Browser Hiccups.

Have you ever noticed that when a page is being downloaded, it sometimes seems to slow down at a certain point, wait a while, and then continue at normal speed? This may be more apparent at different times of the day, depending on how many people are busy on the web at any time.

I have found a reason for this – and a solution.

I do not use any of the social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc., for I value my privacy too highly. I notice, however, that more and more webpages are providing links to such sites to make it easy for users to communicate with others on the subjectmatter of the webpage they are viewing.

Unfortunately, in order to provide these links, an icon is necessary. And again, unfortunately, in order to get it, the webpage accesses the site of origin. If traffic at that website happens to be heavy, you will just have to wait!

If the webpage designer was at all friendly, he/she would have an icon available, and include it in the page. This would save having to look elsewhere, and risk traffic hold-ups.

In my case, I have taken a different approach entirely. Not using such social media sites at all, I can block them in my own computer completely. All I do is use Wordpad to add an entry in the “Hosts” file such as:-

and save the file.

Now, whenever a webpage wants to go to that site from my computer to get an icon, it cant. I have neatly avoided the traffic problems, reduced the page loading time, and I don’t get the icon.


The “hosts” file can usually be found in (boot drive)/windows/system32/drivers/etc/

(Note that there is no extension on this filename!)