Easynews Review : 2012 NGR Editors Choice

Congratulations to Easynews who recently earned a Newsgroup Reviews (NGR) 2012 Editors Choice award.  We’ve always enjoyed Easynews web Usenet access.  Even more so recently with all the cool new features.  Last year Easynews rolled out a new version of their popular web interface.  The new web interface is great for those new to Usenet.  As you can easily search newsgroups, download and stream content.  All from your favorite web browser.  In addition Easynews offers 3rd party apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android.  We’ll be covering both EZ Global Search and EZ Usenet in more detail later this week.

The picture above and one more to follow are from Easynews European data center in Amsterdam.  Just imagine the number of hard drives it takes to support the storage of a major Usenet provider.  Cheers to the Easynews team for letting us share these images with our readers.

Easynews is a veteran in the Usenet industry.  They offer both NNTP and web access.  The web interface is definitely their claim to fame.  With no one else coming close to competing with their web reader.  It puts Easynews in a unique position to help those new to Usenet.  As newsreader setup and additional tools can be a hassle depending on your level of technical experience.  With nothing more than a web browser you can use Easynews Global Search feature to find a topic of interest.  Then either preview, stream or use the Zip Manager and Auto Unrar / Auto Par features to simplify your Usenet experience.

If you haven’t had a chance to try the new web interface take advantage of Easynews 14 day free trial.  During the two week free trial period you’ll have full web access and can download up to 10 GB of content.  We think you’ll be quite pleased with the new features and faster search speeds.  Read our full page Easynews review to learn more about the service or sign up and enjoy the ease of downloading from newsgroups via the web.

Review of Easynews New Web Interface : Beta Release

October 4th update:

Easynews is starting to offer access to the new web interface beta.  To test it out for yourself simply sign up (including a free trial for new customers) and log in at https://members-beta.easynews.com/2.0/

Share your thoughts of the new interface – feedback (at) newsgroupreviews.com


Original post:

If you take a look at Easynews.com you’ll notice a new image in the mix.

The guys over at Easynews are getting ready to release a new web interface and were kind enough to give us some early hands-on time with the beta release.

Providers are often reluctant when it comes to reviewing beta releases.  Not in this case though.  Easynews seemed quite confident in the new interface.  After a few hours of use we understood why.  It was very easy to use and lacked the typical technical issues you come to expect from a beta.

Everyone uses terms like easy navigation, simple UI, etc. but the new Easynews interface is really well done.  You can tell a lot of effort went into this release.  It’s not just a tweak of the existing interface but a completely new experience for Easynews subscribers.  If you’re new to Usenet or prefer ease of use over installing and configuring a newsreader definitely check it out.

Easynews fans who like the existing web interface and global search have nothing to worry about.  We confirmed that Easynews is keeping the original design as-is and adding the new interface.  You will be able to easily switch back and forth at any time.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at the Easynews beta.

There are a few options at the top of the screen including Easyboost and Safe Mode.  Either can be toggled on and off.  We definitely suggest using Easyboost as the performance is greatly enhanced.

Moving on to the simplified search box:

You can choose whether to search for videos, audio files or images.  There is also a “find Groups” tab:

Here you can do a quick search for newsgroups containing certain keywords.  Searching across all groups or filtering based on content.

For those who want more options there is also an advanced search:

Use the advanced search to really narrow things down to help find just what you’re looking for with a full assortment of search, filter and display options.  For more details read our Easynews first look post from a couple weeks ago.

We decided to start our testing of the new beta with a video and chose “WoW cataclysm beta” for our search.

We had several videos returned.  As you can see from the example above there are sample images from the video along with a description of the file size, resolution, runtime, audio / video codecs, format and post details.

In case you want to see more samples before downloading Easynews offers a “Full Thumb” view.  We cropped it down to two rows but the results included five rows of images pulled from frames throughout the video.  Very cool feature!

We shared an audio result in our first look post but noticed a tweak in the interface.

Easynews has added some nice “Preview” and “Download” buttons to the interface along with all the audio file information.  The preview will give you a 15 second clip while the download will play the full audio file.

Last but not least we did an image search for Corvette:

Our Corvette search netted over 500 results.  While we’re showing a couple rows there were actually 50 thumbnail images per page.  Clicking on any picture takes you to the full screen version.

I hope you had as much fun reading our review as we did using the new Easynews web interface.  Check back as we will update the top of the post as soon as the public beta is released.  We’ve confirmed that all Easynews subscribers (existing and new) will have full access to the beta.  Those new to Easynews can sign up for a 14 day free trial to test drive the new web interface in the near future.