Guide | How To Free System-wide Adblocking without Adguard

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Evjl's Rain

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Steps:
1/ Add this hosts file to your "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc" by copy & paste
https://adaway.org/hosts.txt
You can change 127.0.0.1 -> 0.0.0.0 to increase the speed
2/ install uBlock Origin for your browsers
3/ Open this website, choose these recommended filters to your uBlock Origin besides the default ones
EasyList
EasyList Adware
Adguard Spyware
Adguard Mobile
Disconnect Advertising
Disconnect Malvertising
Disconnect Malware
DNS-BH Malware Domain Block
Adaway
hpHosts Malware
Malware Domain Hosts
uBlock Filters Plus
Steven Black’s Hosts
All filters of your regions, languages. Separate filters, not the combined ones
https://ransomwaretracker.abuse.ch/downloads/RW_DOMBL.txt
https://ransomwaretracker.abuse.ch/downloads/RW_URLBL.txt

Some filters you can also add but with caution. They may break something or they are just a bit overkill or decrease browsing speed:
EasyPrivacy
EasyList Adblock Warning Removal
Fanboy Enhanced Tracking
Anti-Adblock Killer
hpHosts Exploits
hpHosts Hijacking
hpHosts Phishing
hpHosts Fraud
MVPS Hosts

Filters that are NOT RECOMMENDED:
hpHosts - too big, overkill and may significantly slow down your browsers
Adblock Plus Acceptable Ads
Adguard Experimental
Adguard Exceptions
Fanboy Third-Party Fonts
Fanboy Complete - highly not recommended, too buggy and may break the whole browsing experience at some point
Fanboy Ultimate - same as above
All combination filters (2 or more filter combined) - slower update and prone to bugs

Pros:
- Free system-wide adblock without using adguard, adfender
- The hosts file (14kb) is able to block most common adservers without slowing down your internet and you don't have to disable "DNS client" service to make them work like other big hosts file
- Slighty improve browsing security due to some extra malware filters
- Works great alongside Avira browser safety and Bitdefender Trafficlight
- Doesn't cause problems as some users reported due to the extensive filters by Adguard
- Doesn't track your information
- It's fast
- It doesn't scan your HTTPS like Adguard does

Cons:
- It obviously cannot block all ads especially non-english ads. Can be solved by manually adding a few ad domains into the hosts file. More domains mean slower browsing speed

Hope this help :)
 
Last edited:

Evjl's Rain

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So will that hosts file auto update itself everyday or so? Or do I need to manual update?

Thanks
you need to manually update it but don't worry, that hosts is not frequently updated. The last update was on July. It doesn't need frequent updates because it just blocks some common adservers, unlike MVPS hosts or the others
 
W

Wave

So will that hosts file auto update itself everyday or so? Or do I need to manual update?

Thanks
Unless you have some sort of software to auto-update it then no, it will no be automatically updated. However, the Hosts file will apply for all software running on the system, therefore it will not just block advertisements present on your web browser - the removed advertisements won't cause the page to have empty boxes everywhere, they should just be gone like they were never even on the web-page.

That being said, the Hosts file method entirely works by preventing successful connections to the hosts entered into the Hosts file, therefore there won't be any injection into the web-pages to automatically detect advertisements where the host is not in an existing database (to then hide/remove the element off the page), which is a dynamic feature that ad-blocker functionality can contain; this means that if an advertisement on a web page is tracing back to a host which is not in your Hosts file to be blocked, then it won't be blocked, simple as that.

This method is still very effective and useful though; especially if used alongside an existing extension like uBlock Origin - this way you get decent advertisement-mitigation for all other running programs (such as Skype) and also get good protection on your browser with the extension as an addition to improve the advertisement mitigation.

If you modify the Hosts file then you'll need to be using an administrative account, or have access to the password to an admin account to proceed with the UAC prompt (if it's enabled of course).

