Current version: 188.8.131.52
When developing a website or web application, developers will frequently test them on a local server. This can be the same machine they're working on or perhaps a machine on the local network. To test websites and web applications on a legitimate domain name, the developer's system must somehow know what server goes with that domain name. As it's just a test website, the domain name might not even really exist, or is currently occupied by a different version of the website.
The hosts file on a machine allows developers to simulate the domain names they need. Containing the domain names and IP addresses that the developer wants to enforce, the local machine uses this information, instead of that available from the nearest DNS server.
As a developer, I frequently test websites and web applications on my local server and therefore require to enter a lot of this information into the hosts file on my PC. The normal route involves opening the file in Notepad (or equivalent) and manually typing on the domain name and IP address.
To speed things up, and to organise the, by now, rather large hosts file, I created an application for Windows, with a graphical user interface.
An extremely useful addition the Hosts File Manager introduces is folders. Where the basic hosts file is a big, plain text, list of domains, the ability to use folders aids to the organisation of the host entries. Entries can easily be moved between groups, both one at a time as in bulk.
The advanced sorting system, which can sort the entries on top-level, second-level, third-level, etc... allows users to quickly group and find host entries.
The Host Files Manager can back up and restore hosts file for your machine but, also for other machines. Using the connect feature, you can connect to any other system on the local network (providing you have access to it, via Windows Network or Active Directory), view and edit their hosts file.
Hosts File Manager is one of my personal projects. It was designed and developed entirely by me.