Famous Usenet Posts – WWW, Linux, Netscape

August will mark the 26th anniversary of Tim Berners Lee publishing a summary of the World Wide Web project to the alt.hypertext newsgroup.  In the beginning the WWW was a side project that Tim Berners-Lee worked on at CERN.  In 1991 he announced the WorldWideWeb project to the online community via Usenet.  The post was made in the alt.hypertext newsgroup on August 6th, 1991.  Since then several important announcements have come via Usenet but the WWW post is definitely one of our favorites.  Let’s take a look at the post.

Here’s Tim’s post from 1991:

WorldWideWeb: Summary

In article <64…@cernvax.cern.ch> I promised to post a short summary  of the
WorldWideWeb project.  Mail me with any queries.

WorldWideWeb – Executive Summary
The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to
make an easy but powerful global information system.

The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should
be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within
internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by
support groups.

Reader view

The WWW world consists of documents, and links.  Indexes are special documents
which, rather than being read, may be searched. The result of such a search is
another (“virtual”) document containing links to the documents found.  A simple
protocol (“HTTP”) is used to allow a browser program to request a keyword
search by a remote information server.

The web contains documents in many formats. Those documents which are
hypertext,  (real or virtual) contain links to other documents, or places
within documents. All documents, whether real, virtual or indexes, look similar
to the reader and are contained within the same addressing scheme.

To follow a link,  a reader clicks with a mouse (or types in a number if he or
she has no mouse). To search and index, a reader gives keywords (or other
search criteria). These are the only operations  necessary to access the entire
world of data.

Information provider view

The WWW browsers can access many existing data systems via existing protocols
(FTP, NNTP) or via HTTP and a gateway. In this way, the critical mass of data
is quickly exceeded, and the increasing use of the system by readers and
information suppliers encourage each other.

Making a web is as simple as writing a few SGML files which point to your
existing data. Making it public involves running the FTP or HTTP daemon, and
making at least one link into your web from another. In fact,  any file
available by anonymous FTP can be immediately linked into a web. The very small
start-up effort is designed to allow small contributions.  At the other end of
the scale, large information providers may provide an HTTP server with full
text or keyword indexing.

The WWW model gets over the frustrating incompatibilities of data format
between suppliers and reader by allowing negotiation of format between a smart
browser and a smart server. This should provide a basis for extension into
multimedia, and allow those who share application standards to make full use of
them across the web.

This summary does not describe the many exciting possibilities opened up by the
WWW project, such as efficient document caching. the reduction of redundant
out-of-date copies, and the use of knowledge daemons.  There is more
information in the online project documentation, including some background on
hypertext and many technical notes.

Try it

A prototype (very alpha test) simple line mode browser is currently available
in source form from node  info.cern.ch [currently] as


Also available is a hypertext editor for the NeXT using the NeXTStep graphical
user interface, and a skeleton server daemon.

Documentation is readable using www (Plain text of the instalation instructions
is included in the tar file!). Document


is as good a place to start as any. Note these coordinates may change with
later releases.


Tim Berners-Lee

     Tel:        +41(22)767 3755
WorldWideWeb project                Fax:        +41(22)767 7155
C.E.R.N.                        email:        t…@cernvax.cern.ch
1211 Geneva 23

Along with the Tim Berner’s Lee WWW announcement here are some other significant Usenet posts:

You will find that Google Groups is a good source for historical text posts like those listed above.  To learn more about binary newsgroup access visit the Usenet providers section of NewsgroupReviews.com.

Without a doubt we missed some famous / interesting Usenet posts.  The newsgroup articles mentioned above are some of our favorites.  Please share yours with us @NewsgroupRevs so we can add them to the list.

Follow Your Favorite College Football Team Via Usenet

It’s that time of year again.  The 2016 college football season is upon us.  We’re pumped up to see how our favorite team – the UT Volunteers – performs in the Battle of Bristol vs. Va. Tech.  Along with the rest of the SEC and some favorites outside the conference including FSU and Oregon.  Have you ever looked for your favorite college football team via Usenet?  We found a number of teams and several conferences with newsgroups.

College football

Here are some of the college football teams and conferences we found with newsgroups.

