The hosts file on Mac or Windows can be used to override the default DNS settings. Editing the Mac hosts file is pretty easy and only takes a few minutes. To make changes to your Hosts file make sure you have the Administrator’s password handy. In this video I will show you how to edit the Mac host File in Finder.
Why make changes to your hosts file?
Network Testing: If you’re developing a network, you can reroute the real domain name to the development site to see how real users experience it. This will not affect other users accessing the real site.
Block Malicious Sites: Apart from the risk of viruses and malware, undetected add-ons can also find their way into your system and begin slowing things down. Although it’s always worth investing in pop-up ad blockers, editing the hosts file prevents known malicious sites from being accessed. If a link or pop-up attempts to enter the site, your OS simply re-routes it and takes you to a safer page.
Increased Speed: As we said earlier, finding a website via the DNS is like flicking through the yellow pages for the correct address. With the hosts file being localized to your Mac, this could potentially speed up your browsing by omitting the middle man.
Improved Productivity: Maybe you or your team are getting distracted with social media sites or video streaming. Blocking access to time-wasting sites is a good way of keeping focused on the job at hand.
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