Merlins Portal Alternatives for Searching Usenet

Earlier this month Merlins Portal closed indefinitely.  You can visit to read the latest owners closing remarks.  In case the site goes completely dark here’s a link to the Merlins Portal closing letter.  In the last week we’ve received some emails asking us to recommend alternatives to Merlins Portal.  There are several options to choose from.  Visit our Usenet search section for a full list or read below for our top picks.

Top 5 Merlins Portal Alternatives

Here is our list of favorite Usenet search options:

1. Newshosting Usenet Client

Newshosting members can rely on the built-in Usenet search engine inside their popular Usenet client to find content.  The newsreader is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.  Search for content, preview videos before downloading, automatically repair files and unRAR.  The client is free to all Newshosting subscribers.  Enjoy unlimited Usenet access for $9.99 a month or $99 a  year.

2. Newsbin Pro Search

Newsbin Pro newsreader has an optional Internet search feature.  The Usenet search engine finds the best results from over 1,000 days of binary newsgroup content.  With an excellent user interface and filtering options.  The prices ranges from $2.50 to $5 a month.  Visit the Newsbin search page to learn more.  You can also download a free trial to test the client and search features.

3. Binsearch

Binsearch is our favorite website for conducting Usenet searches.  Their engine is built into the Newshosting client.  Those who aren’t Newshsoting members can also visit to search 1,100 days of binary posts across 400+ newsgroups.  You can also browse newsgroups, search contents of nfo files and filter results using Binsearch.

4. is operated by the same folks as Binsearch.  The difference is that the site is setup to provide the most relevant results across 800 days of binary retention.  Visit and try it out for yourself.  The engine looks at factors like file set size, PAR files and .NFO file inclusion to help determine relevance.  With the best search matches listed first.

5. NZBMatrix

NZBMatrix is one of our favorites.  They had some technical issues in months past but seem to be back at 100% now.  Visit to sign up for an account.  While you can use the site for free the real value comes in having a premium membership.  Search from 1,500 days of binaries.  Though at the time of writing this post Usenet providers only support around 1,350 days.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest deals.

Merlins Portal Closed Indefinitely

The once very popular community at Merlins Portal has certainly been through some ups and downs over the last couple years.  We weren’t along for the end of the ride but it sounds like things got pretty bad.  Now it appears the new owner of Merlins Portal is calling it quits.  Not to say there isn’t any hope since the site was revived once already.  Yet without m3rl1n it seems unlikely the site will ever return to the glory days of past.

In a moment we’ll post the message from SiD, the current owner of Merlins Portal.  Without any opinions of our own.  Since we weren’t around for the apparent implosion of the site it seems fitting to just share the outcome without comment.  Those looking for alternatives can compare several on our NZB sites page.  If you want immediate help finding Usenet content we suggest the Newshosting client with built-in search.

Here is the letter posted on the Merlins-Portal homepage from SiD:

This site is closed indefinitely.

Due to my failure to keep on top of things & monitor more what was going on & the failure of spinout as the working administrator & spinouts actions that forced many members away from the site because of his unprovoked behaviour & attacks since I took over the site back in February , refusal to add content to the members needs, refusal to add content relevant to an English site. Worse of all spinouts actions forcing off the site 2 of Usenet’s most prolific content gathers & the founder of the site robodog & m3rl1n & the fact I sat back an let it happen.

I was stupid, naive & foolish to think I could fill such large shoes as m3rl1ns. I was stupid, naive & foolish to put spinout in charge. I was stupid, naive & foolish to think members were loyal to the site & have found out now it is the person (m3rl1n) they were loyal too. Between myself & spinout in the last few months we have ruined a great Usenet institution & numbers fell from around 800 or more members online at any given point to less than a 50 & fell over 89 percent of our daily traffic for this a blame spinout who looked out for his own needs & not mine, other staff, the members or the site as a whole to the point the site is a shadow of its former self & after a lot of soul searching I see no point keeping a site going for a small handful of die hard members.

I will however thank whttrsh for his dedication as I am sure this must have been hard gathering content in the atmosphere created on the site. I will openly apologize to robodog & m3rl1n & those members spinout attacked & for sitting back & letting spinout carry on as he did & for undoing all the great work everyone had put in making this great institution. Advice to the Usenet community if you have spinout on your site do not allow him any position of power, like me you will regret it.

I had contacted m3rl1n to take the site back a few days ago but his reply is unrepeatable & really who can blame him after what has happened & my own failure to deal with the situation & take that spinouts version as true. One old staff member told me to be wary of my new administrator but once again it was my own failure to see & listen to what him & what was going on.