College football team newsgroups:
– Alabama Crimson Tide – alabama.sports.alabama
– Auburn Tigers – alabama.sports.auburn
– Cincinnati Bearcats – uc.bearcats
– Florida Gators – alt.sports.football.college.fla-gators
– Florida State Seminoles – alt.sports.football.college.fsu-seminoles
– Kansas Jayhawks – alt.sports.college.big12.kansas
– Kentucky Wildcats – alt.sports.college.sec.kentucky
– LSU Tigers – alt.sports.college.lsu
– Michigan Wolverines – alt.sports.college.michigan
– NC State Wolfpack – alt.sports.college.nc-state
– Nebraska Cornhuskers – alt.sports.college.nebraska
– Northwestern Wildcats – alt.sports.college.big10.northwestern
– Notre Dame Fighting Irish – alt.sports.college.notre-dame
– Ohio State Buckeyes – alt.sports.college.ohio-state
– Purdue Boilermakers – alt.sports.college.big10.purdue
– Syracuse Orange – alt.sports.college.syracuse
– Tennessee Volunteers – alt.sports.college.sec.tennessee
– Texas Longhorns – alt.sports.college.utexas
– UCLA Bruins – alt.sports.college.pac10.ucla
– UNC Tar Heels – alt.sports.college.unc

College football conference newsgroups:
– ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) – alt.sports.college.acc
– Big 12 – alt.sports.college.big12
– Big East – alt.sports.college.big-east
– Big Ten – alt.sports.college.big10
– Conference USA – alt.sports.college.conference-usa
– Ivy League – alt.sports.college.ivy-league
– MWC (Mountain West Conference) – alt.sports.college.mwc
– PAC 10 (Pacific 10 Conference) – alt.sports.college.pac-10
– SEC (Southeastern Conference) – alt.sports.college.sec
– WAC (Western Atlantic Conference) – alt.sports.college.wac

Let us know as you find more teams and we’ll gladly add them to the list.  Enjoy the 2016 football season!

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Including the latest provider updates, free trials and special offers.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest Usenet news.

Usenet Traffic Shaping : Does Your ISP Throttle Newsgroups?

Most of us have had speed issues while downloading from newsgroups at one time or another.  At times it can be issues with the Usenet provider. Other times it’s something completely different.  With Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) throttling newsgroup traffic.  Why would your ISP use traffic shaping?  To save on network resources.  How can you find out if your being throttled?  The Glasnot Test can help you see if your ISP is throttling Usenet (NNTP) traffic.  If they are you can try alternate ports or a VPN to help speed things up.

If you find that your ISP is throttling Usenet traffic there are steps you can take to increase download speeds.  The first being to check with your newsgroup service.  The support area of their website is a good place to start.  As a lot of Usenet providers will offer alternate ports.  The reason being that ISP’s will throttle traffic based on port.  In the case of newsgroups (NNTP) traffic the default ports are 119 (non-secure) and 563 (SSL).  Changing port numbers can help you get around the issue.  See our alternate ports table for more details.

The other option to help avoid ISP throttling is to use a VPN.  When you connect to a VPN server it will encrypt all your data.  You’re ISP won’t know what you’re doing on the VPN network.  They can’t see that you’re connecting to a news server.  So they have no way to throttle the NNTP traffic.  While they could technically throttle VPN traffic that wouldn’t be in their best interest since so many customers use VPN’s for work purposes.  Their are a number of options out there.  Two of our favorites are IPVanish and Private Internet Access.

April Fool’s Day Usenet Hoax : Kremvax Hoax

On April 1, 1984 Piet Beertema posted that the Soviet Union was going to join Usenet.  The post was to have come from Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko.  The Kremlin Usenet site was to be named Kremvax.  Year’s later Vadim Antonov had a subdomain placed on the first legitimate Soviet Usenet site – kremvax.demos.su showing that the April Fools’ Day prank had a lasting impact.


Here is the original post in the eunet.politics newsgroup.  Archived in Google Groups.

Well, today, 840401, this is at last the Socialist Union of Soviet
Republics joining the Usenet network and saying hallo to everybody.

One reason for us to join this network has been to have a means of having an open discussion forum with the American and European people and making clear to them our strong efforts towards attaining peaceful coexistence between the people of the Soviet Union and those of the United States and Europe.

We have been informed that on this network many people have given strong anti-Russian opinions, but we believe they have been misguided by their leaders, especially the American administration, who is seeking for war and domination of the world.

By well informing those people from our side we hope to have a possibility
to make clear to them our intentions and ideas.

