What is Usenet?

Usenet is a worldwide network of online messages (called articles) that are organized into over 100,000 topic-specific groups (called newsgroups). These newsgroups, accessible through Usenet newsgroup providers like Easynews, Newshosting, and UsenetServer and our newest partners Pure Usenet, and XLned cover nearly every topic of interest imaginable. Users can subscribe to any and all newsgroups and read/post articles to them with other users worldwide. Once a post is made by a user, it is distributed to all other servers on the network for others to view.

There are two basic types of newsgroups: text newsgroups and binary newsgroups. Text newsgroups are discussion based and consist of text-only articles. Binary newsgroups are used to share larger binary posts like picture, audio and video files. The amount of time a post is available on a text or binary newsgroup is called retention. At some point, an article will expire to make room for newer posts. Most premium providers like Newshosting and UsenetServer support over 3000 days of binary content and even more for text content.

Both the amount of information available on Usenet as well as the number of users continues to grow at a staggering rate since its inception in 1979. Today, millions of users around the globe access Usenet which now has a total daily volume of new information exceeding 10 TB.

To get started with Usenet, you will need two things:
  1. A subscription to a Usenet newsgroup provider. This provides you access to the servers on which the newsgroups and their articles are hosted. You'll want to go with a premium provider like Easynews, Newshosting, UsenetServer, Pure Usenet, or XLned to ensure that you get fast and secure download speeds as well as high retention rates.
  2. A newsreader client. This acts as a user-interface between you and the Usenet servers. There are several options here, both free and subscription-based. We recommend Grabit and SABNZBD, both free. Newsbin Pro is another great newsreader that is available for a low, one-time fee.