Windows hosts file

Recently I was involved in setting some parameters on server network accessibility. In particular, I had to add an IP of a production server to my local computer so I will be able to access the server’s Web resources, for instance, via a web browser. In actual fact, I had no idea how one is supposed to get this done/(accomplish this). Googling helped (as per usual). As it turned out, one has to edit the system hosts file which is located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ folder.

The concise description of the hosts file can be found on Wikipedia. In here you define which web sites you want to map the IP address to. In my case, I needed to map the IP address of the production server to a development server to test the web site appearance before putting it into production. Just for your information, this file can be used in Windows administration purposes to block malicious software or Web resources as well. For example, here is the file that has been compiled by MVPS.org. Using Windows hosts file has some other implications for setting ArcGIS Server for Java and ArcGIS License Manager just to mention a few. Good to know.

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