It has been many weeks since we first launched the UsenetServer Innovation Challenge, but at last, the time has come for our winner to claim victory and take home his or her Raspberry Pi 2 to build and complete their new project!
Before we declare our winner, we have a bit of background on the project and how our judges arrived at their decision. Our panel of judges consisted of four experts in the world of Usenet. They were tasked with judging and scoring their top two favorite entries based on four main criteria: 1) Creativity, 2) Feasibility, 3) Originality, and 4) the inclusion of a UsenetServer service. Each of the criteria was given a score rating from 1-10, meaning that with a perfect score, a winner could earn up to 80 points. The entry that received the highest overall rating score in all of the combined categories was declared the winner of our challenge. In all, there were 27 total eligible entries and our four judges narrowed it down to five finalists. It was a close race — our winner won with 69 points and our first runner-up earned 56. Many of the other entries considered included home automation projects and smart home features. Our winner, Jason, won by proposing the following project with a Raspberry Pi:
Jason – The current Raspberry Pi project I’m working on includes a PHP backend that runs a PHP script that routinely checks an NZB RSS feed from any online NZB search site service that offers one. It then pulls any newly posted NZB links, cleans up the RSS entry, and sends the NZB download link (via Pushover) to my Android phone and tablet. From there, Android’s Tasker and Auto-Notification intercept the notification, and create a new notification with a “Download” button and the name of the Usenet binary posted. Once the download button is pressed, the NZB Link is sent back to SABnzbd’s API (which is also running on the Raspberry Pi). Then the download is queued up and started. I also get a Pushover notification when the download has completed, and whether it was successful or not. This system currently works great, and I can easily queue up new binary downloads from my Android Wear watch-device as soon as they are posted to the NZB search site. The next phase of the operation is to build a web-based interface to tell the PHP script to skip notifying me if a post has any specific text in the title, or send a “high-priority” notification with different text in the title.
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We look forward to following Jason’s progress on his winning project, and we will have more posts in the future detailing its development! We were so excited and pleased with the variety of entries we received and would like to give a big thank you to everyone who participated in our challenge.
Never stop inventing and creating new things — you, the innovators, are building our future!
In today’s connected world, almost everyone has a smartphone. They have become an almost extended part of our bodies and as such, we are demanding more and more from our mobile devices. From playing high-speed racing games, to checking the weather, to reading email – we truly carry the world’s most powerful tool right in our pockets. But did you know that your phone could download Usenet binaries?
That’s right! Using an Android smartphone or tablet, managing and downloading user-generated binaries from the Usenet can be easy and convenient! The Usenet apps available for Android range from companion apps for client-side remote server management – where the Android app talks directly to a computer that downloads content from the Usenet – to fully-featured NZB download clients. The latter of which will search, download and extract binary Usenet content directly onto a mobile device making it ready for immediate use.
The best fully-featured Usenet download application we have found so far is Power NZB. With Power NZB, we can download and extract Usenet user-generated binary content directly to our Android device. The best part about Power NZB is that it is completely free, although donations to the developer are appreciated and will make further development of the app possible. Since the application is free, it’s a win-win all the way around! Visit the download page and simplify your Usenet downloading experience on Android.
- NewzNab search API built in.
- Use the Webview to search various free NZB indexing sites.
- Add NZB RSS feeds to always stay up-to-date and never miss favorite user-generated binaries.
- The Par2 library lets us check and repair our downloads directly to our device, just like Quick Par. No more wasted downloads!
- Easily and quickly extract multi-part RAR files. No need to use another file manager to extract your files. Even set downloads to auto-extract and delete!
- Join split archives. No need to re-join on a PC! Power NZB will now auto-re-join binaries.
- Slick built-in SAB client to manage PC downloads. No need for multiple apps!
This Valentine’s Day, UsenetServer has been bitten by the love bug! We care about our users very much and with Cupid’s help, we’re going to give them some love – Usenet style. We would like to show our gratitude to our users by giving away random Usenet Valentines! Click the graphic below and enter the UsenetServer Love Instant Win Sweepstakes for a chance to win a month of free unlimited Usenet service + VPN access! Enter daily to increase your odds!
Participation in the UsenetServer Love Instant Win Sweepstakes is subject to the official rules.
For users looking for a bigger, longer, more permanent love, take a look at our Partner’s Special and save big! Earn a deep discount-off our regular pricing plans and subscribe for a full year to get free VPN access too!
