2013 Usenet Guide : Mobile Apps

We started our Usenet guide series by covering the basics of finding a good provider.  Then we looked at how to configure popular Usenet clients.  Followed by tips for using search engines and NZB sites to find content.  Today we’re going to finish up with a topic that is growing in popularity.  The use of mobile apps to access newsgroups.  We’ll cover iPhone, iPad and Android apps that help you access Usenet from anywhere.

When it comes to mobile Usenet access you have a few options.  You can use a third party app to connect to Easynews, NBRemote for Newsbin, or a remote desktop app like Splashtop to access other newsreaders.

Easynews Mobile Apps

EZ Global Search Lite

Are you an Easynews member?  If not check out their service.  Those new to Usenet will be especially happy with their web interface.  It gives you access to search and download content from newsgroups without installing a newsreader.  Members can also use their third party mobile apps for iOS and Android.  Including EZ Global Search, EZ Usenet and EasyBrowser. See their mobile apps page for more details.

Our favorite Easynews mobile app is EZ Global Search.  They offer a free lite version and a full version for $2.99.  The app is available for iPhone and iPad.  We’ve used it on an iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and iPad.  It’s nice to be able to access Easynews from your phone or tablet.  View our related posts to learn more.

NBRemote for Newsbin Pro


Newsbin is one of the best Usenet clients around.  They offer a great Windows client but were lacking mobile apps.  Then along came NBRemote for iOS devices.  With an Android version in the works.  As the name suggests, you can use NBRemote to remotely access Newsbin Pro.  They offer both a free lite version and full version for $2.99.  Use either version on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  With an Android app coming soon.

Splashtop Remote Desktop

Newsleecher on iPad via Splashtop

Before Easynews and Newsbin released mobile apps we were without a means of connecting to our favorite Usenet clients while traveling.  Whether on vacation or just playing cards at a friends house we wanted to be able to search Usenet and queue up content while away from home.  That meant finding a more creative solution.  In researching we found a nice remote desktop app called Splashtop for iPhone and iPad.

I believe the price has increased since our first use of Splashtop.  They now have a version 2 that is available from the app store for $2.99 (iPhone) or $6.99 (iPad).  We used the original version to access our desktop while away.  Allowing control of favorite Usenet clients like Newshosting, Newsbin Pro and Newsleecher.  The app has it’s quirks but is the best we’ve found for accessing a wide assortment of newsreaders.

The downside is that you will need access to your system.  It let’s you tunnel in and remotely control programs.

Newsbin and NBRemote Updates

Today we’d like to share some news from our friends over at Newsbin.  Along with a new release of NBRemote for remotely controlling Newsbin Pro from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  The latest version of NBRemote adds support iPhone 5 screens.  If you already own the app go ahead and update it.  Otherwise visit iTunes and download NBRemote for $2.99.  You can also test out the NBRemote Lite version for free.


You can read our NBRemote review to learn more about the app.  We think it’s great.  It’s well worth the $2.99 price to be able to remotely control Newsbin Pro.  Think how nice it will be to sit back on your couch and search for content and queue up downloads.  You can also try out the Lite version and move up after testing the app.

On the Newsbin Pro front, Quade is hard at work on a cool new feature for the upcoming v6.50 beta release.  Newsbin fans will be excited to hear that they are adding a new watch feature to the next beta.  Here’s what Quade had to say about the upcoming feature in a related forum post:

Working on a new feature for the soon to be beta 6.50.

You can setup simple filters to filter out all header downloads and send the matching ones to a custom listing and/or send them to the download list. You’ll be able to load the listing as if you’re loading a group. It’ll only show the matching files.

Say you want to keep track of a series called “Big pussy” and you want to get the files before they vanish from the server. You’d setup a filter called “Big pussy”. In the filters you’d set the min and max size, what groups you want to keep track of and/or you can spec what poster you want the files from. The search string might look like:

“Big pussy 720p|1080P”
Min Size: 500 M
Max Size: 5G
Poster: pussy@home.com
Groups: <Some groups parent>.

