Yes, what cliff said is correct. I use the Hosts file to reduce some overhead on dialup connections. No, normal users, like any fiero owner is normal,
won't have to make changes to anything.
Cliff's analogy is correct. Hosts is like hardwiring his servers address to my system. It means my machine doesn't have to constantly look up the address thru a service called DNS to reach his server. The disadvantage is that Hosts has to be manually updated. (This manual update problem is what lead to the invention of DNS.)
It's not a big deal as long as you know about a pending change and can switch back to DNS until the new addresses are stable.
Windows NT/2K/XP users:
This may help the transition when it happens....
Open a command prompt from the start menu or
Start/Run, type CMD, then enter.
In the commend window type
Then hit enter
The above operating systems keep a cache of IP addresses and names on the local machine that can take days to clear by itself. That command makes it purge everything instantly.
That trick can help any time you have trouble reaching a web site or any other internet service.
Your ISP's DNS server likely also caches IP addresses... That cache will refresh only when the ISP has configured it to. This could be anywhere from a few hours to a day or two. There's not much you can do about this.
The NT/2K/XP users may want to try the ipconfig thing a few times over the course of a couple days if they keep having trouble.
The new address will eventually get there, it can just take some systems longer.