I recently looked at a friends pc which was having trouble accessing web pages, it would eventually get there but each page took at least a minute to load. yet when using broadband speed test sites, once the test was actually started, it was showing results around 6mb sec! So in desperation I tried experimenting with the hosts file having read somewhere that internet explorer used this before loading a web page. I found four files with 'hosts' in the name and cut and saved them to a safe place in my documents. Like magic, the browser became fast again like it used to be. so I left the files where they were as they didn't seem to be needed. So my question is, do we really need the hosts file and why did it cause the slowdown?
thanks Fruit Bat, that was interesting, but it didn't seem to me to answer my question, unless it was too technical for me. do we actually need the hosts file, what is the disadvantage if it is deleted? can I simply leave it permanently deleted?