Before I end this post, I would like to say that blocking advertisements is a good idea because it will help keep you better protected (e.g. reduce chances of you becoming an affected victim of malvertising - which is essentially where an advertisement is used for malicious purposes (e.g. redirect you to a malicious drive-by download page, execute an exploit kit, etc. - however at the same time the negative is that you won't be supporting services which generate their revenue to support their services through advertising methods).
 
W

Wave

How about any pop-up messages with ad blockages?

Thanks
You won't be notified when an advertisement is blocked via the Hosts file method, the blocked advertisement just won't appear on the web-page (like it never even existed in the first place), since the connection request (from the caller program - e.g. web browser like Google Chrome) to download the data from the external source to display the advertisement will be blocked. ;)

However, if you are running any security software such as Anti-Virus/Behavior Blocker & HIPS then you may get an alert asking if you want to allow the action - this is due to the Hosts file previously being a common target to allow attackers to redirect traffic.

In this situation (thread example by @Evjl's Rain) we are utilizing the Hosts file to block hosts within the Hosts file, however you can actually redirect traffic using it (e.g. so if you went to visit Google you end up redirected to another domain name).
 

HarborFront

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You won't be notified when an advertisement is blocked via the Hosts file method, the blocked advertisement just won't appear on the web-page (like it never even existed in the first place), since the connection request (from the caller program - e.g. web browser like Google Chrome) to download the data from the external source to display the advertisement will be blocked. ;)

However, if you are running any security software such as Anti-Virus/Behavior Blocker & HIPS then you may get an alert asking if you want to allow the action - this is due to the Hosts file previously being a common target to allow attackers to redirect traffic.

In this situation (thread example by @Evjl's Rain) we are utilizing the Hosts file to block hosts within the Hosts file, however you can actually redirect traffic using it (e.g. so if you went to visit Google you end up redirected to another domain name).
Ok thanks
 

Handsome Recluse

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Steps:
1/ Add this hosts file to your "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc" by copy & paste
https://adaway.org/hosts.txt
You can change 127.0.0.1 -> 0.0.0.0 to increase the speed
2/ install uBlock Origin for your browsers
3/ Open this website, choose these recommended filters to your uBlock Origin besides the default ones
Doesn't the default also include Peter Lowe's? What do you think about it? Does hosts file blocking leave place holders on the browser? Do more domains like hpHosts really slow down browsing speed? Also, why is Easy Privacy in the caution area when it's generally used as default?
 

Atlas147

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Steps:
1/ Add this hosts file to your "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc" by copy & paste
https://adaway.org/hosts.txt
You can change 127.0.0.1 -> 0.0.0.0 to increase the speed
2/ install uBlock Origin for your browsers
3/ Open this website, choose these recommended filters to your uBlock Origin besides the default ones


Some filters you can also add but with caution. They may break something or they are just a bit overkill or decrease browsing speed:


Filters that are NOT RECOMMENDED:


Pros:
- Free system-wide adblock without using adguard, adfender
- The hosts file (14kb) is able to block most common adservers without slowing down your internet and you don't have to disable "DNS client" service to make them work like other big hosts file
- Slighty improve browsing security due to some extra malware filters
- Works great alongside Avira browser safety and Bitdefender Trafficlight
- Doesn't cause problems as some users reported due to the extensive filters by Adguard
- Doesn't track your information
- It's fast
- It doesn't scan your HTTPS like Adguard does

Cons:
- It obviously cannot block all ads especially non-english ads. Can be solved by manually adding a few ad domains into the hosts file. More domains mean slower browsing speed

Hope this help :)

Thank you @Evjl's Rain for this quick tutorial! Worked like a charm can confirm that most ads are gone from the programs I use. Most noticeably Skype, that program is riddled with ads and now they are all gone.
 

