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What is a Hosts File?
The hosts file is a local plain text file that maps servers or hostnames to IP addresses. This file has been in use since the time of ARPANET. It was the original method to resolve hostnames to a specific IP address. The hosts file is usually the first process in the domain name resolution procedure. Here is an example of a hosts file entry.
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One of the most powerful tools available to anyone working on their site during a migration is their computer’s “hosts” file. The hosts file is used to map domain names to IP addresses, and can be used as an alternative to DNS. It also allows you to specify the IP address to which a website resolves on your computer, regardless of what may be published in the site’s DNS zone file.
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