Blog‎ > ‎

DNS hosts file test project shutdown announcement

posted Sep 29, 2015, 8:03 AM by Sami Lehtinen   [ updated Sep 29, 2015, 8:05 AM ]
Closed down the hosts.txt file service which looked up popular sites IP addresses and wrote standard hosts.txt file from it. List was also automatically updated so that if IP addresses changed, list was brought up to date. It was just a small test project to see how IPv6, Python and uWSGI, Apache 2 worked out with Bottle.py. Well, it worked, and worked reliably, but I don't have interest to maintain that test project any further so I closed it down.
 
Here's the project description page dump for later storage even if the service isn't running anymore.

-- Dump --

DNS-Hosts

Crowdsourced DNS based hosts file

DNS Hosts will be shutdown  now. I haven't received any feedback about this site, and this is quite useless. Yet it was my first uWSGI / Bottle / Python / PostgreSQL and SQLite3 Web project using standalone Linux server. Apache 2 was used as frontend reverse proxy. So I gained experience while creating this test stuff. Service was shutdown 2015.9.31.

What is this all about?

    If you don't know what hosts file is about, check this out first Wikipedia: hosts file
    Sometimes you'll need a custom hosts file, when using DNS isn't an option*
    Pre-compiled IP / DNS mapping list in hosts file format, which you can filter for your own needs
    In some cases DNS usage has been seriously limited, due to censorship or on purpose
    Maintaining these lists by your self manually is usually very annoying
    Crowdsourcing to users greatly simplifies getting the required names listed

Pros

    Locally instantly resolve list names
    Circumvent any DNS based censorship 

Cons

    Requirement to manually update list, unless some updater software is being used
    DNS round robin doesn't work
    DNS based local routing to nearest data center doesn't work 

Roadmap

If there are users for this service, I'll be happy to add following features.
 
    Grouping by service and option to get customized lists which include / do not include selected services
    User accounts
    User preference storage
    Private hosts entries, without existing DNS records (the traditional use for hosts file)
    Private group lists, remeber which services you have selected
    Blocking option on user level, set selected services / groups to localhost (127.0.0.1) to block access
    Public blocking list for bad sites
    Looking for something else? Free free to contact me by email: dns-hosts (meow) sami-lehtinen.net
    Great user interface for managing your private hosts entries

Advanced

In many cases firewalls do not properly filter DNS queries, practically rendering the whole firewall meaningless. See Iodine IP over DNS. If you're interested, you'll find a lot more information about this topic easily.
Another reason is that in some cases, it's just easiest to block DNS completely on firewall level. And then distribute hosts files to computers, which allow access to listed sites. This is where the customized lists come into play. You can either use those to allow access to listed sites, and block DNS completely. Or as reverse, use DNS as usual and use lists as blacklist to block / ban access to selected sites.
(C) Sami Lehtinen 2014
Disclaimer: List is provided as it is. List is updated using public DNS records and therefore I can't be held liable in case of invalid or malicious data being in the list, potentially allowing phishing or MITM attacks.
dns host file hosts whitelist blacklist blocking groups services internet censorship circumvention manager managed compiled lookup lookups entry editor domain name system popular common regularly used domains listed listing list local quick access super fast address addresses ipv4 ipv6 email ip server group groups grouping service services generated generator private personal personized organization organizational crowdsourcing crowdsourced whitelisting record twitter facebook google youtube vimeo cnn bbc yahoo baidu wikipedia qq linkedin live taobao amazon sina blogspot weibo wordpress yandex vk ebay bing hostfile hostsfile hosts.txt