The Hosts file is a text file that is used by the operating system to map IP addresses to host names. This file is located in the Windows\\System32\\drivers\\etc directory and is used by the operating system to resolve host names to IP addresses. It is often used to block access to certain websites, and to provide an additional layer of security.
In Windows Vista, the Hosts file is stored in the same location as it is in Windows XP. To edit the Hosts file, open the folder and select the \hosts\ file. Right-click the file and select \Open With\ and then choose Notepad.
Once the file is open in Notepad, you can make changes to the file. To block access to a website, add a line that contains the IP address of the website followed by the domain name. For example, if you wanted to block access to facebook.com, you would add the line \127.0.0.1 facebook.com\. You can also add lines to redirect requests for one website to another. For example, if you wanted to redirect requests for www.example.com to www.example.org, you would add the line \127.0.0.1 www.example.com www.example.org\.
Once you have finished making changes to the Hosts file, save the file and close Notepad. The changes will be applied immediately, so there is no need to restart the computer.
The Hosts file is a powerful tool for IT administrators as it can be used to block access to certain websites, or to redirect requests for one website to another. It is important to remember to make a backup of the Hosts file before making changes, as any mistakes could result in unpredictable results or cause the system to become unstable. As with any system configuration change, it is always best to consult with an IT professional before making any changes.