Ultimately it stops at my feet for it all going wrong & my own lack of time with a family of 4 young children & that said I am sorry whttrsh, robodog, m3rl1n, members & to all who were involved building this great Usenet institution & community & thank the people that made me feel welcome back in February. If anyone wish to take on the site I will give it too them as it was given to me & can contact me & I will respond in due course & I am very hopeful someone will come forward



Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news. Relaunched : Welcome Back Merlin

After months of the site being down and Merlins farewell letter we were very surprised to see Merlins Portal live again.  No better way to start the Fall than to welcome back Merlin.  The newly designed launched earlier this week.

No doubt it will take some time for Merlin’s to rebuild the NZB library.  With a community in the thousands including old and new members within the first few days the site should come back quickly.

Here is the message from Merlin regarding the sites return:

Welcome back to Merlins Portal

Welcome to the old but new merlins portal, due to so much demand and arm twisting I have rebuilt the site from scratch.
If your an old member come on in and join and catch up with old friends.

Merlins Portal is the same as always, NO information restricted, NO money required to use the site. FREE is FREE in our book.
New look same ethos, same principles & morals.
In the few days we have re opened we have took in 1000’s of new/old members & 1000’s of NZB files as we rebuild or NZB library.
Good reputation is why we succeeded before and why we will again and why 1000’s use us then and now.
Hopefully see you on the other side and not just as a guest

New and old members always welcome. You will have to re register.

To learn more and join the Merlins community visit

Merlins Portal Down – Merlins Farewell Letter

Like many others we miss Merlins Portal.  The site was more than just a place to find NZB files.  It was a social community where users would go to chat, listen to music, play games and of course grab the latest NZBs.  What happened?  We’ve read lots of theories around the Web over the last few weeks.  The server and/or database went belly up.  The site was hacked.  The Portal was forced to shut down.  Merlin took the donation money and ran for the hills.  So which is it?  Since none of us personally know Merlin we can’t say for sure.  Instead we have done our best to pull together the timeline and provide links to related discussions.  The end of our post includes Merlins farewell letter.

For those seeking alternatives to Merlins visit the Usenet search section of NGR.

The latest and perhaps last chapter of started around the first of May.  Discussions started on DSL Reports on May 4th with users asking why Merlins was down.  The site was to be down a couple hours for optimization.  After some downtime and MySQL errors site functionality was restored but with a hitch.  Merlins Portal came up without the last three months or so of NZB’s.  Not an optimal result but at least the site was up right?  Not for long.

After the data loss users started in with the normal questions.  What happened to the lost data?  Was there no backup performed?  We still don’t have that answer but it appears the issue went beyond just data loss as the site was never the same again. had issues and outages for the following few weeks until eventually the dreaded “Server not found” message was all that was left.  Users tried to email Merlin at both his portal and gmail addresses but both were dead.  What happened to Merlins Portal and to Merlin in those few short weeks?

This is where the farewell letter from Merlin comes in.  First let us say that we have no way to confirm its validity.  A number of NGR visitors directed us to the letter but since we don’t know Merlin we can’t validate the post.

Here is the Merlins farewell message posted on Cable Forum July 4th:

For The Record

Thought as always i would break the mold like most owners of a site that just vanish.

Most important thing and first thing is to say thankyou to all merlins portal staff past and present, mostly past as without them and there hard work in the early days merlins portal would not have became the site it did, the present site staff at time off going for there unselfish and dedicated work.

Reasons Why?
As zing mentioned above most of the reasons but the final nail was indeed the constant abuse daily for a service we all worked hard at to make it work, database was the major issue in the end and it finally went tits up after throwing massive amount of my own money, countless sleepless nights the decision had to be made to close it. This decison did not come lighlty and after much sole searching and a few chats with trusted friends and staff i let what has my baby go.

I put my life and sole and in the end almost put my marriage of 24 years at risk as did others into merlins portal for almost 5 years and it was time to move on.

In the final days i did transfer money from my own bank account and returned 100+ donations going back as far as six weeks but with all the expenses involved trying to save the site even i have limited personal funds but as a person i felt it was my duty to the members to return as many as i financially could, if i missed you i am sorry but the nature of how the site was financed to keep it free for the mass.

Merlins Portal was a unique site with some unique and fantastic members and i met some fantastic friends whom i will be catching up with sooner or later.

Yes i took 2/3 weeks out to clear my head as it hurt to close the site i loved so much and anyone that actually knew me would not deny me that.

Will i be opening a NZB site again? NO but i may join the new new site as a member and make myself known to Terminator, pnp spreader and co and may help and assist them if required or indeed if they want my help.

I hope this puts to bed the rumours i ran with the money (i wish) in fact the site owed me in the end and 1 month on i am still paying bills for the site but thankfully almost all taken care off now.

Owning and running merlins portal was a blast and will forever hold a special place with myself as will the majority of good members.

Assuming the message is legit we wish Merlin the best and hope he can enjoy life to its fullest.  The NZB site referenced in his letter appears to be  For more information on search sites or Usenet in general visit Newsgroup Reviews.