How to Use Usenet

Presenting: Usenet - What is Usenet?

If you haven’t heard of Usenet, all you really need to know is that it’s a fantastic way to download content. Usenet was developed back in the 70s for users to take part in discussion-based text groups. About a decade later, some clever users began to use Usenet to upload and download binary content with files, instead of words. This was a huge phenomenon because users could download file anonymously and quickly--a 2 hour video will take about 4 minutes to download on Usenet, while a torrented file (with a decent number of seeds and a high seed-to-leech ratio) will take about half an hour.

Usenet is better than Torrent

With Usenet I don't have to maintain a ratio, log in every X days, worry about minimum seed times, check whether a VPN is okay to use, or check client whitelists and find one that works for all my trackers.

  Usenet Torrents

Usenet is not peer-to-peer

Torrents are a form of distributed file sharing


high-speed Usenet server - Your download rates will be as fast as your Internet connection can handle

Dependent on other people sharing


No Logs

On Torrent your IP is made public, it appears on the network.


SSL encryption included

You need to use a VPN or a SOCKS5 proxy to secure your connection.

We think you’ll enjoy Usenet’s confidential and unmonitored downloads (that download faster than the fastest Torrent Trackers) and your high anonymity.

Usenet was such a huge hit that internet service providers (ISPs) included free Usenet access to encourage people to sign up for their internet accounts. It wasn’t until later that ISP conglomerates questioned why they needed to host space for Usenet’s confidential media, especially when they could track their customers’ internet usage on other web browsers and sell that data to marketing companies. They stopped including access to Usenet, saving lots of bandwidth costs in the process. In response, software entities like Newshosting and Easynews popped up to keep Usenet alive and support its servers. They alone recognized how no other system out there can handle the kind of load that Usenet deals with, deliver files as fast and securely, and work as flexibly. While access to Usenet does cost money, the plans are pretty cheap, and the benefits of using this platform compared to any other option are immense.

Choosing a Usenet Provider

Accessing Usenet will require a subscription, but it’s a small price to pay for the extremely fast downloads and secured privacy. And while there are many Usenet providers out there (and we’ve tried pretty much all of them), we find ourselves recommending Newshosting again and again.

Newshosting is our choice for the "Best Usenet of 2020"

Before we get into that, you’ll want to consider a few key terms:

Retention Rates - Retention is the length of time Usenet servers retain files. Some Usenet providers operate servers that store information for years on end. However, it’s important to check the type of retention advertise... Because files on Usenet are uploaded and downloaded into either binary or text files, you’ll often see a text retention number that is significantly higher than a binary retention number (since text takes up less space to store). To give you an idea of what you should look for, top providers usually provide binary retention rates of up to 4,200 days--and you really shouldn’t accept anything less than 1,000+ days of retention.

Security Features - Many Usenet providers offer free SSL encryption to secure your connections. This ensures that your ISP cannot track any of the content you download. Some providers also offer zero-log VPN access. This is an encryption tool that gives you an anonymous IP address every time you go online, not just when you download content. With it, you can rest assured that your Internet activity will never be tracked or shared with outside parties.

These security options can cost extra but they are absolutely worth it. We like Newshosting because it offers both zero-log VPN and SSL encryption for free.

Server Connections - Every Usenet provider caps the number of simultaneous server connections you can make at a single time through your account. This is relevant because most of the files you’ll download are split into parts. Your server will want to download those parts at the same time, as it’s often faster than downloading one file at a time. Thus, the number of connections you pay for is directly related to the number of files you can download at a give time. Nearly every provider offers 10+ concurrent connections and most people don’t need to use their full amount of connections. In the end, though, more connections often does translate to faster download rates.

Quotas/Monthly Transfers - This is the number of data you can download in a month (usually measured in GB). Unlimited transfers are almost always better, but if you’re looking to cut on costs, take the free trial nearly every Usenet provider offers, check your usage at the end, and determine what plan works best for your needs.

We recommend Newshosting for your Usenet provider. An extremely reputable tier-1 provider (i.e. it owns and operates its own software and servers in both the US and Europe), Newshosting includes free SSL encrypted downloads, free zero-log VPN availability, and a free newsreader for file search and file previewing before you decide to download. Several of their plans offer unlimited downloads at a very low price (FYI, we did some digging and found their best plan at its lowest price. Seriously, you won’t find this pricing anywhere else).

Newshosting offers unlimited Usenet + VPN from just $8.33 a month 

Another reason we recommend Newshosting is because of their easy-to-use newsreader, the Newshosting Usenet Browser. Every Usenet provider requires some kind of newsreader to actually make sense of the binary files you can download on Usenet. What’s nice about the Newshosting Usenet Browser is that it requires almost no setup and is much more integrated than other clients.