Some of those in the Western world, who believe in the truth of what we
say have made possible our entry on this network; to them we are very grateful. We hereby invite you to freely give your comments and opinions.

Here are the data for our backbone site:

Name: moskvax
Organization: Moscow Institute for International Affairs
Contact: K. Chernenko
Phone: +7 095 840401
Postal-Address: Moscow, Soviet Union
Electronic-Address: mcvax!moskvax!kremvax!chernenko
News: mcvax kremvax kgbvax
Mail: mcvax kremvax kgbvax

And now, let’s open a flask of Vodka and have a drink on our entry on
this network. So:


K. Chernenko, Moscow, USSR

For more details on the post and reactions visit the author (Mr. Beertema’s) Kremvax hoax page.

Frustrated Slashdotters Go Back to Usenet

You might already know about Slashdot, a website that’s been a gathering place for techies, nerds, and privacy aficionados since the late 1990s when Rob “Cmdr Taco” Malda first got the site running.  It developed a strong community following, whose comments and conversations on the tail of posted news articles often topped hundreds of posts.  Slashdot was never the first site to post the news, but the comments were – and are – sometimes so much so that the concept of not RTFA (not reading the F’ing Article) became an inside joke.

Slashdot was sold at least twice: once to Sourceforge and again in 2013 to Dice.com.  But Dice has struggled to figure out how to make Slashdot profitable for them, and in hopes of generating more ad revenue has begun rolling out a new version (still in beta stage) of an interface that to some might look more modern, but to the Slashdot faithful looks like the end of the world.  It wastes screenspace and destroys the much-loved (yet often derided) commenting, karma, and moderation system.  In sum, it makes the site no longer worth visiting.

So where do angry Slashdotters go when they want to discuss techie news?  Usenet.

Newsgroup Hierarchy

That’s right, comp.misc is where a lot of them wound up, and this formerly somewhat-defunct newsgroup is again a wellspring of insightful commentary, careful, technical rebuttals, and on top of that, a sigh of relief (or is it nostalgia?) for Usenet.  “It’s been ages since I followed-up on a news article,” said one.  “May this be the beginning of an Eternal February,” said another.

Usenet has always been there, of course.  And its strengths – distribution of the network, open access through your choice of NSP, absolutely no censorship, and total, absolute ownership by the community instead of by a corporation – remain as useful and essential in 2014 as they were in 1994 and earlier!

Come visit us on comp.misc and see what all the celebration is about.

I’d like to thank Randall Wood for contributing this post.  Along with being a fan of Usenet, Randy is the author of The Dictator’s Handbook.  I read a lot of books but don’t make it cover to cover on many of them.  The Dictator’s Handbook is an exception.  You can learn more about Randy and his writing at www.therandymon.com.

Using SSL and Personal VPN To Secure Usenet Access

Today we’d like to share some tips to help secure your privacy while accessing Usenet.  Along with browsing the web and other applications.  We get questions all the time from users who want to secure their connections.  Most of them are familiar with the term SSL from secure online transactions.  Yet they might not have experience configuring a newsreader for SSL.  We will explain the process.  Along with the advantages of personal VPN’s.

Secure Usenet access

Let’s start by answering a couple of questions in regard to SSL.

  • What is SSL and why would I want to use it?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer.  We all use SSL for tasks like shopping online and accessing bank, credit card or other financial services.  Why not take advantage of the same encryption to secure your Usenet connection.

  • Why do I need secure Usenet access?

We won’t call it a ‘need’ but it is certainly our preference to secure our data online.  Including user name and password.  In addition SSL can help prevent the hassle of ISP bandwidth throttling and deep packet inspection.

Tip #1 – Find a Usenet Provider with SSL and Alternate Ports

In conjunction with SSL, alternate ports will help in securing your Usenet connection while minimizing the risk of poor performance from ISP throttling.  Instead of using the port your ISP expects for secure Usenet traffic some providers offer alternate ports.  While most Usenet services offer SSL encryption you have to look closer to see if alternate ports are available. We provide a table of alternate news server ports on NGR to help.

Here are a few leading Usenet providers that offer alternate ports:

Tip #2 – Configure Your Newsreader for SSL Usenet Access

Assuming you found a good Usenet provider with SSL access its time to configure your newsreader for secure access.  We will demonstrate with a couple of examples.  First with Newshosting using their new Usenet client.  Then again with UseNetServer using Newsbin Pro.

