher, ZeroServe, IRejectTrash to the list so that can't try to get around the host file.
    Anyhow open notepad and at the top add any site that you remove from the hosts file that you downloaded. Then add below that all the sites you added to the hosts file.
    Get HostsToggle http://accs-net.com/hosts/HostsToggle/
    It will make backups, restores etc. Does not need to be installed either. Just make a folder for it to unzip it too. You can keep all this off the PC's too so only you can get to it. After you get each hosts file setup then make a backup. I always date each backup too so I know and keep so many pass hoss files backed up in case there is ever any new sites added that are blocking some good sites I can just fall back to the lst hosts file. Not that this should happen but it can. hpHOSTS does a pretty good job of checking things out.
    Doing all this is really easy and if you keep a notepad of what changes you make to a hosts file then it is very easy to delete any you want to remove. I only remove two sites out of the 35,000 sites and then I copy and paste about 10 sites that are not listed.
    I can do all that ans make a back up in less then a min. so for you once you did the same then just copy and paste to each PC the new hosts file.

    vookster82
    Hosts last update on 2/11/2005
    Only one day older. :p He updates it about a month and more at time. Last month there were 3 updates.
     
  14. vookster82

    vookster82 Thread Starter

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    yeah your host file does have a lot more in it....ill probably just end up using that one. :rolleyes: Thanks for the input.

    Just out of curiousty...Is there a way to have a host file or something like it block everything except for only a few site that we would want to allow. Like is there a command line for a host file that says block everything except for these few sites?

    Catch ya all later, Thanks
     
  15. hewee

    hewee

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    Your welcome.

    Don't know if there is a hosts file to block everything like you want.
    But with HostsToggle you can not only backup a hosts file but change from one to another.
    So you could make up one. Would take some time but once done make sure to make copies of it.
    Why do you want a hosts file like that any way?

    Guess you could go tru the cookies and history to find site that who every is going to and add them to the hosts file.
    But I would make sure to have the one like above and back it up and then use a copy of it to add too.
    But your have to watch just adding any site to the hosts file.
    Like some of the sites I add are for yahoo I block but for people who use yahoo mail or chat etc may not want to because they can't login or get to the site or parts of the site. For me it is ok but for you it may not be ok. I posted about adding a248.e.akamai.net to the block list on hphost but he would not add it. Too many sites need to use akamai.net because they are severs to get around the net too.
    http://accs-net.com/hosts/faq.html#13
    Edexter lets you log and it has a auto log but I never used it and it is not on by default but maybe it will let you get the address more easy so you can get new ones to block. Also if you want all this to keep others from getting to sites don't have it show up.
    Also read the filter rules for edexter. Never used this either so don't know about it.
     
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