Then you can spec where they download and if you want them to download automatically. You could set Newsbin to automatically download headers, pick these files out of the downloaded headers and then hand them off to the download list. In that way, you’d never be more than 15 minutes from getting the files and it could be totally automated.

Eventually it’ll integrate with search too so, you can set this up and not bother downloading headers, just hit search every 15 minutes for matching files. When I say eventually, I means as soon as I write the code.

Dex is playing with it right now, he’s pretty excited about it. You can do this now with the filter profiles and automode but, it’s too complicated and not that easy to manage. In this way you can add the watches like groups, load them like groups and delete them when you don’t want to watch for them any more.

Cheers to both Newsbin and Bergdahl (developers of NBRemote) for continuing to put out great products.  We look forward to testing out the new watch feature in the upcoming beta 6.50 release of Newsbin.

Newsbin Remote $0.99 Summer Sale

Late last year Newsbin Pro announced a new remote control app called NBRemote.  We enjoyed testing it out on an iPhone 4.  Being able to remotely control your newsreader has some nice advantages.  You can read our NBRemote review to learn more about the app.  The regular price of NBRemote is now $3.99.  A good value for the useful app.  This month NBRemote is on sale for $0.99.  If you’ve been considering NBRemote or already use Newsbin and have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then check it out.  The summer sale ends July 31st.

This is the perfect time for iOS users to pick up NBRemote.  We enjoy the app and think you will too.  Given the price of $0.99 you really have nothing to lose.  Remember to upgrade Newsbin to at least version 6.30.  Then you can use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to remotely control Newsbin, access your Dropbox account and browse NZB sites.  Make sure to download NBRemote by July 31st to save $2 off during their Summer sale.

I’m sure some are thinking “that’s great but what about Android users?”.  That’s a fair question.  An Android version of NBRemote is definitely in the works. The Newsbin team is currently working hard on Newsbin Pro 6.4 which includes some cool updates like custom paths.  According to their July 9th “Message of the Day”, the Android version of NBRemote will be the focus of development after Newsbin 6.4 is released.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to compare Usenet clients and providers.  Follow @NewsgroupRevs for more deals.

NBRemote : Newsbin Pro Remote Control

December 5, 2011 update: after using NBRemote from time to time over the last couple weeks we enjoy the app even more. You should definitely check it out and let us know what you think.

Earlier this year we started using Splashtop to remotely access Newsbin Pro.  Which was ok but Splashtop is a remote desktop app for iOS.  So it wasn’t integrated with the Newsbin client features in an iPhone / iPad rich interface.  Today that all changed as Newsbin released their own remote control client.  NBRemote let’s you control Newsbin from your iOS device.  It’s available in the App Store for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch for $2.99.

NBRemote First Impressions

In a moment we’ll dive into the installation, configuration and features of NBRemote.  Before we do though I’d like to share some thoughts on the new app.  As I know some won’t want to read this whole post to decide whether or not to spend the $2.99 for the app.  In short if you use Newsbin Pro and have an iPhone or iPad we highly recommend you download NBRemote.  Definitely a solid effort and well worth supporting.  So read on to learn more about NBRemote and then download your copy and enjoy controlling Newsbin remotely.

NBRemote Prerequisites

In order to use NBRemote you will need a registered copy of Newsbin version 6.11 or later.  So if you’re currently on the free trial version you’ll want to go ahead and purchase a license.  The cost has been lowered from $35 to $20 and that includes free upgrades for life.  You might also consider Newsbin Internet Search.

NBRemote Installation

As mention make sure you have Newsbin Pro version 6.11 or later.  We tested on the latest beta release which was Newsbin 6.20 RC2 Build 1500.  After you’ve got that taken care of hop on into the App Store from your iPhone or iPad and purchase NBRemote.  The app is only 3.1 MB so it doesn’t take long to download.