  • Configuring SSL with Newshosting and the new Newshosting Usenet client

If you haven’t had a chance to try the new Newshosting client they are currently offering a 14 day free trial.  Once downloaded you simply launch the newsreader.  Entering in your username and password credentials.  Next click on OptionsSettings and choose the Connection tab.  Here is the resulting screen:

The process couldn’t be much easier.  As you don’t even need the news server address to access via the Newshosting newsreader.  You’ll notice an option at the bottom of the screen labeled ‘Prefer SSL connections if available‘.  Simply check the box.  Then choose your desired port.  The default SSL port for Usenet is 563.  For most this is fine but we highly recommend using port 443.  As port 443 is the same port secure web traffic passes over.  Not much chance your ISP will want to mess with traffic on port 443.

  • Configuring SSL with UseNetServer and Newsbin Pro newsreader

This is more of the traditional process for those who have their own Usenet client.  We use UseNetServer for this example since they rank #1 on NGR and offer $10 unlimited Usenet access.  Along with our top rated newsreader – Newsbin Pro which offers a free trial download.

After opening Newsbin Pro click on OptionsServers.  Choose the server you entered during setup or add a new service.  Either way the news server address for SSL access to UNS is secure.usenetserver.com – enter it into the Server Address field as shown below.

Just under the Server Address box you’ll notice an option for ‘Use SSL – Encrypted Connections‘.  Check the box and then enter a port number.  Again the default SSL port for NNTP is 563.  For best performance (to deter ISP traffic tampering) we suggest you use port 443.

Tip #3 – Consider a Personal VPN Service

Our final tip goes well beyond Usenet.  As we believe that all your online activities should be private and secure.  We’re not advocating bad behavior either.  We just believe that what you do online is your business.  If you choose to tell everyone about it on Facebook that’s one thing.  However, if you want privacy then a VPN will help.

For full disclosure we’d like to point out that in addition to NGR we manage a VPN review site – vpnsp.com – where we’re working hard to build up a complete resource for those seeking VPN access.  Nearly two years into the project we feel good about it’s progress and are happy to share VPNSP with our readers.

Personal VPN’s offer a number of advantages.  Here’s are a few examples of how VPN access might help you:

  • Secure Wi-Fi access – always protect yourself on open networks!
  • Secure Internet access, email, Skype, VoIP, etc.
  • Anonymous Internet access – protect your personal information from sites that profile visitors
  • Help decrease the chance of your ISP throttling traffic
  • Don’t allow others to track you by your IP address
  • Enjoy familiar content while traveling – Netflix, Hulu. YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, etc.

Just like Usenet providers, personal VPN services are not all created equal.  There are a number of factors to consider when comparing VPN providers.  Before purchasing an account consider these features:

  • Don’t overpay.  Just like anything else the most expensive providers aren’t always the best.  You can easily find quality VPN access for under $10 a month.  With annual plans as low as $6 a month – VPN specials
  • Does the service offer unlimited VPN? – as many Usenet fans will want unlimited usage.
  • How large is the VPN provider’s network?  How many countries does it span?  How many total servers?  How many total IP addresses?
  • Total IP addresses is very important.  While most smaller services don’t advertise the number, leading services like IPVanishHide My Ass, OverPlay andgladly share this information.  Think of IP’s as the number of seats a VPN service has open.  If those seats fill you can’t connect.
  • Look for a service that supports OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP protocols.  OpenVPN will provide the best security while L2TP/IPSec and PPTP will extend compatibility to iOS and Android devices.
  • If you want to secure your entire home network with one VPN account look for a service that supports DD-WRT routers.

Here are a few leading personal VPN services to consider:

We hope you’ve found our tips for helping secure your Usenet access with SSL and VPN useful.  For more information on secure Usenet access visit Newsgroup Reviews.  For those who would like to learn more about VPN visit our VPN Service Providers review site.  Follow us on Twitter – @NewsgroupRevs and @VPNSP for the latest Usenet and VPN news along with special promotions.

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.

2013 Usenet Guide : Search Engines

In the last couple weeks we’ve covered the basics along with newsreader setup.  Now we’ll dive a little deeper and look at how to find content.  The mystery that can confuse and frustrate many users as they start to use newsgroups.  If you’re downloading headers to find content then props for the old school technique but there are often easier ways.  Today we’ll take a look at Usenet clients with built-in search engines and some NZB sites.