UsenetServer provides world-class premium tier-1 Usenet access to users all around the globe at the best value in the industry. We offer access to over 110,000 newsgroups, including discussion groups covering topics from iOS app development to March madness bracketology and usenet binary groups including user-generated videos, audio files and software. Our vast array of newsgroups coupled with our robust network infrastructure and server farms in the United States and Europe, UsenetServer provides first class high speed access to the Usenet at the lowest price.
Most of us are spoiled these days by having a broadband or high speed connection to the Internet. In fact, some of us don’t even want to use the Internet if it’s slower than 10 megabits per second – we have a need for speed. So it will come as good news to our users to hear that under normal circumstances, users of UsenetServer will get good download speeds maxing out their connection with ease. We have built a first class tier-1 network infrastructure with our user’s bandwidth needs in mind to deliver the best speeds possible. Try as we might though, we sometimes have users whose ISPs do not have good routes to our servers. In other words, sometimes there are Internet bottlenecks between our users and our Usenet servers. For the users who fall into this category, don’t worry – we have a solution! Users experiencing slower-than-normal download speeds from our servers can increase their download speeds by using a better route.
Finding a Better Route to Our Usenet Servers
In order to provide the best possible access and download speeds to our users, our Usenet servers listen on different NNTP ports that each provide a different possible route to our servers than the route your Usenet client would take to connect to our default NNTP port of 119. We offer several ports to choose from for users’ Usenet clients to connect to for both our secure and non-secure servers. See the list below for all our available NNTP ports. If users are having speed issues, they should set their Usenet client to use the NNTP port that will give them the best possible speed.
Server and NNTP Port List
Non-secure server: news.usenetserver.com Ports: 119, 23, 25, 119, 3128, 8000 and 9000
Secure Server: secure.Usenetserver.com SSL Ports: 443, 563, 8080
Last week we showed how to download and manage all of those favorite NZBs using multi-batch downloading with SABnzbd. This week we take downloading with SABnzbd one step further and show you how to manage your Usenet downloads from anywhere with SABMobile. For those who want to queue new downloads on the go and have a SAB server cranking at home, this app is a total must-have.
What is SABMobile?
SABMobile is 3rd-party mobile management application for the SABnzbd web interface that runs on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. SABMobile allows for full management of the SABnzbd web console, allowing for RSS feeds to be added and read, NZB files to be uploaded and full download queue control with pause, resume and delete to remove NZBs when needed. One of the unique features, for those who are really concerned with security, is that SABMobile has an SSH option when adding a SABnzbd server so that if you are running a SAB server on a box with SSH, you can connect through a secure shell tunnel from anywhere on the web directly to your local server.
How do I setup a SAB server with SABMobile?
- Log into your local SABnzb server web UI
- Click Config > General and record Host IP, Port and API Key
- Download, install and launch SABMoble
- Click Add Server
- Type in a Name for the server
- Enter the Server IP (This will be the LAN IP if accessing locally or WAN IP if accessing outside home network) **If accessing outside LAN, a port will have to be mapped to local SAB server.
- Turn ON/OFF API Key (Enter API Key if set to ON)
- Set SSL to ON/OFF depending on whether SAB server has SSL enabled
- Enable SSH Tunnel if SAB is being accessed via the outside web with secure shell
- Click Save.
- Tap on the Server Name to Connect.
Where Can I Get SABMobile?
SABMobile can be dowloaded here using any of the links on the developers website that match the mobile platform needed. This powerful app only costs $2.99 and works flawlessly.
With the large quantities of user-generated content and articles on the Usenet, there is no shortage of conversations to join or binary content to download. In fact, there is often so much to read and so much to choose from and explore, it’s difficult to know where to begin when searching for things – particularly with regards to user-generated binary content. More often than not, our users are wanting to download many posts at the same time downloading multiple NZBs. One of the best ways to make Usenet downloading easier is to use SABnzbd to batch download NZBs.
What is SABnzbd?
SABnzbd is a light-weight yet extremely powerful web-based user interface that allows Usenet users to batch download large quantities of NZBs with very little hassle or interaction from the user. SABnzbd also comes equipped with a complete, fully functional NZB post-processing engine that will automatically PAR-check the RAR sets of the posts, repair components if needed, and finish the process by extracting the files within the RAR sets.
