Usenet Providers That Offer Free Newsreader Clients

We’ve had the same question posed over and over again through the years, “Are there any Usenet providers that offer free newsreaders?”.  Especially from those new to newsgroups who aren’t too sure about setting up a Usenet client.  Totally understandable as we’ve all been there at one time or another.  New technologies can be tricky and veteran services like Usenet can have a steep learning curve.

We’d like to start by saying that there is no one solution that is best for everyone.  So if you try a Usenet provider / newsreader combination that isn’t right for you don’t get frustrated.  There are several options to choose from and each newsreader has a different user interface design and features.

The newsreaders to follow are all offered free of charge to members of the corresponding Usenet service.  Easynews, Binverse, Unliminews (PureNZB) and Giganews (Mimo Usenet browser) are exclusive to their subscribers.  While BinTube is included free for members or can be purchased separately.

Let’s start with the Usenet providers offering their own clients:

1. Easynews – Free Web Interface + NNTP Access

We start with our personal favorite, Easynews.  The only provider who offers a feature packed Usenet client without the need for a newsreader.  That might not make sense for those unfamiliar with Easynews.  The Easynews service is available via their popular web interface.  Meaning no software to configure.  Simply type the URL into your web browser and enjoy access to Usenet.  With a built-in search engine you can easily find content without the need for headers or NZB sites.  The web interface makes it easy to preview, stream and download content with a few clicks.  New members can enjoy a 100 GB / 14 day free Easynews trial.

2. Binverse – Free Binverse Newsreader

Binverse offers subscribers a free Usenet client.  The newsreader is already configured.  All you have to do is download, install and enter in your Binverse account information.  The rest is taken care of.  The Binverse client is available for both Windows and Mac.  With access to several Usenet search engines from inside the client.  View thumbnail images and sample audio and video files before you download.  The Binverse user interface is intuitive and easy to follow.  The client and underlying service are fast.  Most users get the hang of it in the first few hours.  Binverse is currently offering new members a 60 GB / 3 day free trial to test the reader.

3. BinTube – Free BinTube Basic Usenet Client

BinTube offers their customers a free copy of BinTube Basic newsreader.  In addition BinTube Pro is sold for $59.95.  The difference is that the Pro version can handle 50 connections versus 20.  The Pro version can also be used with other Usenet providers.  With free access to BinTube Basic users can search for content, stream media and view slideshows.  The client also handles PAR repairs and RAR / ZIP extraction.  With a number of additional features.  It is definitely worth checking out.  Unfortunately BinTube doesn’t currently offer a free trial so you’ll have to sign up for a month of service to test the reader.

4. Unliminews – Free PureNZB Newsreader

Unliminews brings with it a free Usenet client called PureNZB.  The newsreader was developed in-house for use with Unliminews and Z51 Usenet services.  We’ve enjoyed testing the client and watching the growth in features and design.  With new user interface tweaks PureNZB is even more intuitive.  PureNZB has several built-in Usenet search engines and recently added their own named NZBSearch.  Unliminews isn’t currently offering a free trial.  However they are running a summer promotion with a special discounted price on their 100 Mb/s plan.  Sign up by August 30th and pay just $29 for 3 months of access.

5. Giganews – Free Mimo Usenet Browser

Giganews partnered with Golden Frog to develop a new Usenet browser for their Diamond members.  Naming their client Mimo and releasing the first public beta last winter.  The Mimo Usenet client has continued to progress since it’s first beta release.  With updates coming more and more often, the Golden Frog team is hard at work adding features and refining the user interface.  Mimo has built-in Usenet search engines including their own Golden Frog search.  Mimo is a nice client but we don’t think its worth the $35 price tag attached to the Giganews Diamond accounts.  We prefer quality Usenet access at an affordable price.  With services like UseNetServer, Newshosting and Astraweb offering unlimited Usenet from $7.95 a month.