Usenet Clients with Built-In Search

We’ll start by looking at the capabilities of the popular Newshosting client.  It is offered free of charge to members.  With their current special you can enjoy unlimited Usenet and full access to their client for $9.99 a month.  It’s not just the price though.  The Newshosting client includes a number of advanced features that make finding content easier.  Along with a new auto-search feature that will grab new content as soon as it hits.

Newshosting search engine

We can never get enough Ubuntu distros.  As you can see above we searched for the term Ubuntu inside the Newshosting client.  In turn it brought back all the results that matched our query.  From there we narrowed the search by filtering the results to just include ISO images.  Other options include video, audio and software.  You can use the newsreader to search, preview, download and repair your favorite content.

The most exciting feature was just recently released.  With the introduction of a new auto-search.

Newshosting auto search

With auto-search you can set up the Newshosting client to watch for content.  We’re using Ubuntu as our sample query.  In this case we set the engine to look for anything that matched our query with some additional filters.  The search was set to be valid from April 30th until May 7th.  We could have set a much larger scope but went small for our sample.  The file size was set to between 800 MB and 1 GB to narrow the results.

You have some additional choices.  We told the client to “Only show results”.  Letting us choose whether or not to download the content.  Let’s say you want the latest edition of your favorite podcast to download as soon as it hits Usenet.  If so you’ll want to set auto-search to either “Download one search result”” or “Download all search results”.  You can test out the settings and choose a different option for each search.

Newshosting isn’t the only client with advanced search features.  Other premium clients like Newsbin Pro and NewsLeecher also have built-in engines.  You will incur some additional cost with either of those options.  The price is around $2-$3 a month for search.  Newsbin calls their feature Internet Search and NewsLeecher calls theirs SuperSearch.  Both clients recently rolled out auto-search features as well.

Using NZB Sites and Search Engines

Now a days we’re seeing more and more users shift to search inside of clients.  In the past that wasn’t the case.  With popular sites like Newzbin and Nzbmatrix.  Where a community of users would share comments on their favorite posts.  Unfortunately both of those sites closed in late 2012.  There are several new sites looking to fill the void.  We keep a list of NZB sites with open registration to help you get started.

Along with NZB sites there are also automated search engines.  Our favorite is Binsearch.  We’ve recommended the site for years.  It has a simple design and easy to use interface.  For us though nothing can beat the convenience of searching from within the newsreader.  The additional step of using an outside site was useful when a community provided good comments.  That might be the case again as some new sites grow.

Next week we’ll cover mobile access to newsgroups.  With some of our favorite iOS and Android Usenet apps.

2013 Usenet Guide : Client Setup

Last week we started our series of Usenet guides with the basics.  Looking at providers that offer either a web interface or custom Usenet clients.  Now we’re going to dive into some of the best premium newsreaders on the market.  Including Newsbin Pro and NewsLeecher.  In this guide we’ll walk you through setting up a client to connect to multiple Usenet providers (primary and fill) and show you how to configure alternate ports.

News Server Setup – Primary and Fill

Newsbin has been one of our favorite Usenet browsers longer than NewsgroupReviews has been around.  They are constantly adding new features and tweaking the UI to enhance the experience.  We use Newsbin with a UseNetServer account ($10 a month unlimited) plus an Astraweb block (180 GB for $25) for fills.  This combination has worked well over the years.  Let’s take a look at how to set up connections to both providers.

We’ll start with our primary service which is UseNetServer:

Newsbin primary server

We did a couple things for this demo.  First the username shows NewsgroupReviews.  That’s not our real account.  We also zeroed out the usage stats.  In hindsight I wish we hadn’t.  It would show that we’ve used lots of UNS and very little Astraweb.  The Astraweb block is just for fills.  When needed its great to have but that isn’t often.  To get started click on the Add or Edit Servers icon at the top of the Newsbin screen.

You’ll now see a screen similar to ours above.  Except you won’t have any servers listed yet.  Go ahead and click on New Server at the bottom.  From there give the server a name.  We went with UNS.  Now enter in the servers address.  If you’re not sure of the news server address it should be in your welcome email.  Next enter your username and password.  We suggest you enable SSL and change to port 443.

