Usenet can completely replace your torrent client as your primary means of downloading files from the internet.
To get yourself started on Usenet, you will need to ensure that you have three things installed and ready on your computer, laptop or desktop.
These three things are:
- A legitimate reputed Usenet service provider’s subscription package
- A good newsreader application
- The last thing you’ll need is a search engine or, an indexer as some like to call it.
But don’t just assume that you’ll have to search for hours in order to find these three things. Some Usenet service providers do provide all three things neatly packed in a single plan.
You shouldn’t count on it though and as they say, wise men hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We’ll prepare you for the worst in this guide.
The worst being that you know nothing and you can’t find the Usenet service provider who offers the complete package.
So if you want all the components you need, you’re going to have to read this guide rather carefully.
This super guide will show you how to go through the process of setting up a Usenet service, how to download a Usenet client on your computer, laptop or Desktop and how to configure the computer software application after you have downloaded it.
Let’s do this then.
Who Are The Biggest Players In The Usenet Service Market And How Do You Find Them?
The largest entities that provide Usenet services are the following,
- UsenetServer, yes that’s the name of the Usenet service. You can read our review about it here.
Now, to select the best Usenet service provider, you need to know your own download needs and internet usage habits.
Moreover, the best Usenet service for you depends less on the service provider itself and more on other factors such as what kind of retention period are you comfortable with, transfer limits, price, location, security, privacy, server connections, the number of server connections.
As you can probably see by now, there a lot of factors you need to consider before selecting a Usenet service provider.
When you have read the guide mentioned above (or even if you haven’t read the whole thing but have a general idea of what you need) and know what you want, then as a beginner to the Usenet world, it is best for you to go with a Usenet service provider that is old, reputed and trustworthy.
In other words, choose a Usenet service provider that is top of the line because you don’t want to ruin your first experience with Usenet services.
Just click on your specific Usenet service provider name and you’ll be taken to the official website of the Usenet service provider where you can further read up on the price of the packages.
For the purposes of this guide, we’re going to sign up with Newshosting so that you can learn about the whole process in a single article.
The first thing you should know is that Newshosting provides all its new users a two-week trial for free and also offers 30GB of download during that trial.
When you have signed up for the service, you can download the Newshosting Newsgroup Reader or choose the other option of going for another third-party newsreader application.
But if you’re one of those who just likes to get straight into the action without doing much tinkering and digging (which might also mess up the whole process) then we’ll recommend that you go for Newshosting’s reader application because it is easy to set up and installs pretty quickly.
Moreover, the Newshosting Reader application is a native desktop application and hence is optimized for different operating systems and provides facilities such as searching and downloading at one place in a neat download manager.
When you have gone through the previous steps, all you need to do is to search for the file you want to download using the search bar in the application.
The Newshosting reader will return you a, sometimes long, list of results that’ll match your criteria. It’s not difficult at all especially if you have used torrent clients to download files before. The interface is very much alike ThePirateBay or Kickass Torrents (which has been taken down lately).
The Newshosting Reader is a file manager that can filter files by type and will also show you a flag beside individual files to show you the language.
Moreover, if you double click a file then you can either download it or view more information about it.
Why would you want to view more information when you already know the file’s name?
Well ,sometimes it is considered best practice if you preview the file before downloading it.
Once you have started the downloading process, the downloaded file will be placed in Newshosting downloads folder which will be created for you on your computer.
If you’re panicking because you have seen an NZB extension file then don’t be. With Newshosting Reader application, everything is as easy as they come.
How To Choose An Indexer For Usenet
Sometimes we must consider the possibility that a user would not like Newshosting Reader application and hence we have created an entire section for it.
If you’re one of those then you’re in luck. Read on.
Don’t feel shy if you didn’t like Newshosting reader app and even if you want to go with a different Usenet provider, you can.
You’ll just have to find a new indexer and a newsreader application to use Usenet services.
Right now you might be wondering, what is this indexer that this guide keeps mentioning over and over again.
Well, an indexer is basically a search engine for files in the .NZB format (the format that scared you earlier).
NZB files aren’t special themselves. They are basically like torrent files that you use for Usenet services.
The NZB file format essentially tells your newsreader application the location of all the part of a single file. Usually, a single file’s parts are distributed, or rather scattered, around different Usenet servers.
If you don’t want to spend any money on an indexer then your best bet is Binsearch. But Binsearch is also an excellent choice for the reason that it is available for download without any registration process.
Binsearch only searches 400 of the most well-known newsgroups. But you can change those default settings by spending a bit of time configuring it.
However, it has to be mentioned that Binsearch, as a piece of software, isn’t standardized. There are some organization problems and you don’t get to filter or sort your search results or files.
But if you’re fine with doing random searches and don’t care much for user-interface then Binsearch is pretty quick for a free indexer.
All you need to get your file is to first check the file you want to download and then hit “create NZB” in order to download the file on your machine.
After that, you can easily add the NZB file to your Usenet newsreader application. How to do that?
Well, read on.
As mentioned before, Binsearch is a pretty satisfactory indexer when it comes to free indexers. But it goes without saying that paid indexers are almost always better.
However, that doesn’t mean there are no free indexers that are better than Binsearch.
Thankfully, free indexers such as OZnzb, NZBGeek, and NZB.is are now all available for download and are better than Binsearch. They do require registration though.
