Usenet is one of the most secure and biggest file sharing platforms. Unfortunately, even many users of Torrents are unfamiliar with Usenet. This is a decentralized message distribution network that has been around since long before the web was established. In the beginning it was limited, and all that could be posted were text messages. As Usenet started to grow, the ability to post files was developed and since then the growth rate has been tremendous and survived decades.
There are 65 million new uploads daily, and billions of files on Usenet. A good description of Usenet is a collection of newsgroups. These are basically category or folder listings, and newsgroups are all tagged according to the subject they belong to. The reason for this is so additional options besides a search engine can be used for locating interesting files. A good example would be an individual with an interest in car racing. If this user conducted a search for racing, the Classic in Monaco 1969 file would be completely missed.
When files are browsed according to the alt, binaries, multimedia, autos, racing newsgroup list, all relevant files are revealed to the user. There are more than 100,000 newsgroups available in Usenet, and every conceivable subject has been covered. The biggest newsgroups always begin with alt.binaries to signify this newsgroup is just for files. Alt binaries collect binary files including movies, audio files and pictures. Applications enabling the users to look through the alt binaries are called newsreaders. The newsreaders additionally allow users to decode binary files, and many are either freeware or shareware.
Just like with most platforms, a type of special software referred to as a newsgroup reader is necessary to access Usenet. Some of the most popular software packages included by Usenet providers are News Rover and Newsbin. These are excellent apps to begin with, and are included with the accounts. The apps provide the users with built-in capabilities to conduct searches encompassing billions of Usenet files, and these files can be easily downloaded. An account is required for the user to have access to the global network. There are numerous independent Usenet providers offering accounts with options from free small accounts to plans with a wide variety of benefits priced at approximately thirty dollars a month. Usenet Storm and Giganews are considered to have the best overall packages available.
When an individual first looks at Usenet, they do not understand why a large number of individuals are happy to pay for platform access when platforms such as Torrents are free. This is because Torrents does not have several of Usenet’s unique advantages. The speed of Usenet exceeds Torrents, and reaches 3 Gpbs, provided the user’s internet connection can handle that much speed. Usenet additionally does not require any uploading because it was originally created as a medium for global discussions. Despite these benefits, what most users feel is most important is that Usenet access is both encrypted and anonymous. The level of encryption is even the same as what is used in online banking.
Sometimes new users are intimidated by Usenet related terms, but it is not anywhere near as difficult as it may appear. If the platform were not relatively simple to use, the yearly growth rate would not be so astronomical. Once Usenet is discovered, people can use a portion of the internet they were never aware existed. The best way to begin is to become familiar with Usenet basics.
Usenet offers an enormous amount of content, and the most popular downloads on the Internet are generally available first on Usenet. The downloads run at very fast speeds, and far outpace Torrents. Somehow Usenet developed a reputation for being hard to get into, and therefore so many people have never tried the service. This reputation is not fair since Usenet is not difficult to use.
The first step in using the platform is to choose a Usenet service. The un-throttled, unlimited access begins at roughly fifteen dollars each month. This includes all the content in the alt.binaries, and a lot of storage and bandwidth. For individuals not yet certain they will remain with Usenet, a few gigabytes of access can be purchased with a one-off download pass.
There are specifics the user should be looking for prior to choosing a Usenet provider. It is important to note that most major providers are reputable, and their offers are comparable. The word retention is common due to the massive volume of content. Every once in a while, the content must be cleared so there is a limited lifespan to the files. The term retentions simply refers to the length of time a provider is financially able to keep uploads. The longer they keep them, the more files the provider can offer. The minimum retention a user should settle for is 300 days. The providers also advertise the number of parallel connections permitted on their servers at the same time, which only effects speed if you are accessing from a very remote location and the data has to travel a long way.
There are limits to the downloads. Each provider has a monthly limit according to the plan. This limit is chosen by the user when they select their plan. Some users require 10GB per month, others need more, and some use less. The biggest difference between providers are the server settings, and these are provided to the users after sign-up. The downloads available are nearly identical despite which provider the user has chosen.
It is important to understand that Usenet binaries have a fairly low size limit. This means any content with a larger size such as software or movies must be divided into small pieces. The process is similar to rejoining certain content downloaded from Torrents because this content originated with Usenet, and the limit is roughly 20MB. A lot of e-mail clients do not have the capability of supporting the type of file downloading used by Usenet. There is free cross-platform software available called SABnzbd. There are additional free options, and Mac OS users may be interested in the GUI version of Hellanzb. Alt.binz may work for Windows users, but SABnzbd is an excellent choice. SABnzbd uses a local web interface, so users will be comfortable accessing from their web browser, even though access is limited to downloading with NZB’s.
Once the user has access to Usenet, it is time to get started, and find those incredibly sweet files. Usenet is enormous and has been described as an incomprehensible mess. For this reason, the NZB standard emerged to help users find what they are looking for. There are a lot of similarities between torrent files and NZB’s. They function like a small pointer, and have all the necessary information regarding the various scattered pieces of the download the user is interested in. This means clients such as SABnzbd have everything required to make the download appear completely seamless to the user. When the user is downloading NZB’s from websites, they are exploring NZB’s indexes. This will require the user to have a good search engine.
Many users believe Newzbin is the best search engine because it came from the inventors of the format used by NZB. Unfortunately, at this time it is only available through an invite and is a paid service. There are good free alternatives for users including NZBIndex.nl and Binsearch. All of these search engines can successfully index the newsgroups, although learning how to search will take a little bit of practice. Once the user learns how everything works, and understands how searches are conducted, the process will suddenly seem easy.
Once the user has located their NZB, it can be downloaded directly into the Watch directory that was set in the configuration for SABnzbd. The user can also download nearly anywhere, and simply use the program’s homepage for SABnzbd to select Add File at another time. Once this has been accomplished, the user needs to look at their SABnzbd queue. This will enable the user to see what is being downloaded, and what is waiting in the queue. Most new users are astonished at the speed of the downloads. If the files do not started downloading immediately, the server settings should be checked by the user. Sometimes the default port can be blocked by Internet Providers, and the user simply needs to choose a different port. Two of the most common ports are 1818 and 8080, and they are fast and easy to change.
All the complicated extracting and rejoining is done for the user by SABnzbd, making the process simple and easy. Once the download has been completed, the user is left with the assembled file in their designated download folder. All that is left to do is watch the movie, run the file, or listen to the download. Usenet enables the user to choose what they want from a vast amount of files.
There are additional options available to provide SABnzbd with extra power. For users interested in these features, one of the developers of the app provided a great thread on SomethingAwful. Almost every conceivable support question can also be answered using the SABnzbd wiki.