An important note on the SSL and port set up.  First you don’t have to enable SSL but we strongly suggest encryption for all online activities.  The port is also optional and dependent on your provider.  The default ports are 563 for SSL and 119 for standard connections.  A lot of the major providers allow you to set alternate port numbers.  This can help if your ISP throttles.  We use port 443.  The same port used for secure websites.

Now we’ll show you how we set up Astraweb as a fill server:

Newsbin fill server

Again you’ll want to click on New Server at the bottom.  Then give the server a name.  We chose Astra to signify Astraweb.  Next you’ll enter the news server address.  Note that sometimes the server address depends on whether or not you are connecting using SSL.  This is a common mistake users make.  If you choose incorrectly just take a close look at the addresses available and choose the appropriate one.  Along with port number.

Other than news server address, username and password the only difference between our UNS and Astraweb setup is one check box.  You’ll want to check the box beside Fill Server for your secondary block.  This will tell Newsbin only to use the account if no other server in your list has the post.  In our case is UseNetServer is missing a post then Newsbin will try to pick it up from Astraweb.  Not necessary but it can help.

We’ve also seen users set up the multiple servers for the same provider.  We’ve done it.  For example Astraweb use to experience the occasional slow downs on the weekends.  It didn’t always apply to both their server farms.  So users would configure multiple servers.  One connecting to their server farm in the United States and a second to connect to their server farm in Europe.  You can get creative when setting up multiple servers.

NewsLeecher has a similar features called server priority.  Here’s a guide on setting it up for the same results.  I hope our tutorial will help you enjoy Usenet to it’s fullest.  Whether you use newsgroups for work or play we know they can be confusing to set up.  Next week we’ll look at some of the best methods for finding content.

2013 Usenet Guide for Beginners

Welcome to the first post in our series of Usenet guides.  Rather than create one large guide with something for everyone we’ve decided to split things up.  With helpful tips for beginners, intermediate and advanced users.  Today we’re focusing on beginners.  Those who haven’t used newsgroups in the past or want the easiest solution.  In the weeks to come we’ll add more guides to enhance your Usenet experience.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at the first steps for beginner’s to get started using newsgroups.

Web vs. Classic (NNTP) Usenet Access

First you’ll want to find a good Usenet provider.  Think of them the same way you would your ISP.  Except that they provide access to Usenet.  Just like ISP’s some are faster and more reliable than others.  There are also differences in technology.  Namely the way you connect to newsgroups.  Either through your web browser or with Usenet client software.  Let’s take a closer look at both options to see which one best fits your needs.

  • Web Usenet – with a web Usenet service like Easynews you can access newsgroups through your web browser.  Their web interface allows you to search for content, preview and download directly from your browser.  Many beginners find this easier than configuring a Usenet client and utilities.
  • Classic (NNTP) Usenet – as users gain experience in Usenet many of them want to control their own Usenet client and add-ons.  If you fall into that category then an NNTP service is a better fit.  With the flexibility of letting you choose a client and add-ons.  Some providers include newsreader software.

Who Provides Web Usenet Access?

When it comes to web Usenet Easynews is the best choice.  They provide the only full featured web interface.  Along with iOS and Android apps.  You can search through years of Usenet posts.  Then preview and download content without installing a newsreader.  If you think using a web browser might be for you but aren’t quite sure then take advantage of Easynews free trial.  You can test their service and web interface free for 14 days.

Easynews web interface

Which Service is Best for NNTP Access?

If you want more flexibility to use traditional Usenet clients then NNTP is the answer.  You won’t see the term NNTP used on every site.  Just know that if it isn’t Easynews then you’ll likely need a newsreader.  There are a few services like Newshosting and NewsDemon that provide the option of a free client.  We’re especially fond of the Newshoting client with built-in search engine.  It’s included with unlimited Usenet for $9.99 a month.

Newshosting client

There are several other options for NNTP access to newsgroups.  Some of our other favorites include UseNetServer, Astraweb, Thundernews and NewsgroupDirect.  When comparing each service take a look at retention, usage (unlimited vs. block) and additional features.  For example UseNetServer has a feature called UNS Global Search that helps users find content without the need for an NZB site or client engine.

Visit our main Newsgroup Reviews site to compare leading Usenet providers and find the best prices.  In next weeks guide we’ll cover custom newsreaders like Newsbin Pro and NewsLeecher.  Walking you through the process of setting up a news server connections, alternate ports and some advanced features.