Will Verduzco · Apr 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

UnbelovedHosts Uses Xposed to Block Unwanted Connections

First popularized by mvps, hosts-based ad blocking has become the de facto standard for most users on virtually any type of device. This is because without invoking the CPU overhead of a browser-specific plugin, hosts-based ad blocking makes all known ad DNS address point to 127.0.0.1. What’s more, this is done at a system level, so all applications (not just supported browsers) can be ad-free.

Modifying your hosts file isn’t perfect, though. Aside from issues with blank placeholders, redirecting a known ad domain to localhost still results in an attempted connection. And without the help of a dedicated app like Adfree, you have to manually deposit this address list into your /system/etc/hosts file, which is cumbersome when done on a mobile device.

Luckily, XDA Senior Member defim created an Xposed module to efficiently block hosts without having to modify your actual hosts file. But rather than redirecting to 127.0.0.1, this module answers name resolution requests with “No address associated with the hostname.” This is better than resolving to 127.0.0.1 because no connection attempt follows.

There is obviously one major caveat inherent to hosts-based ad blocking on mobile. You have to be using a mobile browser that browses websites directly. In other words, browsers with compression proxies such as Opera Mobile or Chrome (with with “Reduce Data Usage” enabled) will not work.

To get started simply head over to the module thread, install it, and enable it in Xposed Installer.


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Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
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