Which sources to use in HostsMan

Only 3 of the suggested sources are usable, and you may want to add another custom source.


If you hate ads, you’ve probably already tried an ad blocking solution like AdBlock Plus (ABP). If you’re reading this, you probably also discovered the huge negative impact of in-browser ad blocking on browser performance. And so now you’re trying HostsMan instead.* Unlike ABP, however, HostsMan doesn’t make it obvious which hosts file sources you subscribe to. Enabling all of them sounds like a good idea, but doing so hoses some functionality such as social sharing bookmarklets.

I’m still testing HostsMan in lieu of ABP on my Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 8.1 August Update 64-bit PCs, but so far the following hosts subscriptions have blocked ads without compromising useful features:

  • MVPS Hosts
  • Peter Lowe’s AdServers List
  • Malware Domain List

You can also add AdAway‘s** list by doing the following:

  1. In HostMan’s Manage Update Sources dialog, click Add Source…
  2. Enter an appropriate name in the Name (ex: Example’s hosts file): field.
  3. In the File name or URL: field, enter https://adaway.org/hosts.txt.
  4. Click Test Connection to ensure you entered the right details.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Force an update from HostsMan’s main window.

You don’t have to reboot for changes to take effect, though your internet connection might hiccup while the OS becomes aware of the new hosts file.

What your HostsMan Manage Update Sources options should look like.
What your HostsMan Manage Update Sources options should look like.

More specific reasons I disregard the remaining hosts sources:

  • hpHosts (all): far too aggressive and insufficiently specific.
  • Cameleon: not updated often enough. As of this writing, the most recent update was in April 2014.

Sadly, Cameleon’s state betrays one major downside of ad blocking using hosts files: they aren’t updated nearly as frequently as ABP lists. EasyList, for example, is updated daily. Of the sources I recommend, the most recently updated is the Malware Domain List at October 31, 2014. Peter Lowe’s list was updated on October 10, while MVPS and AdAway were updated on September 30. Yikes.

*More thorough comparison of ABP and HostsMan.

**AdAway does for Android what HostsMan does for Windows. However, it needs root permissions and you definitely need to reboot between hosts file updates as there’s no other way to make the OS aware of the changes.

Author: jdrch

ISTJ, Rice Owl, UF Gator, mechanical engineer. STEM, sports, music, movies, humor. Account mine only & unaffiliated.

3 thoughts on “Which sources to use in HostsMan”

  1. I’m running Windows 8.1. I used your suggested host file lists for HostMan. Most of the entries had addresses. Some have Are these redirected the same way or is there a difference how they are redirected?

    Several months ago I installed the AdBlock add-on for IE which caused IE 11 to constantly shut down. I had to uninstall it. Has anybody else had this problem?

    Have your tried Ghostery for IE?



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s