Getting Started with Newshosting’s Newsreader
  1. Download the Newshosting Newsgroup Reader from your account portal.
    Newshosting newsreader download

  2. You’ll be asked to select your operating system. After clicking on your system, your download will automatically begin.
    Get free newshosting newsreader

  3. Allow the download to make changes to your computer and then continue through to the Setup Wizard.

    newshosting setup

  4. After installing the Newshosting Newsreader, Finish and Launch the program.

  5. Log in with your account username and password and then start exploring Usenet.

    newshosting 2.6.3

Ready? Set. Search. Finding Content. Download!

Now you’re free to start downloading, watching, reading, and more with Usenet. Search your interests, see what users are currently uploading, and start downloading.

There are many ways to search for content on Usenet

Method 1 - Use the search option in Newshosting newsreader

Just input the name or keyword in the search facility provided.

newshosting 39 steps

Once you find something that you want (Results can be filtered by file type - video, audio, documents, ISO images, software and images), you can download and it will automatically be stored in a folder

Method 2 - Subscribe to Newsgroups and Browsing Usenet Headers

Each Usenet server hosts thousands of Newsgroups that receive new files daily. All you need to do, then, is subscribe to a Newsgroup. They have specific names, and those names help describe the kinds of posts you might find in that specific newsgroup.

newshosting newsreader newsgroup

Once you have newsgroups saved in your bookmarks you can begin browsing them and search through the list. The subject lines (Header) may already tell you a lot. You can also sort them into the types of files they contain: videos, audio, documents, ISO, software and images

newshosting newsreader newsgroups

You can download the files through the browser by clicking “Download” - You can also download a sample selection of content "Show Automatic Preview" to check them out.

newshosting newsreader show automatic preview

Method 3 - Finding NZBs

But actually it's too easy to miss a file you may be interested in because almost all the files uploaded have obfuscated file names.

Best obfuscated files are releases spread over multiple groups (with random filenames or not). Uploaders spread the parts across numerous groups. And sometimes each file has a different random name and goes to another group. With the help of the par2 files all those random filenames are automatically restored to its original name (obfuscated files being renamed as they download).

random name Releases spread over multiple groups

These files can only be accessed via the use of NZB files and Usenet indexers.

NZB is an XML-based file format. It is used to retrieve posts from Usenet servers. The easiest way to think about nzb files is with this analogy: .torrent files are to Torrent as .nzb files are to Usenet. The files contain no actual files, only information about where and from whom to download the files. Newshosting Newsreader can use the nzb file to find out what needs to be downloaded from Usenet servers.

To unscramble obfuscated files, you need Usenet indexers. These sites and reference forums let you search Usenet's content. These communities classify and index everything by category (theme). The do all the tricky work for you. It allows users to quickly and easily find anything posted on Usenet.

NZBs are the easiest and fastest way to compile releases spread over multiple groups (with random filenames or not). NZBs take those small parts and assemble them together to make a binary whole and usable in the appropriate format.

The top 5 Usenet indexers 

The only way to guarantee yourself as much content as possible is to delve deeper into private indexers that are the best at obfuscating their content.




TOP NZB indexer - How to grab your NZB File from NZBGeek?


NZBGeek is a Newznab based site

One year for $12 - You can pay through Bitcoin

Obfuscated files (Multiple Newsgroups with randon filenames)

Unlimited NZBGeek API

Unlimited NZB

NZB Uploader - Great quality of releases


Best NZB Index - nzbplanet_net

NZBPlanet is one of the most renowned NZB sites


NZBPlanet is a Newznab based site

One year for $9 - You can pay through Bitcoin

Obfuscated files (Multiple Newsgroups with randon filenames)

5000 API Hits

Unlimited NZB

NZB Uploader - Great quality of releases



Excellent choice of indexer for NZBs


NZBFinder is a nzedb based site

One year for 10 € - You can pay through Bitcoin

Obfuscated files (Multiple Newsgroups with randon filenames).

5000 API Hits

Unlimited NZB

Spotweb for Elite Account


No NZB uploader

Elite account (35 €/Year) is a little expensive (Unl. API hits + Infinite dls + Spotweb)




NZBGrabit is a Forum based NZB site

One year for £11 - You can sign up for a free account

Obfuscated files (Multiple Newsgroups with randon filenames).

Unlimited NZB

NZB Uploader


Being able to pay for their Donation payment only via Snappy Checkout card isn't nice





Nzbforyou is a Forum based NZB site

One year for $12 - You can sign up for a free account (download limit of 3 nzbs per 12 hours) - You can donate through paypal

Obfuscated files (Hidden Newsgroups).

Unlimited NZB

NZB Uploader - Great quality of releases


Being able to pay for their Donation payment only via Paypal


In the tutorial below, I’ll be showing you how to grab your NZB File from NZBGeek

Search for content on NZBGeek

search nzbgeek

Download an NZB file - Click the cloud icon to start your NZB download. cloud icon

Now you can give this NZB file you have to Newshosting Newsreader and it will download everything automatically, and even decompress and repair it when needed.

Newshosting newsreader obfuscated files

As you can see above, the video files are downloading at a speed of 39 MB/s which is 312 Mbps.