Evjl's Rain

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Doesn't the default also include Peter Lowe's? What do you think about it? Does hosts file blocking leave place holders on the browser? Do more domains like hpHosts really slow down browsing speed? Also, why is Easy Privacy in the caution area when it's generally used as default?
peter lowe is bad in my opinion. It can't even block some common ads like this tiny hosts although peter lowe has >2000 entries. I personally disable peter lowe because I found it useless if you have everything else enabled. about the place holder, I'm not sure but it produces the exact same result as ublock origin. The hosts purpose is to block ads from other non-browser apps like skype, utorrent. hphosts is 13-15MBs with thousands of entries so it definitey puts a strain to your browser and significantly increases ram and CPU usage. Everytime we visit a website, adblocker has to scan every single entry we selected so you can imagine how long it takes to scan a 14MB hosts file + others :) . I'm using easyprivacy also but something it caused some problems in the past. You should experiment youself because we visit different websites so it doesn't mean you also have the problems :)

Can we manually white list certain website?
not really. when we put into the hosts, it will block everything in it. no way to whitelist. Because the hosts is very small so it just block some common ads like google, doubleclick so the functionality of the website won't be affected. if you really wanna whitelist it I may show you this
1/ temporarily revert to the original hosts
2/ visit the websites you want to whitelist, use ublock origin to monitor the blocked entries
3/ search for the similar entries in the hosts and delete them

However because of it, you may see ads in other places
 
Last edited:

Evjl's Rain

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Tempted to try this, but like Acrylic DNS Proxy much better... for some reason, this has given me a brief craving to reinstall PeerGuardian/PeerBlock.

Nonetheless, thanks for the alternative approach!
yeah that has it's own advantages but that DNS is not stable all the time like google and openDNS + we don't know what they would do with all our information :confused:

I may recommend adguard DNS and alternate DNS because they are able to block ads but they don't block as many ads as this method and they are slow at certain period of time + I feel a bit unsafe when I do some banking stuffs
 
D

Deleted member 2913

If you use Comodo Firewall, you can add hosts lists (hosts format) in web protection.
If I remember correctly, in place of ads, you will see Comodo block message. Dont know hows it with Comodo V10?
And guess it works with Comodo V10.
 

marzametal

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Jun 10, 2014
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yeah that has it's own advantages but that DNS is not stable all the time like google and openDNS + we don't know what they would do with all our information :confused:

I may recommend adguard DNS and alternate DNS because they are able to block ads but they don't block as many ads as this method and they are slow at certain period of time + I feel a bit unsafe when I do some banking stuffs
I was thinking about AdGuard DNS, but didn't want to double up on DNSCrypt since my VPN already supports it.

Thanks for the Filter Lists page; it has a decent set of filters, and quite honestly, didn't know that many were floating around in circulation.
 
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W

Wave

Can we manually white list certain website?
If you add an entry to the Windows Hosts file then a connection to the entry will fail to be successful; Windows will automatically handle the blocking-side of things through it's networking functions. Therefore, if you wish to temporarily disable a host from being blocked you'll be forced to revert the changes of the Hosts file temporarily - the problem however is you may not know which host was responsible for the advertisement being blocked which you need to access since you do not get these details when using the Hosts file, you are just blocking a large database of several hundred/thousand entries to ad-provider networks (usually).

This method can also be used to redirect traffic (e.g. block specific websites by having the web-page redirect back to Google), so it's only use is not limited for advertisement mitigation. ;)
 

Handsome Recluse

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It seems there's some overlap between Malvertising List by Disconnect and Malware Domains and between Malvertising List by Disconnect and Peter Lowe's. Peter Lowe's is default and is supported by uBlock Unbreak and it seems hpHosts Ad and Tracking Servers are also at least partially supported since there's a wiki where the author is asking everyone to report sites broken by the hpHosts in uBlock. uBlock Unbreak also has a comment section where the inbuilt hosts file filters in uBlock are stated. It seems uBlock defaults are good enough and the extra hosts files in uBlock out-of-the-box like hpHosts Ad and Tracking Servers are also good if you want more rather than Steven Black's hosts since they are supported.
Malvertising List by Disconnect also seem to cover Advertising List by Disconnect already. Steven Black's hosts also cover pretty much all of AdAway in uBlock although AdAway has utility here for common adblocking for hosts file.
 
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