MVPS Hosts vs. Bluetack Hosts

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by ErikAlbert, Jul 13, 2005.

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  1. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    A few days ago I replaced my Windows Hosts File with Bluetack Hosts File, which is created from 4 sources, including MVPS Hosts File.
    The volume of Bluetack Hosts File is much larger than MVPS Hosts File and must be therefore a much better preventive protection.
    What I don't understand is why MVPS Hosts File still gets attention.

    Is the quality of Bluetack Hosts File lesser good, than MVPS Hosts File ?
     
  2. Jaws

    Jaws Registered Member

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    Hi Erik,

    I use MVPS because it is a smaller file. I wanted just the biggest offenders in my hosts file. Other then that the very large hosts file seem to block a lot of site that people might not want to have blocked.

    Regards,
    Jaws
     
  3. Jaws

    Jaws Registered Member

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    I should also say I when from using one of the large hosts file (I forgot which one) that was something like 1400kb to MVPS which is about 10 times smaller!

    My perception was that it slowed my browsing down when using the large hosts file, but I could be wrong.


    Jaws
     
  4. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Jaws,
    Thanks for your response.
    I guess that all websites in Bluetack Hosts were listed for good reasons.
    There must be something wrong with each of these websites, whatever it may be from tracking cookies to installing malware.
    It seems to me that only the large volume is a problem, not the quality.

    In case you didn't know, I have read this about large Hosts files.
    Source : http://castlecops.com/article-5660-nested-0-0.html

    I don't know if it really works, because I did this right after installing Bluetack Hosts File on my win2000pro computer.
    So I couldn't see the difference with or without.

    As long I don't have to wait too long, I'm already satisfied.
    At the company, I'm working for we consider on mainframes a response time of 3 seconds as normal, anything above 3 seconds doesn't make us smile, so we don't smile much at our company LOL.
     
  5. Trooper

    Trooper Registered Member

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    I use Bluetack's but was a former MVPS user.

    Main reason is because it does have so much more. They also have a very nice Hosts Manager software which makes updating a snap. ;)
     
  6. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

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    I also use MVPS HOSTS with their File Manager, and for the exact same reason that Jaws just mentioned.
     
  7. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I used Bluetack's HOSTS file for just a few days. I got far too many FP's. I don't recall them all, but one of them was regnow -- a very reliable reseller for computer software. Bluetack also blocked other reputable resellers, such as Digital River. Yes, I LOVE to shop! :cool:

    My favorite HOSTS file manager is Hosts Toggle -- tiny, simple, effective, stable.
     
  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Dear members,
    Thanks for all your comments. Pros and contras as usual. I will never get used to this.
    The huge Bluetack Hosts isn't causing any problem, so the volume problem doesn't exist on my computer.
    Shopping at American/foreign websites isn't very interesting for a Belgian citizen. Too far, when something goes wrong.
    So these possible false positives aren't really a problem for me either.

    I decide to keep my Bluetack Hosts File.
    The difference between MVPS and Bluetack is just too big to put this huge preventive tool aside.
    Preventing is better than healing and I'm not a good malware doctor.
     
  9. Kye-U

    Kye-U Security Expert

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    I played around with Host Manager today, and I managed to make an ultimate HOSTS file with 83,822 entries that contains entries from BlueTack, MVPS, hpHOSTS and Mine.nu's HOSTS file.

    ^_^

    (Host Manager checks for duplicate and corrupt entries)
     
  10. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    That's a good idea. When I have the time, I'm going to play with hosts files too.
     
  11. Jt3

    Jt3 Guest

    Bigger does not mean better.
     
  12. Vikorr

    Vikorr Registered Member

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    When I was using the bluetack hosts file, MSAS would not complete it's on demand scans, freezing before it finished.

    I reverted back to MVPS.
     
  13. dog

    dog Guest

    If your using a large hosts file, simply rename the hosts file to disable it (ie.hosts.dis or change it to whatever you wish) while you run any scans. ;) But don't forget to change it back though when you're done.
     