Newsbin Configuration

Before launching NBRemote you’ll want to configure some related settings in Newsbin.  To do so fire up Newsbin and go to Options – Options – Remote Control.  Which will bring up the following screen:

Check the box to ‘Enable Remote Control‘ and set a password.  You can make the password anything you want.  It will be used to connect from NBRemote.  You can change the port or leave it as 118.  Note: if you change it make sure to set the port number in NBRemote to match.  Now you’re ready to launch NBRemote.

NBRemote Configuration

The first time you launch NBRemote you’ll need to go in and setup a connection to your system.  Using this guide will make it a breeze.  We’ll walk you through it here as well.  To get started you’ll want to know the IP address of your host computer.  To find out you can drop to a command prompt (cmd) and run ipconfig.   Here’s a helpful video if you have any trouble finding your IP address.  You will also need your Newsbin serial number.  From inside Newsbin click on HelpAbout Newsbin Pro to obtain your registration code.

The first time you launch NBRemote you’ll need to add the connection back to your computer to access Newsbin remotely.  To do so go to Settings and then Add Newsbin computer:

Fill in the Computer settings screen as follows:
  • Description:  Any name you want for the connection.
  • Server address:  The IP address or your computer.
  • Server port:  Only change if you chose a port other than 118
  • Serial number:  Enter your Newsbin Pro registration code
  • Password:  Enter the password you chose a moment ago in Newsbin Pro.

When your finished hit the Test connection button.  If all goes well you’ll see ‘Connected Successfully’ after a few seconds.  In my case I got another message the first time around.  An error stating ‘Authentication required’.  As usual I had fat fingered some information.  In this case the serial number.  A quick fix followed by ‘Connected successfully’.  The other common error you might see is ‘The connection timeout has expired’.  In that case confirm the IP address is entered correctly.  Otherwise you’re ready to use NBRemote.

Launching NBRemote : Connecting to Newsbin

The first thing you want to do after opening NBRemote each time is connect to your Newsbin remotely.  To do so tap on Computers and then the name you gave to your system.  Note that you can set up NBRemote to remotely control more than one computer.  Once connected we went right to the Search area.

NBRemote Search Functionality

I expected that NBRemote would support the Newsbin Internet Search feature and it does quite well.  However, I was surprised by the other Usenet search options including Binsearch, NZBMatrix and Nzbs.org.  I tested both the Newsbin search and Binsearch.  Here are some screenshots:

I searched for ‘Ubuntu’ using Newsbin internet search and Binsearch.  Because let’s face it.  You can never have too many Ubuntu distros.  We played a little with the filter options for the Newsbin search and then tested out Binsearch which is one of our other favorite Usenet search engines.  Next it was time to download.

Downloading with NBRemote

I chose a Ubuntu distro from Binsearch and created the NZB file.  Then downloaded it to my PC remotely from NBRemote.  Later I downloaded a picture of a train directly to the iPhone and opened it.  In the files area you can view local files (on your device) or Newsbin files (on your computer).  There is also an optional setting to integrate NBRemote with your Dropbox account.

Browsing Newsgroups with NBRemote

Along with searching for Usenet content by topic the NBRemote also lets you browse through newsgroups.  As you would from inside Newsbin.  Simply tap on ‘Groups’ from the NBRemote home screen.  We chose the alt.binaries.pictures.railroad group to test and found a number of results after tweaking the filter options.

By default the NBRemote filter is enabled and set to only show posts between 0 and 1 day old.  We noticed the same when testing hte Newsbin internet search feature.  Since that didn’t net many results from the train group we extended the filter out to it’s max number of days which is 720 days.  Then we got nearly 3,000 results.

In the future I look forward to diving deeper into NBRemote.  Some of the other features include Dropbox integration and an option to add any search site you like.  Basically you add the name and URL to the search menu and use the engine of your preference.  You can tell a lot of planning went into the app.  Especially at such an early stage.  Definitely a fun project to track and an app we will use.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my review / guide / ramblings about NBRemote.  It really is a cool app to remotely control Newsbin.  I hope you’ll try it out and let us know what you think.  As always you can visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet and follow us @NewsgroupRevs to share your thoughts.