In addition NewsDemon, ThunderNews and NewsgroupDirect offer members a free licensed copy of News Rover.  A popular third-party newsreader.  NewsDemon and NewsgroupDirect also include free online storage to their members.  Thanks to the fine team over at NewsDemon, NewsgroupReviews visitors can enjoy unlimited Usenet + News Rover and 30 GB of online storage for just $9.99 a month.  A savings of 50% off the retail price.  Thundernews and NewsgroupDirect have also been kind in offering our visitors special pricing.  See our Usenet specials page for details.  We have tested and recommend all three newsgroup services.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of Usenet providers offering free newsreaders.  If you decide to test them out don’t forget about the free trials offered by Easynews and Binverse.  The Easynews 100 GB free trial is a summer special and includes 10 times the normal 10 GB of downloads.  So if you want to take advantage of testing the Easynews web interface now is the perfect time.

PureNZB Usenet Client Adds NZBSearch Engine

The team behind PureNZB newsreader (developed for Unliminews and Z51 Usenet services) has been very busy this year.  Back in February we wrote about the features and capabilities of PureNZB Black Edition.  Along with an interview with the lead developer.  Since then the team has completely redesigned PureNZB to be more intuitive and added a lot of new functionality including search engines and search from the right click menu.  The host Usenet providers, Unliminews (US) and Z51 (Europe) now support more than 800 days of retention.  Their latest achievement is NZBSearch, a built-in Usenet search engine developed specifically for PureNZB.

Not to confuse anyone, PureNZB members already had access to some other leading Usenet search engines that were built into the interface.  Including Binsearch, Nzbindex, BinnewZ and Mysterbin.  The addition of NZBsearch is the latest option and has some nice features for PureNZB users.  There is a basic search feature plus “more options” which allows for some advanced searching and filters.  Here’s a video from the PureNZB team demonstrating NZBsearch in action.

The NZBSearch engine has a nice user interface and some good filtering and advanced search options.  For example you can define the min / max age and file size along with narrowing down to a specific newsgroup.  For more information on PureNZB and the new NZBSearch feature visit Unliminews (US) or Z51 (Europe).

PureNZB Newsreader : Search, Download, Repair

The lead developer of PureNZB was recently kind enough to allow our Newsgroup Reviews team an interview.  For those new to PureNZB the  Usenet client is included free for both Unliminews and Z51 members.  The newsreader has a lot of cool features.  Including integrated Usenet search, repair, file management and video streaming.  We enjoyed testing Pure NZB last month and appreciate the interview that follows.

PureNZB Interview

Please introduce yourself to our readers.  If you could share how you came to develop PureNZB and any other Usenet related projects.

I’ve been leading the development of PureNZB since its inception back in 2008. Like all folks here at Z51 and Unliminews, I love Newsgroups but this was not love at first sight for me because I found it a little bit difficult and clumsy to use back then.

I enjoyed clients like Grabit because they helped define new usages of UseNet. At this time, the available tools were too simple, then I discovered Newsleecher and AltBinz that were excellent clients but did not integrate all functionalities to use Newsgroups easily like integrated search for instance.

The other thing we all noticed at Unliminews and Z51 is that configuration is always a source of problems, it’s never easy to configure clients and never works at the first time.

So, as a long time software developer, I decided to build my own newsgroup client.

Can you tell us a little about PureNZB?

In a nutshell,  PureNZB is a UseNet client with many cool functions in one place:

  • Integrated search and one click download
  • Auto Unrar / PAR2 / Join Splitted files
  • Video Streaming
  • RSS feeds
  • Media Center

The good thing is that there is nothing to configure and it’s free for both Unliminews and Z51 customers.

Could you tell us some of the features of the software that you are proud of.  What are some of the features that make the client popular?

I am personally proud of the instant search with NZBIndex: I implemented this only 48 hours after Google released its instant search. This allows users to retrieve search results while they type their query in PureNZB search.

I also love the Video Streaming because this helps me to see rapidly the quality of the content I am getting and also make sure I am not getting a password file.

What makes your software different than others on the market?

With PureNZB, we keep everything in one place, you don’t need to open a web browser to get your NZB, open your newsgroup client to download it and then unrar and eventually Quickpar to have your files ready for use.

