Fios slows down and I find I have a great number of host files. Solved

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  1. mlg
    Posts : 28
    Win 10 Prof
       #1

    Fios slows down and I find I have a great number of host files.


    I have a gigabit Fios connection which has been a pleasure. However, it has recently slowed down a bit and there is a definite short hesitation as sites are loaded. Usually use Chrome. Windows 10 with a wired connection to the fios router. I turned off the router and unplugged connections hoping that might clear its cache (if it has one). I ran ip config\ flushdns and got a message it was successful. But I didn't gain much. I'm presently using dns addresses found by the Gibson program as best for my connection. They are set on the router and the computer.

    Googling, I found references to cleaning the hosts file and am confused by what I found. I seem to have several files named hosts.txt in c:\users\name\appdata/local\Google\Chrome\User Data.... All these text files are named # MalwareDomainList.com Hosts List with different dates a few months apart. Is Chrome placing and updating these? Do I need them? My concern is that they are all "consulted" before a site is loaded and perhaps that's the hesitation I'm experiencing?

    I also have a hosts (no ext) file in windows\system32\drovers\etc which, when opened in Notepad, is the standard Microsoft boilerplate of a hosts file: Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.## This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows..

    Also, three pluginhostshim.js which I think are Chrome related?

    So I have a slightly hesitant internet which may be checking all or many of the above files. At the same time, I don't seem to have a hosts file - I don't care if it's ok not to.

    Would appreciate an assessment of the above file situation and any recommendations as to whether they need to be cleaned up.

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 299
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    What do you have for security? List any browser addons/plugins/extensions as well as any windows software such as antiviruses/firewalls, that you're using.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 1,306
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Internet Security Specialty.
       #3

    @mlg -

    I despise Google Chrome. The latest edition of Firefox is quite good.

    This article sums it all up pretty well...

    How to use a Hosts file to improve your internet experience | ZDNet

    I believe that you should have it - not in Chrome - but in the W10 OS:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...to-the-default

    Should you decide to go with Firefox and like it, be sure to uninstall Chrome cleanly, then reboot.

    Use CCleaner to tidy up the filesystem and registry:

    Clean & speed up your slow PC | CCleaner Official Website

    Use the *free* version on demand.

    Finally, go with the default DNS provided by Verizon.

    Post back and advise.

    Thanks.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 299
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    @Compumind, despising chrome isn't the issue here nor is Chrome the cause of OP's problems with fios slowing down.
    @mlg As for the files in chromes appdata folder, here is what's in mine after a clean install of it. The only place you should have a hosts file is in your system32/drivers/etc folder. If you have one in a different location, it's ok to ignore it unless you suspect that your computer has been infected.

    Fios slows down and I find I have a great number of host files.-chrome-appdata.jpg
    Last edited by vgchat; 1 Week Ago at 14:57.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. mlg
    Posts : 28
    Win 10 Prof
    Thread Starter
       #5

    vgchat said: View Post
    What do you have for security? List any browser addons/plugins/extensions as well as any windows software such as antiviruses/firewalls, that you're using.
    Hi,

    I'm running Eset NOD 32 for AV. When I first installed it on this new computer, I tried Eset Internet Security. I remember hating it although I don't remember why and within 24 hours I had them help me go back to NOD32. I vaguely remember feeling they may not have guided me to get everything out but I've never had any problems.

    I just looked at Control Panel/Security and note that with the last big update Windows happily set itself back to where it believes it ought to be. So "internet security settings are set to their recommended levels" and "UAC will notify you when apps try to make changes to the computer". Windows Firewall is "ON for Domain Network", "Private Network (active)" and "Public Network".

    Whoops - I'm so glad you asked: I seem to be running two adblocking extensions in Chrome - AdBlock Adblockler and UBlock Origins. I don't know how this happened except I may have put a different adblocker on my portable or phone and now they are set to sync. I doubt it's a good idea. Might it be causing the hesitancy? Which of the two would you recommend?

