NewsLeecher Site and Client Validation Down

April 14, 2012 update – the Newsleecher homepage now shows a generic ‘Under Construction’ message.

April 13, 2012 update – earlier this month Newsleecher had issues with SuperSearch.  Today the site is down.

February 21, 2012 update – the Newsleecher site is currently down.  Right now the site is timing out.  This time around it appears the SuperSearch service is also unreachable.

Originally posted January 7, 2012 after the first Newsleecher outage.  Updates above for recurring downtime.

A few days ago we heard from a NewsLeecher user that the site was down for a short period of time.  We didn’t report it though since it appeared to be a short-term problem and all sites have technical issues now and then.  Today is worse though as users are reporting that not only the site is down but the newsreader is failing to work properly for some as the software key validation server isn’t responding.

Visiting the website returns a ‘Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)’ message.  We have been able to use NewsLeecher 5 beta 12 and SuperSearch features but understand some are having problems.  With the software reporting an error in response from the key validation server.  We’re not sure why some are having issues while others aren’t.  Perhaps NewsLeecher phones home at certain intervals.

Regardless of the reason behind the issue the outage points to a deeper challenge for software developers who choose to validate software keys on launch or at regular internals.  As in this case technical issues leave some users without access to the newsreader and SuperSearch service.

NewsLeecher has been one of our favorite Usenet clients over the years.  We admire the new features and pace of development over these last few months.  So we’re not changing our opinion of the software over this incident but also understand why some customers are frustrated by the outage.

NewsLeecher alternatives

Those having issues with their NewsLeecher client might consider these alternatives:

  • Newshosting offers unlimited Usenet with a client and Usenet search for $9.99 a month or $99 a year.
  • Newsbin Pro is another of our favorite newsreaders.  They offer an optional Usenet search service.
  • SABnzbd is an open source, web-based newsreader that runs as a web server with some cool add-ons.
  • Binreader is another great choice.  We enjoy running the Windows portable version from thumbdrive.

As we finish this post it looks like the site has been down for over four hours.  We hope the site and validation server access is restored soon.  For future issues it would also be nice if NewsLeecher had a way to notify customers of outages.  Either via a Twitter account or another domain would work nicely.  As NZBMatrix does a good job of posting any planned maintenance or outages on

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