Why did you decide to create the Pure NZB?

I have a passion and maybe a gift for developing software, I created my first software when I was 14 years old and I sold my first one when I was 16.

When I started working on PureNZB, in 2008, there was not many tools except Grabit and NewsLeecher, so I decided to create my own.

How did you approach designing the software?

PureNZB is developed in C# .Net with a technology I’ve developed: WebUpdate. It allows an automatic update of the client on launch. We frequently update the software to add new functionalities or correct bugs, but this never happens 😉

Do you plan to offer more features in PureNZB?

We are working on two things these days:
1.  A web application to control PureNZB on the go (from an iOS or an Android device or any Web Browser)
2.  We are also working on the Media Center to make it better

How many people use the Usenet browser?

We have nearly 3,000 people who use PureNZB every day, this number is increasing rapidly: we’ve seen 10% more users per month in the last quarter and it’s accelerating.

What obstacles have you had to overcome to build this software into what it is today?

We worked a lot on performance to make this tool comparable to NewsLeecher and AltBinz in terms of download speed and stability. Once we matched their performance, we started to add cool features 😉

Where do you see this software going?

I see this software as a back-end that runs on a PC, with a front end that can be a TV or any other connected device.

How easy is it to use your software?

One of the main objectives of this tool is to make it simple to use, most of the tickets we receive from UnlimiNews or Z51 users are related to wrong passwords or use with another client because there is no configuration with PureNZB.

We’ve noticed that people who come from the Bittorent world feel lost when they have to use NZBs; the integrated search and the automatic download make it easier to use. We also rework pages from the major NZB search engines to have a “one click download” without having to selected sub files or anything else in PureNZB.

We’ve also seen that people were able to take advantage of the tool just after watching the little video we have on our website.

What are some things you want to improve on the software?

Currently, the landing page is pretty simple, we have plans to make it more complete with content that can be defined by users like new threads from partner forums, at glance information about your account and general information about the Usenet world.

Why did you decide to make the software free?

Well, nobody likes to pay for a software even for a great one, so we make this free with a subscription of Unliminews or Z51 service.

Can you tell us more about the built-in search features?

We provide search directly from PureNZB with 11 search engines. We re-work pages so that NZB files can be opened in one click. There is also the possibility to remove parts once a download is launched, if you don’t want a sample or PAR files for example.

Can you tell us more about the RSS feature?

The RSS feature is a great one: you create a search that is constantly updated as an RSS feed, on the video we have on our sites, we have a nice example of someone having creating a RSS feed with “Debian” to get the latest builds for this OS. You can also create a RSS feed with trailers to get the latest and greatest on the movie industry or anything else that you like.

What Usenet services does PureNZB support?

We support 2 Providers: Unliminews which is mostly dedicated to North America and Z51 which is dedicated to Europe.

In addition to the PureNZB interview we wanted to find out more about Unliminews and Z51.  The following questions are related to their Usenet services.

What led you to create Unliminews and Z51? – Why did you start the services?

When we started, service with good speeds were pretty expensive. We wanted to provide a good quality with an affordable price to the newsgroup community.

How do you measure the success of your company, service, software?

For us the best way to measure the success is to see customers renewing their subscription, this means that they enjoy the service and the tools UnlimiNews and Z51 provide.

Can you tell me how your Usenet services are different from other providers?

Like any good provider, we are able to provide good speeds with encryption. We have two differentiators: an excellent customer service and a simple tool to enjoy Newsgroups.

To give you an illustration, we recently had a client who asked us if it is possible to select the number of slots he uses with PureNZB, less than an hour later, we updated the tool with this option.

Any cool features to be released/added in the future?

There are two things that are keeping us busy:
1.  Increase our retention beyond 800 days for binaries
2.  Allow the use of PureNZB remotely from a Web Application

That concludes our interview.  Thanks to the PureNZB / Unliminews / Z51 team for taking the time to share their vision for PureNZB and related Usenet services.  PureNZB offers some really cool features with more on the way.  Visit Unliminews (North America) or Z51 (Europe) to try out PureNZB.