Background: my Android is the only source of internet I have - I use it as a hotspot while at home.

I have been noticing strange behavior out of my Desktop PC recently: sites like Amazon were not styled, and Yelp.com wouldn't work at all (as if it didn't exist)! Then, I attempted to use Yelp while I had WAMP running on my PC, and it redirected to my local website.

I soon discovered it was not a hosts file on my PC causing the issue, but the host file of my Android device from which my internet was coming.

I grabbed a terminal emulator from the Play Store and cat'd my hosts file into a text file, then retrieved it from my phone. It was 8.12MB, and it blocks 283,000 websites by redirecting their names to

What is this madness? Most of these sites appear to be spam or inappropriate, but why are they blocked in this manner? Does Google do this? Why is Yelp.com blocked!? And why are Amazon's CDN servers blocked, too?

For now I think I'm going to manually edit the hosts file on my phone to get around this, but I would really like some answers, if anyone has any!


  • Are you rooted and using an ad blocker? This is usually the technique - to block these sites by redirecting their IP addresses internally - no outbound path. – wbogacz Jul 9 '14 at 0:38
  • I am rooted, but to my knowledge am not using an Ad-blocker. Why would www.yelp.com be blocked, do you think? – tigertrussell Jul 9 '14 at 0:48
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    Yelp seems to be something a corporate office would block. Is your phone connected to an enterprise account and getting some sideloaded office policies downloaded, maybe? – wbogacz Jul 9 '14 at 1:55
  • I went back to take a second look after Unity3D couldn't connect to its licensing server, and it did say it was Ad Blocking by some rando guy. I think it must've come standard in the ROM I used. I am connected to corporate, but just for e-mail. – tigertrussell Jul 10 '14 at 16:26

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