Privacy is becoming increasingly important today. Especially when downloading files. Many people still use torrents. Usenet offers benefits that torrents do not have. What Usenet exactly is, what benefits it has and how you get started with it, is explained in this article.
Warning in advance: download legislation
Before we explain what Usenet is exactly, it is good to consider the download legislation. Where it used to be tolerated to download files from illegal sources for personal use, now a download ban applies. This means that it is punishable to download files that are copyrighted.
At this moment, the Stichting Brein copyright watchdog only focuses on the providers, but the expectation is that in the future film and music companies take action against downloaders themselves. For example, private individuals in Germany are already faced with lawyers and high fines. You download completely at your own risk.
What is Usenet: newsgroups
Usenet is a service that is available worldwide, on which you can exchange messages and articles. One person posts a message and another person can pick up this message at a later time. This platform works with so-called 'news groups' (news groups). All these groups together form the platform. Many different topics can be discussed on Usenet.
To use Usenet, you must use a provider, a provider. Sometimes such a provider is also called "news server" or "payserver". A certain amount of days of 'retention' applies to every provider. This is the number of days you can pick up a message or an item from the Usenet server.
Usenet not only discusses various topics, but sometimes also images, music and software are distributed. The intention is that this is content from a legal source, such as royalty-free music or freeware software.
Why Usenet? (Whats the use?)
The main question is of course: why Usenet? You may have heard of 'torrents'. These are rarely in the news: they are associated with piracy and malicious software. Via torrents, free, often illegal, content can be downloaded. That delivers a lot privacy issues because the files are also immediately shared with others. With Usenet, this obligation to share does not exist.
In addition, everything you download remains anonymous. In fact: files can be downloaded via an encrypted connection (SSL). All downloads are then 100 percent private.
Another advantage is that it download via newsgroups going very fast. Most Usenet providers have a high speed limit. Others have no limit at all. Often you are only tied to the standard download speed of your internet provider. Downloading via Usenet can therefore sometimes happen with many gigabytes per second.
How do you use Usenet?
Now that the benefits of Usenet are clear, it's time to explain how to connect to this platform and start downloading files and discussing with each other on a global platform. First of all it is important to select a Usenet provider.
Remember that Usenet is not a peer-to-peer service. You do not share with each other, but upload to a server. The providers of these servers can best be judged on the number of days of retention, how much data you can download each month, how many connections can be set up simultaneously and of course on security. For example, some providers charge an additional fee for the use of SSL.
Usenet credentials and browser
Once you have registered with a provider, you will receive the Usenet credentials. These consist of a username and password. Once you have registered, you will also receive an address to which you can connect.
You may be wondering where this information should be entered. This is done in a so-called 'Usenet browser'. Some services have their own browser (download program). There are both free and paid programs, each with their own benefits.
Log in via the Usenet browser, with the username and password that you received earlier. Also type the server address.
Now that everything is ready, it's time to start looking for content. Many Usenet browsers have a search bar, so you can search for content directly. This is a smart, fast way to find what you are looking for
The next step is to download the content. You do this in most browsers by double clicking on the file. You will encounter many files with random, almost unreadable names. These are files with encrypted information. You can decrypt this with a so-called NZB indexer.
Before you search for an NZB indexer, you must log in to your Usenet browser. NZB files are very similar to torrent files: you can download files in small parts with them. Anyone can download NZB files with a browser, but you need a server to actually download the underlying, packaged file.
Those looking for an NZB indexer have plenty of choice. There are several. Many of them are free and free to use. Others ask a small fee to be allowed to search for NZB files. A widely used free indexer is NZBGet, which is available for free for Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD and Android. Sometimes you have to create an account here and log in.
Once you have logged in to the indexer, you can search for files. Search for (copyright-free) films, music, software or whatever you are looking for. Download the NZB files that are the result of the search. You do this with most indexers by checking the files you want to download. It is also possible that the indexer shows download buttons. If you have downloaded the NZB files, you can open the file with your Usenet browser. Then the download starts and you have the desired file in no time.
You can also use search sites instead of indexers. For example, Binsearch. This is a free website that lets you search all Usenet servers. Search for a file and put a check next to the files you want to download. Click on 'Create NZB' and the file will be opened in your Usenet browser.