How NZBs are Imported
The developers of SABnzbd have made it easier than ever to import NZBs, leaving users with several options to queue-up their must-have posts:
- Users can click the “Add NZB” button and manually add NZBs to the queue
- RSS Feeds from popular NZB search providers can be read and NZBs imported
- SABnzbd has a built in API for 3rd party application support to receive NZBs
What Platforms Are Supported & Where Do I Download?
SABnzbd runs on Windows, OSX, Linux, Unix, BSD, you name it! SABnzbd is written in Python, so it will work practically anywhere. To give SABnzbd a whirl and start downloading right away, visit http://sabnzbd.org/
Need a Usenet Account?
Are you ready to get started and need a Usenet account? Get unlimited downloads and over 2300 days retention starting at $10/month – Signup Now!
Mac users can sometimes find it difficult to find good and powerful software without spending some money, especially when it comes to the world of Usenet apps. In the case of the PC however, there are actually many Usenet apps that are available for free and we all know free software is always the best kind. Want free? Meet Unison for Mac by Panic. When it comes to the Usenet app Unison for Mac, the good news is it is powerful, easy to use, flexible and most importantly free, making it our favorite Usenet Browser for Mac OSX.
Unison offers great flexibility in that it will allow searching the Usenet using headers to manually browse through your favorite newsgroups or allow us to target specific posts for download by allowing us to open NZB files. Unison also offers a very handy image browser to look at and search though images in our favorite picture groups. Unison is also perfect for browsing and responding to messages in the text groups as well as searching through and locating posts to download in the binary groups. Unison supports all the latest Usenet technology, from compressed headers, to automatic RAR set repair using PAR2 files.
Check out this video by our friends over at UsenetLearningCenter.com for a demo of Unison. You can also download a free copy of Unison here.
If you like to browse the Usenet newsgroups the old fashioned way, you more than likely use headers to see all available posts in a group instead of using NZBs to download only specific ones.
Downloading and browsing Usenet headers is the oldest method of browsing the newsgroups. Each Usenet post has a header and the header contains information like the time and date posted, poster name, subject and Usenet server upload path.
Because some newsgroups can have a high post count, we recommend you download more headers at one time to see more posts. To download more headers in a group, increase your initial header records size to see more posts in a larger group. To browsing headers, we recommend Unison for Mac and Newsbin Pro for a Windows PC. To see a demo on how to browse headers with Newsbin Pro, watch the video below:
New to the Usenet? Here’s is critical pro tip to help our users get full download speed from UsenetServer Usenet over their connections to their ISP. Just a quick recap for those users who are just getting started with Usenet, first we get a UsenetServer account, download and install our newsreader or NZB downloader of choice, configure our Usenet client and finally, start downloading.
When configuring our Usenet client, we will obviously need to provide the news host server address to connect to as well as our UsenetServer username and password so that our client can actually talk to the Usenet. Many users stop there and begin using their favorite client right away and if the download speed is good, no further configuration is necessary.
This is not always the case however, occasionally the default settings in our Usenet client might need a slight adjustment to ensure that we get full download speed from the Usenet servers. What adjustments might we need to make to get the most speed out of our connection to our Usenet servers? Figured it out yet? Adjusting the number of simultaneous connections that our Usenet client creates with our Usenet server each time it connects is the answer. If we are not able to achieve maximum download speed using the default number of connections (Usually 4), we need to gradually increase our number of connections one connection at a time until we fully saturate the available bandwidth our internet connection. Once our optimum number of connections has been found, we should not need to adjust them again and be able to download Usenet articles at full speed.
For all of our users who are interested in batch downloading or scheduled Usenet download automation, please stand up and take notice because NZBGet 14 has finally arrived. NZBGet is light weight NZB downloader demon that requires very little system resources to run and can be run on many platforms and devices from a PC or a Mac, to a NAS box or even a Raspberry Pi. NZBGet is a great alternative to SABNZBd and best of all, it is open source.
NZBGet’s big features include file name repair of obfuscated file names using the par files (done in seconds), RSS feed reader automation, multi-server support and management and automatic file repair and extraction. NZB get is also capable of running post processing scripts for file renaming, moving etc. The new version includes many improvements and fixes. For a full list, check out the release notes.
To start using NZBGet, download it here.
If you enjoy using NZBGet, please support this open source project by donating here.