Automate hosts file updates on Linux and MacOS. Block Firefox telemetry, Google snooping and web trackers at the root.
Hosts files will reroute unwanted traffic from ad farms, behavioral tracking firms and malware sites to a blackhole; routing to 0.0.0.0 (localhost; your PC) when a request is made to a URL on the blacklist.
Which means any traffic that would have left your system for that destination, is sent inward, to your localhost and then abandoned.
Despite what some may suggest, hosts files are not "1980s technology" and still very useful today, as an additional layer of security.
Hosts file are a useful redundancy when coupled with ad blockers like uBlock Origin and uMatrix - while debugging or 'Temporarily Allow All on this Site' with Noscript can open you up to underlying attacks or privacy intrusions.
In-browser filters won't protect you if the browser itself is phoning home.
If you have an up-to-date hosts file, the risk is severely lessened.
Auto Hosts will automate the setup process for maintaining an up to date hosts file, by:
- Installing a weekly cronjob to pull fresh/updated copies of hosts lists (default is every Sunday at 7:22pm) (Default custom_filters and firefox-includes) source appends Facebook trackers, Linkedin ads, Google fonts, Firefox telemetry and other harvester sites that curated lists for whatever reason, have not added to their blacklists
- Refreshes DNS to instantiate the re-routed changes (Mac Only) If Devdom is installed, append all local virtualhosts (if it is installed - it is -not- a requirement! Autohosts does a conditional check to ensure your dev environment doesn't break if you're using Devdom. Read the code.)
- Uninstall offers the ability to revert to a fresh hosts file and undo any changes made by Autohosts; a backup will be copied to /tmp
- Add custom blacklists, whitelists and host sources from ~/autohosts on your desktop
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