    Chrome Settings I have Google encrypting my passwords (maybe not necessary?), I have Safe Browsing enabled (maybe not necessary?). I also run the Last Pass Plugin for the Chrome Browser. I use Super History and Cache Cleaner ext whenever I hope that will speed things up - sometimes it does and sometimes not :)

    I stopped using MBAM a little over a year ago. Have considered Super Anti Spyware (to run on command only) but haven't gotten around to it.

    Thooughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 1,474
    Windows 10 Home 1809 32-bit
       #6

    mlg said: View Post
    Googling, I found references to cleaning the hosts file and am confused by what I found. I seem to have several files named hosts.txt in c:\users\name\appdata/local\Google\Chrome\User Data.... All these text files are named # MalwareDomainList.com Hosts List with different dates a few months apart. Is Chrome placing and updating these? Do I need them? My concern is that they are all "consulted" before a site is loaded and perhaps that's the hesitation I'm experiencing?
    Those files are downloadable from:

    h**p://www.malwaredomainlist.com/hostslist/hosts.txt

    Delete them and see if they come back.

    mlg said: View Post
    I also have a hosts (no ext) file in windows\system32\drovers\etc which, when opened in Notepad, is the standard Microsoft boilerplate of a hosts file: Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.## This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows..
    Also, three pluginhostshim.js which I think are Chrome related?
    So I have a slightly hesitant internet which may be checking all or many of the above files. At the same time, I don't seem to have a hosts file - I don't care if it's ok not to.
    The hosts file without an extension should be the one in use. You can check by editing it in notepad and adding a site to block.

    RE: pluginhostshim.js

    Navigate to it and open with notepad or use "Edit" in right click context menu entry and see what it contains.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 1,474
    Windows 10 Home 1809 32-bit
       #7

    RE: Google Safe Browsing. Personally I disable it but it should not cause slowdowns. You can use this instead:

    Malwarebytes Browser Guard - Chrome Web Store

    I also use this:

    TrafficLight - Chrome Web Store

    Also suggest: Try installing a Chromium based browser and run it to see if you get the same problem. If there is no problem it would mean that your chrome installation is suspect.

    I use this personally:

    Vivaldi — The browser that puts you in control

    Using Extensions in Vivaldi | Vivaldi Browser Help
    Last edited by Callender; 1 Week Ago at 17:21. Reason: add info
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 1,474
    Windows 10 Home 1809 32-bit
       #8

    mlg said: View Post
    I'm presently using dns addresses found by the Gibson program as best for my connection. They are set on the router and the computer.
    There's no need to set DNS on router unless mutilple computers/ devices are connected via the same router. DNS settings in windows takes preference over router DNS. So consider resetting Router to default (hard reset button)

    Also consider temporarily changing DNS in Windows to something else to see if it helps. I have done this many times in the past.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 299
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    mlg said: View Post
    Hi,

    I'm running Eset NOD 32 for AV. When I first installed it on this new computer, I tried Eset Internet Security. I remember hating it although I don't remember why and within 24 hours I had them help me go back to NOD32. I vaguely remember feeling they may not have guided me to get everything out but I've never had any problems.

    I just looked at Control Panel/Security and note that with the last big update Windows happily set itself back to where it believes it ought to be. So "internet security settings are set to their recommended levels" and "UAC will notify you when apps try to make changes to the computer". Windows Firewall is "ON for Domain Network", "Private Network (active)" and "Public Network".

    Whoops - I'm so glad you asked: I seem to be running two adblocking extensions in Chrome - AdBlock Adblockler and UBlock Origins. I don't know how this happened except I may have put a different adblocker on my portable or phone and now they are set to sync. I doubt it's a good idea. Might it be causing the hesitancy? Which of the two would you recommend?

    Chrome Settings I have Google encrypting my passwords (maybe not necessary?), I have Safe Browsing enabled (maybe not necessary?). I also run the Last Pass Plugin for the Chrome Browser. I use Super History and Cache Cleaner ext whenever I hope that will speed things up - sometimes it does and sometimes not :)

    I stopped using MBAM a little over a year ago. Have considered Super Anti Spyware (to run on command only) but haven't gotten around to it.

    Thooughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
    Hi there and thanks for the reply. Having 2 adblock extensions running at the same time I imagine would definitely cause a conflict and possibly slow things down. I think that everything else looks good on your end as far as security. The adblocker that I prefer (and use on chrome & firefox) is ublock origin. Disable and remove Adblock Adblocker and leave Ublock there, you should be good to go without anymore slowdowns.

    Additionally you can get your security configuration rated by enthusiasts over at malwaretips (despite sounding bad, it's quite a good forum for security discussions and avoiding malware & whatnot). Here's an example thread of someone asking his security configuration to be rated.
    SECURE: Complete - Syafiq's Laptop Security | MalwareTips Community
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. mlg
    Posts : 28
    Win 10 Prof
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Callender said: View Post
    There's no need to set DNS on router unless mutilple computers/ devices are connected via the same router. DNS settings in windows takes preference over router DNS. So consider resetting Router to default (hard reset button)
    I am running multiple devices (desktop, laptop, phone, ipad and Roku.
    I also have the Netgear Orbi set up as a bridge or access point wired to the FIOS router. It has two wireless satellites that feed from the Orbi. I did run the Gibson utility several times and changed DNS at least twice, with no real improvement.
    Also consider temporarily changing DNS in Windows to something else to see if it helps. I have done this many times in the past.
    vgchat said: View Post
    Hi there and thanks for the reply. Having 2 adblock extensions running at the same time I imagine would definitely cause a conflict and possibly slow things down. I think that everything else looks good on your end as far as security. The adblocker that I prefer (and use on chrome & firefox) is ublock origin. Disable and remove Adblock Adblocker and leave Ublock there, you should be good to go without anymore slowdowns.

    Additionally you can get your security configuration rated by enthusiasts over at malwaretips (despite sounding bad, it's quite a good forum for security discussions and avoiding malware & whatnot). Here's an example thread of someone asking his security configuration to be rated.
    SECURE: Complete - Syafiq's Laptop Security | MalwareTips Community
    I just looked at this site and have bookmarked it - looks interesting and will no doubt clarify some questions I haven't even thought of yet :) - Looks good to know about - thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @mlg -
    Hi,
    For some crazy reason I wasn't allowed to quick reply so here's a copy of the whole thing.
    Thanks for the links about using the host file as well as the one from Microsoft. I'm realizing I've kind of ignored the host file and if I learn more about using it, it will speed and clean things up - always my goal - rarely achieved:)
    I despise Google Chrome. The latest edition of Firefox is quite good.
    This article sums it all up pretty well...
    How to use a Hosts file to improve your internet experience | ZDNet
    I believe that you should have it - not in Chrome - but in the W10 OS:

    I'm sure you're right and I'll have to figure out how to clean up the mess. Even though I am the owner of some of the hosts.txt files I cannot delete them, nor can I change their name. Long story but the people who did a very good job custom building the machine for me left all their testing data and credentials behind.
    I'm afraid we disagree here. After several years of suffering through Firefox and all their new ideas, along with an effort to use Thunderbird, I swore off ever going near it. It may be good today - but I fear they'll have a different idea tomorrow. I mostly use Chrome because it syncs with my other devices. But when it gets me frustrated I find Brave to be an excellent browser which can use almost all the extensions I like in Chrome.
    Why do you "hate" Chrome?
    Use CCleaner to tidy up the filesystem and registry:

    I actually own the paid version of CCleaner. As soon as I get the host files cleared out I will use it. Do you find it's really ok with the registry? Any warnings on that?
    Clean & speed up your slow PC | CCleaner Official Website
    Use the *free* version on demand.
    Finally, go with the default DNS provided by Verizon.
    I'm in NYC and the default DNS is pretty slow. Why do you suggest it?
    Post back and advise.
    I will post back and let everyone know how this all turned out. And thanks very much for your help.
    Thanks.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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