Why Does My Computer Keep Redirecting Me to Sites I Didn't Ask For?

by Dustin Thornton

If your computer constantly redirects you to another website when surfing the internet, chances are that the system has some form of redirection virus infection. Redirection viruses monitor your Internet activity and alter the DNS server address and proxy settings for your system, redirecting you when you perform simple activities like searching using search engines or typing in specific Web addresses.

DNS Settings

DNS stands for Domain Name System and is required to connect to the Internet. Every website you visit has a DNS server. When you connect to a website on the Internet, you connect through a series of DNS servers, including your ISP's DNS server. By default, Windows is setup to automatically obtain the DNS server address from your ISP; however a redirection virus can change this setting in your Internet connection properties so that you connect to a different DNS that controls your browsing activity.

Proxy Settings

Occasionally redirection viruses alter the proxy settings for your computer, causing your system to connect to the Internet through a proxy server. A proxy server is another computer that acts as a middleman, making the DNS request for any websites you attempt to visit. A proxy server can alter the DNS request for any computer connected to it. If routed through a proxy server, you must disable the proxy in your Local Area Network settings to fix the problem.

Windows Hosts File

The Hosts file on your computer is a text list that maps server Internet Protocol addresses with more recognizable domain names, such as "www.google.com." The Hosts file is a plain text file located at "C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\Hosts." Internet redirection viruses can add entries to the Hosts file, mapping common website domain names, such as "www.google.com" to a different server IP address, such as "www.coolwebsearch.com." Removing these additional entries in the Hosts file can prevent redirection.

Malware Removal Software

When infected by a redirection virus, making use of malware, adware and virus removal software is beneficial. Software designed specifically to remove redirection viruses makes removal much easier and complete. Common software used for redirection virus removal includes, but is not limited to, Malware Bytes Anit-Malware, SpyBot Search and Destroy, ComboFix, TDSSKiller, Hitman Pro 3 and SuperAntiSpyware.

About the Author

Dustin Thornton has been writing since 2003. He has served as a newspaper columnist for the "Troy Tropolitan" and a contributor to various websites. Thornton received a partial scholarship for an outstanding essay in 2003. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Troy University.