Learn About Usenet


Usenet is a dedicated and secure user network with thousands of servers storing over 400 Petabytes of data - the equivalent of 100+ billion user-submitted articles and files - with numerous Points of Presence across several continents.

Structured as a community of servers that store and retrieve files very quickly, users engage with Usenet servers through third party software called "newsreaders". Newsreaders allow individuals to access and retrieve files, and share ideas, information, and knowledge with each other, similar to other community-driven forums like Reddit.

Every subject or topic of discussion on Usenet is broken down into "newsgroups", and there are hundreds of thousands of newsgroups on Usenet covering a wide range of subjects ranging from politics, technology, science, and travel. If a topic or discussion doesn't already exist, users are encouraged to form their own newsgroups!


Known as the original social network, Usenet was originally created in 1979 by Duke University and the University of North Carolina to quickly share information and relay messages 12 years before the World Wide actually went online, making it one of the oldest computer network communications still in use to this day.

Resembling a bulletin board system, Usenet is an incredibly efficient way to share information with its simple message board setup, and in the decade before the World Wide Web went live, it was one of the most popular ways to exchange and share ideas and articles among individual users.

Since its creation, Usenet has developed into a trove of information, files, discussions, and articles, where almost every significant technological feat can be found on a Usenet discussion board - you can find the original Usenet discussion groups where the World Wide Web, Linux project, first web browser, and image tags were all announced and discussed on Usenet... Jeff Bezos even posted Amazon's first job listing on Usenet in 1995.

Advantages of Usenet (and UsenetServer)

Housing 100 billion articles and files, adding over 2 billion new articles every month, and supporting 63 million posts daily, today's Usenet servers offer significant advantages with download speeds, privacy, and capacity.

  • Speed

    Downloading through NNTP protocols allows users to obtain much higher speeds than typically achieved on HTTPS networks.

  • Privacy

    Unlike Internet Service Providers (ISPs), UsenetServer is a Usenet provider that will never monitor individual activity. We are also proud to offer free SSL encryption on all of our plans so that your ISP cannot see what files you access or download.

  • Capacity

    Access billions of articles and over 30 years of user-driven community discussions. UsenetServer alone provides access to the largest comprehensive number of days retention offered in the Usenet community with over 5588 days of growing binary and text retention.

  • Automation

    With Usenet you can automate your search and access through different third party apps and server settings. This is ideal for the more technical user who wants to configure their media setup in a way that best fits their needs.

How To Get Started:

As the quickest and most secure way to download files, the first step to getting started with Usenet requires that you get a plan with UsenetServer, similar to how you would get an Internet provider.

Here are some critical items you should be looking for in a Usenet provider, and why UsenetServer ranks best:

  • Binary Retention

    Retention is the length of time a Usenet server keeps articles, or files, before they expire. This will include binary retention, which hosts video, audio, and other executable files, and text retention, which focuses on text groups and messages. Binary retention is much more difficult to grow compared to text, simply because the files are larger and take up more space. Premium Usenet providers, like UsenetServer, offer the highest quality retention at 5588 days - and growing - for both binary and text files.

  • Completion Rate

    Completion rate measures the number of articles on a Usenet server, divided by the total number of articles available on Usenet. For example, if a server has a completion rate of 90%, that means it stores 90% of the articles available on Usenet. Here at UsenetServer, we store 99.99% of all articles available on Usenet.

  • Connections

    Because Usenet servers are meant to handle thousands of data transfers at once, users are not limited to one download at a time - instead, users are able to spread multiple downloads over multiple connections to their provider's servers. However, you don't need hundreds of connections - because Usenet files download so quickly, it's easy to saturate even 100 MB speeds with only 5-10 connections. In fact, having more than 20 connections is more for show than practical application.

  • Free Usenet

    If you're looking to try out a provider's service before purchasing, you're in luck! We offer a free 14 day Usenet trial to all new customers so that you can test out our award-winning search, fast download speeds, and powerful security. Get started with your free trial today!

  • Internet Service
    Providers (ISPs)

    Usenet's history is intertwined with Internet providers. In the early days of Usenet, most popular ISPs offered direct access to both the Internet and Usenet. However, Usenet is an expensive platform, and ISPs eventually cut their ties to the service. Today, Usenet providers like UsenetServer have picked up the slack in providing access to Usenet servers.

  • Monthly Caps

    Because hosting Usenet access is expensive, many lesser providers enlist a monthly download cap to keep costs low... even on unlimited plans. Here at UsenetServer, we urge you to research this before choosing a Usenet provider. We have never - and we will never - put a cap on our unlimited plans, making us one of the best Tier-1 Usenet providers available.

  • News Server

    This is the name for a single Usenet server, which hosts a portion of the articles and files found on Usenet. News servers communicate together and allow for article exchange between each and every server, so that the more servers that are connected, the better chance that a file has been shared among them.

  • SSL Encryption

    Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is the standard encryption technology for establishing a private link between a server and a browser. An industry standard, it's used by millions of websites to protect the online transactions and activity of their users. If a Usenet provider does not offer SSL encryption, you should not trust them with your money or downloads, as they could be sharing both with interested parties. Here at UsenetServer, not only do we offer strong SSL encryption as a free feature on all our plans, but you can also get strong VPN service to make your data even more secure.

  • Usenet Servers

    It's important for a Usenet provider to have access to server clusters, or server farms, so that if a single server experiences a performance issue, the other servers in that cluster will be able to pick up any residual slack. Our network backbone connects to a legion of server clusters all around the world.

  • Once you've gotten a subscription, you'll need a "newsreader" to access Usenet's newsgroups... but don't get confused! Usenet newsreaders are also known as browsers or clients, but they all perform the same action: allowing users to browse and download files from Usenet. Think of them like you would a search engine for the Internet - you need a tool to perform your search query for you. These let you search for keywords or newsgroups that interest you, and allow you to post, upload, and download from them.

  • We also recommend trying Global Search 2.0 - this is UsenetServer's proprietary software that allows users to search for files and create NZBs, which is a unique download path to your file. Most newsreaders will unpack your NZB for free.

  • Keep the following in mind when searching Usenet for specific content:

  • NZB Files

    NZB files are a great way to find content, and they differ from binary and text files in that they point to the specific location for all the parts of a file. Here's why - on Usenet, most binary content is split up into different parts. When you search for the binary file itself, your newsreader might not be able to find all of those different parts. However, when you search for an NZB, it already knows where the different parts are located. Our Global Search 2.0 tool makes it easy to search for files and create your own NZBs, so that with a simple drag-and-drop, your newsreader should be able to unpack those files for you.

  • Binary Files

    A binary file contains binary data like video, audio, or image content, as opposed to a text file.

  • Text Files

    A text file contains only printable characters.

  • Newsgroups

    A newsgroup is another name for a Usenet forum, and it groups topics together across Usenet. There are thousands of newsgroups each focusing on their own topics. Posted messages, or articles, containing binary and/or text files can be found under many different newsgroups.

Ready To Get Started With UsenetServer?