HOSTS file & SpywareBlaster/Spybot

Discussion in 'SpywareBlaster & Other Forum' started by NickElliott, Aug 13, 2008.

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  1. NickElliott
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    NickElliott Registered Member

    I recently read in another forum that if you used SpywareBlaster you shouldn't use the Immunize feature in Spybot as this would lead to a huge HOSTS file with many duplicates and that this could affect computer performance.

    Is this possible and if so is the performance hit going to be so small as not to worry about?

    Thanks

    Nick
  2. DougCuk
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    DougCuk Registered Member

    Spyware Blaster doesn't add anything to the Hosts file so it has no interaction with Spybot via that route. The two programs do both add entries to the restricted sites list of the browser but duplication should not occur if the website URL's are actually identical - I have been running both for many years now.

    The only truth behind your concern arises purely from Spybot which does create a large (253KB) Hosts file during its default immunisation - under Win98 this doesn't appear to cause a problem but under W2K, XP or Vista this can cause a slowdown when starting each new browser window. When the Hosts file size exceeds about 200kb it becomes too large to fit in the allocated DNS cache - this causes the slowdown.

    The suggested fix for this is to disable the DNS Client Service which despite its name and description is not required for DNS resolution (except if your are part of an Active Directory Domain network or using some VPN services). See this post from the Spybot Forum http://forums.spybot.info/showpost.php?p=212663&postcount=2 it is also recommended in the Spybot FAQ here http://www.spybot.info/en/faq/12.html

    An illustrated guide is available here: http://www.simpledns.com/kb.aspx?kbid=1089 - the only variation I use is to set the service to "Manual" rather than "Disabled" which allows the service to start if specifically requested.
  3. g_e_l
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    g_e_l Registered Member

    You seem to be mixing two separate issues here. DougCuk has already commented on the hosts file so I won't repeat that other than to say that there are no longer any duplicates from Spybot (updates have fixed that problem), and that the hosts file didn't affect SpywareBlaster.

    So assuming you have W2K/XP/Vista you could either disable the DNS client as DougCuk suggested, or just uncheck the box for Hosts when you do your Spybot immunizations. I have a system with W2K running both programs (and I do NOT uncheck the box for Hosts immunization) and it seems to be a non-issue.

    There was a short time in April when there was indeed a conflict with Spybot immunization. It wasn't about the hosts file but about immunizing Firefox (and other Mozilla based products). The problem was in Spybot not doing proper Punycode translation of "strange" character sets in URLs. However that has long since been corrected by their update process, plus there has been 2 program releases since then and I think there were also program changes to SpywareBlaster (when 4.1 came out) to make it more tolerant. Details at http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1223485#post1223485

    Again, it is now a non-issue if you have the latest versions of both programs.
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