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HostsMan 4.6.103

An amazingly comprehensive HOSTS file manager

by Mike Williams

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 17 April 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1957
Developer: abelhadigital
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/abelha_digital
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/abelhadigital
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HostsMan 4.5.102
An amazingly comprehensive HOSTS file manager

HostsMan is a compact and free HOSTS file manager with a surprisingly lengthy feature list.

This starts with the ability to edit your HOSTS file, of course. Launch the program as an administrator, click File > Open and you'll see your own HOSTS setup, where your system may be mapping domain names to particular IP addresses. And right-clicking a particular entry gives all kinds of options: you can edit, disable or delete it, copy it to the clipboard, add a brand new entry, a comment, and more.

The HOSTS file is regularly used by malware to try and gain some control over your internet and network access. Could you be affected? Click View > Show Possible Hijacks and the program will display any HOSTS file entries it thinks are suspicious. If you agree, you can delete them in a couple of clicks.

Careful use of the HOSTS file can also improve your system security, though, by blocking access to known malicious sites - and again, HostsMan can help. Back in the main program, click Hosts Updater > Select Sources and you're presented with a list of 7 popular HOSTS file lists covering dangerous domains, advertising servers and more. You can add other services, if you like, and then use these to import the lists and update your own HOSTS.

It's worth keeping in mind that an incorrectly updated HOSTS file can cause problems, perhaps blocking access to sites you'd like to reach (especially relevant as this is a beta version, and bugs are to be expected). Fortunately HostsMan also includes a backup tool where you can save your current HOSTS file, and restore it later if necessary. Click Tools > Backup Manager, then Create Backup to save your current HOSTS. Or, if you want to return to the default Windows HOSTS setup with no redirections at all, click "* Original Hosts *" > Restore Backup.

And just in case this isn't enough, HostsMan also contains several time-saving shortcuts. If a HOSTS file change doesn't work right away, for instance, it could be because Windows has cached the previous IP address; click Tools > Flush DNS Cache to try again. Or, if you want to update or access the file yourself, there's no need to manually browse to it: just click Tools > Open Hosts Folder, and there are menu entries to open it in Explorer, a command window or PowerShell.

There's a great deal of power here, and the program probably isn't a good choice for networking beginners. If you're already used to exploring the HOSTS file, though, HostsMan should prove an excellent tool which will make the management process very much easier.

Version 4.6.103 (Changelog):
- added: more settings to update sources;
- added: Backup Manager is now accessible from HostsMan Editor (cannot restore backups);
- changed: improved compatibility with Windows 10;
- changed: minor UI improvements;
- fixed: access violation when deleting multiple sources in source manager;
- fixed: some dialogs in HostsMan Editor may not work under Windows Vista and later;
- fixed: minor bugs.

Verdict:

A very useful network tool with a stack of handy HOST file management features

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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Value:
Free
Rating: