NZBMatrix Closed : Find Alternatives

The last thing we expected to see on NZBMatrix this morning was a notice titled “The End” explaining that NZBMatrix is calling it quits.   They closed the site for a number of reasons outlined in the announcement.  We wish their team the best in any future endeavors.  Just a few days ago we wrote about Newzbin2 closing and recommended some alternatives for searching Usenet.  Now we’ll share the same list for fans of NZBMatrix.

With the closure of so many Usenet indexing sites we’re starting to favor newsreaders with built-in search engines.  Newshosting is our favorite since they have a search feature built into their free client.  The client is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.  Newshosting offers unlimited Usenet access along with the free client for $9,99 a month or $99 a yearEasynews is another provider that offers all-in-one service..  Members use their web interface to search, preview and download.  Easynews offers new users a 14 day free trial.

You can also look to leading premium Usenet clients that offer search engines.  There’s some added cost for the software and search but they are convenient and easy to use.  Newsbin Pro and Newsleecher are two of our favorites.  Each has good Usenet search features with a cost of around $4 to $5 a month.

There are still some free search engines and indexing sites out there.  The list continues to shorten as more and more sites like NZBMatrix and Newzbin2 close.  You can still access Binsearch, and Nzbindex.

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

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.

NZBMatrix Site Down : Find Temporary Alternatives

November 28, 2011 – NZBMatrix is currently down.  Right now the site is timing out. shows the site is offline but doesn’t give a reason so we’re not sure how long they’ll down.  In the meantime here’s a list of alternative NZB sites to consider.  You can also sign up for the Newshosting $9.99 deal which includes the Newshosting Usenet client with built-in search.

November 21, 2011 – The NZBMatrix site is currently down.  Same ‘Database Server: Connection Error‘ as we’ve seen in the past.  Not likely a simple database fix given the recurrence.  Hopefully the NZBMatrix team will find a long-term solution.

November 19, 2011 – NZBMatrix was hit with a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack.  They are working through the issue and hope to have the site along with API and RSS bookmarks up soon.

November 15, 2011 – The NZBMatrix site is currently down.  Visitors are seeing a message stating ‘Database Server: Connection Error‘.   Hopefully they will have the site back up soon.

November 11, 2011 – The NZBMatrix site is currently down.  Visitors are seeing a message stating ‘Database Server: MySQL Connection Error: Too many connections‘.  Same issue they had earlier in the week.

November 9, 2011 – The NZBMatrix site is currently down.  Visitors are seeing a message stating ‘Database Server: MySQL Connection Error: Too many connections‘.  According to the site is offline as they look into the SQL issues.

November 1, 2011 update – Nzbmatrix is currently down as they work to transition to new servers.  So if you see the ‘Doing some upgrades, back soon… message don’t worry.  According to nzbmatrix,info the update should be complete sometime tomorrow.

October 7, 2011 – NZBMatrix is having some issues.  The message being displayed for users is “dbconn: mysql_connect: Host ‘’ is blocked because of many connection errors; unblock with ‘mysqladmin flush-hosts'”.  The site shows the current status as ‘issues’ with no ETA on the fix.

August 24, 2011 – NZBMatrix is currently down due to a fiber cut near their hosting provider.  All servers remain online so once the fiber is fixed the site will be back up.

July 1 ,2011 update: NZBMatrix experienced another outage today.  As we understand it was caused by their host performing emergency maintenance.  The site is back online but as of 5:30 PM EST NZBxxx is still down.

June 20, 2011 update: NZBMatrix is experiencing an outage.  Their service status page ( shows that all sites and services are “Offline” due to a router failure at the hosts site.  The fix is estimated to take an hour.  In the meantime here is a list of alternate NZB sites.

February 5, 2011 update: one of our favorite NZB sites – NZBMatrix – is down at the moment.  Their service status page ( shows the site as “Online” but is currently down.  We will let you know as any further updates are released.  In the meantime if you need an alternative Usenet search engine visit

NZBMatrix Target of Denial of Service (DDOS) Attack

NZBMatrix is working through the results of a denial of service (DDOS) attack.  There have been several such attacks this year in the Usenet space.  Something that we didn’t see much of prior to 2011.  We’re pleased to see is up and running.  They’re still working on the RSS and API bookmarks.  As always for the latest updates visit  We wish the NZBMatrix team the best as they recover from the DDOS attack.

The NZBMatrix team has been very busy lately.  Earlier this month they put in new servers to better handle the load.  Being popular has it’s advantages but also required more horsepower than the original single core servers could handle.  So they brought in new hardware.  The new servers have been performing well except for a nagging MySQL error.  The good news is the hardware can handle more connections.  The NZBMatrix team has been tweaking the database to allow for more users.  As a result this week saw fewer issues.

The denial of service attack is completely separate from the new hardware and associated issues.  It was outside of their control and is being dealt with.  We’re happy to see up and running with good performance.  The NZBMatrix team continues to be diligent in working to improve the site.  The results are showing as search results and overall site performance is much improved.

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Nzbmatrix Server Upgrades Completed

November 11 update: NZBMatrix has been down a few times since the new servers were put in place.  They appear to be having database issues.  With users receiving “Database Server: MySQL Connection Error: Too many connections” messages.  Here’s a list of Usenet search sites if you need a temporary alternative.  Also Newshosting offers unlimited Usenet and a free newsreader with built-in search for $9.99 a month.


