HostsMan is a free and open-source software application for managing and editing the hosts file on a Windows computer. The hosts file is a plain text file used to map domain names to IP addresses, allowing you to manually override DNS (Domain Name System) resolution for specific websites or block access to certain websites by redirecting them to a different IP address (typically the localhost).
Key features of HostsMan include:
- Editing the Hosts File: HostsMan provides a user-friendly interface for editing the hosts file. Users can easily add, modify, or remove entries within the hosts file.
- Blocking Websites: Users can use HostsMan to block access to specific websites by redirecting their domain names to an IP address that leads to a dead end, effectively preventing the websites from loading.
- Enabling or Disabling Hosts File: HostsMan allows users to enable or disable the hosts file with a single click. This can be useful for troubleshooting or quickly enabling/disabling website blocking.
- Merging and Updating: HostsMan can merge and update hosts files from multiple sources, helping users to maintain an up-to-date and comprehensive list of blocked or redirected domains.
- Backup and Restore: Users can create backups of their hosts file and easily restore it if needed, providing a safety net when making changes.
- Hosts File Testing: HostsMan includes a built-in feature for testing entries in the hosts file to ensure that they are functioning as intended.
- DNS Cache Flushing: The application allows users to flush the DNS cache on their computer, which can be helpful for clearing cached DNS records.
HostsMan is primarily used by advanced users and system administrators who want fine-grained control over DNS resolution and web access on their Windows systems. It can be used for various purposes, including ad-blocking, website access control, and redirecting specific domains for testing or development purposes. Keep in mind that editing the hosts file should be done with caution, as improper changes can lead to unexpected behavior on the computer, including connectivity issues with websites.