Learn About Usenet


Usenet is a network of user-submitted articles, messages, ideas, and information on a wide range of subjects ranging from video, audio, and software, to politics, science, and travel.

Each subject is known as a "newsgroup", and there are hundreds of thousands of newsgroups... and all users are allowed to form their own newsgroup!


Usenet has been around since 1979, and was created for universities across the United States to share messages, news, and updates.

A precursor to the World Wide Web, Usenet became a popular way to exchange information, share ideas, and access files, and acts similarly to a message board. The way that it is structured also means that users can upload and download files and posts very quickly.

To this day, Usenet continues to be an intricate and sophisticated network between hundreds of millions of users, computers, and servers worldwide. Not only that, but if your Usenet provider offers SSL encryption, it's completely secure and private.

Here at UsenetServer, we are proud to offer free SSL encryption on all of our plans so that your ISP cannot see what files you access or download.

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 4490 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 our Zero-Log 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?