Nzbmatrix has completed their recent site upgrade.  The update wasn’t a site redesign but rather new hardware to address performance issues.  As mentioned by the Nzbmatrix team their 6 year old single core servers weren’t up to the task anymore.  So they replaced them with new servers.  We tried a few searches and the site was very responsive.  It will be interesting to see how the site performs later as their traffic increases.

As always you can visit to see the current status for NZBMatrix and NZBxxx.  Along with their RSS feeds, API’s and payment gateways.  As you can see above all systems are go.  The next few days will be telling.  Our 10 minutes of testing went very well.  I’m sure the site was under less load than normal but the search results were nearly instantaneous.  Way to go guys!  Looks like the upgrades went smoothly.

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

Nzbmatrix Site Performance Update

November 21, 2011 update – Nzbmatrix has continued to have frequent outages since the new servers were put into place.  We’re hopeful they can work out the bugs soon.  In the meantime here’s are a few alternative NZB sites to consider.  You can also sign up for the Newshosting $9.99 deal which includes the Newshosting Usenet client with built-in search.

November 1, 2011 update – Nzbmatrix is currently down as they transition to new servers.  So if you see the ‘Doing some upgrades, back soon…’ message don’t get too concerned.  According to the migration should be complete sometime tomorrow.


It’s no surprise that Nzbmatrix has been experiencing performance issues over the last few months.  We’ve noted a few occasions this year when the Nzbmatrix site was down all together.  More often the site is just slow.  We were happy to see the performance update message recently on the homepage of

According to the site performance update:

We know you are all aware the site has been having some performance issues in the last few months.  We have worked to resolve these as best as possible within our current hardware setup.  Unfortunately the hardware is just not up to it, and our 6 year old single core servers with little RAM need to be replaced.  We placed a order for new hardware a few weeks ago, the hardware has arrived and is currently being setup.  We dont have an eta when the data will be moved to the new hardware but we will let you know.  For now the RSS Bookmarks are offline and we advidse you bookmark the service status page

We are very happy to hear that Nzbmatrix is adding new hardware.  Aside from the performance issues the Nzbmatrix site is definitely one of our favorites for searching Usenet.  The comments save so much time.  Those new to Nzbmatrix can try it free.  For higher retention and more features you can sign up for a premium account for $10.  The lifetime account is definitely worth the cost.  Especially after the performance issues are resolved.

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

Usenet Guide : Avoiding Password Protected RAR Files

Password protected RAR files are annoying to say the least.  We’re not going to say that 100% of the passworded files are spam but most certainly appear that way.  Or worse as many posts instruct the downloader to visit a site.  Enter survey information, join the site, accept certain offers, etc.  Not to mention the viruses and malware that can be attached.  For those reasons we choose to avoid password protected posts.

If you agree and would like to disregard passworded RAR files then read on as we’ll provide some tips for finding the passworded posts before downloading.  Saving you lots of time and bandwidth / Usenet account usage.  With an additional tip to help avoid RAR-in-RAR archives.

Step 1 – Mysterbin Advanced Search – No Password

You’ll want to start with a quality Usenet search site like Binsearch or Mysterbin.  In the case of Mysterbin you can choose whether or not to include password protected files in the search results.  Simply visit, click on the Advanced Search page and choose  “No Password”.

In addition you might want to check out Nzbmatrix as their members often post comments related to password protected posts.  The site is also a good source of information on the quality and usability of newsgroup posts.

Step 2 – Newsleecher Leech Tweaks – Pasworded RAR-in-RAR Archives

Those who gain from password protected RAR’s have found a way around the Usenet search engines blocking passworded posts.  To avoid detection they are including a non-passworded RAR archive with a password protected RAR inside.  Staying one step ahead of most nzb sites and newsreaders.  However the Newsleecher v5.0 beta 5+ (download) has a new RAR-in-RAR Archive feature.

To access the new feature click on Tools – Settings.  Then choose the Leech Tweaks under Download.  Here you have the option to pause downloads that include password protected RAR-in-RAR archives.  Some other useful tweaks above let you tell Newsleecher how to treat PAR files.  Choosing to “Auto Pause PAR Files” can save you even more bandwidth when repairs aren’t necessary.

Linux fans will also want to check out URD (Usenet Resource Downloader) as we understand the Usenet browser will automatically detect encrypted RAR’s and cancel the downloads when found.

We hope our guide will help you avoid password protected RAR archives.  If you’re having additional issues with performance or completion check out our list of top Usenet providers.  As not all Usenet services are created equal but you can find quality, unlimited Usenet access for under $10 a month.

Favorite Usenet Provider, Newsreader, Search Engine

A month ago we launched a few polls so visitors could vote for their favorite Usenet provider, newsreader and Usenet search engine.  The Usenet provider and newsreader polls were very close with no clear winner.  Nzbmatrix won big in the Usenet search poll.  Here is a breakdown of the most popular in each category.

Favorite Usenet Provider Poll Results:
Astraweb received 28% of the votes
Giganews received 24% of the votes
NewsDemon received 23% of the votes

Favorite Newsreader Poll Results:
Newsleecher received 17% of the votes
Alt.Binz received 17% of the votes
SABnzbd received 14% of the votes
GrabIt received 13% of the votes
Forte Agent received 12% of the votes
NewsBin Pro received 10% of the votes

Favorite Usenet Search Poll Results:
Nzbmatrix received 37% of the votes
Binsearch received 11% of the votes
Newzbin received 9% of the votes
Newzleech received 9% of the votes

Congratulations to the winners.  If your favorite service, software or search site missed the cut this time around stay tuned as we’ll be bringing more polls and interactive features to NewsgroupReviews in the near future.