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Snakeoil! That's what they are. The modern version of snakeoil!
Web accelerators that use a HOSTS file to create the illusion of faster web browsing can actually cause problems rather than speed things up.
Programmes that use the HOSTS file to speed things up have one basic flaw - they work by recording IP addresses. If the address changes for any reason (ever heard of dynamic IP addresses guys???), you can no longer get to the site until the reference is removed from the HOSTS file. Well, it was a good idea at the time... <G>
To make things even worse, some programmes write to lmhosts or hosts.sam in error (Norton products have been known to do this). lmhosts and hosts.sam are meant to be simply sample files.
Note that a hosts file can also stop you from recovering your email.
A gentleman by the name of Tom in the msn.discussion newsgroup suggested that the HOSTS file should be checked to see if it is causing errors for an MSN user, and he was right. Good on you Tom. The error was the generic Socket Error: 10060, Error Number: 0x800CCC0E
After you click on 'check for updates' on the
Office web site, update process quits unexpectedly:
Third party products that conflict with Windows
Windows Update: Error 403 "access