There are many other indexers out there too but there are only available to premium customers and those with some form of invitation.
Better indexer software application is simpler to navigate through and allow other features (not necessarily extra) such as sort and filter. These type of indexers also have better browsing features than Binsearch.
But no matter which indexer you choose, all do the exact same thing: they search the file you input in the search bar and show the results to you so that you can download the relevant NZB file.
How To Use A Usenet Newsreader
If you’re reading this section then that means three things:
- You have signed up for a Usenet service provider
- You also have downloaded and installed an indexer
- You have downloaded the NZB file using your indexer
Now, all that remains is for you to use that NZB file in order to download its contents. To do that, you’ll require a newsreader application.
Newsreader applications are like download managers. Those of you who have some experience with Torrents know download managers such as uTorrent, Tixati, and Azureus.
Well, in the Usenet world, SABnzbd is considered to be the best of the bunch when it comes to free Usenet newsreader applications.
Because it is easy to use, light on using resources and runs within your browser.
So go ahead, download and install SABnzbd on your computer. DO remember though that you must check the box that says “NZB File association.”
When you run the setup for SABnzbd, it will install the application on your PC.
Run the program after you have installed it. The application will automatically guide you through the rest of the process.
You will need to provide information about the hosting domain. That will be provided to you by the Usenet service provider you subscribed to from the previous steps.
In our case, it is nhxl.newshosting.com.
You’ll also need your login details for your Usenet service provider.
It is considered best practice if you check the box for SSL as well. Checking this box will result in your data being encrypted. That means that your online traffic and data transfer will remain anonymous from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and other spying agencies such as government departments and marketing agencies.
Now you should go ahead and test your server for any errors. Make sure your information has been entered accurately.
Now you need to click Next.
Now your program should be running on full throttle. If you want to, you can enter more information if your Usenet service provider has instructed you to.
To do so, simply click the little cog icon on the top right corner of your screen.
Then click Servers tab.
After that click Show Details if you want to add more Usenet servers, modify security settings, adjust ports or anything else.
Some users like to change the downloads folder as well so if you want to do that here then go ahead.
Make sure that under the Generals tab your port number is 8080. This port number is the standard port number.
And don’t mix it with the port number over which your data files will be transferred.
If your SSL option is activated, which it should since we told you so, then your transfer port should say something like 563, 119 or 443 under Servers.
If you’re more inclined towards a local SABnzbd server running on HTTPS port then you can change the settings under General tab.
For future reference, you can go to 127.0.0.1/8080 if you want to access Sabnzbd application while your SABnzbd application is running.
The easier way, of course, is to just use the default desktop shortcut for the application.
When you have completed the first stage of the process, you’ll be shown a blank queue window.
Here you must click Add NZB and then browser to the NZB file on your computer which you downloaded in one of the previous steps through the Usenet indexer.
Sabnzbd also allows you to add a name, a tag, priority level, post processing and scripts to further customize your experience.
When all of that is done, click Add to initialize the download process.
When the download process is finished, click the file in SABnzbd in order to open it.
What About SABConnect?
If you’re a Chrome user then you can install the SABConnect extension. It can speed up the process to a reasonable degree and hence enable you to download NZB files quickly.
When you have installed the extension, click the extension icon that has appeared on the top right corner of your Google Chrome browser and go to Extension Settings.
You can change the name of the profile to the one you like.
Also, make sure that the URL is set to 127.0.0.1/8080.
To know your API key head back to SABnzbd application and then click no the little cog icon at the top right corner to go to Settings.
Then click on the General tab and find the API key by scrolling down a bit. Copy that API key by right clicking with your mouse and selecting the copy option.
Then paste that API key code into the SABConnect settings menu using the rick click mouse button and then selecting the paste option.
Use your Usenet service provider’s given username and password as login details in your SABConnect extension’s settings menu.
When that done, click the Test Connection button so that you can verify if everything is in proper order.
Click Create if you’re satisfied.
Not a lot if left to do now so keep calm and follow the instructions below.
Click on the SABConnect icon and then select your profile when the drop down menu appears.
You should now see the SABnzbd icon in your Usenet indexer search results page.
If you click on the icon then you will automatically add the NZB file for downloading. You won’t have to download the NZB file separately as before.
Remember, SABConnect can act as a download manager. It can monitor your download as well. Follow the same process as before to add more capabilities to SABnzbd through the Chrome extension and other tools.
SABnzbd is quite a complex application and we have deliberately not discussed all of its functions.
If you want to, you can dig in a little and find more about other features such as sorting, notifications settings, scheduling and compatibility options with various Usenet application.
Why Not Use A VPN?
Using a VPN is always a great choice. Remember, that Usenet options such as SSL and HTTPS are all good options but they are not foolproof. If you can then you should definitely use a VPN with Usenet services.
Lucky for you, or for us in this case, Newshosting comes with a VPN by default. But not all Usenet service providers offer a VPN service with their packages.
What does a VPN do?
Well, it’s a long subject but in short: a VPN encrypts your data, identity and your online activities including traffic and data transfers.
It also hides your IP address from spying agencies. No one can know your real location when you use a VPN service.
A VPN gives you that extra layer of safety and security that keeps you anonymous when you’re doing your thing in the online world.