Using /etc/hosts to Cut Internet Crap

I was using a website this morning that pointed to fonts.googleapis.com. I know this because the url was displayed at the bottom of the browser, as my machine freezed into an unusable state, which required a reboot to return it to functioning again.

It seems strange to me that a website should be able freeze both a browser and the machine running it. But, minimally, I thought I should prevent downloading fonts from google from doing it in the future.

With a little web searching, I came across this article, “Fix Slow Page Loading Waiting for fonts.googleapis.com.” I made the appropriate changes to my /etc/host file and noticed an immediate improvement on the loading of the site I was using.

So, not being one for half-measures, I thought, “I wonder if there’s a good list to block most of these types of sites that slow down the web experience…” Of course, there are many. I ended up choosing Steven Black‘s list: Unified hosts + fakenews + gambling + porn + social because it is used by the previously mentioned Pi-Hole as one of its filters. I kept my original host file, noting in the top where to get an updated list and just added everything after: # Custom host records are listed here. to the end of the file.

Works beautifully. I’ll live with it for a few months and post an update here of any problems I encounter. However, this seems like a good option for cutting down the amount of crap you come across on the Internet and will likely speed web page load times considerably. If you need more explicit instructions, this article seems to provide a good discussion on how to do it across different platforms..

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