  14. Kye-U

    Kye-U Security Expert

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    Well, it certainly helps catch more. I haven't encountered any false-positives yet.

    Each to their own I guess ;)
     
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I did some tests to see the problem with my own eyes.

    TEST #1
    I ran MSAS with Bluetack Hosts File and the scan stopped when this was on the scan screen :

    Scanning for hidden items ...
    Scanning memory: Variable browser hijack scan

    During that time MSAS is scanning the Bluetack Hosts File.
    I couldn't even abort the scan, at least not via the button "Abort Scan"
    It isn't exactly freezing, the scan is just alot longer.

    Total scan time : 26m19s

    TEST #2
    I ran MSAS without Bluetack Hosts File (I renamed the Hosts File) and
    that screen "Scanning for hidden items ..." didn't even show up.

    Total scan time : 5m33s - a difference of 20m46s with test #1

    TEST #3
    I ran CounterSpy Trial with Bluetack Hosts File and nothing special happened.

    Total scan time : 11m15s

    CONCLUSION
    1. MSAS
    It's obvious that the Bluetack Hosts File or any large hosts file is responsible for a much longer scan.
    I couldn't find anything to disable the scan of the hosts file.
    MS just didn't take a large hosts file into consideration. MS simply forgot it.
    I'm not surprised because after installing Windows, the hosts file is always empty. So MS isn't used to large hosts files.

    Renaming the hosts file is a trick that works, but is IMO not a good solution.
    An option in MSAS to turn the scan of hosts file OFF, would be better.

    2. COUNTERSPY
    It's obvious that CounterSpy doesn't have that problem.
    As usual, the competition has better software than MS.

    MY SOLUTION
    I'm going to wait until MS has fixed the problem in MSAS.
    Meanwhile I try to live with a much larger scan.
    Buying CounterSpy isn't an option for me, because I don't spend money on security.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2005
  16. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Registered Member

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    I use Bluetack because it covers more and using it with their hosts manager program makes downloading the newest version of the hosts file a snap. I had a few F/P issues but nothing that really bothered me too bad, I just put a few things on the exclude list and they are always excluded even when the hosts file is updated. Some criticize Bluetacks hosts as being to strict in what it allows, well I think this is really good, if it is blocking some things that are questionable and may be seen as 100% fine to other then think of all the crap it is blocking. Also I have noticed no real slowdown using their hosts file and it is about a MB and a half. Also some have blamed it for causing MS AS to freeze, well this is a MS issue, they need to program it to handle big hosts files. But who cares either way, just rename the thing when you do a scan and name it back to hosts after.
     
  17. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I have sent an email about this to Microsoft.
     
  18. Jame Taylor

    Jame Taylor Guest

    Though we use hosts files to block access to websites , this wasn't its original function.


    You mean counterspy doesn't scan the hosts file? Not a good feature
     
  19. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

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    I believe that CounterSpy is "customizeable"...that is, you can select which areas to scan or not to scan. Spyware Doctor offers this same feature also (Custom Scan), which is a nice feature to have (if you have programs like MVPS HOSTS File Manager AND WinPatrol PLUS looking out for your HOSTS file). The only drawback in this feature with Spyware Doctor is that you can not SCHEDULE a custom scan. I think you can schedule custom scans through CounterSpy....but if not, someone will be around here soon enough to correct me (I only trialed the first version and am not using the beta)....
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    So what ? If we use the hosts file for the wrong purpose, then it's up to the software developers to give us the right tool
    to protect ourselves against malicious websites. Period. I don't even want to discuss this.
    If users don't have such a tool, they find another way to solve this problem, because users are smart too.
    This is just one of the problems in the security world, that are still not solved after SO MANY YEARS.
    That's not what I said.
    I said "It's obvious that CounterSpy doesn't have that problem."
    I don't use CounterSpy. So I don't know if CounterSpy scans the hosts file or not.
     
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