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. Now Supports 800 Days of Binary Retention

Last week we wrote about Binsearch supporting 1,100 days of retention.  Now we’d like to change the focus to their sister site – which has increased their supported binary retention to 800 days.  The relevance based Usenet search engine is quite fast and does a great job of presenting quality results.  We recommend to anyone looking for Usenet content within the last 800 days.  Which is over two years of binary newsgroup articles.  For more than 800 days of retention head on over to

For those who haven’t tried yet you should definitely give the site a try.  Their is no cost.  The free Usenet search engine presents results based on relevance and currently indexes some 3,000 groups.  With a two hour delay before newly posted content is available in the search results.  With over 800 days of binaries, a very simple interface and fast, reliable results we really enjoy using

For those interested in the $9.95 unlimited Usenet offer presented in the screenshot above here’s a link to the promotion from Easynews.

Binreader Usenet Client for Windows, Mac, Linux

We recently had the opportunity to test a new NZB downloader.  The Binreader Usenet client is currently in beta.  The new reader is free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux with an Android version coming soon.  The beta is currently available to download at

We took particular interest in the portable version of Binreader.  It is a Windows download that requires no installation.  Simply load the files on thumbdrive and run it from anywhere, very cool!  In addition the Binreader NZB client is available for Windows, Mac OS X (requires mplayer for streaming downloads), and Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Debian Linux versions.  With an Android newsreader in the works.

Their are a few key features that help Binreader stand out.  First in the simplicity of using the client.  We’ll demonstrate in a moment but it is the easiest newsreader we’ve used in quite a while.  It has one simple purpose.  Download and stream NZB files.  A function it performs very well.

Binreader includes some premium newsreader features.  Especially considering it is free.  First the client let’s you stream content while downloading.  It also extracts RAR files and does PAR repair automatically.  Even better it will pause the PAR files and only download them if necessary.  Now let’s take a look at the reader.

The first step is to download Binreader.  In our case we chose the Windows portable version and loaded it on thumbdrive.  No install, just pure Usenet goodness.

Next we copied the files to portable media and ran the Binreader executable to launch the client.  No installation required.

Before downloading the first time you will want to set the news server and account information for connecting to your Usenet provider.  Click the “Settings” button up top to get started.

Here you can set your news server, account and SSL settings.  We quickly entered our news server along with username and password.  Then came down and chose to run SSL via port 443.  Next you will want to click on the “Advanced” tab.

The first setting you will want to review is the maximum number of connections.  Binreader defaults to 4 but you can set it up to 50.  Tip: only use the minimum number of connections necessary to achieve your desired speed.  Any more wastes resources.  The next setting is great “Only download PAR2 repair blocks if post is incomplete“.  It is checked by default and will save you from downloading PAR files unless necessary.  The second option “Automatically repair downloads (using PAR2)” is equally important.  Let Binreader do the work for you.  While the third option isn’t checked by default the client will remove the files from the download list when finished if you like.  If not they are easy to clean up.

We left the RAR handling set to the default “Start extracting while you download”.  The download folder is important.  Especially if you decide to run Binreader off a thumbdrive like we did.  By default content is held in a downloads folder under the Binreader app folder.  This is easy to change.  For those using the reader in a normal setting the default is convenient.  We did not modify any of the other settings.  Now it was time to test some newsgroup downloads.  First we had to find a good NZB file for testing.  We headed over to to find a Ubuntu NZB.

After finding a good Ubuntu NZB we downloaded the file and went back to Binreader.  Clicking “Add NZB” and selecting the NZB file will automatically queue and start the download as shown below.

As you can see in the image the download immediately started and the PAR2 files are paused.  They are only downloaded if necessary to repair the archive.  In our case Unbuntu downloaded and was automatically extracted without any need for repair.

After the download is completed you can simply click the “Downloads” button at the top of the Binreader interface and find your content.  One other note, when deleting downloads from within the Binreader interface it will ask whether you want to delete just the entry or the associated files.  Make sure to click “No” if you only want the entries deleted.  The message is clear but we wouldn’t want anyone accidentally deleting their downloaded content.

Well that wraps up our review or Binreader.  We enjoyed the Usenet client and look forward to using the portable version while on travel.  Definitely download a free copy of Binreader and enjoy! Provides Relevance Based Usenet Search

We had the pleasure of testing out a new experimental Usenet search site tonight –  We enjoy using several Usenet search engines.  Binsearch, NGIndex and NZBsRus just to name a few but does things a bit differently. delivers search results based on relevancy.  See for yourself:

The site bill’s itself as the “World’s fastest NZB search engine” and we have to admit it’s pretty darn fast.  Our search for Ubuntu came back in about half a second. More importantly the results were accurate and relevant to our search.

Rather than sort search results by date, provides the best result on top based on several relevancy factors.  These factors include size of the file collection (50 MB minimum), completion (less than 5% damaged), inclusion of PAR2 files (under the same name as the main post) and bonus points for posts that include an NFO file.  Better yet does not allow posts with RAR passwords.

We look forward to following the progress and growth of the site.  Read our review to learn more or visit and see for yourself.