Hostblock does exactly what its name suggests: it lets you manage a list of blocked host addresses. However, despite its straightforward name and user interface, novice users might find the concept hard to grasp thanks to a missing help feature.
Plain and somewhat boring in appearance, the user interface comes preset with thousands of blocked host addresses. Using the menu options at the top of the window display, you can add, delete, and search for addresses; although, you'll need to know the exact address to perform the search. It doesn't allow for partial or keyword searches. Adding and deleting addresses is simply a matter of entering the address in the field and clicking a button. We were able to export and import the addresses by clicking the appropriate menu options, and didn't encounter any problems doing so. The IE Btn command adds a Hostblock button to your IE toolbar so that you can block host files as you browse the Web.
The About menu opens a very short FAQ window, but we would have liked to have seen an actual Help menu to aid novice users. Still, we recommend Hostblock for anyone looking for simple, straightforward, and free program to block specific host addresses.
Hostblock allows to create and manage a list of host addresses being blocked with the hosts file. Of course, a browser plugin is included. It allows you to simply block addresses from the context menu. Additionally, you can im- and export block lists and even pass them on to computers with no Hostblock installed.The browser plugin is avaible for Internet Explorer and can as well be installed for Opera. Haven't tried Firefox yet. It comes with an uninstaller. The Hostblock block list management program doesn't need an uninstaller, it can be removed by deleting the program file. It provides a system-wide ad blocking. So you don't have to maintain ad blockers for your browser and mail client. Also, the block list can be easily managed using plain simple notepad. It's a tool which prevents blocked addresses from being processed at all. Version 1.7 includes unspecified updates.
What's new in this version:
This version is the first release on CNET Download.com.